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Parent-Teacher Conferences 10/3 and 10/10/2017

Parent-Teacher Conferences, 10/3 and 10/10/17 – We look forward to seeing you at Parent-Teacher Conferences on Tuesday, October 3rd or Tuesday, October 10th, from 4:30-7:30 PM.  The sign-up schedule for conferences is now open.  We are using an online tool called Sign-up Genius which allows you to make a reservation with each of your child’s teachers.  You’ll select the teacher you wish to meet, choose a day and time, enter your name, your email and the name of your child.  You’ll then either create a Sign-up Genius account or sign in to your existing account.  For detailed instructions on how to reserve your conference times, go to the Parent/Teacher Conferences page in the Academics section of the school’s website (http://www.grcatholiccentral.org) or simply CLICK HERE.  If you do not have online access at home, please have your student make your reservations via Sign-up Genius at school.  The sign-up page will be closed from 10:00 PM on 10/2 until 8 AM 10/4, and again at 10 PM on 10/9 in order for teachers to have time to prepare for conferences.  Conferences are scheduled for five-minute sessions and are held in the gym.  If you cannot come to conferences, teachers welcome the opportunity to talk to you via phone or email, and contact information can be found by clicking on the Academics section, Faculty & Staff.  

Para leer este mensaje en español, por favor HAGA CLIC AQUÍ.

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2017-2018 Orientation Days

Dear Parents and Students,

I hope you have had a wonderful, refreshing summer! And in case you didn’t, we’re giving you two additional days to enjoy it! What follows is an important update regarding the construction timeline and change of dates for the start of the 2017-18 school year.

Construction Update:
Even under ideal circumstances, our construction timeline for Phase I has always been very aggressive. Rockford Construction communicated — and continues to hold to — completing “Phase 1” on Friday, August 25th, at which point they would then turn campus over to us for occupancy, pending the Fire Marshall’s approval. We have every confidence they will meet this schedule, but they need every day to do so. Therefore, no one will have access to campus on or before August 25. This changes our previously communicated dates for orientation. More on that change in a bit.

I wanted to outline for you the scope of this project and the schedule in which the phases will be completed.

“Phase I”— completed on 8/25/17 — includes the kitchen & servery, 1st floor of the Student Center, all administrative offices, the Student Support Services area, 306, a new conference room, and upgrading the Band room.

“Phase II” will be completed approximately September 25th, completing the new main entrance, the 2nd floor of the Student Center (the commons, as it will be known), and the library.

“Phase III,” opening the STEAM Center, will be completed in January 2018 at which point the science, art, and choir teachers will relocate for the second semester.

“Phase IV” includes modest upgrades on the 4th floor and renovating the 5th floor into traditional classrooms. This phase will be completed by the end of March. The new courtyard, including the new statue of Mary (Madonna della Strada) and landscaping, will be completed in May when we can reasonably rely on the weather.

As you can see, this is a 10-month project, and additional improvements will take place throughout the year. Unfortunately, this is not HGTV where everything goes from “before” to “after” quickly and brilliantly. Our change will be methodical and episodic, so please keep your expectations modest and your spirit flexible in the weeks ahead.

Calendar Update:
Orientations will NOT take place on the 24th (9th grade) and 25th (10th, 11th, & 12th grades) as previously communicated. Here’s a rundown of the orientation schedule with all grades reporting on Monday, August 28th at various times.

Freshmen Orientation
Monday, August 28, 2017, CC Gym
8:00 am – 11:45 am
Student check-in begins at 7:40 am. School uniform required. Men are to be clean-shaven.
School photos will be taken on this day.

10th, 11th, 12th Orientation
Monday, August 28, 2017, CC Gym
Seniors 12:00 pm – 12:30 pm
**Juniors 1:00 pm – 1:30 pm
**Sophomores 2:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Check-in begins 20 minutes before start time. School uniform required. Men are to be clean-shaven.
School photos will be taken on this day, following each orientation.

**Sophomores and Juniors should bring their iPad with passcodes removed. An email with brief, step-by-step instructions will be sent next week and posted on the website.

Transfer and International Student Welcome
Monday, August 28, 2017
11:30 am – 1:00 pm
Lunch will be served.

8/29 1st day of classes; Sophomores and Juniors can pick up iPads between 7-8AM in the library

8/30 All School Liturgy

Here are some other important points about this project and the start of the year:
We still have our temporary entrance in the southwest part of campus until 9/25 when the new entry is available.
Drop-off and pick-up procedures will continue as normal.
Sophomores are prohibited from parking on campus until further notice.
Students will be able to transition between the Main and North buildings through the Student Center. Students will not need to, nor be allowed to, transition between classes outside.
We will hold to the 5-minute passing period as we “condition” ourselves for the new schedule in 2018-19.

