The Catholic Lasallian Assessment Process (CLASP) committee visited St. Paul’s School recently to assess how St. Paul’s is living out their Lasallian heritage on a day-to-day basis. Activities to make this assessment included faculty, student, alumni, and parent suveys, as well as student and faculty focus groups and a faculty-wide work session on Friday, Sept. 20.
“The experience itself was overwhelming. I was happy that people were ready to listen to my ideas to help improve the school,” noted senior Thomas Huval.
During the Friday work session, faculty and a select group of students were presented with the results from the surveys taken by students, faculty, parents, and alumni. St. Paul’s set a CLASP record for the level of parent participation.
Overall, St. Paul’s received high marks, meeting or exceeding expectations in nearly all areas. The only survey question that indicated a need for improvement regarded programs that acknowledge diversity within the school.
“I think we’re always trying to get a more diverse school population, and that diversity comes from more than just skin color,” faculty member Andrew Dart said during the work session. “People come from many different walks of life, and I think the school really encompasses that. There are many different ways to achieve diversity.”
Throughout the CLASP visit, students had to think about how the school functions everyday, living out its Lasallian mission. Questions such as, “What is the best thing about St. Paul’s?” and “If you could change one thing about St. Paul’s, what would it be?” were asked to focus groups.
During the Friday work session, teachers and students got together into small groups to discuss ways to improve the school and live out the five core Lasallian principles of quality education, faith in the presence of God, inclusive community, respect for all persons, and concern for the poor and social justice. Collectively, the groups identified needs and came up with a number of objectives and strategies to meet them. Suggested strategies included scrapping the current Serve Ten program and instituting a new service program and ways to increase chapel participation during prayer services and First Friday Adoration.
At the end of the day on Friday, former SPS Campus Minister Charles Legendre, who conducted the CLASP process, presented two questions for personal reflection: What did I discover today and what are my hopes for the future?
“I discovered that the relationships found between all students, as well as the relationships found between teachers and students, is something that you cannot find at any other place,” noted senior Eric Boudet. “We all look out for each other, and it’s really awesome that we are able to have relationships with our teachers outside of the classroom.”
All in attendance on Friday noted high hopes for the future of St. Paul’s. Students and teachers both indicated hope to enhance the faith life on campus, institute a possible service class, and form stronger relationships between all students from all grade levels and all faculty and staff members, as well as the Brothers on campus.
The CLASP committee returns every six years to re-evaluate the school. All schools in the San Francisco New Orleans district will go through this same process on a regular basis.
[photos by Ross Allbritton]