“Here at Sacred Heart School, we believe God is always with us…we are never truly alone. It doesn’t matter what language we speak, whether we shout, sing or whisper, or even if we put our prayers or thoughts in code, He hears each message.”
- Jan Verdi, 6th Grade Teacher
Sacred Heart School has a long-standing tradition of operating as a community. As recent 2015 graduate, Megan Ogaard put it, “Family is perhaps the best possible description for what we have here at Sacred Heart.”
The tradition of family extends not just to the relationships that students develop at the school but also to the way they interact as a community. A lot of positivity can come from how the school is able to inject Christ-like attitudes into everything.
Sacred Heart has started some exciting things this year; All-school praise and worship, monthly senior breakfasts for student discussion and input, Olweus staff training and program implementation, the posting of anti-bullying rules which were written by SHS students, all-school announcements in grades K-12, and service recognition for seniors.
In the last few weeks, teachers have begun facilitating weekly class meetings as well as more all-school activities and class challenges which are meant to allow students to have fun and bond as a family.
“Our challenge is to all stand together because we do not stand alone,” said school counselor, Patrick Hart, when addressing students at a school assembly.
6th graders in Mrs. Verdi’s class have taken that theme into their studies. The students recently were completing an assignment on Morse Code. The students each created their “heart” in code, and then made a big banner for the door, which translates to “We are One Body.”
Their teacher, Mrs. Jan Verdi explained the purpose behind making the project more personable for her students. “Here at Sacred Heart, we believe God is always with us…we are never truly alone. It doesn’t matter what language we speak, whether we shout, sing or whisper, or even if we put our prayers or thoughts in code, He hears each message.”
As a community students are also extending that bond beyond their walls to their peers at the other Grand Forks Catholic Schools. Combined, each K-5 class from Sacred Heart School, Holy Family-St. Mary’s School, and St. Michael’s School plan to complete group service projects. The Kindergarten recently completed their project, making scarves for the homeless.
Internally, our own sixth graders hold an important position at Sacred Heart as members of the STAR Team. As members of STAR, which stands for “Students Teaching Attitudes of Respect” 6th graders attend a training on conflict resolution offered by Peacemaker Resources and the Northwest Minnesota Foundation. All sixth graders are members of a STAR team, and they take what they learned back to their peers in Kindergarten through 5th grade.
With so much continued focus on giving back and positive culture, the school is always excited at how they can continue to challenge students. The hope is that through continuing to provide and encourage a positive culture within the school students will feel a sense of belonging and a family atmosphere.
“Activities designed as a part of our plan focus on developing a sense of leadership, ownership, and pride in our school,” said School President, Carl Adolphson. “The focus is on following the values in the gospel about how we are to treat others with kindness, empathy, and compassion.”