The 2023-24 school year is quickly approaching, and on Aug. 16, our students will step back into the classroom to begin a new year of learning and growth. Susan Burky, the Principal of St. Isidore Catholic School, and the teachers and staff have been working behind the scenes to make the upcoming school year a success.
This coming school year will be the second year in our three-year process of transitioning to classical education. This has taken a great deal of commitment from our teachers as they have learned to reframe all of their knowledge into a new context.
“We’re used to teaching subjects in isolation,” Mrs. Burky says. “What we are learning right now is how to teach in a more unified manner.”
Under the guidance of the Institute for Catholic Liberal Education, our teachers have taken part in two workshops between the end of the last school year and the beginning of the new school year. The topic of one of the workshops is “mimetics,” and equips teachers to help children memorize information in a way that builds up their stores of knowledge. This method is ideal for younger children who will then draw on this stored knowledge when they enter the questioning phase of their development.
“Classical education gives the students tools for learning so they understand how to learn and then they’re able to learn anything,” Mrs. Burky says. “We use those natural tendencies in the child to their advantage.”
Families can look forward to other changes, such as security updates. The school received half of the grant that we applied for through Cal OES. While this means re-evaluating how to use that money, families can rest assured it will be used to increase the safety of our school environment after careful analysis.
Mrs. Burky also looks forward to continuing the strong relationship between the parish and the school. The past year was filled with wonderful collaboration and support, from the auction and carnival to working together on special liturgies and more.
“We are one parish community, and the school is a ministry of the parish,” Mrs. Burky says. “We only exist because of the parish here. It’s a major part of the mission of the church to help parents catechize their children and it’s through generous parishioner support that we continue to have our doors open.”
Ultimately, all of the changes and growth happen to help our students grow in faith and virtue, with the support of a strong faith community. Education at St. Isidore puts the relationship with Christ first and all the rest falls into place.
“Our emphasis is on knowing God, loving God, and serving God, and the only way we can know God is by exploring His world, and getting to what is true, beautiful and good,” Mrs. Burky says. “Academics is a byproduct of that discovery. The emphasis is not on test scores or GPA. The emphasis is on coming to know God and our story in salvation history.”
To learn more about our parish schools, visit www.stisidore-yubacity.org/our-schools.