Mark your calendars…Catholic Schools Week is coming soon!
January 31 – February 6 2016
Did you know that the cost to educate each student at Mother Seton School is $6442 per child? Yet, our tuition is set at $4950. That means before tuition assistance is even granted, each student receives a $1492 subsidy.
We could raise tuition to cover the actual costs, but Mother Seton School is committed to honoring the legacy of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, not just in words but in action. She believed all children should have access to Catholic education if their families so desired, regardless of financial means. We strive to make that possible for families today, which is why we have the lowest tuition in Frederick County.
It is only through the generosity of our donors we are able to continue to offer an affordable and incredible school experience, one in which our students excel academically, are encouraged to develop a deeper spiritual understanding and connection with their faith, and are appreciated for all their gifts and talents. This is why the Annual Giving Appeal is so important. It helps to bridge the difference between the true cost of education here at Mother Seton School and our tuition rate. Your gift to the Annual Giving Appeal allows us to remain accessible to more children without compromising our innovative curriculum or diminishing our outstanding fine arts program. It provides us the opportunity to reach more families and allows our students to thrive in a school environment that respects and treasures the whole child.
During this season of giving, we ask you to think about what it means to have your child educated at Mother Seton School and to prayerfully consider making a gift to the Annual Giving Appeal. We understand and appreciate the financial sacrifice many of you already make in sending your child here, but even a small gift–$5, $10, $25–would go a long way toward making sure the spirit of Mother Seton will continue to live on for future generations.
We’re welcoming back another face that might be familiar to many! Our new middle-school language arts and 7th-grade religion teacher, a Maryland native, has a BA in Education from the College of Notre Dame of MD and an MS in Educational Counseling from McDaniel College. She loves teaching because it gives her the opportunity to be creative and inspire students, and to witness her students’ growth. Married to Brian for the past ten years, she has a son (Ben) and daughter (Cassie) at home, along with cats, Bean and Autumn, and dog, Olive. She’s a bit of a renaissance woman, enjoying creative pursuits like reading, writing, and painting, as well as playing tennis.
We all know that Faith does not just happen. Somehow, usually in our childhood, our parents or perhaps our grandparents spoke to us often about God. They were wonderful role models for us and made sure we got to church as a family. If we were lucky, we went to a Catholic or Christian school where the teachings of Jesus Christ were incorporated into our daily lessons. We learned eventually that Faith was believing without seeing! We trusted, as we do today, that God knows all things and is with us every step of the way.
At Mother Seton School, we offer a Faith-filled environment for our students through our Catholic teachings and modeling what it means to be a Christian. From the early beginnings, Mother Seton taught children about the faith. Her example of her devotion to God will never go unnoticed! The fact that Mother Seton is the first American-born Saint and started the first Catholic free school for girls, St. Joseph’s Academy and Free School, here in Emmitsburg makes us ever more aware that our primary purpose is to carry on the teaching of the Faith to our children as she did. All of us who work at Mother Seton School partner with you, the parents and grandparents, in instilling a foundation of faith that will last a lifetime for our children.
In Vatican City, November 14, 2014, Pope Francis talked about our Faith as not mere words that we say but the example we give. Journalist Ann Schneible writes:
“Addressing the children who filled the chapel at the Santa Marta residence, Pope Francis said that – in an age dominated by images and cellphones – the faithful must rely on example, rather than words, to transmit the faith to young ones. As he looked out onto the young congregation comprised predominantly of children from a Roman parish, Pope Francis said it was as though he was looking at ‘a promise,’ and at ‘the world that will be.’ With this in mind, he asked: ‘what do we leave’ these children, who are our future. He then asked if the children are taught ‘to walk in love and in truth,’ or if we merely ‘teach them with words, while our lives take another direction?’ ‘It is our responsibility to look out for children!’ the Pope said, stressing that these ‘little plants’ cannot be ignored.”
There is no question that teaching and giving example regarding our Faith is key in the formation of our children at Mother Seton School. We are fortunate that we can have activities that promote our Faith through daily morning prayer, religion classes, school Masses, promoting service projects to help others, living the Golden Rule (Luke 6:27), and so on. All of this assists in creating a Christ-centered atmosphere, which is what our school is all about.
As noted in our Parent/Student Handbook, Mother Seton School affirms the truth that the goal of all Catholic education is salvation in Jesus Christ. Faculty and staff strive to clearly and fully transmit the message of the Gospel as reflected in the life of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton.
We all know that Faith does not just happen. Together we can continue to build on the gift of our legacy and live the core beliefs of our mission. Truly, the greatest gift we have as the New Year begins is our Faith.
We are excited to begin a new chapter in the history of Mother Seton School and to share in the legacy that our Patron Saint left us. You are probably familiar with our mission statement, which the students recite every morning during prayer and announcements:
The mission of Mother Seton Catholic School, a vibrant, Christ-centered community, is to inspire students to strive for academic excellence and dedicate their lives to love and serve Christ in the tradition of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and St. Vincent de Paul.
We’d also like to take a moment to share the Core Values of Vincentian-Setonian Education, which are the guiding principles by which we strive to educate the students of Mother Seton School.
