The Value of a Saint Xavier Education
As we move into the summer months, there are many questions regarding what school will look like in the fall. We simply do not know yet, and it might be weeks before we do. We have considered every possible scenario for our return, and each day we read the latest from the CDC and the Department of Education. While we wait, we want you to be aware of what St. X is doing this summer to make sure the value of a St. X education and the brotherhood that comes with that is preserved and enhanced.
These last few months have been a tremendous challenge for all of us. Overnight, our teachers had to reimagine their classes online, and our students had to become self-motivated, online learners. (I will not even mention what parents had to do to survive with a teenager stuck at home.) As with anything we do at St. X, we want every part of our school to run with excellence and care. That is why we will work very hard this summer to make sure that in the fall we are ready to provide our students with a true St. X experience.
Some priorities we have are the following:
- We want a vibrant campus with students in desks on the first day of school in August and every possible day after that. We want students on retreats. We want students on stage. We want our athletic teams practicing and competing. We want our extra-curriculars meeting. Providing a safe environment for these to happen is paramount.
In case we do need online learning days:
- We will have institutional guidelines for how we proceed. We want to streamline the experience for students so that there are not such huge variations in how each teacher runs their online classroom. We also want to balance synchronous and asynchronous learning.
- We want the caliber of online learning to match as closely as possible to the education received when a student is in a classroom on campus.
- We will provide professional development for teachers on techniques for transforming a physical classroom into an online experience.
- We will rethink the daily schedule for online days, so we don't overwhelm students and teachers with the responsibility of seven periods.
- St. X will have ONE digital platform that all teachers will use. We have chosen Schoology, and teachers will begin training soon. Each parent will have their own log-in to their son's classes.
- Your feedback is important to us as we navigate planning for next year. We will send surveys to parents and students to make sure we see the school year from every perspective.
In early July, we began our weekly parent email that contains news about what is occurring on campus. We want one dedicated place for you to receive all the information you need about the events for the week, deadlines, news, etc.
We are blessed with teachers who believe in the mission of Xaverian education, and they care deeply for our students. I see them celebrate with a colleague when they have a breakthrough with a student; I see them work 10-hour days before they go home to take care of their families (and grade a few papers before they fall asleep); I see them praying in the chapel for a student who is suffering; I see them talking to a student in the hallway and encouraging him to keep trying; I see their smiles when they watch our students perform or compete.
So, please know that we will do everything we can, within reason and consideration of the health and safety of our community, to be physically together to start school.