LAKE CHARLES – Summer is quickly waning for the students and teachers of the seven Catholic schools in the Diocese of Lake Charles with opening days approaching.
Our Lady Immaculate Catholic School in Jennings will open on Wednesday, August 12, coordinating with the opening of public schools in Jefferson Davis Parish. Catholic schools located in Calcasieu Parish will open on Thursday, August 17. Those schools include St. Louis Catholic High School; Immaculate Conception Cathedral Catholic School: St. Margaret of Scotland Catholic School: and Our Lady Queen of Heaven Catholic School, all in Lake Charles; St. Theodore Holy Family Catholic School in Moss Bluff; and Our Lady’s Catholic School in Sulphur.
Top administrators remain the same at each school with Deacon Christopher Fontenot at St. Louis, Christi Jarreau at the Cathedral School, Wendy Wicke at St. Margaret, JoAnn Wallwork at Our Lady Queen of Heaven, Jennifer Bellon at Holy Family, Trevor Donnelly at Our Lady’s, and Nicole Reeves at Our Lady Immaculate.
According to Kimberlee Gazzolo, Superintendent of Schools, there are 27 new faculty and staff for the 2015-2016 school year. While individual schools are working on numerous initiatives, this school year also brings forth several collaborative endeavors. A Diocesan Safety Team has been established to coordinate and strengthen safety preparedness amongst all of the schools in the Diocese. Participating in a grant funded by the Governor’s Office of Emergency Preparedness, schools will be able to take advantage of the expertise of both GOSHEP and the local Calcasieu Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. “Safety within our school communities is of the utmost priority and we are grateful to have the expertise of these organizations to assist us in the coming school year”, Mrs. Gazzolo said.
According to Gazzolo, the Diocesan Curriculum Committee - comprised of administrative and teacher representatives - has planned a Technology Conference at St. Louis Catholic High School on Friday, September 18. Teachers will attend sessions focused on technology integration, social media, and current trends. Early Childhood education will also be a focus for the Curriculum Committee. “Our goal is continue to strengthen our early childhood classrooms and ensure high quality standards and excellent teaching practices,” Gazzolo said. “In doing so, we are confident our children will be successful kindergarten students”.
School holidays include Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 7; Columbus Day, Monday, Oct. 12; Thanksgiving, Monday, Nov. 23 to Friday, Nov. 27; Christmas, Friday, Dec. 18 (half day)-Friday, Jan. 1; Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Monday, Jan. 18; Mardi Gras, Friday, Feb. 5, Monday, Feb. 8, Tuesday, Feb. 9; and Easter, Friday, March 25 to Friday, April 1.
Catholic Schools Week in the diocese is Jan. 31 to Feb. 6, with the annual Catholic Schools Week Mass on Wed. Feb. 3, in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
St. Louis’ Class of 2016 will have commencement ceremonies on Tuesday, May 17.
Our Lady Immaculate will have the same holiday schedule and will be closed on Friday, Oct. 9, Jennings Fair Day. Christmas holiday begins on Monday, Dec. 21 and continues through Friday, Jan. 1. The OLI Mardi Gras holiday is Monday, Feb. 8-Wednesday, Feb. 10. The school will not be off for Columbus Day, Monday, Oct. 12.
The session ends at the schools in Calcasieu Parish on Friday, May 27 and on Tuesday, May 24, at Our Lady Immaculate.