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De La Salle President | Monthly Letter


September 5, 2019


Dear Parents and Guardians,

We are off and running for a new school year. If you are like me, you are probably starting to ask the question – Where did the summer go? It is hard to imagine that for some of us (those who were born before 1969), was it really 50 years ago that Apollo 11 landed on the moon? Okay, enough said – you get the gist of time flying by. In this light, we need to enjoy each moment and celebrate the blessings God has given us.

As we start this new year, I am reminded of the statement the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops issued in July of 2005 (another date long past), Renewing Our Commitment to Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools in the Third Millennium. It is a very important statement that provides affirmation as well as direction for Catholic schools. The bishops said, “We, the Catholic bishops of the United States, wish to offer our deep gratitude to those individuals who staff our elementary and secondary schools. We applaud their professionalism, personal sacrifices, daily witness to the faith, and efforts to integrate learning and faith in the lives of their students in order to ‘accomplish the very purpose of evangelization: the incarnation of the Christian message in the lives of men and women’ (Lay Catholics in Schools: Witnesses to Faith, no. 31). We take this opportunity to encourage all who are devoted to working in Catholic schools to ‘persevere in their most important mission’” (Ecclesia in America, no. 71). I am proud to work with such a wonderful group of colleagues who live this Mission on a daily basis. As we prepare to undergo the Lasallian Catholic Assessment Process (LCAP) this month, it is my hope that we receive an affirmation of what we do well and what we can do better in serving those entrusted to our care.

The Theme for this School Year is the Lasallian Core Principle, “Inclusive Community.” The Lasallian school is a united community where diversity is respected, where no one is left out, and where everyone finds a place. Individuals within the school community recognize and accept another's strengths and limitations. This core principle is expressed through the Lasallian ideal: "The Lasallian Family." I showed the following video to the faculty and staff, our new families and all classes at the beginning of the new year. In case you have not seen it or would like to see it again, here is the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDPdRYF7hTQ

As a reminder the Parent-Student Handbook for 2019-20 is now posted online. Please take the time to read it.

I look forward to seeing at you activities throughout the year!

Mark DeMarco
President, De La Salle High School


 

Monthly Newsletter Archives

2019-20 School Year

September 2019

September 5, 2019

Dear Parents and Guardians,

We are off and running for a new school year. If you are like me, you are probably starting to ask the question – Where did the summer go? It is hard to imagine that for some of us (those who were born before 1969), was it really 50 years ago that Apollo 11 landed on the moon? Okay, enough said – you get the gist of time flying by. In this light, we need to enjoy each moment and celebrate the blessings God has given us.

As we start this new year, I am reminded of the statement the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops issued in July of 2005 (another date long past), Renewing Our Commitment to Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools in the Third Millennium. It is a very important statement that provides affirmation as well as direction for Catholic schools. The bishops said, “We, the Catholic bishops of the United States, wish to offer our deep gratitude to those individuals who staff our elementary and secondary schools. We applaud their professionalism, personal sacrifices, daily witness to the faith, and efforts to integrate learning and faith in the lives of their students in order to ‘accomplish the very purpose of evangelization: the incarnation of the Christian message in the lives of men and women’ (Lay Catholics in Schools: Witnesses to Faith, no. 31). We take this opportunity to encourage all who are devoted to working in Catholic schools to ‘persevere in their most important mission’” (Ecclesia in America, no. 71). I am proud to work with such a wonderful group of colleagues who live this Mission on a daily basis. As we prepare to undergo the Lasallian Catholic Assessment Process (LCAP) this month, it is my hope that we receive an affirmation of what we do well and what we can do better in serving those entrusted to our care.

The Theme for this School Year is the Lasallian Core Principle, “Inclusive Community.” The Lasallian school is a united community where diversity is respected, where no one is left out, and where everyone finds a place. Individuals within the school community recognize and accept another's strengths and limitations. This core principle is expressed through the Lasallian ideal: "The Lasallian Family." I showed the following video to the faculty and staff, our new families and all classes at the beginning of the new year. In case you have not seen it or would like to see it again, here is the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDPdRYF7hTQ

I look forward to seeing at you activities throughout the year!

