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Sacred Heart Schools



the Heart

Nat Wilburn, Head of Schools

FOCUS ON FACULTY - the learning never stops!

Nat Wilburn

Head of Schools


and the Heart


I Focus on faculty Honoring renowned educator Live telecast stars all Sacred Heart schools.....................p. 3 Ask, and receive! Teachers implement new online math series.....................p. 4-5 Art has no borders Taiwan school welcomes our own Mrs. Roeck ................p. 6

n this first issue of From the Head and the Heart, we focus on the beating heart of the Schools, the faculty, staff and administrators whose commitment and dedication benefit each and every child in our trust. Janet Erskine Stuart, RSCJ, a renowned Sacred Heart educator whom we honor this year (see next page), once said, “It is not so much what we say or do that educates; what really educates is who we are.� Our faculty and staff, by living and modeling the Goals and Criteria of Sacred Heart education, are giving our children more than a superior academic foundation, they are giving them a foundation for life. For our teachers and staff, the learning never stops. This summer, all those pictured below attended some form of professional development, be it a seminar, week-long workshop, enrichment course or conference. They went coast to coast and beyond. A few are featured here, but all have in some way become better Sacred Heart educators.

Nat Wilburn, Head of Schools


Janet Erskine Stuart Centenary As we focus on teachers in this issue, it is timely to note the year-long celebration of the Centennial of Janet Erskine Stuart (1857-1914), the consummate RSCJ teacher. Born into wealth, highly educated despite being a woman, she is recognized today as a leading thinker in education for girls. She is being honored in Sacred Heart Schools around the world.


ust who was Janet Erskine Stuart? She was granddaughter of an Earl, a brilliant student, an original thinker, an accomplished horsewoman, world traveler and leader of the Society of the Sacred Heart. Four schools in the U. S. Sacred Heart Network are named for her. How did she embark on this unconventional life path? When Janet Stuart was 13, she came upon her older brother reading Aristotle. It sparked a conversation in which he declared to If we give her that all creatures had a ‘last end’ or joy to ultimate purpose in their lives…and others, we asked her what hers was. Janet did not know, but set herself to find out. are doing This determined teen then God’s work began the road that ended with her ...Stuart leading the worldwide Society of the Sacred Heart, and being recognized as one of the foremost thinkers in education for her day. Her book, The Education of Catholic Girls, published in 1912, has come to be regarded as a classic. It was not always a smooth road. Janet was the youngest of 13 children, whose father was an Anglican minister and son of an Earl. He gave her a very capable governess, from whom she learned fluent German and French, and studied philosophy, math and literature. Unfortunately, when she converted to Catholicism at age 21, a courageous move in Anglican England, her father had to ask her to leave home. She entered the Society three years later and had a meteoric rise in its ranks.

It was while she was living as Superior General of the order in the Mother House in Brussels that WWI broke out. She was able to escape and return to Roehampton, England, but died there shortly thereafter on Oct. 21, 1914. The last three years of her life had been spent visiting the convents and schools of the Society all over the globe. She is buried in the Sacred Heart chapel at Roehampton, in one of the few parts of the original building that survived the bombing in WWII. Her philosophy of education can be gleaned from her many quotes, used throughout the world-wide Network to exemplify the mission of SH education. A few: So we must remember that it is better to begin a great work than to finish a small one. It is not so much what we say or do that educates; what really educates is who we are. We must bring up children for the future, not for the present, not that we may enjoy the fruit of our work, but for others. Each one of our children is destined for a mission in life. ...which will remain undone unless she does it, some place in life which no one else can fill. More bits of wisdom from Janet Stuart can be found at

School gathers for all-Network live telecast The power of the moment was palpable – nearly 10,000 students, gathered before giant screens, singing a song penned by Janet Erskine Stuart more than 100 years ago. “Spirit Seeking Light and Beauty” speaks to today’s Sacred Heart community as effectively as that of the last century. Its lyrics “Loving wisdom, guiding spirit” could very well refer to Mother Stuart herself. In the Sheridan Road gym on October 21, all 700 SHS students plus faculty and staff gathered to participate in this live North American Network of Sacred Heart Schools telecast to celebrate the centenary year for Mother Janet Erskine Stuart, RSCJ. Hosted by the San Francisco schools, (two of their boys’

schools are named for Stuart), students learned the history of Mother Stuart from Sr. Jan Dunn, Executive Director of the Network. Each school was pictured and called out by name during the telecast. Sr. Barbara Dawson, the current U.S. Provincial, also spoke from St. Louis, and local San Francisco interfaith leaders took part in a blessing of flags. All is a testament to the power of a modest British nun, a writer and a poet, who led the RSCJ during the pre-WWI years, and authored two books that remain classic educational guides today.


