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Academic Life, VP Letters


September 4, 2020


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

Welcome to the 2020-2021 Academic School year! By now, you will have all received the Back-to-School Night videos for each of your sons’ classes. Thank you to our teachers, all academic directors, and our communications team for working so hard to get those out! I will repeat what I said in the opening video: we are extraordinarily impressed with what our teachers and students have already accomplished, and we look forward to what we can continue to accomplish together spiritually, academically, and communally as we work together in this extraordinary moment. 

I wanted to share with you other important and exciting academic announcements. 

  • We will launch our 20th annual Cereal Drive on 9/21, and it will continue through 10/2. Every year, this is one of our largest service-learning opportunities, and it will be additionally supported by our Service Leadership class. Over these two weeks, there will be two platforms where the community can give. A student-developed website will host all of our giving opportunities, so look forward to seeing that soon. All proceeds go directly to bulk cereal purchases that will be donated directly to the Monument Crisis Center (Concord, CA).
     
  • We are super excited about what our wonderful Laboratory Technician Mrs. Tina Schumann has been compiling for every Sophomore Biology class, namely take-home laboratory kits for every student. We will send out details for how and when they can be picked up, but that date will be by the end of September. These are the academic explorations that will be coming your way:

Mrs. Acquistapace:
BIO: A Murder Mystery: Dissection of an Owl Pellet
AP BIO: A Study of Proteolytic Enzyme Kinetics

Howett:
BIO: Diffusion and Osmosis in a Simulated Cell
HON BIO: Fermentation Rates in Yeast

  • The 2019-2020 Yearbooks have arrived! You will be receiving information about how to pick up your yearbook, and it is so great to see everyone’s faces.
     
  • I wanted to underscore again our new curriculum for 2020-2021:
    • We introduced a new class in our HPER department called “Fitness” that will allow us to run Physical Education classes in a way that is no-contact and that aims to inculcate life-long practices that optimize health. Thank you to the department chair, Mr. Doug Bauman, for authoring this curriculum.

    • This year we introduced our new Religious Studies 2 curriculum, which focuses entirely on the Bible and which houses our Mentors-in-Violence Prevention curriculum as a link to Jesus as an active bystander. This is part of a multi-year rollout of the new Religious Studies curriculum.

    • We added AP Computer Science A to our Computer Science offerings this year thanks to the hard work of Mr. Tim Bedford.

I also wanted to draw your attention to a few reminders:

  • Mass of the Holy Spirit: If you have not already done so, please take some time to watch the beautiful Mass of the Holy Spirit that we celebrated on 8/26. A special thanks to not only Campus Ministry for providing a live stream, but also to the students who participated.
     
  • Teacher Communication/Response: We recognize that attending/teaching school from home has blurred the work/life balance. Please note that our teachers are working hard to create innovative and powerful learning experiences for our students. We have reinforced with teachers that their work hours are between 7:45am-3:30 pm during the weekdays. If you contact them outside of those weekday hours or on weekends, please be patient and give them 48 hours to respond as they also have family and obligations beyond their classes to attend to. 
     
  • Flex Days: Beginning in September, Flex Days will be programmed days for Campus Ministry, clubs and Student Activities, organized class and community building, academic support/tutoring, and personal/counseling support. Students will be asked to sign up and be present for Wednesday Flex Days beginning September 16th.

As this entire community continues to negotiate the beginning of a school year unlike any other we have experienced as educators and as students, I wanted to share some of the Lasallian resources that have grounded me and other district leaders at this moment. The Lasallian Resource Center is an invaluable trove of information, and I want to direct you specifically to the Daily Quotation section, which helps ground my own prayer.

Sincerely,

Dr. Heather Alumbaugh
Vice President for Academic Life


 

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