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Dear Parent / Guardian,

Spring is near! A slow thaw leading to the budding trees and daffodils popping up is a welcome thought, isn’t it? So is the idea of being able to put away all the winter gear! We hope you enjoy some of the helpful tips included in this month’s newsletter and that you have a wonderful spring break whether you travel near or far!

Wishing you well!

The Catholic Central High School Admissions Team

Spring Cleaning with a Purpose – (Service Minded Spring Cleaning)

Spring is near and many are chomping at the bit to throw open the windows and let in some warm, fresh air. Alongside that, many of us start our annual routine of Spring Cleaning. From non-perishable items to seldom-used household goods and clothing, it’s easy to make your spring cleaning ritual a new tradition of giving. Chances are good that much of what you have to get rid of can be of use to a local organization. Be sure to take a moment to find local organizations that will make the best use of your donations. And if you’re a Marie Kondo fan, don’t forget to thank those items that no longer bring you joy. 🙂

The Pantry

One of the easiest and most gratifying ways to clean and give is to focus on the pantry items. Nonperishable items are accepted at many organization that focus on feeding the community. Some of the most needed items in community food pantries is: canned meats, canned fish, canned beans, apple sauce, cooking oils, peanut butter, crackers, herbs and spices, boxed potatoes, pastas and grains, and soup.

The Bookcase

We love books! That makes it hard to give them up. But what good is a book sitting on a shelf with nobody left to read it? Apply a little tough love and find a new home for those books that you can bear to part with.

The Closet

We’ve all heard the rule: If you haven’t worn it in a year, it’s time to get rid of it. Can you do it? If you’re feeling motivated to lighten the load there are so many places to bring your “new to someone else” clothes.

The Toybox

There are so many great ways to scale down the toy collection. Some of them even include getting the kids involved rather than running in their room with a garbage bag while they’re out of the house. Ha! You know the “get a new one, get rid of an old one” motto? It’s a great way to teach kids how to prevent excess. But we digress – the real point is the put those toys to good use once they’ve left your home.

The Kitchen

Sometimes organizing and cleaning the kitchen can be the most overwhelming task of all. There are so many different supplies used in the kitchen! A great method for cleaning out the kitchen is to empty out every cabinet, drawer and storage spot, clean them out and then only put back in what you use on a regular basis. Perhaps consider putting all of the “leftover” items in a storage bin and if you haven’t had to dig an item out after a month, then you know those items are ready to have a new life with someone else.

The Garage

A change in season often leads to a transition in the garage as it’s time to trade to the shovels for gardening tools and give the floors a good sweep to get rid of all the road salt. This is also a great time to get rid of any unused tools, home improvement items, or even decor that has been stored away but no longer has a place in your home.

Performing Arts Partnership

“Middle School Band is great! I like the chance to play different percussion instruments that I never knew how to play before”.  – J.P., 7th grade, St. John Vianney

“I like Choir because of meeting new kids and making new friends” – C.S., 8th grade, St. Paul the Apostle

Did you know that our diocesan middle schools are invited to partner with Catholic Central for their Band and Choir programs? It provides their middle school students a unique opportunity to engage with, learn from and practice with our high school performing arts faculty as well as other middle school students in the diocese.

7th and 8th grade students from St. Paul, St. John Vianney and St. Stephen’s have been meeting together this school year in Band and Choir classes three mornings a week.  They have the opportunity to experience playing and singing in a large ensemble that is something greater than their own individual school could previously offer.

In addition to a combined Fall Concert at St. Cecilia, our CC Middle School Band students participated for the first time at District Band Festival in February and the Choir students will be attending Choir Festival in April.  Students are also making great connections with each other that will strengthen as they come to Catholic Central in the next few years. What an amazing opportunity!

Tips for Choosing the “Right” High School

Before offering suggested questions to use when exploring high schools, we offer a bit of advice: Know your family’s criteria for the “right fit.”

Before you look at any school, look inward first. No school offers everything perfectly. The more you know about your child, the better equipped you’ll be to know what schools might meet his/her most pressing needs—academic, social, spiritual and emotional. This is the first crucial step in finding a school that’s the right fit.

  1. What is the school’s mission/vision/philosophy? Great schools will be able to tell you what they’re about, where they’re going, and how they would partner with you in the formation of your child.
  2. Do you produce high school and college graduates? There should be evidence that students do well in the academic program and progress to the next level.
  3. Will you fully prepare (beyond academics) my child for college? Beyond a college-preparatory curriculum, parents should inquire how the school develops any soft skills and provides a “supplemental education”  – the mindsets and dispositions – that contributes to a mature, capable young adult.
  4. How does the school help with post-secondary planning?   Another important area of support is in creating a plan beyond high school. Most high schools offer some services for college and/or career planning, but investigate exactly what that means.
  5. What academic experiences exist outside of core requirements?  Is there a full array of elective opportunities? How does the school’s schedule support this?  Schools may offer different pathways towards graduation requirements or special programs.  The school’s schedule may complement or complicate a family’s desired plan.
  6. How does the school prepare students to engage with, be successful in and contribute to a quickly evolving world? Are the students encouraged to develop critical thinking skills? You will want to determine if the school offers opportunities to explore career paths, personal interests and different learning/working environments. It is valuable to encourage critical thinking skills and a curious mindset as well as a strong drive to improve.
  7. What standardized tests will my child take each year? What is the school’s approach to standardized testing?  Schools vary in their interest in and emphasis on standardized testing. Some administer them as a matter of compliance where others orient their entire operation around them.
  8. How collaborative is the teaching faculty? How do they grow professionally to improve student learning? You will want to know the school your child attends functions as a team and works together for the benefit of your child.
  9. What is Student Life like? Be sure that the school offers a comprehensive experience for your child and ask about participation rates. Most students thrive in an environment with like-minded students to engage. Investigate the art, athletic, music, or drama programs, as well as the service opportunities and faith formation experiences.
  10. Will this be a place where my child will thrive and become the kind of person I hope s/he becomes? This question is the ultimate one after investigating all the previous questions.  Compare what you’ve learned from exploring the school to the criteria you’ve established as a family.