Mark DeMarco
President, De La Salle High School

2018-19 School Year

April 2019

April 8, 2019

Dear De La Salle Community,

I write to you with important information regarding De La Salle Academy. Effective July 1, 2019, De La Salle Academy will no longer be a Division of De La Salle High School. It will become a separate school sponsored by the District of San Francisco New Orleans.

When the Academy was established in 2014, the agreement for funding was for five years. This funding ends June 30, 2019.  The organizational structure of the Academy was set up so that it would not be financially dependent on the high school and securing outside funding for the Academy could not impact fundraising for the High School. During the past year, this arrangement has proven to be problematic for the High School on many levels. As we discussed what the best option for the future of the Academy would be, I, along with the Board of Trustees, determined it would be best for the Academy to stand on its own as a school.

We are pleased to announce that the District of San Francisco New Orleans has agreed to sponsor the school.  The transition between De La Salle High School of Concord, Inc. and the new school should be seamless, especially for the students and families who are served. The day to day operations will remain the same. The Academy will occupy the same location. The business operations of the Academy, currently run by the high school, will be transferred to the new corporation.

De La Salle High School was proud to establish a solid foundation for De La Salle Academy with the late Ken Hofmann. We look forward to welcoming qualified students to De La Salle High School upon their graduation from the Academy. The financial support they will receive from the generous $15,000,000 estate gift from Mr. Ken Hofmann will benefit them greatly at the High School.

As always, we thank you for your continued support of Lasallian Catholic education.

Sincerely,

Mark DeMarco
President


March 2019

March 8, 2019

Dear Parents and Guardians,

In setting the annual budget, we always seek to achieve three goals: to provide the highest-quality educational program, to meet the full financial needs of our students, and to ensure the long-term financial stability of the school. The annual increase in the Consumer Price Index from December 2017 to December 2018, upon which we gauge the economy and our budgeting at De La Salle, was 4.5%, the highest amount we have seen in the last few years and much higher than the national average.

As you are aware, tuition revenue covers approximately 80% of the actual cost of educating our young men. In 2019-20, each student’s actual cost of education will be underwritten by approximately $2,000, which will come from fundraising and the generosity of benefactors. Your tuition payments and our benefactors’ donations together represent a serious investment in your son’s education. 

This current year (2018-19), the tuition and book rental fee totaled $19,380. For the 2019-20 school year, tuition and book rental fees will total $20,250, an increase of 4.5%. We understand that a tuition increase may constitute a hardship for some families, which is why we made available approximately $3.3 million in financial aid in 2018-19 and plan on making $3.5 million available in 2019-20. 

Our commitment to keeping tuition increases to a minimum is made possible through two focused and finely balanced efforts: (1) detailed financial budgeting and (2) the philanthropic support we receive from parents, alumni, alumni parents, grandparents, foundations, the Brothers’ Community, faculty, staff, friends, and the efforts of the Advancement Office – which raises budget supporting funds through the Annual Fund, the Brotherhood Fund, and endowment funds.

Our plan for the coming year, carried out in partnership with you, should enable us to balance next year’s operating budget without diminishing De La Salle’s trademark academic program or decreasing access to our school for students from all socioeconomic backgrounds. Your investment in your son’s education will be enhanced in 2019-20 by the addition of new Computer Science curriculum as well as the addition of a full time Religious Studies teacher in order to enhance the spiritual dimension of our school. I hope that you will agree that we have struck an appropriate balance and that we are serving as wise stewards of De La Salle’s extraordinary resources.

Please feel free to contact Lynne Jones, Vice President for Finance, with any thoughts or questions you might have regarding tuition at (925) 288-8125 or by email jonesl@dlshs.org.

In the Spirit of Saint John Baptist de La Salle,

Mark DeMarco ‘78
President


February 2019

Dear Parents and Guardians,

As 2019 is in full swing, I think it is a good time to hit the “pause button” and reflect on how we will spend this New Year.

