Dear Members of the Archmere Community:
As another school year ends, I summarize here some initiatives in the fourth quarter of the fiscal year that continue to advance the goals of the 2012 Strategic Plan for Archmere.
We continue to work with artist Peter Pearson on the creation of the “Archmere Cross,” a crucifix for over the altar of Immaculate Conception Oratory in Saint Norbert Hall, and a second processional cross to be used for school liturgies. The crucifix will have a design unique to Archmere, incorporating the school’s history and Norbertine tradition.
We celebrated a Penance Service with the students before Easter break during Holy Week, and had the opportunity to celebrate Mass with students on the Feast of the Ascension, in addition to daily Masses offered by Fr. McLaughlin. The spring months also contain many traditions, including the Junior Class Ring Mass and the Baccalaureate Mass when we are able to focus especially on our mission and tradition.
We continued our discussions around plans to celebrate the World Meeting of Families to be held in September 2015, in Philadelphia. Also in September, Daylesford Abbey will be hosting the Abbey Faith and Music Fest, and we continued our discussions about Archmere students’ involvement and attendance at the all-day concert of Christian rock music.
Each May, Archmere Academy submits a written report to Daylesford Abbey outlining all of the activities and programs of the year that reaffirm our Catholic identity. Prepared by Father McLaughlin, Director of Mission and Heritage, the report is reviewed by the Mission and Heritage Committee and by the Board before it is sent to the Abbot of Daylesford Abbey. The Headmaster, Board Chair, and Corporate Members of Archmere – the Abbot and Prior of Daylesford, along with a lay appointed member by the Board – meet to discuss the report. It is one important way to assure that the Catholic Norbertine identity and mission are reviewed and maintained.
Committees continue to meet to discuss and work through the reaccreditation process that began at the start of the school year. Twelve committees have completed their review of all aspects of the Academy’s operations, taking into consideration responses from surveys given to constituencies of the school. Three areas of study are forming from all of the data: skills based learning and critical thinking, health and wellness programs, and curriculum mapping to insure curriculum alignment and encourage more cross-curricular collaborations.
This year’s Career Day for juniors brought many alumni to campus as guest speakers. In fact, 82% of the speakers this year were alumni, who offered personal insights to our students about their current work and how they secured their current positions.
The Young Alumni group gathered at Morgan’s Pier in Philadelphia for their annual Spring Social. Graduation years of participants ranged from 2002- 2010
The alumni association coordinated a second annual Day of Service in May. Working with students, alumni volunteers completed projects in the community with organizations at which our students volunteer throughout the year: Knollwood Community Center, Mom’s House, The Bethesda Project, and Nativity Prep.
The redesign of the Academy’s website is scheduled to be launched by September 2015. We are working through editing the content to make the site more streamlined and easier to navigate. We are also evaluating our statistics on readership of our various forms of communication, considering ways to provide timely information with the greatest efficiency and effect.
As of June 1, 2015, 136 students are enrolled for the Class of 2019. We continue to receive calls of interest for the freshman class, and we also have families in a waiting pool. Interest in admission to Archmere continues to be strong. Survey responses from families who have experienced the admissions process suggest that we provide very welcoming and positive opportunities for engagement, presenting a fair and complete representation of the Archmere experience.
The Mothers’ Guild and Fathers’ Club continue to be supportive of the school through extensive voluntarism and fund raising efforts. This year, the Mothers’ Guild presented a $75,000 check to Archmere from all of the fund raising efforts of the year. The Fathers’ Club, which assists the Guild with one of its largest events – the Garage Sale – presented its own gift of $14,000. These funds are used for a variety of projects that have impact on all students.
The Archmere Fund surpassed its goal of $700,000 by raising $708,000 at the close of the fiscal year on June 30. When added to other gifts restricted for specific purposes, total giving exceeded $1 million for the year, with final numbers still being audited.
Renovation of the lower level and library of Saint Norbert Hall began June 1. We are still in the early phases of raising funds to complete all phases of the project, which is scheduled to be completed by August, 2016, and encompasses renovation of the entire building.