A MESSAGE FROM OUR PRINCIPAL, MR. TOMMY POMPEI
Like all aspects of Holy Cross High School, academic success is a function of collaboration and relationship, in this case, the symbiotic mutualism of teaching and learning between the faculty and our students. Our teachers are highly qualified masters of their craft in terms of content knowledge, pedagogy, and the ability to individualize and personalize instruction, but content is merely the platform upon which we facilitate the development of lifelong skills in our students. Despite our deep pride in the tradition of our students’ tremendous successes over the last 50 years, philosophically, we subscribe to the premise of student growth over achievement. All students will be met where they are and challenged to engage in their progress and own their learning while we provide supported opportunities wherein the qualities of grit, perseverance, innovation, and critical and creative thinking will be celebrated. Most importantly our academic structures are built to ensure that all students in their uniqueness will know the “Why?” in their work and the relevance of their learning in real world application on their journey to college and career readiness.
As an authentic byproduct of the pillars and mission of Holy Cross, the development of the whole child is supported through the ever-increasing diversity of our course offerings which includes thirteen Advanced Placement classes plus dual-enrollment opportunities in college level courses through the University of Connecticut’s Early College Experience (ECE). All students have an A/B sequenced revolving block schedule in an eight-day cycle to ensure the freshness of each and everyday. Each day also features our Community Period between the third and fourth blocks during which students have the opportunity to not only eat lunch but also to self-select their activity for the remainder of the block from a bank of options that includes Math and Writing labs, teacher office hours, various extracurricular clubs, student government and other leadership club opportunities, community service organizations, etc. Although students have the autonomy to self-select based on their needs for each eight-day cycle, they are guided on these choices within their mandatory Day One Advisory group during which they meet with their chosen faculty advisor in groups of ten for more individualized coaching. It is our firm contention that one of the most crucial skills for post-secondary readiness is the ability to engage in productive struggle and self-advocate for the resources necessary to reach solutions. This is the true impetus for our Community Period as we provide our students with the opportunity to gain these skills in a supportive and safe academic environment.
Holy Cross features an average class size of approximately eighteen students which allows for each and every student to receive the individual attention necessary to not only thrive academically but to find their own voices in the classroom. And despite the high quality of our present learning environment, we model the growth mindset in our professional learning. Specifically, we as a school community, are near the completion of our Portrait of the Crusader, an all-encompassing visual expression of our graduating Crusaders that is emblematic of our promise to students and the essential pillars of the Holy Cross way. This will serve as the Rosetta Stone for all future work including our upcoming curriculum revision that will begin with our four academic core subjects in 2020.