Archdiocese of Chicago


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About the Blogger

Sister Mary Paul McCaughey, OP, is a former superintendent of Catholic schools for the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Myth of Summer

Summer is a myth.  I mean it.

If I had a dollar for every well-meaning person over my (too many) years in education who observed, “Things should be slowing down for you over the summer” or the (not so well-meaning) person who coyly commented about “schools closing down their business for months,”  the Cardinal's Emergency Scholarship Fund  would be nicely funded.

The fact is - except for a week or two  to buff up the floors, unpack books, paint, and sanitize every surface - good schools don't close over the summer.  Over a third continue with classes for development and enrichment, most have faculty development well into June and begin again with professional activities in early August.  Principals meet with Boards and prospective parents and new curriculum lessons and school long-range plans are developed.

I have always believed quality schools are year-round operations.  The more time we spend, the more hours for learning, the higher the achievement.  And our teachers and principals have come through again this year.  Where are the headlines?  Did you know that across all school profiles, from Big Shoulders to Lake County, every grade level tested above average in every area tested? Maybe the media are waiting for the Fourth's fireworks??

Admittedly, however, and blessedly, the night activities slow down and there is more real family time for our professionals.  In fact, that is what we wish back at you: time with your families....time to read to your children and to take them to Church, time to flood them with words and open them to grace.  May you explore the wonders of the city by the lake and the rolling spaces of the county; may you explore the play and conversation which enriches all of life; may you have time to visit an old friend and pick up a book from your child's reading list.

Loving, learning, praying never take a holiday - they are the “holyday” holiday.

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