May 1, 2017

Be sure to mark your calendar for lots of exciting end-of-year events at Ursuline! While May is full of activities, planning for the 2017-18 school year is in full swing and I want to share with you some information about next year. 

As we prepared for our elementary leader search, we met with faculty, staff, and families to get feedback on the needs of our girls and our Academy.  As we listened to each group, one topic continued to arise: a need for a consistent positive environment established through Ursuline values. In response, our elementary faculty formed a committee to review policies and procedures related to discipline, and new handbook policies will be introduced to families at the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year. In addition, our elementary is now seeking a Dean of Students who will oversee discipline, all student activities, and student events. Ms. Mollere will continue to serve in elementary as Director of Operations, overseeing operational tasks.

With that in mind, elementary parents are invited to enjoy coffee and pastries and meet our new Head of Elementary, Mrs. Shanna Gosey. We're excited for you all to welcome her to our Ursuline family!
 
May 12: ECLC (T2-K) families, 7:45 am in St. Ursula Hall
May 16: Lower School (1st-4th) families, 7:45 am in Sisters' Dining Room
May 17: Middle School (5th-7th) families, 7:45am in Sisters' Dining Room

Also during the discovery process, elementary faculty requested more instructional time, especially in the areas of math and language arts. In order to help accommodate this need, the elementary will move to a six-day schedule rotation which allows our lower school to have additional time for math and language arts instruction. The schedule enhancement will afford a double period for middle school science lab each cycle. In additional to the schedule change, the entire Academy will extend our school day, slightly, to begin class at 7:55 am and end at 3:05 pm. The addition of 10 minutes will add both instruction time and time for high school clubs meetings.
 
We also welcome current high school faculty member, Ms. Jessica Baker, who is now serving as the Curriculum & Instruction Director for the Academy. This year, Ms. Baker collaborated with faculty and administration to align science education from division to division as we introduce Project Lead the Way into middle and high school next year. We are excited to introduce more creativity and critical thinking skills through design and modeling, robotics, and engineering to our current science curriculum.  Our faculty will be training throughout the summer to prepare for the introduction of the new PLTW piece to our current science program. Thanks to both the faculty and Ms. Baker for all their work to bring this to Ursuline!
 
Our strategic plan outlined enhancements to programs and instruction, and these initiatives are just a few ways we are well on our way to meeting our goals for the future of Ursuline Academy!