Choosing To Grow

Father O'Toole's Corner


Choosing To Grow

Saint Margaret of Scotland Parish School Expansion
GiveStL Day a Huge Success for our Play Space!

It is with disbelief and immense gratitude that we write this today.  Thanks to your outpouring of support, Give STL Day 2016 was able to raise over $19,190.00 for the St. Margaret PlaySpace!!!  The online totals have finally been updated, and our total has far surpassed our wildest dreams!  Read on for to learn how we shattered expectations and earned our place on the event's Leaderboard!

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Support the SMOS School PlaySpace through GiveSTL

Give STL Day 2016 is coming up on Tuesday, May 3. GiveSTL Day is an online day of giving sponsored by the St. Louis Community Foundation.  All of the money we raise on this day is tax deductible and will go directly to fund the St. Margaret of Scotland Parish School PlaySpace (formerly known as the parking lot).  This space impacts every student at St. Margaret, neighborhood families who play on the weekends, and the greater Shaw neighborhood!  Read on to learn about the PTA's challenge matching gift and get a link to the giving site.

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Start Cracking!  Time to Break Ground

The public presence of St. Margaret in our neighborhood is expanding again!  On Sunday, March 1, at 11:45 a.m. ground will be broken for the construction of our new middle school building at the corner of Shaw Boulevard and Lawrence Street.  Be a part of this historic moment!  Church and civic dignitaries will be on hand. 

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A Vision of the Future

As we draw closer to breaking ground our architects from The Lawrence Group have provided a detailed rendering of the new middle school, as seen from the intersection of Shaw Blvd. and Lawrence Ave.  This expansion and improvement to our school campus is made possible only by the generous pledges and gifts from hundreds of parishioners, school families, alumni, foundations and friends.  Thank you for your support and, especially, your prayers as this project proceeds towards construction.

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Faith in Our Future - The Case Statement

The Faith in Our Future campaign will help ensure that the legacy of excellence in Catholic education in the center of the city remains strong well into the future. See the attached Case Statement for comprehensive information on the projects that are proposed, artists’ renderings of the building and grounds we hope to construct, and many points of pride for our parish community regarding our contribution to the stability of our neighborhood and the positive impact St. Margaret of Scotland Parish and School have on life in the City of St. Louis.

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News from St. Margaret of Scotland School
January ushers in preparations for Catholic Schools Week, Open House and registration for the 2014-2015 school year.  Parishioners, with school-aged children or not with school aged-children, are most welcome to join us for Open House.  On Sunday, January 26, from 11:00 to 2:00 we will welcome all who may be interested in getting to know us just a little better. 

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St. Margaret of Scotland School Featured on KMOV Channel 4
Recently, KMOV News 4 has aired stories about two city Catholic schools that are closing their doors.  For a change of pace, reporter Andre Hepkins recently visited St. Margaret of Scotland School, where we are facing growing enrollment. The story features an interview with principal Julie Hesed and explains the logistics of having many young families, lots of Pre-K through fourth grade classes and the impact that has on our limited space. The segment aired on Thursday, November 21,  Click here to see the news story.

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School Feasibility and FAQs

The Steier Group has completed its feasibility study for the potential expansion of and capital improvements to St. Margaret of Scotland School.  Their data continues to be evaluated by the members of the Parish Council, the School Board and the Finance Committee.  We hope to communicate a decision soon to everyone in the parish and school communities.  In the meantime, I would like to address some of the frequently asked questions (FAQs) that surfaced in the course of the Steier Group’s inventory.  Many of you expressed a desire to know more clearly how the parish leadership came to the proposals that were made, certainty that all options have been explored, and clarity on a few specifics.  Here and in the future I will provide answers to these FAQs.

 

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Feasibility Survey - Your Opinion Counts!

Surveys have been sent to all parishioners and school families to assist the Steier Group in assessing the ability and willingness of the parish to undertake a capital campaign for school expansion.  We value your opinion and hope that if you have not yet completed your survey, you will do so and return it to the Parish Office soon.  You may drop them in the collection, or use the addressed return envelope included in the packet to send it by mail.  Read on for a link to the online version of the survey and the Fact Sheet describing the proposed projects.  

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South City Collaborative September Newsletter
The South City Catholic Collaborative is continuing to work on strategic planning for the future of Catholic Education in the City of St. Louis.  Keep up-to-date on the work of the Collaborative and all it's attendant committees through the South City Spirit newsletter, attached here.

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Determining the Future of Our School

St. Margaret of Scotland School continues to grow but the physical space of our buildings is at a saturation point.  If we are to accommodate this increasing enrollment – which is projected to continue in the next few years – then we must plan for the future.  This October we will proceed with a Feasibility Study to determine if it is possible for the parish to afford physical expansion to the school.  Our “good problem” presents serious challenges.  We will require both a prayerful and pragmatic approach to deciding the direction we will take.

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South City Collaborative Newsletter
Are you concerned with the future of Catholic education in South St. Louis?  A group of nine parish schools are meeting to address concerns and tackle strategic planning.  This group is known as the City Catholic Collaborative, consisting of pastors and principals at the concerned parishes, along with an extensive list of sub-committees.  Read their monthly newsletter to learn more.

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The pastors and principals of ten parishes in South St. Louis, including St. Margaret of Scotland, invited you to participate in a second survey to plan for Catholic education in South St. Louis city. Once again, over 1500 persons responded to the survey by indicating their preferences and rating elements of a quality Catholic education. Thank you for your participation and honest input. The results have been compiled and the following information was noted.

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Second Survey of the City Catholic Collaborative

Last week the pastors and principals of ten parishes, including St. Margaret of Scotland, shared results of the first survey from the planning committee, on parish and school websites. From that information a second survey was developed.

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In February the City Catholic Collaborative invited parishioners and school families of participating parishes to respond to a survey. This survey sought input regarding Catholic education and its future in the southwest part of our city. Of the 1,618 participants, 145 identified themselves as related to St. Margaret of Scotland. Attached you will find the results in two documents. One provides the overall responses of all parishes. The second gives the feedback from St. Margaret participants.

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St. Margaret of Scotland Demographic Information

On January 20 a letter was issued by the pastors and principals of the ten parishes with elementary schools in South St. Louis announcing the launch of an effort aimed at revitalizing Catholic education. I previously attached a power point presentation with data regarding demographic information on these ten parishes. I invite you to read further information which offers demographic information specifically for St. Margaret of Scotland.

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City Catholic Collaborative Presentation - Feb 2013

On January 20 a letter was issued by the pastors and principals of the ten parishes with elementary schools in South St. Louis announcing the launch of an effort aimed at revitalizing Catholic education. This includes St. Margaret. We have entered into discussions on financial and enrollment forecasts of our schools. We promised to make regular and transparent communication with parents and parishioners.

I invite to you read further and explore the Power Point slides which offer combined data of the ten parishes regarding population trends, enrollment statistics, and education costs. Please take time to review and reflect on the information provided here.

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St. Margaret is Choosing to Grow

As St. Margaret of Scotland meets the challenges of increasing school enrollment, both the parish and school communities will be actively involved in the process. This article will serve as a mechanism for keeping the parish and school communities up-to-date on the latest developments.

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