Our Future of Excellence at St. Luke Parish School
Dear Saint Luke Parents and Guardians,
The great artist and singer-songwriter of the Beatles, John Lennon, once said: "A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality." As an educator, coach, and administrator, I have always believed deeply in the power and meaning of dreaming and visioning. One of the most important aspects of education is allowing people, at any level, to dream, to imagine a new future and design the steps involved to animate a vision.
At the beginning of the new year at Saint Luke, we started this process of painting a vision of our future while at the same time remaining rooted in our strong tradition of 96 years of excellence in Catholic education. I'd like to take this opportunity to update you on the plans of our strategic planning process, and invite you as a parent or guardian, parishioner, and/or alumna/us to join the visioning process we are embarking on in the next eight months or so.
Our Steps as a Collective Saint Luke "We"
In mid-January, our Board of Specified Jurisdiction (BSJ) started strategic planning by taking a day to map out the foundational vision for Saint Luke in the near future: the next 5-7 years. The Board - including the parish staff and teacher-leaders James Bratager and Mary Anne Gleason - developed the following short-but-concise vision statement: Saint Luke is a school committed to academic excellence in a welcoming, faith-centered Catholic community. We resolved as a team that our school planning process, wherever it may lead, should always come back to three critical components encapsulated in the following statements - (1) We are committed to academic rigor and excellence; (2) We are a hospitable and welcoming community; and, (3) We are rooted in and fueled by our Christ-centered identity.
Over the the next two months, we will take active steps to further etch out and articulate what each of these pillars means for us as a school community. In March and April, we will hold focus group listening sessions for students, faculty, staff, parents, parishioners, and alumni to listen to the hopes and dreams that our various stakeholders have for the future of Saint Luke. Additionally, we are creating a comprehensive survey geared toward each group, giving people an opportunity to give us honest and constructive feedback on where we should head for the coming years as we look to continue to be a leader in Catholic education in River Forest and beyond. Our hope is that the data collected from our focus groups and surveys will give us the collective wisdom to pen the strategic plan for release to the wider community in September 2017.
An Invitation to Join Our Visioning Process
We want you to feel welcome and free to be a part of the strategic planning process, and we need the most diverse and varied set of opinions to create a widely-shared plan.
- Our first invitation is to come in for one of the focus groups in our school library on Wednesday, March 8th, from 5pm-8pm, where we will offer specified prompts, but also allow you as a parent or guardian to freely and openly share your hopes and dreams for the future of our school. If you are interested in being a part of one of the focus groups, please email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and our team will make sure you are scheduled for one of the sessions.
- Secondly, at the end of March, we will send an electronic survey to you to be able to share your thoughts through another medium. The survey will be open for you through mid-April, so please keep your eyes peeled for these emails in the coming month.
Above all things, know that I have an open door to you as a parent! I love and value it when a parent stops me outside school in the morning with a question or concern, or reaches out to set up a meeting to develop a new project or consider a new idea to better our school community. Our future is bright at Saint Luke, and it is brighter and more fully strengthened by your input, thoughtful and intentional feedback, and your hopes for what we can become together as one heart and mind.
In Light - in Christ,
Timothy J. Wesley