From the Desk of Sr. Mary Grace

Dear Saint James Families,

Greetings in Christ! I hope that you are able to take some time to enjoy these beautiful fall days. Let us remember that these are gifts from our Heavenly Father, who only wants good things for His children. As we begin the second quarter, here are a few updates on the good things happening at SJS.  

Our teachers continue to work diligently to meet the needs of all of our students and help each of them to grow. At our October 16 professional development day, teachers spent time collaborating ideas for our theology of the body curriculum, examined their students’ progress in writing skills, and analyzed Fall MAP growth data. Our particular focus this year is on aligning the language arts curriculum so that students master essential skills and standards, prepared for the next grade. In comparing our Fall MAP scores to the Archdiocese’s averages, we learned that in every grade and every subject area from first grade to eighth grade, our students scored above the Archdiocesan average as well as above the “college and career readiness” benchmark of the 65th percentile! This is a testament to last school year’s work and shows that we are in a good position for another year of even greater academic excellence.  

Our students have also excelled in athletics and extracurricular activities during these first months of school. Our cross country, tennis, and volleyball teams displayed Christian sportsmanship and improved their skills under the leadership of caring and committed coaches. We added quite a few items to our trophy collection as well! We look forward to the start of our basketball, swimming, and archery programs in the next few weeks. On most afternoons, our front hallway is now filled with harmonious sounds as our new band takes direction under Mr. Ragland. Nearly twenty students are either learning an instrument or developing their skills as they work together. Several of our middle school students also had the opportunity to participate in the 4th District Choir, singing with other local schools.  

Our safety enhancements, funded by KY Gives Day donations, are nearly complete. With Officer Powell, our safety committee reviewed and revised our emergency management plan. Our faculty and staff received safety training on our professional development day, equipping everyone to respond quickly and effectively to keep our students safe. Our exterior intercom horns and interior camera upgrade have been installed, and the new exterior door locking system should be in place very soon. Thank you to Mr. Andy Padgett for overseeing all of these improvements to our campus.  

Although it may seem early, we are already receiving calls and preparing for admissions for the 2024-2025 school year. On Sunday, October 22, we will host our Open House for new families for PreK3-8th grade. Please spread the word to any families who may be a good fit for SJS. We hope to continue growing in order to provide a Christ-centered education to all who desire it for their children.  

Thank you for your continued support and partnership! We are blessed to serve your family. Please let me know how I can better support you in your vocation as parents/guardians. As we experience much in our world that causes concern, please know that at SJS, we will always remain rooted in the teachings of Jesus Christ, who is our way, truth and life. We will remain constant in our mission to partner with you to form young people to become joyful disciples, life-long learners, and virtuous citizens, enabling them to navigate the challenges of our time with their eyes fixed on their eternal reward. It is through our daily encounters with Christ that we can give our students hope for the future, knowing that His plans for each of them is more than we ask or imagine!  

In Christ, our hope,

Sister Mary Grace Watson, O.P.

Sister Mary Grace, O.P. 
Principal, St. James Catholic School