Church School Report Annual Meeting January 2003
The 2001/2002 school year was both challenging and thrilling.
Challenging because of the cramped and limited space encountered in September of 2001;
thrilling due to the completion of the new building in September of 2002.
I'd like to thank:
Our fantastic teachers who work so hard to provide the children with an Orthodox Christian education.
Everyone involved in the effort that culminated in a beautiful and spacious church school building.
Above all, Glory to God who made it all possible!
Lenten Charity - During Great Lent our students undertook a project to raise money for the Coptic Orphans. By dropping coins into small coin banks and adding YO Bake Sale proceeds, $300 was raised. A photograph of our school children was mailed with the check and we received a gracious acknowledgement from the executive director of the Coptic Orphans.
Bible Memory Verses - A test program was implemented to experiment with methods to challenge and motivate students to memorize Bible verses. Ultimately at a later staff meeting, it was decided to incorporate these verses into the curriculum.
Passion Play - In lieu of a Lenten retreat, 16 parents and students attended the Passion play at the Church of the Nazarene in Lemont.
Friday, March 22nd - 7 PM - Presanctified Liturgy - This service was especially for our students.
Holy Friday - The students helped decorate the tomb of Christ on Holy Friday morning.
Church School Awards were presented on Sunday, June 2nd.
On Sundays after Divine Liturgy, departmental meetings were held. Teachers discussed the needs of the various levels and textbooks were evaluated. As a result, some core curriculum changes were made such as supplementing with books from other Orthodox publications and adding more Old Testament Bible stories. These meetings proved to be vital to the fall program and new teachers who joined the staff.
We were sorry to lose three teachers - Cheryl Evangelopoulos, Shirlie Hansen, and Mary Ellen Seper. We want to thank them for the years of service devoted to our children. The following teachers offered to fill their positions: Luke Kopulos, Maria Kopulos, and Elizabeth Wassilkowsky. It was also a great joy to be able to open the Toddler class again whose teacher is Pat Harrison. Christopher Dandeles also volunteered to join the Young Adult teaching team.
Permanent record cards were developed by the staff and introduced for improved record keeping and tracking of student progress.
Staff meeting was held on Saturday, August 24 at 11 am. It was at this time that reports from the departmental reports were presented in order to secure the fall curriculum and implement procedures for the new building.
On August 31, the educational wing was cleaned and set up for classes. Materials that were in the old basement were finally moved to the new building. The new furniture had not been delivered at this time.
September, October, November
First session of church school was September 8th. Father blessed the students and teachers. A photograph was taken on the steps of the church.
Present enrollment is 46 children. Twenty-one adults are enrolled in Father Andrew's class.
The furniture finally arrived. Much energy was invested in the physical setup of the classrooms, purchase and placement of white boards, table and chair and storage cabinets for material. The church school staff is deeply grateful to "ADOPT-A-ROOM" donors who contributed to make the classrooms look attractive as well as functional. May God bless them for their generosity.
Many thanks to Michael Bauml and the property team who helped on two occasions to unload and assemble furnishings. It was a grueling job, but worth all the sweat! Property team member Michael Kincaid continues to help by mounting icons, white boards, and various wall hangings in the classrooms.
We also want to thank our icon lady Alexandria Lukashonak who continues to share her vast knowledge with our students. Her visits are always a welcomed event.
Thank you to Jeanne Bern and the students for a wonderful Christmas presentation on December 22nd.
As in the past years, a guest speaker from PASS will be talking to the older students on January 19th.
PROJECTIONS FOR 2003
We hope to continue working towards an improved curriculum by fine-tuning and supplementing our present materials.
First Confession class will be scheduled.
We now have the space for a Lenten Retreat.
The entire parish will be invited to a Passion Play at the famous Willow Creek Church. A bus will be rented if enough parishioners are interested.
Lenten charity project can be expanded to include more family participation in this worthy cause.
We will again place more emphasis on memorization of selected Bible passages.
The study of patron Saints of the 3 &4, 7&8 graders will also be undertaken. The students will be required to share this information with their classmates in a written and oral report.
Since each classroom was given a patron Saint, the students will learn about the exemplary lives of those Saints.
Another goal is to work with YO to involve our wonderful teens in charity