A Letter From The Principal

Dear Families,

On behalf of Father Ed and the St. Columba staff, I would like to thank all of our wonderful students, families, and parishioners for helping make the 2016/2017 school year a memorable and successful one. As we move forward to the 2017/2018 school year, let us continue to pray, work, and play as a community of Christ.  I have full confidence that together we can achieve all our goals for the new year. We have so many accomplishments to be proud of. Our school community is truly blessed to have the support of so many wonderful families and parishioners.

Here are Highlights of the 2016/2017 School Year:

  • STAR testing results  that Grades 1-8 overall scored at grade level and above in Reading, Language Arts, and Mathematics
  • The Class of 2017 ended their time at St. Columba with 17 out of the 18 students who successfully passed the rigorous HSPT Catholic High School entrance exam and were accepted into our local Catholic high schools.
  • Our graduate, CJ Carter scored in the top 1% for Mater Dei Catholic High School’s entrance exam and received a 75% tuition scholarship for the entire four years.
  • The following students were finalists in the Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair; Lauren Kennedy, Jack Hightower, Teresa Temprendola, Gabriel Vitug, and Jill Hirsch…
  • The Girls Varsity Volleyball team won 2nd Place for the OLP Parochial Volleyball Tournament.
  • The Girls Varsity Soccer Team is the 2017 CSLSD Silver Varsity Girls Champions.
  • The Boys Varsity Soccer won the 2017 Catholic Sports League Championship.
  • St. Columba added on to its extra curricular activities, Flag Football, Cheer, the Spanish Club, and the YMCA Presidential Fitness Test

In the 2013 Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Report of Findings, there were two critical goals identified by St. Columba; implementation of a standard based Language Arts program, developing and implementing a technology plan that effectively integrates technology into all curricular areas.   This year we are on target to meet both goals by the Spring 2019 WASC Review. We have been working towards improving student learning in Language Arts through a comprehensive review of the curriculum for all grades. Grades K-4 have completed their first year with the new CCSS Language Arts Series, “Wonders.” Currently, we are researching a new Language Arts program for Grades 6-8.  St. Columba has also invested in IXL which is a tutorial program for Math and Language Arts.  Each student enrolled for the 2017/2018 school year received a username and password.  We are so pleased to know how many students have used this program to strengthen their math and language skills over the summer months.

St. Columba is continuously seeking ways to improve our technology.  In May our internet service was upgraded to 100 Mbps.  This has allowed us to have more efficient and reliable internet service. We have integrated Coding into our technology curriculum. The teachers in Grades 3-8 have been using iPads to promote curriculum enrichment.  Currently, we are exploring the use of Chrome Books in the classrooms for Grades K-8 that will promote enrichment for our curriculum.

Each year St.Columba’s faculty reviews its Catholic Identity so that we may continually find ways to enhance faith formation for the entire school community through a collaborative relationship of the clergy, parents, administration, teachers, and students.  St. Columba will continue to dedicate itself to educating the whole child within the tradition of our Catholic Church to ensure that we are all truly walking in the footsteps of Our Lord. We welcome all parents, grandparents, and family members to join St. Columba for Parents in Prayer every Wednesday morning 8-8:30 am in the school library, and to join us for our weekly school masses on Fridays at 8:15 am.

St. Columba is dedicated to its continued practice of Sustainability.  This year alone we have saved over $5,000.00 in gas and electric usage by replacing all lights throughout the parish and school with LED.  The new water filter system was installed to provide fresh drinking water as well as encourage the use of refillable water bottles and less use of plastic. We will continue to seek ways to further promote the conservation of our natural resources.  This year we will incorporate composting into the school’s garden. The students will be well versed on what types of foods and materials can be composted.  The parish has also purchased two rain barrels to assist in the conservation of water with our landscape.

At the end of each school year, St. Columba’s teachers put together packets for our students that will allow their young minds to continue growing over the summer months.  This year all summer packets were to be downloaded on their upcoming teacher’s webpage that can be found on our school website.  We have also included a fun summer project, “Flat Jesus” that is due the first day of school. Instructions for this project are also provided each teacher’s web pages.

All schools within the Catholic Diocese of San Diego are mandated to have between 175-180 total days of instruction.  For the 2017/2018 school year, all elementary schools are required to participate in three days of Professional Development at the Diocese. The upcoming school year is also our year before WASC/WCEA evaluation and accreditation.   Therefore St.Columba will have a total of 177 days of instruction for the 2017/2018 school year.  The master calendar is posted on our school website.

Please join the school each Monday with an assembly beginning at 8:00 am. I thank you for your continued support towards your child’s education and look forward to working with you during the 2017/2018 school year.