As we prepare to reopen school for the start of the new school year, let me welcome you back to Father Judge. On behalf of everyone who works here at Father Judge, we have greatly missed our students and their families, and I can tell you it is far too quiet here without you. It has been nearly 6 months since we were all together here in person at school, participated in activities and sports, worshiped together and built relationships with one another as Salesian Gentlemen. Thankfully, that is all about to change when you all walk through our doorway and into what will be a different school experience than when you left. For our incoming freshmen, you are about to embark on the journey of a lifetime in a very exciting time to be a student.
There are many great things happening at Father Judge as we move forward. First, we have learned from our virtual school experience during the spring semester 2020 that learning can continue and be improved upon. To that end, we have installed classroom cameras to be able to bring students who are home on their virtual day directly into their classroom to engage in the day’s lesson. We will also be introducing a new learning management system called Schoology into daily use by teachers and students. It gives teachers and students many more tools and features to enhance their learning, especially while in a virtual classroom setting. We have increased the number of welding students in our program by 24 as the rising sophomores of the Class of 2023 begin their Career & Technical Education (CTE) journey. More CTE programs are under development including automotive technician, construction trades, toolmaking and machinist, culinary and engineering technology. There is a new construction project going on that will be completed near the end of the marking period - a state of the art drop-in learning center that will be known as the Father Brisson Center for Academic Excellence. Wait until you see the finished project - it is really something special for our students.
Though we were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, it has fortunately been a blessing for us for it taught teachers and students to be creative, adaptive and flexible in how school is operated. I want to assure all of our students’ families and the extended Father Judge community that we have a detailed plan to keep our students safe and motivated to learn in person with one another. Please check it out at www.fatherjudge.com/reopening. We look forward to the resumption of sports and activities when we receive the okay to do so. Know that we will be cheering on our Crusaders when that time comes. With the pandemic plan in mind, we have looked closely at how we present our traditional events for students, particularly seniors. We have developed plans to hold important events like Ring Mass, proms, Baccalaureate Mass, religious events and commencement as we always have and in accordance with pandemic planning guidelines. Stay tuned for announcements as we get closer to those dates on the school calendar.
Finally, we thank our Father Judge community for its tireless support and advocacy for our great school. We are eternally grateful for the prayers, the positive feedback on our social media sites and sticking with us through an unprecedented time in Father Judge history. No one ever thought when we started school last year that we would see schools closed, only to reopen virtually in a span of 48 hours in a completely different mode of virtual school. It is evident that our school motto, “Non Excidet” stands out among students, faculty and staff in support of its meaning: “He shall not fail.” We believe it. We have demonstrated it with our determined and monumental efforts to reopen school for our young Father Judge men. Welcome back Crusaders and families, and remember to be who you are and be that well. Every. Single. Day.
Live today well,
Peter D. Chapla, Principal