The 2018-2019 school year is now 2/3 complete. I think I say this in every letter, but every time I look at the calendar I am amazed at how fast the year goes. I know I haven’t written to you since before Christmas, but so much has been happening that I’ve been trying to keep it straight. I finally have had a little bit of time to sit and process where we are at in the school year.
When we returned from Christmas break, everything seemed to happen fast. Our girls’ basketball season started off well. Both teams put in great effort and I am very proud at how they represented our school. While we did not win a trophy this year, there was a great deal of growth and I am very excited for their future.
Basketball was not the only exciting thing that happened on our campus during January. Our faculty and staff completed the writing of our self-study in preparation for our accreditation visit. The self-study was sent to the chair of the team who will visit our school. This was a giant task and I would like to thank everyone involved in writing this. Our faculty put in so much work in preparing this document that I truly believe reflects who we are at St. Christopher Catholic School. Thank you to you, our parents, as well, for your work on the surveys, the time you spend volunteering, and especially for your support while we worked, and still continue to work, together for the growth of our school. I also want to make sure that I thank Cathy Thompson, our Superintendent, for her guidance and support through this process.
As I’ve written to you before, the Nevada School Choice Scholarship, also known as Assembly Bill 165 has come under attack. It is possible that within two school years, there could be significant reductions to the funding of the scholarship which will affect so many students in Nevada. We began the process of fighting for School Choice by attending a School Choice fair where we were able to get the word out about St. Christopher’s and have since received a great deal of interest in our school. The second part was to host a letter writing campaign at our school that was well attended not only by our St. Chris family, but also by parents from all the schools in our Diocese, in total there were over 100 families in attendance writing letters to the Governor and to the legislator of their district. It was such a powerful night that was attended by Senator Mo Denis. Thank you to our parents who spoke so eloquently to Senator Denis about the importance of this scholarship. I ask all of you to find out who the legislators are in the district you live in and write to them about the importance of school choice and the scholarship that many of our families receive. If you need any help with this, please feel free to stop by the office.
The end of January brought us both the ECRA test and Catholic Schools Week. I am awaiting the results on the ECRA test still, but I am very excited. We have made great strides in our writing program and saw big gains in our scores last school year, so I’m looking forward to seeing this year’s results. Also, Catholic Schools Week was a wonderful time for us. Our 7th and 8th grade classes took part in the all schools mass at Holy Spirit Church and did a fantastic job. Our school also had a visit from Bishop George Leo Thomas. Bishop Thomas was so gracious with our students. He sat and listened to and answered questions from students at each grade level. He was very impressed by our students and our school. Our kids made all of us very proud. Also very impressive during Catholic Schools Week was our annual “Penny Wars” fundraiser. This is the fundraiser we have been doing to raise money for the St. Therese Center. Our goal was to raise over $1,000.00. We surpassed this goal by raising over $1300.00! Congratulations, once again, to Ms. Alcala and the kindergarten class for winning “Penny Wars,” but I am overall so proud of our students and families for coming through again for those in need in our Las Vegas community. And finally, our 8th grade hosted their annual spaghetti dinner to close out Catholic Schools Week. It was an amazing night. Congratulations to Mrs. Ronan and all the 8th grade families for a very successful event.
Our short month of February was still jam packed. On February 8th, the accreditation visiting team came to St. Chris for a pre-visit. Our campus and classrooms looked amazing and our teachers were very impressive in talking about what they do in their classes. I am very excited for our visit. St. Christopher Catholic School has come so far over the last several years and that is because of our family working together for the improvement of our school which in turn has lead to the improvement of our children. Thank you again for all of your work.
As we are now rolling along in March, I would like to remind you that our accreditation visit will happen March 18-20. The team will visit classrooms, meet with students, meet with teachers, and will visit with parents as well. The faculty will be on campus Saturday and Sunday March 16 and 17 to prepare our campus for the visit. If you are in need of service hours, we would love to have your help. However, due to the nature of the work that needs to be done this weekend, we cannot have children on campus while we are working. If you would like to help out, please contact Ms. Dulce in the front office or Mrs. Perdichizzi, firstname.lastname@example.org. The faculty will be attending mass together on March 17th before finishing our work on campus. I would love it if our families can come to this mass as well so, as a family, we can all share in the Eucharist and receive God’s blessings before this very important visit. I would like to remind you that Wednesday, March 20th will be a noon dismissal day and there will be no aftercare. The reason for this is because the visiting team will read their report of findings to the faculty and staff. We will not know our accreditation status until June, after their report goes through WCEA reading teams. My message to our kids is during the visit; just continue to be themselves, because they are amazing! I feel very positive that we will do great!
This is an overwhelming time of year. The days off are few and far in between (although we were helped a little by a “snow day!” In Vegas? Can you believe it?) It may at times feel like we will never get to Easter Break, but I promise it will come. Please continue to reinforce the lessons and the SLEs at home. My thing is, “Catch them doing something good.” If you see your child living out one of our SLEs in some way, I’d love to hear about it. Thank you again for all of your efforts when it comes to our school. There is no one person that has a magic solution for improvement. It is only together as our St. Chris family that we have been able to make such incredible strides the last three years. Thank you for this wonderful family that you provide. Finally, please remember to tell your children Mr. Zunno said, “I love you all, and I always will.”
Christopher Zunno, Principal
St. Christopher Catholic School
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