Words from Walcott Street is the new blog from Principal Dan Richard. The blog will cover some of the goings-on at Walcott Street that you might have missed. We hope it gives you a more intimate look at our wonderful community at Saint Raphael Academy.

 

May 23, 2016

The school year is quickly coming to an end, and the Class of 2016 is ready to join the 8,000-plus fellow graduates from Saint Raphael Academy.  This truly is a wonderful time of the year, and all of us at Saint Raphael Academy are ready to celebrate the accomplishments of our awesome seniors.  With all the excitement, it is easy to forget that the Class of 2016 still has work to accomplish.  Whether in the classroom or at their day-to-day activities, our upcoming graduates still need to “stay on point” and fulfill their obligations.

One of their most important requirements is ensuring they enjoy the upcoming weeks in a safe and mature manner.  This is not the time to take unnecessary risks or become involved in activities that could put them or other Saints at risk.  I am hopeful that their peers and friends watch out for one another and keep everyone safe.  I also know their families and parents will take the time to once again review the need for making sound decisions; thank you all for doing that with your child!

I look forward to seeing all of the families of the Class of 2016 at the Cathedral on Saturday, June 11, for the graduation ceremony beginning at 1:00 pm.  The seniors have had an incredible year, and they deserve this wonderful day together—let’s make certain all of the Class of 2016 is there as one!

In Peace,

Mr. Richard

 

April 27, 2016

We are now in the final stretch, even though the weather this morning seemed more like early March! The students need to continue their academic drive for excellence, and I’m certain the Saints families will support their child’s desire to excel! Next week as we enter into the month of May, our school calendar will quickly fill up with a myriad of wonderful events.  We also have three very important meetings scheduled for Saint parents next Tuesday and Wednesday (please see below):

Class of 2017  – Tuesday, May 3, at 5:45 -6:45 pm

Class of 2018 – Wednesday, May 4, at 5:45 – 6:45 pm

Class of 2019 – Wednesday, May 4, at 7:00- 8:00 pm

All of the meetings will be in the Coutu Theater, and I am hoping for maximum parent participation.  The subject will be the new technology plan for next school year. Beginning in August, all Saints students will be given an HP laptop for the academic year (they will be returned each summer by your child).  This is a very exciting time for everyone at the Academy, and I’d like to take this opportunity to share my vision with all of the parents.  I look forward to meeting with all of you next week.

In Peace,

Mr. Richard

 

April 15, 2016

Our last major school vacation week is upon us, and I hope everyone takes some time during the next week to enjoy their families and friends.  When we return to SRA in 10 days, we have one week left in April and then we roll into the month of May.  All of us in the Saints community have a lot of unfinished business to accomplish prior to the middle of June.

One area we need to focus on is our SRA “fun”draiser for this year.  We changed things up a little this year, and we opted to go with a raffle calendar for the month of May.  All students received 10 calendars this morning.  The instructions were also reviewed with the students during their homeroom period.  In an effort to keep all SRA parents informed, the salient points are also listed below.

Your support with this raffle would be greatly appreciated!

Instruction Sheet for Calendar Raffle

1. Sell each calendar for $10.00. Have each customer or yourself complete the bottom entry portion of the calendar. Please make sure to write legibly because we mail prizes to the winners from these forms! 

2. Give the customer the calendar and keep the bottom entry portion of the calendar. The customer gets the calendar only, nothing else!

3. Place the calendar entry portion and the $10 in an envelope and return at Saint Raphael Academy in homeroom.

4.  Final deadline for turning in calendar entry forms is Friday, April 29, 2016.

5. Prizes will be mailed to the winners after each week of drawings.  

6. This raffle is designed to help students meet the $100 mandatory fundraising fee. If a student sells 10 calendars, then the obligation is met. If a student does not sell 10 calendars, then any remaining balance is due to the Business Office by May 13, 2016. 

If you have any questions or you want more calendars, please contact Mr. Majewski at dmajewski@saintrays.org or stop by the Administration Building. 

I hope everyone has a safe and peaceful Spring Break! 

 In Peace,

Mr. Richard

 

April 8, 2016

This post is primarily for our Saints parents (but also the SRA students!):

Is it possible we are beginning the 4th quarter?  It seems like the year has flown by at an incredible pace.  Hopefully warmer temperatures are forthcoming, and spring will arrive soon on Walcott Street.  The next few months will be very busy with many student-centered activities.  The last quarter always offers the challenge to keep our students focused on academic excellence while they participate in co-curricular programs, sports and end-of-the-year events.  Our Guidance Department is busy with our seniors receiving their college acceptances while preparing the schedules for next year’s freshmen class.  We are very excited about the Class of 2020; it looks to be a class worthy of replacing the Class of 2016!