Everyday Math g

Teachers implement new online offerings of popular mat Everyday Mathematics, taught in K-Grade 5, has new online elements which have proved quite a hit.

Dr. Wendy Mogel

‘How to Avoid Hyper-Parenting & the Temptation to Overindulge, Overschedule and Overprotect Our Children’

Tuesday, April 2, 7 pm With her warmth, wit and signature combination of Jewish teachings and psychological research, Mogel will discuss how to be an effective parent in a culture that too often breeds anxiety and entitlement. Wendy Mogel is the author of the New York Times best-selling parenting book, The Blessing of a Skinned Knee. She is regularly featured as a guest expert by such media as The Today Show, Forbes, Newsweek, CNN, NPR and Parents Magazine.


Five Lower School teachers gave up two days of their summer vacation to attend the Everyday Mathematics workshop in downtown Chicago. “It was so worth it!” said Mrs. Julie Taylor, A3 teacher. Everyday Mathematics is a comprehensive Pre-K through 6th grade mathematics curriculum developed by the University of Chicago, currently used by 4.3 million students in 220,000 classrooms. It is being expanded this year at SHS, and is proving quite a hit with both students and teachers. “My girls get excited when we use Everyday Math Online, which is a new tool to the school this year,” said Lora-Jan Hatfield, A4 teacher. “It’s a great resource, as they can access assignments, extra work to help them improve, or – the girls’ favorite – games for each lesson.” As part of the new online aspect of Everyday Math, the schools have access to the EM eSuite software. It is a full online curriculum that provides teachers a variety of resources. For instance, it offers a set of lessons to use on the interactive whiteboards. “I love it, and the girls get excited about using it in class, too,” said Mrs. Hatfield. Mrs. Ligon, Head of the Lower School, recounts how the Schools decided to obtain the software. “I was pleased that the teachers were so eager to attend the summer conference, so when they called me with an enthusiastic request to implement the online software, we moved on it quickly.” There has been much collaboration among the teachers as they develop and utilize all the many components available with Everyday Math. “The quality of instruction is an essential part of a success-

ful math program and the professional development that the teachers received this summer is definitely having a positive impact on our young mathematicians!” noted Mrs. Ligon. One of the new offerings from the EM eSuite is ePresentations. Mrs. Taylor is using techniques taught at the summer conference to employ this software during her daily math lessons. “I taught my students how to login with their ‘top secret’ passwords and logins, which they enjoy.” It is all part of But what Mrs. Taylor appreciates the provide our stu most is the overriding experiences in concept of the EM program: a cooperative classroom environment that still allows teachers to meet the needs of each individual student. “I can differentiate daily assignments so that all my students are challenged. I like that Everyday Math gives them the opportunity to struggle and make sense by learning from their mistakes. It encourages them to work together to discuss mathematical tasks.” She says you will often hear her say, “turn to a neighbor and compare your answer,” or “in your group solve this problem.” She finds that her 3rd grade students love to work together. “Students get the chance to explain their strategies to a partner, group, or even the whole class. They love to share how they solve mathematical problems.” Mrs. Hatfield agrees that the program really resonates with her students. “I’ve already noticed such a difference from my old school in that students aren’t as worried about the subject, as they know that they are learning bit by bit, and nothing is too defeating for them. These students are able to recall lessons from previous years and apply them to what they’re learning

gets an A+

th series

now, and that is all because of the way the units are ‘spiraled.’” Having taught last year in a charter school in Michigan, Mrs. Hatfield sees a big difference in how her girls learn. “The ‘helix designed’ model of the units allows us to constantly review topics and build on them unit to unit, year to year.” This comfort that the students have with Everyday Math may in part be because of the variety of ways the material is

f the package that helps us udents with a rich variety of n math.’...Mrs. Taylor imparted. For instance, online games are utilized to help them discover that there is always more than one way to solve a problem. “These games can be played individually and several of them are designed to be partner games,“ explains Mrs. Taylor. “It is all part of the package that helps us provide our students with a rich variety of experiences in math.” Hardey 4 teacher Chelsea Elward finds that it is a natural fit for boys. “They really enjoy the activities and games, such as multiplication baseball, fact dash, EM

