Father’s Letter: The First Sunday of Advent

Dear Friends,

With the school year well underway, I thought it would be a good time to give a much-needed update on the many exciting things happening at our schools.

As you may already know, this school year began with us welcoming Vineyard Academy into our building, to share our space and resources. Officially, at this time, there are two schools operating: St. Ann Montessori, and Vineyard Academy. However, as one would expect when two schools are in one building, the teachers, staff and students of both institutions – while maintaining their separate charisms – have effectively come together as one closely-knit community of Catholic education. Having one school, rather than two, is what we had hoped and envisioned when we began this new journey together. Praise God for making it happen so quickly!

We are blessed in that the Diocese is enthusiastically supportive of this transition and, encouraged by recent conversations with Margaret Erich, the Superintendent of Schools in our Diocese, we have begun to put together a proposal for making the two schools officially into one Pre K – 8 school, recognized as a CSGK (Catholic Schools of Greater Kalamazoo) school. The school will be formed under an altogether new name (soon-to-be-announced) and will be a unique institution in our diocese, maintaining the special charisms of Montessori and classical Catholic education together in one continuous educational program. This model has achieved much success in various new schools throughout the country as a desirable alternative to other more well-known forms of Catholic education. I myself have a particular love and passion for this type of education – as my own educational background is classical – and I could not be more impressed with and supportive of the Montessori method of education since I have been exposed to it here in Mrs. Mannes’s classroom. So excited am I about our schools that I asked Mrs. Jewett if I could teach philosophy to the 7th and 8th graders every week!

Even more unique will be the emphasis on personalization of the education of your children. There will be both Montessori kindergarten and Classical kindergarten for parents and teachers to choose from after evaluating what would be most beneficial for their child and his or her particular gifts and strengths. How exciting that all of this will be available at our own parish!

The only way to truly know what our schools are about, and the quality of education that the students are receiving, is to come and see for yourself. You can all be a part of making our schools – or rather school – flourish. Please join us in praying for the school and its students, supporting it both in word and in deed, and contributing financially if you are able.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to call me at the parish office or email me at frmarotti@stannaugusta.org

In Christ,

Fr. Marotti