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March 2024 - Dr. Heather Alumbaugh, VP for Academic Life

March 2024 - Dr. Heather Alumbaugh, VP for Academic Life

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

We are well into our Lenten season, which is a time that asks us to reflect deeply about our relationship to God, community, and self. It is a period that asks us as an educational community to be especially intentional about the way we embody the Lasallian Core Principles. This past week alone highlights beautifully our students’ desire and ability to care for and to learn from the spiritual communities and natural world of which they are a part. 

Literally, as I was writing this, the student daily announcement team encouraged everyone to sign up for the remaining slots for this Friday’s blood drive sponsored by the DLS/CHS Red Cross Club by noting that blood donation is “a great way to make an impact and pay it forward for people in our community.” Our 26th Charity Challenge is also in full swing. It is the school's oldest fundraiser and began as “a way to embrace almsgiving during Lent.” Our Junior classes continue to make trips to St. Anthony’s in San Francisco for their retreat service experience that we call “FSC: Faith, Service, Community.” In the two years since this has become embedded in our Junior Religion curriculum, I will be chaperoning it for the sixth time next week, and it is one of the most meaningful trips I make with students yearly. It is additionally hard to believe that on Wednesday we said goodbye to the student participants and leaders for our 150th Kairos Retreat.

Academically, Spring marks a transition, as we move from Quarter 3 to the last quarter of the year; our seniors prepare for their transition beyond De La Salle; and registration for our rising Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors is well underway. At this point, almost every student has met with his academic counselor to enter course registration requests. We encourage students and families to consider both interest and reach during course selection. As you know, we are scheduling across seven academic periods for our rising Sophomores and Freshmen, and all sections/course additions are likewise open to Juniors and Seniors. Next year, we will see the beginning of the Technical Arts arm of our VPA program–which houses Engineering, Visual Art, Robotics, and Computer Science–and students will now be able to take both Engineering and Architecture. Schedules will be available in mid-June. 

Many of our learners are seeing the culmination of their hard work over months where they are asked to apply what they have learned in many scenarios. For instance, our Biology classes have been making their yearly migrations to the Fitzgerald Marine Reserves (thank you parent volunteers!), and each Biology class is participating in the “Mammal March Madness” competition. Click here to join along in the fun and to print out your Bracket Guide! Last weekend, our bands participated in the Chabot College Band Festival and the UOP Jazz Festival; our AP Biology students participate in the CCC Science & Engineering Fair this Friday; and at the end of next week, our Robotics club competes in the yearly First Robotics Competition (Oak Grove). The list goes on and on, as you must surely know as parents of active teenagers, and it is an absolute blessing to watch these young men in action.

There is one more event that I wish to share. First, we had our joint DLS/CHS Drug and Alcohol Prevention Assemblies on Wednesday, followed by our Parent Ed Night, which addressed the dangers of fake pills in the age of Fentanyl. We welcomed representatives from the Song For Charlie organization to Winton Drive. I attended the Junior/Senior assembly hosted at De La Salle, and I was moved by how engaged, attentive, and respectful our students were; the same was shared about our joint students at Carondelet. It was a challenging hour, and I was so proud of them. We invite all parents to ask their children what they learned. We will be posting a brief survey on Schoology to get their feedback.

Thank you, as always, for your partnership, and we wish you a blessed Lenten season.


Dr. Heather Alumbaugh
Vice President for Academic Life


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