WORDS TO LIVE BY
“The Dash”

I read of a reverend who stood to speak at the funeral of his friend.  He referred to the dates on her tombstone from the beginning – to the end.

He said that the first was the date of her birth, and spoke of the last date with tears, but he said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years.  For that dash represents all the time that she spent alive on earth, and now only those who loved her know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not how much we own; the cars, the house, the cash.  What matters is how we live and love, and how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard, and there are things you’d like to change?  For you never know how much time is left – (you could be a “dash mid-range.”)  If we could just slow down enough to consider what’s true and real, and always try to understand the way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger, and show appreciation more, and love the people in our lives like we’ve never loved before.  If we treat each other with respect and more often wear a smile, remembering that this special dash might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy is being read with your life’s action to rehash, would you be pleased with what they say about how you spent your dash?

Time waits for no one.  Treasure every moment you have!

God’s Blessings on you and your family.

In the Spirit of Saint John Baptist de La Salle,

Mark DeMarco


January 2019

Dear Parents and Guardians,

The end of 2018 did not bring great news to De La Salle High School for 2019. On Wednesday, December 19 at 3:00 p.m., we received official notice from the District that the Brothers’ Community will be closed next year, and both Brother Lawrence Haley and Brother Anthony Lenz will be assigned to other communities in the District.  

Brother Lawrence will be moving to Napa to be the Director of the Holy Family Community (where our retired Brothers live) and Brother Anthony will be moving to Saint Mary’s College. As many of you know, Brother Michael Saggau moved to Napa last September. In his letter to the Brothers and Lasallian Partners, Brother Donald Johanson said, "Because of the declining number of Brothers at De La Salle High School in Concord, the community will be closed effective July 1, 2019. This was a difficult decision and I thank the many Brothers who have served at De La Salle since its founding in 1965.”

This is an end of an era since the founding of the school. It was a vibrant group of Brothers who served our community so well. The Brothers will be missed. I know we all have wonderful memories of the men who served us on a daily basis, both past and present. We are a school because of the foundation they laid for us, and we are in a strong place to continue the Lasallian Mission at 1130 Winton Drive.

We will celebrate Brother Lawrence and Brother Anthony at our Founder’s Day Liturgy.

I leave you with the following Vocation Prayer from Pope Francis.

LORD of the Harvest,

BLESS young people with the gift of courage to respond to your call.
Open their hearts to great ideals, to great things.

INSPIRE all of your disciples to mutual love and giving—
for vocations blossom in the 
good soil of faithful people.

INSTILL those in religious life, parish 
ministries, and families with the confidence 
and grace to invite others to embrace 
the bold and noble path of a life 
consecrated to you.

UNITE us to Jesus through prayer and sacrament,
so that we may cooperate 
with you in building your reign of mercy 
and truth, of justice and peace. Amen.

— Pope Francis
Adapted from the Message on the 51st World Day 
of Prayer for Vocations


In the Spirit of Saint John Baptist de La Salle,

Mark DeMarco

December 2018

Dear Parents and Guardians,

One of the greatest gifts God has given us is our uniqueness. As we enter Advent and soon the Christmas season, we should be aware of this gift. How do we use it? Are we proud of it? Do we really believe that we are unique? Another way of looking at this is by interacting with other people, remembering that they are unique. Does this change our view of them?

I offer you this reflection someone gave me to be a part of your prayer:

There is an old Christian tradition that
God sends each person into this world
with a special message to deliver,
with a special song to sing for others,
with a special act of love to bestow.
No one else can speak my message,
or sing my song or offer my act of love.
These have been entrusted only to me.

According to this tradition,
the message may be spoken, the song sung,
the act of love delivered only to a few,
or to all the people in a small town,
or to all the people in a large city,
or even to all the people in the whole world.
It all depends on God’s unique plan
for each unique person.

