Wednesday, November 28, 2018

A Future Not Our Own

A Future Not Our Own
in memory of Oscar Romero (1917 - 1980)

It helps, now and then, to step back and take a long view. 

The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is even beyond our vision.

We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of the magnificent
enterprise that is God's work. Nothing we do is complete, which is a way of
saying that the Kingdom always lies beyond us.

No statement says all that could be said.

No prayer fully expresses our faith.

No confession brings perfection.

No pastoral visit brings wholeness.

No program accomplishes the Church's mission.

No set of goals and objectives includes everything.

This is what we are about.

We plant the seeds that one day will grow.

We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise.

We lay foundations that will need further development.

We provide yeast that produces far beyond our capabilities.

We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that.

This enables us to do something, and to do it very well.

It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an
opportunity for the Lord's grace to enter and do the rest.

We may never see the end results, but that is the difference between the master
builder and the worker.

We are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs.
We are prophets of a future not our own. 

This prayer was first presented by Cardinal Dearden in 1979 and quoted by Pope Francis in 2015. This reflection is an excerpt from a homily written for Cardinal Dearden by then-Fr Ken Untener on the occasion of the Mass for Deceased Priests, October 25, 1979. Pope Francis quoted Cardinal Dearden in his remarks to the Roman Curia on December 21, 2015. Fr Untener was named bishop of Saginaw, Michigan, in 1980.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Three Draft Versions of Schoolwide Student Learning Outcomes

Version 1:

A Cristo Rey De La Salle East Bay High School graduate is a person who …

… witnesses with authenticity to the Holy Presence of God in the world.

perseveres in the face of adversity, and through a Quality Education is academically prepared to pursue a lifetime of learning.

… shows mercy, compassion, a Concern for Those in Poverty, and for Social Justice through contemplation and action.

Respects All Persons by caring and advocating for self, for our communities, and for our environment with sincerity.

understands the value of an Inclusive Community by showing an appreciation for the creative potential that sees unity within diversity.

Version 2:

(1) … is academically prepared, is self-directed in their learning, and is empowered with the cognitive skills, the content knowledge, the sense of purpose, and the habits of success to persevere through life’s challenges.

(2) … demonstrates a concern for the marginalized and disenfranchised, for social justice, and for the environment, and participates in the co-creation of a more just, verdant, and peaceful world.  

(3) … understands the value of healthy relationships as fundamental building blocks of human coexistence.

Version 3:

A Cristo Rey De La Salle East Bay High School graduate is a person who …

(1) … Develops Academic Excellence and Intellectual Agency

Masters the cognitive skills, content knowledge, and habits of success needed to pursue a college education and a lifetime of learning.

Works diligently with our corporate partners, faculty, and classmates to respond productively to constructive feedback.

Practices self-direction, resiliency, and agency.

(2) … Contributes to the Common Good Through Social Justice

Communicates with knowledge and awareness of socio-political and economic issues through a Lasallian Catholic worldview.  

Exhibits cultural competency, builds socio-political capital, and leverages both for the common good.

Examines the structural injustices of our world, particularly the needs of Oakland and the San Francisco Bay Area, and takes right action.

(3) … Leads with Integrity and Respect

Builds community through the development of authentic relationships.

Maintains a lifestyle dedicated to wholeness through healthy mindsets and choices.

Utilizes restorative justice tools to heal interpersonal harm.

(4) … Pursues a Life of Faith, Purpose, and Service

Appreciates our Lasallian Catholic heritage and tradition, and respects religious plurality.

Discerns personal gifts and talents and cultivates a sense of spiritual purpose.

Manifests compassion for self, our communities, and our environment

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Our Personalized Learning Approach

As a Lasallian Catholic learning community, we at Cristo Rey De La Salle East Bay High School believe in the power of a progressive, transformative, and relevant education.  We have partnered with Summit Learning and New Classrooms Teach To One: Math to enhance our student centered personalized learning experience. The basic tenets of our model are aligned with the Core Principles of a Lasallian Education.   
Respect For All Persons: One-on-one mentoring for every student associate.
Every student associate has a mentor at school.  Students work closely with their mentors to set goals and to realize a sense of purpose through their work.  Teachers develop strong relationships with students to understand their passions, interests, and aspirations and how they can work to achieve those learning goals.  
Concern For Poor and Social Justice: A focus on real-world projects that build cognitive skills and core knowledge.

The Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning, and Equity identified 36 cognitive skills as most critical for college and career readiness.  Our student associates develop those cognitive skills and core knowledge through real-world projects whose focus is on making our local and global communities a better place while contributing to the common good.   

Inclusive Community: Multiple learning modalities that allow students to learn in different ways.
We embrace three learning modalities that give students and teachers the flexible learning environment they require in order to meet their learning goals.  The Leveled Learning modality is an independent learning zone where students work on skill proficiency or lesson reinforcement through practice.  The Guided Learning modality is where teachers help to guide students through new skills or knowledge acquisition.  The Collaborative Learning modality is where students engage in peer-to-peer or small group learning.
Quality Education: Qualified teachers along with relevant and rigorous content that meet our student associates’s needs.
All of our teachers are highly qualified and trained in personalized learning and bring a diversity of experiences to bear in the classroom.  In addition, our course content is relevant, rigorous, and designed with the best pedagogical practices in mind.
Faith In The Presence of God: Each student associate is made in the image and likeness of God and is a unique individual with their own gifts and talents that need nurturing.  
The personalized learning experience is a way for us to nurture a student’s individuality within a community of learners who strive for competence and mastery.  We acknowledge that each student learns at different speeds and in different ways and what works for one may not work for another. We know that what students learn has to be important to them.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Stillpoint | 09.07.18

At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the stillpoint, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.

from The Four Quartets, TS Eliot

How good it is to center down!
To sit quietly and see one's self pass by!

The streets of our minds seethe with endless trafic;
Our spirits resound with clashings, with noisy silences,

While something deep within hungers and thirsts 
for the still moment and the resting lull.

With full intensity we seek, ere the quiet passes,

A fresh sense of order in our living;
A direction, a strong sure purpose that will
structure our confusion and bring meaning to our chaos.

We look at ourselves in this waiting moment - the kinds of people we are.

The questions persist:
what are we doing with our lives?
what are the motives that order our days?
What is the end of our doings?
Where are we trying to go?
Where do we put the emphasis and where are our values focused?
For what end do we make sacrifices?
Where is my treasure and what do I love most in life?
What do I hate most in life and to what am I true?

Over and over the questions beat in upon the waiting moment.

As we listen,
floating up through all the jangling echoes of our turbulence,
there is a sound of another kind -
a deeper note which only the stillness of the heart makes clear.
It moves directly to the core of our being.

Our questions are answered.
Our spirits refreshed, and we move back into the traffic of our daily round
With the peace of the Eternal in our step.

How good it is to center down!

from Meditations On The Heart, Howard Thurman

Friday, August 17, 2018

Evening Sky

... poetry by Carmel Cronin '41 from the Elizabethan of 1940.

A (Short) History of Saint Elizabeth's High School

... an excerpt from the Thuringian / Elizabethan Saint Elizabeth's High School 1929 yearbook.  

Redlining the Fruitvale Neighbourhood of Oakland

Cristo Rey De La Salle High School is located within the Fruitvale neighbourhood. This article gives an excellent overview of how the redlining affected this community.

An excerpt from the article: "In the 1930s, as the country was recovering from the Great Depression, the federal government wanted to encourage homeownership in cities that had suffered from waves of foreclosures. So it established the Home Owners' Loan Corporation (HOLC), to refinance mortgages at risk of default. As part of that effort, HOLC created maps of cities, to identify which neighborhoods were good investments and which were bad investments.

HOLC assigned each neighborhood a grade, according to the "favorable" and "detrimental" influences in the neighborhood. The presence of minority communities was among the so-called detrimental influences. Take Oakland's Fruitvale neighborhood, for instance. A 1937 HOLC map of the area indicated these so-called detrimental influences: "Odors from industries. Predominance of foreign inhabitants. Infiltration of Negroes and Orientals.

Fruitvale and other neighborhoods given low grades were colored red on the maps, which spawned the term "redlining."