The months of February and March were very busy times at the Academy.  Whether we were cheering on our favorite team or watching our one-act play, there was always something happening on our campus.  Lastly, I would be remiss if I omitted the wonderful performances of all of our winter athletes.  All of our teams did an outstanding job, but I’d like to recognize the Girls Basketball team—making it once again to the RI State Championship game is no easy feat!  Well done to all of our Saints athletes!

Earlier this spring, the Saints Drama Club presented in the RI Drama Festival, and they were nothing short of amazing.  Our SRA thespians and crew performed the short play The Rules of Comedy at the Coutu Theater prior to the festival, and they did an awesome job!  Our art and music programs continue to do outstanding work with our students, and they are constantly recognized for their excellence throughout the state.

Throughout the year, the Pastoral Services has continuously engaged our students in prayer activities and acts of community service, and this quarter was no different.  During the Saints Olympics this year, the energy level and Saints spirit surpassed anything I can remember from the previous years.  Students raised much-needed financial support for our Lasallian sister school, Saint Mary’s School for Boys in Kenya.  Additionally, we provided personal care supplies for the local soup kitchen visitors, and we had record donations of footwear and clothing for the needy! Kudos to all the classes!

Let’s make the last quarter the best quarter, and send the Class of 2016 out in style!

Important Reminders:

  • The Tuition Contracts for the 2016-2017 academic year are being mailed out this week. Please return them as soon as possible with your deposit.
  • The senior graduation fee is now past due. Please submit payment if you have not already.
  • Uniforms can be ordered from Donnelly’s Uniforms at donnellyclothing.com.
  • Please check the school’s website for the calendar of school activities.

In Peace,

Mr. Richard

 

April 1, 2016

As I look back at the Saints Olympics Week, I was so impressed by our students.  The spirit and commitment that the students exhibited throughout the week in their efforts to help and aid people less fortunate than themselves was truly impressive!  On Friday afternoon, when the competition finally came to an end, we were able to fill up the entire Multi-Purpose Room with items brought in by your children.  The year’s effort was, by far, the greatest I’ve witnessed by a large margin!

During the Easter weekend, I thought, “What makes Saint Raphael Academy so special?”  I think there are many reasons, but perhaps the most evident is the way the students bond together to support and nurture each other.  It was certainly evident during the Saints Olympics Week, but it is also on display every single day on Walcott Street.  I see students daily reaching out to assist one another in the classroom with a difficult project or task.  I watch the athletes working synergistically on all of our sports teams; perhaps that is why we are so successful every season.  When I am part of the student retreats, I am always amazed at the way the students validate and confirm their peers when they share their personal stories.  I am not certain that this is a common practice at every high school in Rhode Island.  If you’ve ever watched one of our SRA drama productions, you know that all of our thespians and crew members “have each other’s back.”  Lastly, I see it most evident on the first icy day in December when the students walk arm in arm toward me at the intersection of Maynard and Walcott, knowing they are less likely to fall on the fresh ice if they simply work as a team!

All of these lessons learned are what makes us Saints Rays; great experiences to learn as students, wonderful attributes to possess as an adult!

The 4th Quarter begins on Monday!

In Peace,

Mr. Richard

 

March 10, 2016

In 2016, it is the year of the Olympic Games.  Not the Summer Games in Rio … I’m talking about the Saints Olympics in Pawtucket!  The Saints Olympics kick off on Monday, March 14, and they will last the entire week.  The intent and spirit of our Olympics is two-fold: to determine which class at Saint Raphael Academy has the most spirit and, more importantly, to support and aid various charity agencies.

We start the week with the students arriving in purple and gold attire on Monday; points are awarded to the class that displays the most spirit.  On Tuesday, we have a dress down day that directly supports our “twinning” school in Kenya.  Again, points are awarded based on the number of students who dress down.  “Theme Day” is on Wednesday; I recommend the students can find their class theme here.  On St. Patrick’s Day (Thursday), we all become Irish for the day and the students are encouraged to arrive at SRA in all green outfits!  We end the week on Friday with the students wearing their class colors (hopefully they all know their color, but if they don’t, check here).