So, from my heart I want to say this to you:
Please believe that
you have an important message to deliver,
you have a beautiful song to sing,
and a unique act of love
to warm this world and to brighten its darkness.

And when the final history of the world is written,
your message, your song, and your love
will be recorded gratefully and forever.

In the Spirit of Saint John Baptist de La Salle

Mark DeMarco
President

November 2018

Dear Parents and Guardians,

All Saints Day and All Souls Day gives us the opportunity to reflect on those who have passed away and for those saints who have showed us how to live our lives. They have done the ordinary, extraordinarily well. I know that we have all experienced the loss of someone close to us in our lives. That loss creates an ache in our hearts. When someone close to us dies, we should ask the question - What have I learned from this person and how will it affect my life?

In the past few months, I have had a few people that I knew well, pass away. As I reflect on the impact they had on me, I realize that we must learn to slow down and enjoy the simple things in life. Too often, we focus on the goal and don’t enjoy the little things along the way, the opportunities we have to learn more about ourselves. Who knows, we may not be around to enjoy tomorrow. Life is too short to spend countless hours running around and not enjoying anything.

Tonight, think about a person who has passed away who influenced your life and offer a prayer for them.

And remember, make time for yourself. You owe it to yourself!

In the Spirit of Saint John Baptist de La Salle,


Mark DeMarco

October 2018

Dear Parents and Guardians,

In case you missed this message, I am sending a modified version as we work in partnership with you.

With the first weeks of school upon us, we are reminded of all the wonders and possibilities our students will experience this year.  In the 2018-2019 academic year, we will focus on the Lasallian Core Principle “Inclusive Community” as our means to continue our work with the respect initiative.

This year we introduce a new page on our website https://www.dlshs.org/campus-life/respect-and-inclusivity, one dedicated to our ongoing education about respect and inclusivity.  Here you will find updates on programming at De La Salle, established to broaden our students’ view of their responsibility to themselves, others, and the community. Every month you will see a perspective around these topics from our faculty and staff. You will hear from our students about how they are making a difference on and off campus, and we will update you on student leadership initiatives.

In February of 2018, faculty and staff members from De La Salle and Carondelet participated in joint conversations and training exercises, led by Dr. Jackson Katz, CEO of Mentors in Violence Prevention Strategies (https://www.mvpstrat.com/). MVP Strategies returned in April 2018 to orchestrate a two-day training for a group of 25 faculty and staff members at De La Salle, and two Carondelet counselors. Dr. Katz returned to campus in August to lead a one-day leadership institute for De La Salle student leaders. We anticipate expanding the leadership program to include a broader group of students during the 2018-2019 school year.

The themes of respect and inclusivity will serve as the foundation to educate our young men around the importance of respect for one another, bystander training, and much more.

We invite you to visit this page at least once a month for updates from our passionate group of administrators and teachers, who are dedicated to inspiring our students each day.

If you have questions about programming around these subjects, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Dr. Heather Alumbaugh at alumbaughh@dlshs.org.

In the Spirit of Saint John Baptist de La Salle,

Mark DeMarco
President
demarcom@dlshs.org
(925) 288-8112

September 2018

“Union in a community is a precious gem, which is why Our Lord so often recommended it to his apostles before he died. If we lose this, we lose everything. Preserve it with care,
therefore, if you want your community to survive.”

Greetings!

We are getting into the groove of the school day and summer seems like a distant memory. I hope that you had a relaxing summer. I wanted to share with you excerpts from the letter I sent to faculty and staff in July…

Summer is always a good time to catch up on reading that is not work related and hopefully you had that opportunity. One book I read was “Rocket Men” by Robert Kurson – an amazing book about Apollo 8 and the first trip to the moon. It makes one wonder how they did it with the limited technology that they had at that time. I think teamwork was key for everyone involved with a project that was so complex.

The book got me thinking about how we work together as a community for the families we serve – communication is key. It is an area that we can always improve upon, and it reminded me of the following: The lyrics to the song “The Things We Do for Love” by 10cc – “communication is the problem to the answer.”

