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March 2023 - Dr. Heather Alumbaugh, VP for Academic Life

March 2023 - Dr. Heather Alumbaugh, VP for Academic Life

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

As you are all aware, we greeted the Lenten season with a beautiful Ash Wednesday prayer service that asked us to contemplate as a community our commitment to God, self, and others during this Holy season. As a reminder, all families received a message on February 25th inviting them to join us every Friday, throughout the season of Lent, for our 7:45 a.m. mass in the De La Salle Chapel. 

At this point in our academic calendar, almost every DLS student has met with his academic counselor to enter course registration requests. As always, 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 section/course additions are likewise open to Juniors and Seniors. 

The Curriculum Innovation Committee worked overtime all fall semester (and will continue to meet moving forward) to craft a set of academic priorities that informed our current registration cycle. These priorities will continue to roll out over multiple school years, and deliberately consider the following:

  • Our mission to serve and educate equitably to a broad range of students
  • Our Strategic Plan
  • Our WCEA Accreditation Growth Areas (we completed our accreditation in spring 2022)
  • The changing landscape of college admissions 
  • Multiple years of student survey data
  • The 21st-Century skills we want to benchmark, including Communication Literacy; Sophisticated Thinking; Collaborative Teamwork; Self-Directed Learning; and Ethical Responsibility in the Lasallian Tradition 
  • The sizable current student enrollment across all academic periods 

As a result, students will benefit from an expansion of our current offerings as well as additions. Next year, we will have multiple additional sections of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation (HPER) classes like Weight Training, Fitness, and Sports Medicine as well as additional sections for Psychology and Leadership. There will be more room to fit in classes like Robotics, Computer Science, EADD (Engineering, Architecture, Drafting, and Design), Instrumental Music, and Music Theory. We have also added, in conjunction with CHS, the following new classes: Screenwriting, AP Human Geography, AP Art History, AP European History, American Studies: Criminal and Civil Justice, and additional English Senior Selectives. Students who need a break in the middle of the day or who need help to get themselves organized can take a supervised section of Study Hall. So far, our student course registration requests demonstrate that students are asking for a wide variety of classes and are deliberately discerning what is best for them as learners.

We continue to work in collaboration with CHS to provide Professional Development opportunities across Winton Drive for our faculty and staff, and on Friday, February 17th, the two schools hosted a Shared Institute, and multiple Professional Development trainers from our educational partnerships came to offer sessions (a total of seven, which were repeated twice). The topics are constellated into two categories: Technology in the Classroom (from Canva to EduProtocols to Hyperdocs) and Classroom Practices (ranging from Tiered Academic Interventions to Differentiation to Enhance Learning). In addition, all faculty at DLS are asked to participate in an annual Professional Learning Community of their choice, which is above and beyond the various conferences our faculty and staff attend to increase their content knowledge and pedagogical practice.

Before I sign off, I want to remind you that the DLS/CHS Theatre Company Spring Production Xanadu opens on Thursday, March 23, and runs through Sunday, April 1.

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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