The Blue Knight Auction is right around the corner! This year the 21st Annual Blue Knight Auction will take place on Saturday, April 26. We hope you are able to join us for this very special event! I first attended the BKA in 2004 and was overwhelmed by the generosity, passion and involvement from across our community and beyond. It truly is a remarkable event. Over the past twenty years, the BKA has raised over $3,300,000 for the Lafayette Catholic Schools. The funds we raise each year go to support tuition assistance so those families who desire to give their children a Catholic education have every opportunity to do so. This year we hope to raise $300,000 for our school system. We have hundreds of exciting items to bid on. You can read about every item in our entire Auction Catalog here. Each year we select a Blue Knight Auction SPECIAL PROJECT to help advance strategic initiatives to ensure we are keeping pace with changes in technology, instruction and assessment.
Since George W. Bush first announced the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education initiative over seven years ago, schools throughout the country have been racing to be first to tout their new programs and endeavors. Following any reform it is important to take a critical look at ways that it can be improved. The fact is today’s college graduates are expected to change jobs 6 to 10 times throughout their careers, and many will completely change careers more than once. They will be expected to be creative problem solvers, innovative thinkers, and moral contributors to society. Catholic schools around the country are supplementing the STEM initiatives with their own brand called STREAM: Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Arts and Math. We feel this approach aligns perfectly with our strategic plan. This initiative will fund the following:
This process complements much of what we are doing with our 1:1 computing efforts and other technology upgrades. However, whenever launching a new enterprise it is important to ensure faculty and staff are trained to utilize, support and effectively create using the new technologies and are able to engage students in completely new ways.
STREAM Coordinator – Elementary Schools/Central Catholic
In the past the LCSS started a number of great programs run by volunteers, for example: Lego robotics programs, after school foreign language, music programs, and many others. It is part of our Catholic school identity to use parent and community volunteers; but to ensure continuity and consistency, it is important to provide a coordinator to identify programming, coordinate volunteers, and ensure we maintain high quality service.
Elementary 21st Century Learning Initiative
This process will bring an iPad mini cart to every elementary school. This cart will help our students collaborate, connect, create, and learn in ways that aren’t possible without technology in the classroom. This will open up an entirely new world of learning for our students. Imagine when you first learned of the Sistine Chapel and its astonishing artwork, and being able look around as if you were actually in the building! What if you could hold the Mars Rover in your hand? This type of learning is only possible if we can infuse technology into the classroom.
This year we were able to start several new measures including: QuadC – the Central Catholic Coding Club, a robotics initiative, an elementary Lego robotics program, and an elementary school foreign language program. While many of these programs are supported by small fees from parents, they often have start-up fees for equipment or materials that are difficult to cover. We would like to offer teachers/volunteers the ability to apply for some start-up funds to help get a new initiative started. New programs will be judged on many factors, including our ability to support and maintain the program.