As noted in the quote above, I think the Founder understood the concept of communication and community very well. We as a school community are a work in progress and will always be able to improve and master how we communicate with each other, but we must be united, keeping our students as the focal point.

As we add new faculty and staff and new students and parents, let us focus on doing what we do best – making the Mission Statement of our school a lived experience for those that we serve.

We ask God to bless us with a successful new school year.

In the Spirit of Saint John Baptist de La Salle,

Mark DeMarco
President
demarcom@dlshs.org
(925) 288-8112

2017-18 School Year

May/June 2018

Dear Parents,

Another school year is coming to a quick close. On behalf of the administration, faculty, and staff I want to take this opportunity to thank you for allowing us to be part of your son’s educational experience. We have many things to celebrate this year and a few things to work next year to become a great school.

As summer comes, I hope you will have some time to relax. I want to share with you the following that I read from Harvard Business Review It is adapted from “3 Ways to Control Your Phone Addiction on Vacation,” by Regan Walsh. (My team will remind me to practice what I preach.) I do want to share the following with you: “When you go on vacation, ideally you should disconnect from work completely. But if going off the grid truly is not an option for you, set boundaries for yourself so that you aren’t tethered to your device. Make a plan to check your messages once a day at a particular time, or only on certain days. Put your phone out of reach — your hotel room’s safe is a good place — or, if you want to use it to take pictures, keep it in airplane mode. You can also reduce the number of emails you get by making clear in your out-of-office message that you are not reachable. Even if you plan to occasionally check in, telling people that you’re available only encourages them to expect a reply. Your out-of-office message gives you the freedom to choose how and when you’ll respond (if at all) while you’re away.” Feel free to let me know how you did!

Finally, something to put on your summer reading list. Pope Francis - Gaudete et Exsultate (“Rejoice and Be Glad”). Its emphasis on the “saints next door” and the “middle class of holiness” is refreshing. If you do not have time to read the entire document, Dr. Tim Uhl, has provided a good summary of the key areas. Paragraphs 63-94 are a reflection on the Beatitudes. Many of our Catholic schools claim “Gospel-centered,” and reading and reflecting of this portion of the Pope’s “call to holiness” might help articulate those specific values. And don’t miss reading paragraph 115 on “verbal violence,” especially pertaining to the Internet.

As we approach this final month of the school year, I want to thank you once again for your support – for us and for your son. Together, we have the opportunity and responsibility to continue to make De La Salle High School a great school.

 

In the Spirit of St. John Baptist de La Salle,

Mark DeMarco
President
demarcom@dlshs.org
(925) 288-8112

April 2018

Dear Parents,

As I reflected as to what to say in my Easter Letter for this year, I came across the following from a church bulletin. Some you may have seen this, but I do believe it is worth a second reading and reflection.

New life is God’s gift to us at Easter. Bringing new life to others is what God asks for us. We give new life when we carry out our work with care and attention, when we choose what we know is right, even when others seem to be choosing the opposite. We give new life when we treat people with fairness and justice; when we don’t rake up the ashes of failure, but look for the spark of goodness and fan it into a flame; when we listen to the young with openness and respond with a word of encouragement; when we are patient with people who make mistakes.

We give new life when we stretch out the hand of forgiveness and let bygones be bygones; when we reach out in generosity to the poor and the hungry; when we treat the elderly and the handicapped with respect and gentleness; when we say thank you and well done to the people who enrich our lives, and are so often taken for granted.

Easter tells us that the Risen Lord walks with us, guiding and supporting us in times of struggle and darkness. Easter teaches us that in our acceptance of difficulties and pain something of value is born. Easter shows us how God has changed our brokenness and given us new meaning and new life.

May the Risen Lord give each of us the faith and the courage to face life’s difficulties, so that through them we may allow God to change us – to change our pains to joys so that together we may become a string of hope – joys which speak of New Life, Hope and Resurrection.

 

I hope you had a wonderful Easter holiday!