Vincentian-Setonian Education is…
Seeks to nurture the students in a holistic fashion; educates the heart as well as the head; forms the spirit, the mind and the body; embraces a global perspective
Blends the human and the spiritual, the abstract and the practical, the professional and the personal, the simple and the complex
Finds new or renewed ways to meet changing needs of successive generations of students, while maintaining a clear “sense of the possible”
Adapts traditional methods to the needs of the non-traditional student
Places quality at the heart of:
Teaching: the teacher is not only competent but efficient, dedicated, and real–“all those virtues required of the students.”
Methodology: the method employed is active, challenging, goal-oriented, and fosters tools and attitudes of life-long learning
Reflects relationships marked by humility and simplicity, in which all administration, faculty, staff, and, most importantly, students are respected and valued.
Collaborates rather than competes with co-workers, organizations, parents, and other educational institutions
Believes that its mission is none other than a participation in the mission of the Church: the service of Christ in those who are poor. As such it strives to integrate this vision into the educational process and to keep the primacy of it alive among all those who share in this common mission.
On Sunday, June 8th, our eighth-graders took part in their final milestone at Mother Seton School. These 39 students–whose grace, good humor, and compassion have filled these halls with joy for a decade–have graduated and are moving on to the next part of their life, arguably the toughest one. (There’s a reason people often say they “survived” high school!) But we have faith in our students–faith that they have received a strong foundation morally, academically, and spiritually–and will be prepared for whatever life brings them. Their lights shine brightly and there is no doubt that they will go on to touch other lives with those lights. And we must give our gratitude to you, their parents, for the gift of allowing us to be a part of your children’s lives and for entrusting us with their care.
May God Bless each and every one of our graduates and their families. Congratulations Class of 2014!
To see pictures from the 8th Grade Awards Banquet and Graduation, check out our albums on our Facebook page!
A Graduate’s Prayer
As I look toward the future
Bright hope conducts this prayer,
For I know the plans You have for me
Were wrought with divine care.
Holy Spirit, lead me.
Let me run at Your command,
Yet be still and know that You are God
When trouble is close at hand.
Your Word will be a lamp for me,
A guide to light my way,
A solid place to set my feet,
A compass when I stray.
May I live my life to praise You,
Not for fortune, nor for fame,
May everything I say and do
Bring glory to Your name.
May my eyes stay fixed upon You
As I seek the way that’s pure,
Tasting Your love and goodness
Sleeping and rising secure.
Planted by Your living streams
I’ll delight in all Your ways,
Hidden by Your sheltering wings
With new mercies for each day.
Even in a dangerous land
When storms threaten to destroy,
At the cross I’ll stand upon the Rock
My Strength, my Hope, my Joy.
Dear Lord, show me Your favor,
At all times keep me blessed,
May Your face ever shine upon me,
With peace and perfect rest.
We are knee-deep in the Annual Appeal. By now, you’ve received the mailing and the emails, all of which express (we hope) just how important your contribution to the Annual Appeal is. And perhaps you have already made your donation.
But if you haven’t, and if you are wondering why we ask for a contribution from our families in addition to the tuition and fees that you already pay, allow us to take a moment to explain:
The Annual Appeal, also known as an Annual Fund, is comprised of contributions made directly to the school and which go towards off-setting our operating expenses. We have the most affordable tuition in the area at approximately $4950 per child (in comparison, consider that St. John’s Regional in Frederick costs $6600-$9000 for one child, depending on grade level), because we hold true to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton’s mission to make Catholic education accessible to all regardless of financial means. But because we try to keep tuition costs low, that means tuition alone does not cover the cost per pupil to run the school, which is $6642 per student per year. So we seek other means to close the gap.
We apply for many grants throughout the year that cover the cost of some of our programs and equipment. For example, it was a technology grant that we were awarded that made it possible to institute mobile laptop computing for the classrooms. One of the things that most foundations require as part of the application process is that we show significant participation in our Annual Appeal from our current families, faculty, and staff. They want to see that our community demonstrates a vested interest in the school. The amount donated is not important; but to be able to show 100% participation is. So even if it’s just a dollar that you can spare, please help us by participating.
We are so thankful to our Home and School Association (H.S.A.) for their efforts in raising money for our school. The fundraisers they hold, including the Raffle and Vera Bradley Bingo, generate proceeds that are used to supplement field trips, purchase extra classroom materials, sponsor First Eucharist and Graduation celebrations, and pay for special programs throughout the year. Proceeds raised by the H.S.A. go directly to the school, but do not go towards our operating expenses. Without the H.S.A., our students wouldn’t have many of the fun and educational opportunities they do, and without the Annual Appeal, we would not have the funds we require to continue operating the school.
We have several ways that you can make a gift to the Annual Appeal:
If you wish, your donation can remain anonymous. However, if you do choose anonymity, please let Jennifer in the Advancement Office (jbuchheister(at)mothersetonschool.org) know that you made a contribution so we can count you towards our Family Participation goal.
Thank you for choosing Mother Seton School for your children, and thank you for the support you continue to give each year!