Imprinting the New Year

Inspiring thoughts and a look to the new year for the Blessed Sacrament community, from Sr. Odilia Korenek

January 2013

We’re back to ordinary time. The calendar brought our high school students back after the Christmas break. The little ones in our Child Development Center got four day weekends at best. The Ropes Challenge Course has been busy with young people testing their skills at climbing and at trusting their peers. In some ways this time is anything but ordinary as we go about using a New Year and putting our imprint on it.

Child Development Center Imprints

What do you expect to see developing in 2013, I asked Carol Silva, our Child Development Center Director?
She explained that the CDC was going to:

  • Introduce bilingual Thursday to children, parents, teachers, vendors, visitors;
  • Stress early childhood education in staff training sessions;
  • Improve the learning environment in various other ways;
  • Add a special focus on music, art, spirituality
  • Spotlight classroom involvement and teacher engagement to share ideas and affirm teachers. For example, Sally the Seal doesn’t know her shapes and the 2’s are teaching them to Sally. And, Peter the Dragon cries and cries because he can’t find his balloons. Children help him find the color balloon Peter is missing. It’s a fun classroom.
  • Discussions about how to protect our children against unusual threats continue.

Parents’ Academy Imprintsgrandparents_11_12

As Kathy Lozano, Parents’ Academy Director, reflected on the coming year, she envisioned

  • Reaching more families with increased presence in social media through Parents’ Academy Facebook page
  • Providing ongoing parenting advice with Parents’ Academy WordPress blog
  • Meeting the goal of 200 graduates of Precious Minds New Connections program
  • Expanding the Making Children Mind program to make it available to more families
  • Developing resources to provide additional parenting courses for families who are seeking ongoing education and support in their quest to be nurturing parents

groundbreaking Por Vida students    Por Vida Academy

  • Por Vida Academy has recently introduced a GED program in order to help some of the older students who lack the credits for their appropriate grade levels. In an effort to help the students achieve success sooner, Mr. Rendon has been talking to the students and offering the move into the GED program. The GED program is available during three different time slots: 9:00 am-1:00 pm, 12:00 pm-4:00 pm and 4:00 pm-8:00 pm. After the students complete their preparation classes, they are able to test for the 5 subject areas.
  • Currently Por Vida is not a testing center, but Mr. Rendon is working on having the school set up as one. Once the appropriate measures are taken, the students will be able to test at-will when they are ready. The other testing centers in the area do not offer the tests very frequently, Por Vida Academy plans on being more flexible and eventually opening it up to the community. This could potentially be a source of revenue for the school.
  • The school has also created a workout room and introduced more physical fitness activities for the students. The workout room has cardio machines, weights and boxing equipment. Students are excited about the facilities and enjoy working out. Several staff members are utilizing the new facility as well.
  • This year was the first year to have a female basketball team and they have done well. They qualified for the playoffs and are very excited for the game on January 26, 2013.
  • Joven Noble is a Rights of Passage group for the student’s that was started last school year for the male students. This year it was introduced to the female students as well. Currently, there are two groups for the males and females. They meet once a week to work thru lessons and also participate in retreats almost monthly. During the retreats, the students learn camping skills but also learn many other life skills and lessons that pertain to the young men and women. It is a time for them to get away from the city, but also learn from the adults who participate.
  • Some faculty and staff took a two hour Krav Maga session. KM is a noncompetitive eclectic self-defense system developed in Israel to respond to threating situations. It involves boxing, muay Thai, jiu-jitsu, wrestling, and grappling techniques.  Krav Maga has a philosophy emphasizing threat neutralization, simultaneous defensive and offensive maneuvers. (Wikepedia) Faculty and staff learn self-defense techniques designed to disable the person who is threatening the safety of their children.

I pray as we change the complexion of our schools in many different ways, that we continue to focus on what will help our children learn, feel safe, and grow into the leaders we need for our country. We keep our doors unlocked and we talk about and develop more safety measures. We keep talking and developing ideas which can help us make it more possible — that guns and home-made bombs don’t force us into bunker type living.

Sister Odilia Korenek

CEO of Blessed Sacrament Academy

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