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Edmund Rice Essential Elements Validation Report

We are thrilled to share the outcomes of the recent Edmund Rice Essential Elements Validation visit that occurred from February 12 to 14, 2024. The validation visit was led by a dedicated team, including Mrs. Jennifer Wagner, VP, Brother Rice HS, Bloomfield Hills, MI, Mr. Matthew Prunckle, Dean of Student Life, Brother Rice HS, Chicago, IL, and Bro. Gennaro Sullo from the Office of Educational Services. Brother Sullo lives at Bergen Catholic High School, in Bergen, NJ. The purpose of the Essential Elements Validation was to assess and celebrate the embodiment of Essential Elements 5. And 6. within our STMC Faith and Learning community.

V. CELEBRATE THE VALUE AND DIGNITY OF EACH PERSON & NURTURE THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE WHOLE PERSON

  • promote respect for each individual as created in the image and likeness of God
  • value the diversity of the human family and seek to reflect local diversity among the students, faculty, and staff
  • promote strong programs of personal, professional, and pastoral care
  • offer co-curricular activities and programs that are important to students’ holistic education.
  • strive to provide just remuneration for faculty and staff

VI. CALL FOR COLLABORATION AND SHARED RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE MISSION

  • empower all members of the community to share in the mission
  • work with parents who are the primary educators
  • collaborate with Edmund Rice Christian Brother ministries on local, national, and international levels
  • foster a deeper understanding of the vision of Blessed Edmund Rice
  • promote active participation in governance by  boards and diocesan officials

Team Members

The validation team comprised individuals with diverse expertise, including educational leadership, student life, religious studies, and advocacy. Their insights and perspectives were invaluable in evaluating the implementation of Essential Elements 5. and  6. at St. Thomas More.

Validation Process

The validation process commenced in September 2023 when Bro. Sullo outlined the requirements for Elements V and VI of a Christian Brothers Education to the faculty. This process culminated in a comprehensive Validation Report, which was meticulously prepared and submitted to Bro. Sullo before the validation team’s visit.

During their visit, the team engaged with various stakeholders, including administrators, students, parents, board members, alumni, and faculty members. These interactions provided rich insights into the school’s culture, practices, and alignment with the Essential Elements.

State of the School

The validation team was impressed by the vibrant atmosphere and commitment to the Essential Elements which they noted was evident throughout the school. Of particular note was the inclusive culture that permeated the corridors and classrooms.

Commendations

Foremost, the team commended St. Thomas More for embodying the Essential Elements in its daily practices and ethos. The team commended our integration of “The Three Pillars” – Environmental Sustainability, Truth, Reconciliation, and JEDI/Belonging – exemplifies the school’s commitment to holistic education and social responsibility.

The validation team highlighted several student-led initiatives, such as the “Good Shepherd Ministry,” Service to Advocacy retreats, and the “Blessed Edmund Rice Team”, which they felt reflect the school’s dedication to service and community engagement. 

Additionally, commendation was extended to the empowerment of staff and faculty members in advancing the school’s mission.

The sustained development of the Learning Resource Center to support STMC students was acknowledged as a significant achievement, underscoring the school’s commitment to inclusive education. Furthermore, the team highlighted the alignment of St. Thomas More’s Strategic Plan with Essential Elements V and VI as commendable and indicative of the school’s forward-thinking approach.

Recommendations

In light of anticipated growth in students requiring support from the Learning Center, the validation team recommended additional resources and on-going professional development for teachers. The team also recommended continued support for advocacy initiatives.  

The team also recommended recognition of the arts, particularly our band and choir; it  was encouraged that the arts receive the same attention as academic and athletic endeavors receive on social media posts and in school communications to the community.

Conclusion

As we reflect on the validation process, we are heartened by the affirmation of St. Thomas More’s commitment to the Essential Elements of a Christian Brothers Education. Moving forward, we remain dedicated to furthering our mission and enhancing the educational experience for all members of our community.

I would like to extend a special thank you to Mr. Dominic Zimmermann, (Chair of Validation Committee), Head of Religion Department, Ms. Natasha Chinnapen, Director of Teaching and Learning, Mr. David Mattiazzo, Campus Minister, and Mr. Ben Johnston, Advocacy Coordinator.

WongJ

Author: WongJ