Throughout the week, the students can also accumulate points for their class by bringing in items that will be collected and brought to different charities.  Our three main charities this year are: “Empowerment through Play Challenge,” “Project Backpack Campaign” and “Penny Drive.”  To support Empowerment through Play Challenge, we are asking our students to please bring in new or old cleats, shoes or sneakers.  Each pair brought in by a student will garner 10 points for their class.  To support the Project Backpack Campaign, bring in a host of different items, and maybe a backpack, if possible; again, points are awarded to each student based on the item brought in to SRA.  Lastly, we will be collecting pennies during our Penny Wars for our sister school in Kenya.  You can also bring in “non-pennies” and that amount can be used against another class!

The big finale is Friday afternoon when we have the Saints Olympic Games pep rally from 12:45-2:09 pm in Alumni Hall.  This final competition among the classes is entertaining and usually the event that determines the winner.  This is a great way to show school spirit and combine it with the spirit of helping and assisting others in our community.  On Friday night, the students will end the week with a “Glow Dance” in Alumni Hall.

I look forward to a great Olympics Week!

In Peace,

Mr. Richard

 

March 4, 2016

I have been so impressed with the new students entering into the Class of 2020 at Saint Raphael Academy. They are engaging, articulate and diligent young adults. I also have had the opportunity to meet many of their parents, and their children reflect the wonderful attributes displayed by their parents. This time of year is always exciting to me as we begin to welcome in the new students at our Academy. I wish all the students the very best as they finish their 8th grade year, and I look forward to seeing all of you on the first day of school in August. I am certain you will all be wonderful Saints!

In Peace,

Mr. Richard

February 26, 2016

I know like most of us, I get very excited when we get toward the end of February—most likely because I know what comes next: March Madness!  This year, March Madness is coming to Saint Raphael Academy, and it is arriving in many different forms. Let’s start in the arena of basketball. Both of our teams are dynamite, and they are making noise in the state of Rhode Island!  The boys team is one of the top teams in Division I and they will be playing in the R.I. State Championship tournament that kicks off next Thursday, March 3. The Saints girls basketball team will be playing for the Division II Championship tomorrow (Saturday) and they will certainly be one of top seeds in the all-comers State Championship tournament in March. The Saints alumni will reenact their own basketball March Madness as they take to the court on Saturday, March 12, at Alumni Hall as they participate in the 4th Annual Basketball Hoopfest. It is a great evening of basketball and fellowship; all are invited to Alumni Hall to see some of our all-time greats relive their prior glories!

March Madness is not limited only to athletics. Our Saints Drama program will be competing in the Rhode Island Drama Festival on March 11-12. Our thespians are once again poised to make another run for the RI Drama championship.  Good luck to all members of our Drama Club!

Last, but not least, the Saints Olympics will take place at the Academy from March 14-18.  This is one of my favorite events, as all the classes in the school compete for the coveted first-place award! Friendly contests measuring who has the most class spirit and fundraising “wars” for our DENA twinning school in Kenya and other charities will determine the ultimate winner! Details will be posted on our website soon.

It should be a great month of March as we excel in all areas of student life.

In Peace,

Mr. Richard

 

February 12, 2016

Well, winter finally arrived over the last week!  We had our first snow days and the Big Freeze is on for this weekend.  Today also kicks off the winter break at Saint Raphael Academy.  It is hard to believe that 3rd quarter progress reports are due at the end of the month, and the Red Sox pitchers and catchers report to spring training this upcoming week.  It makes me think spring is not that far off!

This is also a time for our students to catch their breath and get ready for the remainder of the year.  Soon it will be March, and we will all be ready for the Saints Olympics, followed shortly thereafter with Holy Week and Easter Sunday.  It always amazes me how quickly the school year goes by; if the Saints parents could please help us to continue to motivate their sons and daughters, I think the results would be beneficial to all parties!

My other wish is that all of our students have an enjoyable and safe winter break.  All of you are treasured members of the Saints family.  I look forward to seeing all of you on Monday, February 22 … stay warm!

In Peace,

Mr. Richard

 

January 29, 2016

Wow, what a week! The second semester has begun and the decision letters for the incoming Class of 2020 have been mailed.  What a way to finish the month of January!

In the past post, I have highlighted our wonderful students and the terrific work being done daily by our SRA faculty and staff; today I want to mention our unsung heroes: the SRA parents!  We have a wonderful group of parents at Saint Raphael Academy. They are extremely dedicated to their children and show it every day. They work tirelessly to ensure their child gets a great education that develops and nurtures the whole person! Our parents are also committed to the academic and behavioral performance of their sons and daughters. It is refreshing to know they partner with our administration team daily to accomplish the desired outcome needed for each and every student.