In the Spirit of St. John Baptist de La Salle,

Mark DeMarco
President
demarcom@dlshs.org
(925) 288-8112

 

March 2018

Dear Parents,

In setting the annual budget, we always seek to achieve three goals: to provide the highest-quality educational program, to meet the full financial needs of our students, and to ensure the long-term financial stability of the school. The annual increase in the Consumer Price Index from December 2016 to December 2017 upon which we gauge the economy and our budgeting at De La Salle was 2.9%.

Tuition revenue covers approximately 80% of the actual cost of educating our young men. In 2018-2019, each student’s actual cost of education will be underwritten by approximately $1,900, which will come from fundraising and the generosity of benefactors. Your tuition payments and our benefactors’ donations together represent a serious investment in your son’s education.

This current year (2017-2018), the tuition and book rental fee totaled $18,550. For the 2018-2019 school year, tuition and book rental fees will total $19,380, an increase of 4.5%. We understand that a tuition increase may constitute a hardship for some families, which is why we made available approximately $2.8 million in financial aid in 2017-2018 and plan on making $3 million available in 2018-2019.

Our commitment to keeping tuition increases to a minimum is made possible through two focused and finely balanced efforts: (1) detailed financial budgeting and (2) the philanthropic support we receive from parents, alumni, alumni parents, grandparents, foundations, the Brothers’ Community, faculty, staff, and friends thanks to the efforts of the De La Salle Annual Fund. Our plan for the coming year, carried out in partnership with you, should enable us to balance next year’s operating budget, without diminishing De La Salle’s trademark academic program or decreasing access to our school for students from all socioeconomic backgrounds. I hope that you will agree that we have struck an appropriate balance and that we are serving as wise stewards of De La Salle’s extraordinary resources.

Please feel free to contact Lynne Jones, Vice President for Finance, with any thoughts or questions you might have regarding tuition at (925) 288-8125 or by email.

In the Spirit of Saint John Baptist de La Salle,

Mark DeMarco '78
President

January 2018

Dear Parents, Guardians, Students, and Friends of De La Salle,

Happy New Year! I hope that you had a wonderful Christmas and celebration of the Birth of Our Savior!

Last month, I wrote to you about an article “Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?” (archived at the bottom of this page). Well, after I wrote that letter, I read another article published in the JSTOR Daily by Alexandra Samuel entitled “Yes, Smartphones Are Destroying a Generation, But Not of Kids.”

Samuel says that what is missing from many alarmists regarding the use of smartphones and social media is the “so what?” In other words, while many educators and parents and psychologists and blog writers can explain the problem, few of them can provide an adequate solution. Her takeaway is this: “The off switch has its place, but if that’s all we have to offer our kids, we aren’t helping prepare them for what it means to live in a digital world. …the best way we can do that is by embracing our role as digital mentors: actively encouraging our kids to use technology, but offering ongoing support and guidance in how to use it appropriately. Kids who’ve been actively mentored by their parents actually have healthier relationships to technology than kids who’ve been set free in the wilds of the Internet, or conversely, had their online access tightly limited.”

So, my conclusion to both articles is that it is not an “either or” conversation — it is “both and.” Technology is here to stay. We cannot get rid of it nor, perhaps, should we. Instead, as my grandmother use to tell me – everything in moderation. The limit is not in the amount of time we are on our smartphones – it’s the quality of how we are using it. Are we learning a new subject? Are we finding a new way to make a meaningful connection? If we are using the pseudo-anonymity certain technology platforms provide to ridicule and “troll” others, then we are missing out on the “social” aspect of technology. Let us use the tools that God has given us in a responsible way to make this world a better place.

As technology evolves, so too will this conversation. We will continue to partner with you as we raise and educate young men of Faith, Integrity, and Scholarship.

If you would like to read Alexandra Samuel’s full article you will find it here.

And so, as we start the year, please know that you will be remembered in my prayers for a wonderful New Year!

