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New school year greetings from Superintendent Dave Faber

September 5, 2019

This letter from Superintendent Dave Faber originally appeared in the September 2019 issue of FAITH Grand Rapids magazine.

The 31 Catholic schools across the Diocese of Grand Rapids are once again animated by the bright eyes and excited smiles of students. Seeing them again reminds me of the privilege it is to serve the families who partner with us in their children’s education!

Throughout our Catholic schools, Jesus Christ is our central focus. From faith formation, to academic instruction, to the co-curricular activities that extend and enrich the classroom experience, everything we do is done through him, with him and in him. Encountering our Lord in each school day provides the power for what is the best possible learning environment, where young people grow in faith and grace, achieve more in school and life, develop creativity and character, and feel welcomed and cherished for their unique gifts. We’re eager to see how God works in the minds and hearts of our students throughout this school year.

We’re also eager to continue implementing our “Catholic Schools: Bridging Faith and Future” strategic plan. This five-year plan is guiding efforts toward our vision of an alliance of Catholic schools expanding outstanding educational ministry. The plan focuses on four strategic priorities:

  • Catholic culture and mission
  • Programmatic excellence
  • Affordability and accessibility
  • Stewardship and sustainability

As we embark on the second year of the plan, we’re focusing especially on continued updates to our K-8 religion curriculum and the systematic incorporation of Theology of the Body, Pope John Paul II's vision of the human person; culturally-responsive teaching to serve a diverse student body representative of the universal Church; and inquiry strategies in mathematics to encourage students’ critical thinking, creativity and problem-solving skills.

This ministry of Catholic education exists to serve our students, and so, during the summer, our Office of Catholic Schools remained hard at work inviting more and more families to join us. As of this writing, 2019-20 enrollment is yet to be finalized, but we’re encouraged in our efforts to grow enrollment. Last year, we served our largest preschool class in 21 years and our largest kindergarten class in six years. As so many families choose Catholic education right from the start, we look forward to partnering with them for years to come!

For all these blessings which God bestows on our students, families, faculty, staff, administrators, pastors and supporters, we give thanks – and we look forward to the opportunities that await us in this new academic year. Please join us in praying for a continued outpouring of blessings and growth for our Catholic schools.

Thank you for supporting our mission to build an alliance of Catholic schools where Christ illuminates learning and life. Visit CatholicSchools4U.org to learn more about Catholic schools in the Diocese of Grand Rapids; contact our office at schooladmin@grcatholicschools.org or 616.246.0590 with any questions you may have.

Give your child the life-changing benefits of Catholic education. Start enrolling today!