Our St. Joseph Cathedral School wrapped up a great 2022-23 academic year and is looking to build upon its successes in 2023-24.
Principal Gina Bailey is excited about all that the next school year has in store. There are many developments within the school that will strengthen the curriculum, meet the students’ academic and emotional needs, and put our Catholic faith at the forefront.
“We have taken a close look at the curriculum and continue to improve it by purchasing better textbooks and learning programs,” Mrs. Bailey says. “We will be implementing new reading and phonics programs for the kindergarten through second-grade levels to address the increased reading needs among our younger students.”
Since Mrs. Bailey has become Principal, she has been able to build both the counseling department and the school’s resource department by adding more staff members. Starting in the fall, veteran third-grade teacher Kristan Morris will move to a part-time role as a resource teacher, adding to the two other full-time resource teachers. These teachers are responsible for helping those students with learning difficulties, like dyslexia, to overcome their individual hurdles and succeed.
Similarly, the upcoming school year brings two new teachers to the faculty.
“Alison McAleer will be teaching second grade,” Mrs. Bailey says. “She brings a wealth of experience using many of the learning programs that we use in class, while also being trained as a resource teacher. We will also have Jessica Cowley, a graduate of our Cathedral School, teaching third-grade next year. We are excited to welcome her back as a teacher.”
Some of the most widespread changes occurring next year have to do with Mrs. Bailey’s desire to make faith the center of the school’s ethos and activity.
“I am going to integrate school-wide morning prayer into our morning announcements,” she says. “We will start each day with a morning prayer that is related to the saint of the day or the liturgical calendar.”
At the end of the announcements, the whole student body will recite our mission statement: “We will be disciples of Christ and fishers of men.”
“We will also be adding some new textbooks to the second through fourth-grade and sixth-grade religion classes to pilot a new religious curriculum called Word of Life,” Mrs. Bailey says. “This curriculum, from the Augustine Institute, is an exciting opportunity because it is geared toward getting parents involved with their child’s faith formation. There are activities designed for parents to do with their child and the hope is that our parents will learn alongside their children.
“The faith is brought into many aspects of our school,” she adds. “It is found in other curriculums like our writing courses, where younger students will have the opportunity to research and write about saints. The junior high grades use the prayer app, Hallow, for writing prompts and reflections and will also read Consoling the Heart of Jesus in their English class.”
As the school year gets underway, praise and worship assemblies will continue, as well, as students will be able to sing and dance along to praise songs and listen to guest speakers on a variety of faith-based topics.
With the introductions of some new learning programs, curriculums, and the addition of two new teachers, the 2023-24 St. Joseph Cathedral School year is shaping up to offer a strong academic and faith-based experience for all its students.
For more information, visit cathedral.diojeffcity.org/school/