Sacred Heart School prepares to celebrate Catholic Schools Week

Sacred Heart fifth-grader Harper Donovan led her classmates, teachers, and staff in prayer during a special Mass on Sept. 8, 2022. The Mass celebrated the actual 100th anniversary of the school (Sept. 8, 1922). (Express file photo)

Fourth graders at Sacred Heart School work at putting puzzles together last week in recognition of National Puzzle Month in January. From left are Higdon Althoff, Liam Reyner, and Harris Hackney. (Photo by Kim Brooks)
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     Sacred Heart Catholic School is planning to celebrate National Catholic Schools Week, Jan. 29 through Feb. 4.

   The ongoing theme set forth in 2021 for Catholic Schools Week (CSW) is “Catholic Schools: Faith. Excellence. Service.”

   The week “typically observes the annual celebration with Masses; open houses; and activities for students, families, parishioners, and community members.”

   Scared Heart, which runs preschool through sixth grade, has lots of activities planned for CSW:

Monday, Jan. 30

   • PJ Day

   • Art

Tuesday, Jan. 31

   • Neon Day

   • Bowling for grades K-6

Wednesday, Feb. 1

   • Dress in the Dark Day

   • Knights of Columbus Spelling Bee

Thursday, Feb. 2

   • Spirit Day

   • Mass planned by sixth graders

   • Parents/friends invited to lunch

Friday, Feb. 3

   • Crazy Hat & Sock Day

   • Swimming at Camp Courageous

   • Deliver candy to businesses

   Sacred Heart School has a strong tradition of “faith, excellence, and service,” as the CSW theme suggests.

   “We exhibit our faith every day through our actions and our interactions with each other,” noted Principal Susan Hucker.

   The school has a weekly formal Mass where students and staff say the Rosary. Older students plan and lead the Mass as well.

   In terms of excellence, Hucker said the school is excited to announce a new reading curriculum for grades K-5.

   CKLA (Core Knowledge Language Arts) focuses on science, history, and geography while also teaching phonics, grammar, content and writing.

   “It’s the same curriculum as the public schools use,” said Hucker.

   She added that the “high-level” content not only helps students with their reading and writing, but expands their knowledge of science and social studies.

   For instance, Sacred Heart first graders are learning about the Inca and Mayan empires. The third graders are discussing the classification of animals.

   The second graders are reading and learning to write poetry.

   “They’re all learning about a wide range of topics,” said Hucker, from food nutrition, to the five senses, and health and wellness.

   Sacred Heart gives back to the Monticello community in many ways through service. Over the holidays, they walked downtown and sang Christmas carols at local businesses. They make cards and placemats for residents at Monticello Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. They put together birthday bags and donate them to the Monticello Food Pantry.

   During CWS, students will put together and deliver goodies to local businesses who support the school in various ways throughout the school year.

   Sacred Heart School is not just for families practicing the Catholic religion.

   “A third of our students are not Catholic,” shared Hucker of those who attend the school.

   She said the small class sizes are attractive for families wanting their children to have more individualized attention.

   “It gives the students time to focus on the curriculum,” added Hucker. “It’s about making those individual decisions for the child’s needs.”

   The Sacred Heart Boosters Club, which organizes the annual holiday gala each winter, helps to raise funds for the school. The Boosters assist with scholarships, technology needs, school improvements, classroom materials, new curriculum, etc.

   Most recently, the Boosters helped with the purchase of updated Chromebooks. Sacred Heart has provided one-on-one technology for its students for a few years now.

   “Those wear out over time,” Hucker said of the technology.

   The Boosters also contribute to the school’s general budget.

   “This helps us keep our tuition at a reasonable amount,” Hucker said.

   It’s also the parishioners of Scared Heart Catholic Church who give to the school as well.

   The Sacred Heart Gala in November honored and celebrated the school’s 100th anniversary. Something new this year, instead of perhaps purchasing an item on the auction, attendees could help support the teachers directly.

   The “buy-now wish list” contained special classroom needs specific to the teachers. Some examples were a camera for a technology project, buses for field trips, and multi-cultural learning toys.

   The staff at Sacred Heart School give it their all, and Hucker had nothing but praise for their hard work and dedication.

   “They are wonderful! They put in extra hours, as all teachers do, in the evenings and on the weekends to better teach their students and furthering their learning,” she said.

   Speaking of staff, Sacred Heart recently welcomed three new faces to their school: Alexis White, kindergarten teacher; Juliet Tenley, art; and Aimee Clemmons, school secretary.


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