MAY 2, 2005 Parish Council Meeting
Father Kearns, Joanne Leonard, Mary Lou Love, Mary Kate Murphy, Mary Kate Kleinberg, Anne Marie Nance, Kathie McDougall
Father Kearns opened the meeting at 7:15 p.m., and as a group we recited The Our Father. The agenda and handouts were then distributed to all attendees. These handouts – Minutes from School Self Study Meeting April 7, 2005 and Minutes from Self Study Meeting March 16, 2005 are attached to these minutes.
Review of Minutes
The minutes of the March 14th meeting were distributed and read by the attendees.
Liturgy of the Word for Children
Mary Kate Murphy will oversee this program, which will be presented by Helen Beard and Anne Marie Devlin beginning in September 2005. Sample pamphlets of "Magnifi Kid" were passed around for everyone’s review. Announcements in the parish bulletin and through the school and C.C.D. will promote this program.
Nominations for Council
An announcement was presented to Father Kearns for approval and insertion in the Sunday Parish Bulletin to solicit nominations for the two vacant positions on Council.
It was also noted that people are needed to serve on the Financial Committee that meets four times a year. Joanne Leonard volunteered to serve on this committee.
Minutes from Self Study Meeting March 16, 2005
Minutes from Self Study April 7, 2005
The attendees read both documents. It was noted that these minutes are also sent to the Vicar. Father Kearns said that we are only allowed to discuss our own meetings.
Mary Kate Murphy questioned why "Increase of Non-Catholic Enrollment" would be considered a Threat on the April 7th minutes. Father Kearns explained this is because it might harm the Catholic identity of the school making it more of a private school versus a Catholic school. At the present time, 35-40% of our 255 students are non-Catholic. The present trend is that the parish is losing Catholics but picking up non-Catholic students. Many of the Catholics moving out subsequently attend public school.
"Limitations" came from guidelines published by Office of Catholic Education.
Under "Opportunities, it was noted that the Connelly Grant for an art/music teacher would pay the salary for this teacher.
The capacity of our school is 540 based on 30 students per classroom, which is the standard classroom size per Office of Catholic Education. Our enrollment is 255; enrollments at the other schools are as follows: St. Philomena’s has 190; St. Alice has 160; BVM has 210, so we have the highest enrollment at the present time.
Father Kearns asked if the Council could think of anything else that could be added to the list on the April 7th minutes. Mary Kate Kleinberg said that the Library should be mentioned under "Strengths."
Father Kearns also asked what would be the ideal school, if money were no object, which will be considered at the Steering Committee Level. The Parish Council offered the following answers/comments:
Small class size – 18 students in K-3; 25 maximum students in upper grades
Qualified, state accredited teachers and teacher aides
Parish-based learning support program (IEP)
Special Subjects; i.e., art, music, physical ed., library, science, technology
Staff development and in-service programs for faculty and staff
Gymnasium, cafeteria and lunch programs
Opportunity for field trips
Tuition assistance program
Lavatory on every floor
The biggest hurdle in the Self-Study process is that everyone thinks their school is best, but we need to consider as a cluster do we need four schools? After the Steering Committee meets, an informational insert will be prepared for the Parish Bulletin.
Comments/Any Additional Business
This is the last meeting for this school year. The next meeting will be in September but we will wait to pick a date until after school opens. As far as nominees for Parish Council, anyone nominated will be contacted to see if they accept; then biographies will be generated and a vote taken.
The Parish Outreach program will resume in the fall – it wasn’t done this year because of the Self-Study.
The Healing Mass will be May 22nd at 10:30 with a brunch afterwards in the Social Hall coordinated by John Devlin.
The meeting was concluded by saying the Hail Mary in honor of the month of May at 8:35 p.m.
Joanne F. Leonard