Dear Members of the Archmere Community:
The following are highlights of a number of projects and activities begun or completed in the first quarter of the New Year to advance the goals of the 2012 Strategic Plan for Archmere. I am happy to share progress in several of the Plan’s focus areas, made possible by the consistent efforts and support of dedicated Archmere community members.
During this quarter, the Academy community celebrated Catholic Schools Week, reflecting on our school’s Norbertine Heritage, honoring faculty and staff who have dedicated a considerable part of their careers to Archmere, and celebrating Mass with Bishop W. Francis Malooly of the Diocese of Wilmington, who was joined this year by Abbot Richard Antonucci, O.Praem., and other Norbertine priests from Daylesford Abbey.
Just a short time later, the school community celebrated the start of the Lenten Season with Mass on Ash Wednesday. Prior to Easter vacation, students participated in a Penance Service.
The liturgy planning team and ministry group continues to grow under the direction of Campus Minister, Bill Gabriel. The group hosted a second Pancake Breakfast in the Patio one morning before school began. Approximately 60 students turned out for free pancakes, mixed and cooked by students from the ministry group. While students ate, a member of the faculty shared their personal spiritual journey with the group.
Planning discussions began regarding the World Meeting of Families Week to be held in September 2015, in Philadelphia. Also in September, Daylesford Abbey will be hosting the Abbey Faith and Music Fest, and we started exchanging ideas about Archmere students’ involvement and attendance at this day-long concert of Christian rock music.
The focus of the academic conversation for the quarter has been on the reaccreditation process that began at the start of the school year. During this year of self-study, twelve committees have been formed to review all aspects of the Academy’s operations, reflecting on how we are achieving our mission and goals that we set for ourselves. In a sense, this process, developed by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, is a strategic planning exercise in itself. We have been working to coordinate the necessary requirements of the reaccreditation process with the Academy’s existing strategic plan. Many of the action plans already included in the Academy’s strategic plan around student assessment, skills-based learning, integrated, interdepartmental, and global learning, are discussed in the reaccreditation process that will end in the spring of 2016.
We implemented a survey to hear what is on the minds of alumni. The survey was sent out to our young alumni who completed their first year of college and could adequately describe Archmere’s role in their level of college preparedness. Over 70% of respondents felt that they were “very well prepared” for college, especially in the subjects of English, World Languages, and Mathematics. The majority of students also felt that their collegiate classes are “somewhat more challenging” than their Archmere experience. 40% of respondents felt that they have an increased workload at the collegiate level, while 40% felt that the workload is similar to Archmere. In terms of college preparedness, the respondents felt that they were most prepared in the areas of “managing and balancing time” and “critical thinking/problem solving”.
More than 100 people attended another beautiful and meaningful Alumni Memorial Mass, held in the Patio and followed by brunch. Father McLaughlin was the celebrant, and the ministers of the Mass were alumni. For the first time this year, both students and alumni singers and instrumentalists provided music for the Mass.
Approximately 150 people attended the Sports Hall of Fame Banquet, when we inducted five alumni and honored two State Championship sports teams.
Cliff ’59 and Sandy Anzilotti and Mike ’59 and Ruth Boyd hosted a reception in Naples, Florida in February for Archmere families – alumni and parents of alumni. Dr. Marinelli, Headmaster, attended and provided the group with an update on Archmere.
The redesign of the Academy’s website is on schedule, and is planned to be launched by September 2015. The new design is intended to be more streamlined and easier to navigate for people new to Archmere, as well as members of the Archmere community.