We also have an amazing Parent Association!  The parent group has been active since the day I arrived on Walcott Street, and they have been a blessing to our Academy.  In less than four years, they have accomplished the following: purchased tables and chairs to accommodate over 300 people, helped pay for an entire security system at SRA, painted the new Saints bus, and bought new computers for the entire faculty. This summer, SRA Parent Association funds will help revamp the West Building. They also do a myriad of other functions, including organizing and running the student uniform swaps, planning luncheons and breakfast for our Saints community, and of course, our huge fundraiser the Saints Stroll (just to name a few).  

In closing, I would just like to say thank you to all of the Saints parents and guardians who do such a great job daily; your efforts do not go unnoticed by the faculty or staff at SRA. 

Some of your children may not say thank you enough, but in their hearts they know what you do and sacrifice and they love you for it.  That is the very best tribute to this week’s unsung heroes!

In Peace,

Mr. Richard

 

January 15, 2016

As I write at 5 o’clock on a Friday afternoon, the teachers have finished their review of the material from the first semester, and the onus is now squarely on our Saint Raphael Academy students. Unbelievably, the first semester is quickly coming to a close, and all that is left are the students’ mid-term exams!  It is my hope and wish that our students use their time wisely during this three-day weekend and they arrive on Tuesday morning properly prepared for their upcoming exams.  I know all of the SRA students have the ability and drive to excel, and I wish them all the best next week!

As the students complete their exams in the upcoming week, I and others at SRA will tackle a different type of evaluation.  Our Admissions Committee will meet on Tuesday as we prepare to accept the members of the Class of 2020 at Saint Raphael Academy.  This is always an exciting week for the committee; we are always thrilled to see the talents and skills of our potential incoming 9th graders.  I can’t wait to see who will be our new Saints, and I look forward to WELCOMING them all into the Saints family!

Go Pats!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Martin Luther King weekend.

In Peace,

Mr. Richard

 

January 8, 2016

Welcome to 2016!  Time certainly moves quickly, and it is hard to believe that we are just a week away from our midterm exams at Saint Raphael Academy.  During midterm week, we also convene our Admissions Board to review the applications for the Class of 2020.  This year, we have near-record numbers of prospective students and the applicant pool certainly looks deep with talent!

As we close out 2015, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention all of the supporters and friends we have here at Saint Rays.  We have been blessed during the last year with wonderful students, parents, teachers and staff, and alumni who have donated so much of their time, talents and treasure to our Academy.  On behalf of the entire school, thank you for all of your assistance and support.  I am not certain what the New Year will bring, but I know it will be full of adventure and surprising opportunities.  There is no other place I’d rather be than at 123 Walcott Street in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.  I hope everyone who is part of the “Saints family” has a safe and blessed 2016!

In Peace,

Mr. Richard

 

Dec. 18, 2015

With the unseasonably warm weather, it is hard to believe we are now only a week away from Christmas morning.  I’m not certain you’re awaiting the cold weather; but I’m ready for a chill in the air and maybe even a few snowflakes. (Only a few, no reenactment of last year!)

During the last week, the students have been working feverishly as Santa’s helpers ensuring no local family goes without presents on Christmas morning. Throughout the Saints community, our faculty and staff have been visited by “Secret Santas” leaving gifts in their mailboxes! In the spirit of the season, all of these traditions are wonderful to enjoy in preparation of Christmas.

However, let’s not forget the real meaning of this very special day.  Christmas Day is about the birth of Jesus Christ, the savior of the world.  This truly is a day for rejoicing, because that is the best gift of all……for all of us!

Merry Christmas!

In Peace,

Mr. Richard

 

Dec. 11, 2015

Welcome to my first SAINTS blog entry!  To begin with, what a great weekend on Walcott Street!  I attended the Fall musical on Thursday evening and it was an incredible performance of “Little Women.”  The thespians on the stage were awesome, the drama crew did an amazing job with the props and, of course, the director and assistants were second-to-none!  Needless to say, my wife and I enjoyed the show tremendously (as did our guests, Mr. Jack Partridge ’57 and his lovely wife Regina).

A little over a day later at the Academy, I had the opportunity to welcome a large contingent of test takers, some of who will become part of our incoming Class of 2020.  It was a great group of 8th grade students and one of the largest crowds we’ve had in the last decade.

I ended the week by watching the Saints football team in the Super Bowl.  The outcome wasn’t what we had hoped for, but the young men carried themselves with class and dignity throughout the entire game.  Well done, gentlemen!

Like I said, just another exciting weekend at SRA; I look forward to catching up with you next week.

In Peace!

Mr. Richard

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