A friend of mine, a veteran teacher with whom I used to work, told me once that the key to working in a high school was ambiguity tolerance - the idea that things do not always go as we plan them or as they were promised to go. I am not sure exactly about what we were talking, but it may have had to do with snow delays and snow days.
What a pattern of weather we have been in of late…
It was my pleasure, and that really is the right word, to be invited - along with many other administrators and faculty members - to meet with the senior class at a lunch last week. For my part, I thought the conversation and the exchange was terrific and I was impressed with much of what our students had to say and so impressed by their expressed love of the class and love of Mullen. I was also struck by the respect they gave to one another and to those of us who were speaking with them. I really enjoyed the chat!
One of the most fascinating parts of working in education is that, once the calendar turns to a new year, educators are really living both in the current school year and also in the next. That is very much the case at Mullen! While we are enjoying the end of the second trimester and looking forward to the third, we are also looking ahead to 2020-2021.
What this means right now is that your students have begun to select courses for next year. That is certainly exciting!
What it will mean very soon is that we will start the re-enrollment process for 2020-2021. In the coming weeks, you will receive an email with a link to re-enroll your students for next year. The re-enrollment fee is $400 which is applied to your tuition for 2020-2021. Please watch for the email announcing re-enrollment coming very soon!
Catholic Schools Week One of the most important parts of our identity at Mullen High School is that we are a Catholic school blessed to be in the Archdiocese of Denver! Next week is Catholic Schools Week, the 46th annual celebration of Catholic education in the United States. We will be engaged in this week in our daily prayer life and in consideration of the five themes of the week: Celebrating our community, our students, our nation, vocations and our faculty, staff and volunteers. I am looking forward to the week and a deeper focus on connections to Catholic schools across the US.
Yesterday, for the first time in many years, I was privileged to participate in Parent/Teacher Conferences as a teacher! I have spent this trimester with a terrific group of seniors in an Honors English IV class and I have had a wonderful time. On a great many days, the time I spend with them has been the best part of my day. I was grateful to meet many of their parents yesterday. I hope that those of you who attended conferences had gratifying and fruitful conversations.
For those of you who do not know me, I am Mara Dougherty. This is my sixth year teaching in the Science Department at Mullen HIgh School and I recently assumed the role as Director of Service Learning. Service learning is how students at Mullen live out the core principle of Concern for the Poor and Social Justice. As part of this, first year students will be introduced to service by attending a one day immersion trip. About half the students from the class of 2023 took part in the Freshman Service Day this fall. The remainder of the students will begin to serve at Senior Support Services in Denver starting next week. With the exception of the January 21st trip, students will attend a pre-service meeting in the weeks leading up to service and should expect to attend their first period class on their service day. Students will be notified of their service day when a packet of information is delivered to them at school. Included in this packet is the Immersion Registration Form and the Parent Authorization for Student Activity and Travel. A student may not attend the Freshman Service Day without these forms signed and return to Dr. Dougherty prior to the immersion trip.
Service learning is how students at Mullen live out the core principle of Concern for the Poor and Social Justice. As part of this, students are required to complete 70 total service hours while at Mullen, 50 serving marginalized groups and 20 serving your own Mullen community. If students do not complete these hours their diploma will be withheld upon graduation.
I trust you and your family had wonderful times together over Christmas Break and that you are looking forward to a happy and healthy 2020.
We started January at school with a full day of professional development for the faculty and staff on Monday, and it was a terrific way to get back together and to get energized for the rest of the school year. We discussed topics as practical as the learning management system we will be implementing next year (which I think is going to be great for students, parents and staff alike!) to our continuing efforts on humanizing our pedagogy to admissions to hearing an update from Dr. Cardenas. It was a full day, and a good one.
Then your students joined us on Tuesday… it’s great to be back together!