In the Spirit of St. John Baptist de La Salle,

Mark DeMarco
President
demarcom@dlshs.org
(925) 288-8112

December 2017

Dear Parents and Guardians,

One of the many benefits of working at an academic institution is being in a learning environment – not just for students but for adults, as well. Recently, Dr. Alumbaugh shared an article with me “Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?” from The Atlantic magazine. Jean Twenge, the author of the article, posits the thesis: “More comfortable online than partying, post-Millennials are safer, physically, than adolescents have ever been. But they’re on the brink of a mental-health crisis.” I have listed the link to the entire article below. However, if you don’t have time to read it – here are some important points:

  • Smartphones, coupled with social media, have caused an earthquake of a magnitude that we’ve not seen in a very long time, if ever. These devices are making teens seriously unhappy.
  • Teens who spend more-than-average time on screen activities are more likely to be unhappy.
  • If you were to give advice for a happy adolescence – it would be straightforward: Put down the phone, turn off the laptop, and do something – anything – that does not involve a screen.

Wait! How can this be with a device that was supposed to make daily life a little easier for us? Do you remember the beginning of the internet? We were all excited to hear “You’ve got mail.” It was something that we checked occasionally, but it was not with us 24/7 as it is today. I am not an advocate of getting rid of smartphones; I am, however, an advocate of the responsible use of them. Whatever happened to picking up the phone and calling someone? To me, a texting conversation with someone tells me that a person does not want to talk. As human beings we need social interaction. We will not be able to experience empathy if we do not interact face to face.

The smartphone has made it easy to post our latest thoughts and pictures of what we are doing. I have seen in my 10 years here at De La Salle an increase in student discipline issues because of smartphones. I am always amazed at certain situations, when I find out the details of the situation, that the little voice in my head says, “What were they thinking?” This past August, the Freshmen students from both De La Salle and Carondelet attended an assembly lead by Kim Karr, co-founder of the organization #ICanHelp. It was part of our effort to educate the students about responsible social media use. The biggest take away: Whatever you post or say is there forever. Colleges and future employers will look at your digital footprint. What will they find?

If you have made it to the end of this letter – thanks for reading. I am really not a curmudgeon or someone who wants to live in the dark ages. I just want to make sure that we as a school continue to teach our young men about the responsible, even ethical, use of technology.

If you would like to read the full article you can find it by following this link.

In the Spirit of St. John Baptist de La Salle,

Mark DeMarco
President
demarcom@dlshs.org
(925) 288-8112

October 2018

Dear Parents and Guardians,
 
It was great seeing so many of you at Back to School Night! We are off and running for a new school year. A number of you have asked for a copy of the prayer that I used that night – I have attached it below.
 
I know raising children and working with them can be a challenge. This prayer is a wonderful way in which we ask for God’s Blessing to guide us.

 


A Prayer for Parents and Administrators

Loving God,

You share life with us and call us to share as fathers and mothers in your life-giving power.
Give us the strength to know what to give and what to withhold.
Guide us in when to reprimand and when to praise.
Make us gentle and considerate, yet firm and watchful.

Keep us from being too indulgent or from being too severe.
Give us the courage to be disliked sometimes,
when we must do necessary things that are displeasing to the eyes of our children.

Give us the imagination to enter into the world of young ones in order to understand and guide them.
Give us all the virtues we need to lead our sons and daughters by word and example in the path of righteousness.

Amen.



In the Spirit of Saint John Baptist de La Salle,

Mark DeMarco '78

President
demarcom@dlshs.org
(925) 288-8112

 

September 2017

Dear Parents,

Welcome to the new school year! We are off and running, which reminds me of one of my favorite prayers. I would like to share it with you now as we start a new year together.


WORDS TO LIVE BY

“The Dash”

I read of a reverend who stood to speak at the funeral of his friend. He referred to the dates on her tombstone from the beginning – to the end.

He said that the first was the date of her birth, and spoke of the last date with tears, but he said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years. For that dash represents all the time that she spent alive on earth, and now only those who loved her know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not how much we own: the cars, the house, the cash. What matters is how we live and love, and how we spend our dash.

