A Message from President Rosann M. Whiting
Dear Ursuline Community,
It is hard to believe that another school year at Ursuline Academy is drawing to a close. What an exciting year it has been! Our students have achieved in the classroom, earning National Latin Exam Awards, AP Scholar Awards and acceptances to 146 colleges and universities around the country and the world. Our athletics teams have succeeded on the field and off, winning state championships and earning sportsmanship and scholar-athlete awards. Our arts program continues to grow, with the Drama Club adding a third production to their repertoire for the first time.
This year also brought improvements to Ursuline Academy that will enhance the experience of each student who walks the halls here. These changes were made with the words of St. Angela Merici, founder of the Ursuline Sisters, guiding our decisions:
“And if, according to times and circumstances, the need arises to make new rules or do something differently, do it prudently and with good advice.” (Last Legacy)
Parent feedback is vital as we evaluate which aspects of your daughters’ Ursuline experience are going well and where we need to seek improvement, and the new “Coffee with the President and Principal” events that we hosted this year helped us to do that. Many of your suggestions have been implemented throughout this school year. We also asked for parents' input through a clubs survey and technology survey, and thank each of you for your participation.
We have increased opportunities for off-site service trips, including the March for Life and a service trip with our sister school, Ursuline Academy in New Orleans, and added a form on the website for parents and students to submit suggestions for service trips. We have also improved our use of technology in the classroom: from updating the calculators and software used by our AP Calculus students with some of the proceeds from the Brescia Ball, to using online education tools such as Glogster and Animation-ish, to outfitting all faculty with iPads. Looking farther into the future, faculty committees are conducting careful, thorough research on “bring your own device” (BYOD) and tablet programs at similar schools and we tested a BYOD program for the seniors this spring.
Recent tragic events in our world have made it imperative that we look at Ursuline’s safety plans and measures, and we are taking that responsibility very seriously. We increased lockdown and evacuation drills this year, in addition to assessing the security of our campus as whole. We also purchased walkie-talkies for ease of communication between the school building, administrative offices at 112 Lowder Street, the Bear Cave and our constantly-mobile maintenance staff. More structural changes will take place in the lobby of the school over the summer to increase the security of our building. The lobby will also receive a decorative makeover, thanks to the generous participation in the Class of 2013 Senior Parent Gift.
We are also pleased to announce an expansion of classroom space for the fall of 2013, as we continue to build a campus environment here at Ursuline. Our dedicated maintenance staff is in the process of renovating the Carriage House behind the Convent into classroom space.
As we embark on these and other changes to the physical campus, we continue to remain true to the mission and values of the Ursuline Sisters who founded this school. Though the physical space has morphed and changed over the years since our Lowder Street campus opened in 1957, the heart of the Ursuline experience remains the same: an excellent education rooted in our tradition of Serviam.
May God Bless You Always,
Rosann M. Whiting