A “meet and greet” held by the Andrean administration on Wednesday, June 8 discussed several topics of interest for the upcoming school year. The meeting covered everything from girls soccer uniforms to new job openings to opinions on the uniform.
Dr. Bonta opened the meeting by expressing his opinion that Andrean has “turned a corner at this point.” After many hours spent listening to the concerns of the parents, teachers, students, and alumni of Andrean, the administration made several decisions in the past month that have arguably been just what the school needs. The “meet and greet” was held to address changes that have already been made, discuss future decisions, and get feedback on what still needs to be done. Finances, renovations, uniforms, the search for new employees, the recovery from past changes, and plans for next year were some of the main topics discussed.
Financially, the administration is working to physically improve the school and support the programs within while still being a good steward with the money it has been given. $375,000 has been made as a capital request to the Diocese of Gary, and an appeal will be made to the Andrean Foundation within the next few days. The Bishop and his finance council have agreed to match up to $500,000 raised by Andrean. The response was definitely a step in the right direction, with one anonymous donor pledging $100,000. As far as fundraising goes, tickets for the Golf Outing raffle will be going on sale this summer, and the Super Raffle is in the works.
Physical renovations will be ongoing within the school. “Band-aiding Andrean is no longer going to work,” said Dr. Bonta. “We must handle things head on.” Among other things, the administration plans to improve the Internet and computer situation, fix the roof of the gym, provide the girls soccer team with new uniforms, and retrofit or rebuild the stadium bleachers. While the bleachers are presently not up to code because the gaps between benches are too wide, they will be fixed well before fall sports competitions begin. Complete renovation of classrooms, as was done in Room 106, will be halted for now. Smaller fixes such as replacing blinds, desks, and chairs will happen to make the rooms look more presentable. The science labs are also being considered for renovation. The goal is to have the biology lab fixed up before the upcoming school year begins. Because of many unforeseen structural complications, larger renovations have been put on hold in order to consider possible alternatives that would be worth more in the long run.
Some concerns were brought up about new employees for next year, the most pressing being the search for a new principal. “We are moving forward with exciting possibilities, but we will not just fill a slot,” said Dr. Bonta. Interviews were conducted Monday with candidates for the position, and a council with representatives from the teachers, parents, and administrators as well as the diocese has been reviewing the applicants. New positions the administration is looking for include a dean, an I.T. person, a nurse, and a life skills/resource specialist. Guidance and teaching positions will also be filled over the summer. The process is being moved along as quickly as possible; the school has contacted universities within the state to search for graduates that might be a good fit.
Before moving on to talk about new changes, many parents wanted to know what will be done to help Andrean recover. Summer school and a bridge program are being finalized to help the students who have scheduling conflicts or who are not up to the academic standards of the next school year. The faculty plans to start a teacher mentoring program to help new teachers become accustomed to the school and, in the long run, increase the consistency within the Andrean curriculum from year to year. Communications director Brendan Ryan has also been working to combat the bad publicity Andrean has been receiving as of late. Ryan has recently become supervisor of the Acropolis and has made connections with reporters at the NWI Catholic. Ryan has also worked to build a positive relationship between Andrean and the Post-Tribune and The Times of NWI.
Uniform questions will all be answered by next Wednesday. Between now and then, Dr. Bonta will be meeting with Dennis Uniforms in order to determine the exact terms of the 5-year contract signed by previous administrators. Incoming seniors will still be allowed to wear the maroon and gray uniform, as was standard the previous school year. Bonta hopes that incoming juniors will also have the opportunity to wear the uniform they wore freshmen year, but that cannot be finalized until the contract signed with Dennis has come to light. Mrs. Hether Lytton said that the main goal with uniforms is “consistency and affordability.”
Lastly, the meet and greet addressed plans for the upcoming school year. School will begin on Monday, August 15. That day will be a Mass schedule; Bishop Hying will lead the school in celebration of the Feast of the Assumption. Finals are to be held before Christmas break; the last day of semester one will be Thursday, December 22. The school day will be from 8:00 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. and will consist of seven rotating periods with the ABC lunch schedule.
Schedule The schedule is forthcoming due to conflicts with the planned date for graduation and the closing of Bishop Hying’s synod. Orientation for incoming freshmen will be August 11; for all returning students, orientation will be August 12. Schedules are still being determined; however, students are guaranteed all core classes they registered for. Only elective classes have yet to be finalized.
Book List & Book Swap The book list is still being finalized, but it will be out in time for the book swap. The book swap will be held at Andrean on Wednesday, June 22 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. There will be no online book swap. In addition, the Humanities class is not being offered next year; however, the administration is working to help families who bought books for the class and are now unable to sell them.
GPA Scale After listening to the input of both students and teachers, the administration has changed the GPA scale to the following: Regular – 4.0, Honors – 4.5, AP – 5.0. As of now, guidance has confirmed that GPAs will not be reweighted from previous years so as not to deny any student what they had been promised.
Other miscellaneous concerns were addressed: Latin is still being offered, the shuttles will now run only in the morning not the afternoon, and tuition has not been raised from last year.
As a reassurance, Dr. Bonta informed those present that both he and the diocese will remain an active part of Andrean even after a new principal is hired. “The task force was initiated to stop all the transition,” said Dr. Bonta. Changes will be made before new administrators are put in power, and the diocese as well as a newly formed teachers’ council will keep them in check. Changes will not be made without the approval of all stakeholders of the school. Due to their success, the listening sessions will likely continue even after a new principal has arrived.
For any further questions, please contact
Dr. Bonta at firstname.lastname@example.org or Mrs. Lytton at email@example.com