Smiles filled the classrooms and hallways on Wednesday, August 14 as St. Thomas of Villanova Catholic School opened for the 2019-2020 school year. After students visited their classrooms and dropped off supplies, families enjoyed a donut reception in Viking Hall to celebrate the start of a new school year.
Since 1962, St. Thomas of Villanova Catholic School has provided a faith-filled education built on academic excellence, faith and values. After 57 years, the school continues this tradition, while still embracing the latest research-based, best practices in education and offering cutting-edge technology for learning in the 21st century.
Welcoming New Faces
Earlier this week, at a well-attended Parent Orientation and Curriculum night, Principal Mary Brinkman announced the school had not only met the enrollment goal for the year but exceeded it. The total enrollment is expected to further increase in the coming months, especially in preschool, as parents typically research quality preschool options throughout the fall. The school boasts full day and half day options for both preschool and kindergarten, as well as affordable after care.
Principal Brinkman also welcomed 26 new families to the St. Thomas family, noting that almost every grade from preschool through 7th boasted a new student, which helps diversify the school’s student body and environment for learning. Especially exciting was the arrival of another new and friendly face, Pastor Kris Janczak, who replaced Father Tom Rzepiela at St. Thomas of Villanova Catholic Church after his retirement. Father Kris warmly greeted students on the first day of school and at the first All school mass of the year on August 15. The Pastor, who oversees and works closely with the Principal and School Board to maintain the vitality of the school, is looking forward to playing a very active role in the church and school community.
With a little help from their FRIENDS
The school’s growing enrollment directly correlates to a marketing campaign developed by the administration and School Board and funded by the FRIENDS of St. Thomas of Villanova School (FOSTOVS), a non-profit group created in 2012 by parishioner and St. Thomas of Villanova grandparent, John Pellettiere. The group’s sole purpose for the benefit of the school and its students. FOSTOVS recently funded a $20,000 School Board marketing grant, which provided a multitude of promotional aides to draw new families to the school and keep them there.
The marketing campaign included a new professionally designed website, newspaper advertisements, updated tour folders and materials, and themed Open Houses that included food and entertainment. The Friends also helped market and drive donations to the Empower Illinois scholarship program, which provides financial support for student to attend private schools.
The marketing initiatives will continue into the fall, with advertisements placed in the Salt Creek Park District fall and winter catalogs and the Palatine Chamber of Commerce Member Directory, due out in September. The school is also serving as an official sponsor of the Palatine Street Fest Kids Zone, a special area of the festival that hosts nonstop activities for kids, from face painting to bubbles to reptile demonstrations. St. Thomas of Villanova teachers and school board members will greet local families at a tented booth from 11 am-6pm on Saturday Aug 24th and 11 am-5pm on Sunday Aug 25th.
New and improved
In addition to marketing, the Friends of St. Thomas of Villanova also funded an extensive list of enhancements in and out of the classroom. These include a 3D Printer, Weather Station, new Health curriculum, new couch for 3rd grade, new carpet in the front office and library, new carpet and colorful stools in kindergarten, new library books, new instruments and a drum for music class, new stations with costumes in preschool, new beakers and chairs in the science lab, maker bots, and other teacher aides, like personal white boards. Future planned gifts include raised garden beds for the school’s Nature Ninjas environmental club and a new stage and sound system for musical theatrical productions.
A bright future
With a new pastor, budding enrollment, stable retention and a wealth of educational opportunities for students both in and out of the classroom, St. Thomas of Villanova Catholic School plans for a bright future, with growth and development during the 2019-2020 school year and beyond. For more information about the school or to schedule a tour, please call (847) 358-2110, email firstname.lastname@example.org visit stvschool.org