facts workshop and factor bingo!” But, essentially, the strength of the program is in the way it tailors lessons to each student’s unique skills. “This helps students of diverse math ability get the same quality education,” asserts Ms. Elward. For example, using the Assessment Differentiation System online, it is now easier for teachers to differentiate accurately. “After I teach a math lesson, my boys log into their personalized accounts and do specific problems adapted for them,” explained Elward. “I can then see their individual progress and form assessments and lessons for each student.” Another plus of the online program is its convenience – no more lugging around the Math Reference book. If a student has forgotten the math homework for the night, they simply log into eSuite and print the study link homework page. Everything is online for the extra support needed. If, for example, a student needs a refresher on how to do long division, there is a soothing voice on eSuite (Algorithm Animations) that will go over it step by step. The new online software is proving a wonderful tool, but as Mrs. Ligon points out, “It is the energy and excitement of

Beijing to Chicago - shortest route - how many miles? Mrs. Hatfield and her class solve using Everyday Math.

Ms. Elward chooses an individualized math activity for each boy.

Mrs. Taylor assigns online math games based on quiz results. the teachers in using these new tools that has had such a positive effect on the students’ learning.”


Grant funds Catechist program These proud graduates display their diplomas from the Archdiocesan Catechist program. An anonymous donor funded the opportunity to earn certification in the program in honor of Susan Maxwell, RSCJ, Director of Schools 1997-2009. Faculty members attend five 10-hour courses to complete the program called: Fostering Faith: Archdiocesan Process for Catechist Formation and Certification. Graduating last May are (from left) Jody Stawicki, Arlene Carlucci and Jamie Powers. Three other faculty/staff are also

By the Numbers

currently enrolled in the program. The Archdiocesan process for Catechist Formation leading to Certification provides structure, content, methods and resources for the formation of catechists.

75... Teaching faculty 11... Teaching assistants 20... Male faculty 70%.. Faculty with

advanced degrees 3..... Faculty with doctorates


Art teacher shares techniques with students in Taiwan Summer trip reinforces Network ties As each of the 1400 students left her class they shook her hand and said in English, “It was nice meeting you Ms. Roeck, thank you and good bye.” There was a lot of laughing as each student tried out her English.


iddle School art teacher, Katie Roeck, spent the month of August teaching art at Sacred Heart Schools in Taipei, Taiwan. Part of an international exchange of teachers and students in the Sacred Heart network, Mrs. Roeck taught a total of 1400 girls while there. Classes at the school in Taiwan average 50 students. She taught 28, two-hour classes, seeing 48-50 students in each. “I found the students to be very much like our students here, but perhaps a little bit more shy,” she observed. The art program in Taiwan is limited to watercolors, markers and pencils. Its approach is geared more towards crafts-making ‘we are truly a because of the time, material and part of a larger storage issues facing an art teacher community with that many students. that has had What did she take away an impact from this experience? “The greatest impact this trip has had on me is on many, in the realization of the profound many young influence that the vision St. Madwomen’ eleine Sophie Barat has had on people around the world,” she said. She recalled a conversation she had with Sister Rose, the school’s foundress, in which she describes her experience of starting the school. “I was struck by how one woman, Madeleine Sophie, has touched and changed the lives of so many people – hundreds of thousands of people.”

While Mrs. Roeck was there, the school’s exchange program hosted 13 high school students from Sacred Heart Schools in Japan, Australia, United States, Mexico and Korea, who attended classes there for two weeks. Sacred Heart Schools Taiwan encompasses Primary School through High School. “My time in Taiwan has affected my teaching at Sheridan Road in many ways. It has made me realize that we are truly a part of a larger community that has had an impact on many, many young women, over many generations,” she said. “I am much more aware of my responsibility to the mission and goals of Sacred Heart Schools.” On a more practical level, while Mrs. Roeck was in Taiwan she visited the Taipei National University of the Arts. There, she was inspired by two water buffalo! They just wander around and are considered to be moveable landscape. “I saw a “window sculpture” on the campus, made up of branches and ceramic birds. The birds were so delightful, that I decided to change my curriculum to include birds.” So, in addition to making pinch pots, every student in the Middle School this year is making a bird out of two small pinch pots that will be displayed through-out the school.


the Heart

Nat Wilburn, Head of Schools

This publication is emailed and posted online, saving trees and following Goal 3, Criterion 5: The school teaches respect for creation and prepares students to be stewards of the earth’s resources. Editor:

Diane Fallon

6250 N. Sheridan Rd, Chicago, IL


From the Head & Heart Oct 2013