So, think about this long and hard. Are things you’d like to change? For you never know how much time is left – (you could be a “dash mid-range.”) If we could just slow down enough to consider what’s true and real, and always try to understand the way other people feel.

Be less quick to anger, and show appreciation more, and love the people in our lives like we’ve never loved before. If we treat each other with respect and more often wear a smile, remembering that this special dash might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy is being read with your life’s action to rehash, would you be pleased with what they say about how you spent your dash?

Time waits for no one. Treasure every moment you have!



We pray for God’s blessings, and as we start a new school year, let us treasure each moment.

In the Spirit of Saint John Baptist de La Salle,

Mark DeMarco '78

President
demarcom@dlshs.org
(925) 288-8112

2016-17 School Year

May 2017

Dear Parents,

Another academic year is coming to a close quickly. I often think of the school year as a carousel - it starts slow, gains speed, maintains the peak speed for some time, slows down, stops, the riders leave, and new riders join. This ebb and flow continues year in and year out.

And so, the Seniors are counting the days until they graduate, and our incoming Freshmen are counting the days until they become part of the Spartan Brotherhood. This ministry of Catholic, Lasallian education has been around for 330 years, and we continue to thank God for this gift with a complete understanding that the work we do here at school is His work.

I know that this past year has been especially difficult at times - especially as we have lost loved ones associated with the school - in particular, Jim Olwell who passed away on Holy Saturday. Jim was an amazing colleague and outstanding teacher. His passing is a big loss for us, and it reminds us, too, of the cycle of life. What is important to you? What makes you laugh? What brings you hope? Our life is God’s gift to us - what we do with our life is our gift to God. I can hear the angels saying to Jim, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

To the parents who are reading this last Spartan Spotlight, thank you for your support these past four years, and we look forward to working with you as alumni parents. Please know that you are always part of the DLS family! To those of you returning next year - we wish you a safe and relaxing summer.

De La Salle is an ever-changing, life-giving institution, and we are thankful to partner with you in the education of your son(s). It has been a pleasure working with you in this important ministry of Catholic, Lasallian education.

In the spirit of Saint John Baptist de La Salle,

Mark DeMarco '78

President

March & April 2017

Dear Families,

In setting the annual budget, we always seek to achieve three goals: to provide the highest-quality educational program, to meet the full financial needs of our students, and to ensure the long-term financial stability of the school.

Tuition revenue covers approximately 90% of the actual cost of educating our young men. In 2017-2018, each student's actual cost of education will be underwritten by approximately $2,200 which will come from fundraising and the generosity of benefactors. Your tuition payments and our benefactors' donations together represent a serious investment in your son's education.

This current year, the tuition and book rental fee totaled $17,500. For the 2017-2018 school year, tuition and book rental fees will total $18,550, an increase of 6%.

We understand that a tuition increase may constitute a hardship for some families which is why we make available approximately $2.6 million in financial aid in 2016-2017 and $2.7 million in 2017-2018. For those families who can afford to pay the additional amount or more, please consider a donation to De La Salle and at the same time receive a tax deduction for a charitable contribution.

Our commitment to keeping tuition increases to a minimum is made possible through two focused and finely balanced efforts: (1) detailed financial budgeting and (2) the philanthropic support we receive from parents, alumni, alumni parents, grandparents, foundations, the Brothers' community, faculty, staff, and friends thanks to the efforts of the De La Salle Annual Fund. Our plan for the coming year, carried out in partnership with you, should enable us to balance next year's operating budget, without diminishing De La Salle's trademark academic program or decreasing access to our school for students from all socioeconomic backgrounds. I hope that you will agree that we have struck an appropriate balance and that we are serving as wise stewards of De La Salle's extraordinary assets.

Please feel free to contact Lynne Jones, Vice President for Finance, with any thoughts or questions you might have regarding tuition at (925) 288-8125 or jonesl@dlshs.org.

In the spirit of Saint John Baptist de La Salle,

Mark DeMarco '78

President