August 10, 2016
During the school year, I write a weekly letter to the Bishop Chatard HS parent community. The following is the first letter of the 2016-17 school year:
On behalf of the entire faculty, staff, and administration of Bishop Chatard High School, I welcome you to the 2016-17 school year!
Yesterday we experienced the excitement of freshmen orientation! The excitement was not necessarily over the orientation itself, but arriving at orientation. Over 200 upperclassmen held signs of welcome and yelled encouragement. They lined the route from Kessler Blvd., down Crittenden Ave., through the parking lot, and right up to Door #10. Once there, staff members opened car doors and welcomed the new freshmen, shook their hands, and pointed them toward the building. On the way in, music was blasting and two or three other staffers offered a handshake and welcome. The freshmen then entered the school building, only to discover they must navigate a gauntlet of cheerleaders cheering them on.
To see the response of the freshmen was great. They arrived at their new school, wearing their BCHS uniforms for the first time, and unsure of exactly what to expect. Some soaked up all of the attention while others were somewhat overwhelmed – but all had smiles on their faces and all felt welcomed and valued.
While the freshmen garnered all of the attention, I tried to catch a glimpse of the parents as they pulled away. Many of them looked as overwhelmed as their children. I spotted quite a few parents crying – some were crying openly, others tried hiding their tears behind sunglasses. Whether it was their oldest, youngest, or only child, their baby was stepping into high school. Yet another rite of passage was occurring right before their eyes.
High school? Wasn’t it just yesterday that they were sitting in their high chairs shoving Cheerios into their mouths? Falling asleep on our shoulders? Learning to ride a two-wheeler? Surely that is not your child – your child couldn’t possibly be in high school already!
Well, I will try not to make you start crying again, but there’s more to come. In the blink of an eye, your babies will be walking across the stage to receive their diplomas. High school will be a blur. (FYI – Wait until your children start having children of their own…that will completely blow your mind.)
Believe me; we understand. We are parents, too. We recognize how emotional this rite of passage can be. We are humbled that you have entrusted your babies to us. We know that you expect us not only to educate your child, but also to love them, nurture them, and keep them safe.
With our faith to guide us, we will do our very best to honor the trust you have placed in us. It takes a village to raise, educate, and form children. Welcome to the BCHS village!