Notes from Ms. Kelly…:)

As we prepare to enter the Lenten season on Wednesday, it is the perfect time to reflect on all that we have to be grateful for at St. Laurence. We have a unique combination of wonderful students, extremely dedicated teachers and staff, a supportive pastor and parish community, and involved, caring parents. With that said, it does not surprise me that interest in and, excitement about St. Laurence continues to build. New families are visiting our school each week and have relayed to me that they feel something special when they are here. Thank you so much for all of your help in spreading the word! We need to continue to build on that momentum.

In my letter this week that was in response to the article in the Daily Herald, I mentioned a meeting that the Diocese is setting up to present important information to us and get our feedback. That meeting is on Monday, April 3rd from 7-8:30 at St. Edward CCHS. I invite all of our families, parishioners and alumni to mark your calendars and attend that night.

The Principal/Teacher/Parent Book Club is reading the first four chapters of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck PhD for our meeting on March 13th at 6:30. Everyone is welcome to join us!

Saturday is the Knight’s of Columbus Chili for Charity event at St. Thomas More! Proceeds from the event go to Catholic Schools in Elgin. Being the newbie this year, they went easy on me and signed me on to judge the “mild” category! Looking forward to seeing our St. Laurence families there!

Our next Bingo event is Mardi Gras themed and is on March 4th. It will be hosted by our 8th grade class. More information will be coming soon, but it is already shaping up to be a fantastic event that you won’t want to miss!

Hope you had a wonderful weekend with your children! 🙂



Those who are craziest enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do. ~Steve Jobs

Letter from the Principal Regarding the Daily Herald Article

Hi St. Laurence Families,
You may or may not have seen the article in today’s Daily Herald regarding potential school consolidation in the Diocese of Rockford, but I wanted to address this because I started this position being transparent with you and I have no intention of changing that now. I also know that rumors about our school and its future have plagued this community in the past and I don’t want false information out there.
First and foremost, the article was specifically about the meeting that was held in Aurora recently regarding their schools.  A similar article was in the Observer. It does mention that meetings will take place in Rockford and Elgin and as soon as the specifics on that meeting are announced, I would like to invite all of you to attend. In a conversation that I had this morning with Mike Kagan, Superintendent of Schools in the Diocese, he stated that this meeting will include a presentation of the data that has been collected and an opportunity for those in attendance to discuss it. As I have shared with you, the data shows that enrollment is down Diocesan-wide over the past 5 years. It is no secret that our school has felt a drastic decline in that time-frame which I am guessing is the information that the Herald used in the caption that they attached to the picture of our school in that article. Mr. Kagan was just as surprised as we all are that the Herald chose to use a picture of our school in an article about Aurora.
I would like for you to know that not only is the information incorrect in that caption…our enrollment is increasing, but nothing has changed. No decisions have been made by the Diocese. They simply hired a consulting firm to look at the schools and their viability and the numbers are back. They are now including the families in the process and welcome your feedback. Also, nothing has changed here at St. Laurence…We still have work to do in getting our numbers up and I still need your help with that.
Another number that I have shared with you from that study is the percentage of the school-age market in this area that we are tapping. It is approximately 4% that we share with the other 3 Elgin Catholic schools. Instead of being discouraged by the decreasing enrollment in the Diocese, I share with you the desire to focus on creating solutions that are consistent with tapping the 96% in an effort to share the gift of St. Laurence with more students. Our efforts thus far have been working.
As I mentioned, as soon as I know the details of the meeting in Elgin, I will share those with you, but in the meantime please do not let press like the article in the Herald scare you. Nothing has changed from the Diocesan perspective. We need to continue doing what we are doing and enjoying the excitement that surrounds our school.
God Bless,