Succeeding with Teamwork

As we conclude the first half of the school year, St. Athanasius continues to improve cross the board. This year we are still working toward strengthening and developing the teamwork and support system amongst our teachers, parents and students.

Consistently challenging the teachers to find better strategies to provide their students with the tools and resources they need to be successful now and in the future, Academic Dean Jessica Madio and Network ELA Dean Brian Rooney are raising the caliber of the Professional Development through their individual work with St. Athanasius teachers as well as other teachers across the Partnership network. Their successes as a team are directly visible through the consistent increase of proficiency percentages amongst all grade levels on both the ELA and Math New York State Exams at St. Athanasius and across the network. We are very proud to announce that 90% of our 6th grade students were proficient, scoring either a 3 or a 4, on the New York State Math Exam in 2016.
While working closely with St. Athanasius teachers on ways to excel, Jessica and Brian are also currently enrolled in a 3-year program pursuing a Master’s in Educational Leadership at The University of Notre Dame.

With a perspective and skillset of a classroom teacher, these two leaders are developing knowledge the inner-workings of a school administration to further understand how to implement new techniques to reap the most benefits from a holistic educational approach.  Their program meets on Notre Dame’s campus for six weeks during the summer and continues as an online course throughout the school year. It provides a platform in which other educators from Catholic schools collaborate and continue conversations to improve their own strategies to help their students become more successful and challenge themselves even more.

St. Athanasius has introduced a Core Values Parent Meeting series this year. With only two meetings in the books, St. Athanasius Academic Dean Jessica Madio provides a platform and safe space for St. Athanasius parents to learn ways to better embody our four core values - integrity, humility, hard work and service – in a student’s home life. The two meetings have consisted of presentations and scenario discussions in small groups, providing them with a core values “tool kit” to create constructive, two-way conversations with their child. Parents were not only given a chance to explore these concepts
individually, but also used this time to build relationships as a parent body. Attracting over 65 parents to each meeting, the Wednesday evening presentations engaged our parents for an hour and a half, and we are very excited to continue the series into the new year! Future meetings will consist of a variety of different ways to continue this conversation and approach, creating a support system between parents and teachers to provide our students with the systems they need to be successful now and in the future.

As the second half of the school year approaches, we are excited for our third annual Math Academy, a one-day Saturday program where students in grades 3-8 compete in fun and challenging math activities to review for the New York State Exam. We are also looking forward to the Core Values fair “Saints Among Us” where each student presents on a saint that embodies one of four core values.  We hope to see you at St. Athanasius soon!