Regular Schedule
Liturgy Schedule
Late Start Schedule

Hot lunch will be available immediately. The 1st floor of the Student Center is adequate to accommodate A, B, C, and D lunches as we await completion of Phase II.
We will cover this information and more with students at orientation on Monday, 8/28.

Please keep a lookout for the first newsletter of the 2017-18 school year, the only version printed and mailed to your home. In it, you will find ample information on many aspects of school life. Be assured of our prayers for you and your family in the coming weeks as we welcome another year of opportunity, growth, and blessings.

In Christ,

Greg Deja

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Internship Opportunity

Special Events Intern

POSITION TITLE: Special Events Intern

REPORTS TO: Special Events Coordinator

HOURS & FLSA STATUS: Unpaid-part time, 10-12 hours a week

DESIRED START DATE: August 2017; flexible with school schedule

ORGANIZATION OVERVIEW: Catholic Central High School is rich in both history and tradition. Founded in 1906 by Bishop Henry Richter and the Dominican Sisters, it is the oldest Catholic, coeducational, diocesan high school in the U.S. It draws and benefits from a culturally diverse student body. And, since being established, over 20,000 students have graduated, many who still serve our community today.

POSITION OVERVIEW: The Special Events Intern will assist the Special Events Coordinator in non-profit event planning. They will provide needed support to the Special Events Coordinator, including all event related functions. They will be expected to take charge and be responsible for routine projects. The Special Events Intern will add to the team environment in the Advancement Office with a positive and can-do attitude!


• Assist Special Events Coordinator in activities related to the development department: event planning for three major fundraisers.

• Complete projects in cooperation with the Advancement department calendar. • Communicate with alumni to identify their needs and provide assistance in reunion planning.

• Assist with Comprehensive Event Sponsorship program.

• Attend events and help Special Events Coordinator with needs.

• Be a team player and adapt to needs of the department and school as needed.


• Pursuing a degree in Communications, Event Planning, Marketing, Public Relations, or Journalism.

• Exceptional written and oral communications skills and strong attention to detail

• Ability to prioritize among competing goals to execute on tight deadlines

• Detail oriented

• Ability to prioritize among competing goals to execute on tight deadlines


• Experience with Canva design

• Experience in mail merging a plus

TO APPLY: Please submit a letter of introduction, current résumé, and three professional references to Tressa Brondyke, Special Events and Advancement Coordinator at tressabrondyke@grcatholiccentral.org. Review of applicants will begin immediately.


• Broad and thorough understanding of non-profit event planning and execution.

• Timeline based approach to event planning.

• Volunteer motivation and management, including sign-up creation and

• Communication with volunteers.

• Budget reporting for events, including expense reporting.

• Knowledge of Benevon model event-planning.

• Liquor and raffle license applications.

• Event marketing and communication through social media and other channels.


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Job Opportunity: Spanish Teacher

Through the Grand Rapids Public Schools’ Shared Time program, Catholic Central is in need of a Spanish Teacher. Click here to apply.

Position Title:                         Secondary Teacher – Bilingual Spanish 
Bargaining Unit:                   Grand Rapids Education Association (GREA)
Salary:                                    $37,538 and comprehensive benefits package
Earning Days:                       195 Days or as annually determined by the contract

GRPS Mission: Our mission is to ensure that all students are educated, self-directed and productive members of society.
To ensure every student is academically and socially ready for college, their career, and the global economy. To equip all students with knowledge, skills, and motivation that empowers them to direct their lives and become confident, critical thinkers who will contribute to a changing global community. This is accomplished by providing a variety of learning experiences in partnership with the community to meet each student’s needs as defined by his or her educational plan. This position reports directly to the assigned building/program principal.

ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS – Essential functions, according to the Americans with Disabilities Act, may include any of the duties, knowledge, and skills outlined in this job description.  This list is illustrative only and is not a comprehensive listing of all functions and duties performed by employees in this position.  Employees are required to be in attendance and prepared to begin work at their assigned work location on the specified days and hours.  Factors such as regular attendance at the job are not routinely listed in job descriptions but are an essential function. Essential duties and responsibilities may include, but are not limited to the following:


  • Provide students with effective instruction in the various academic areas; use the Danielson Rubric; differentiate  instruction to meet the needs of all students; incorporate the Tripod 7 Cs (challenge, control, consolidate, confer, captivate, clarify and care) into daily practice
  • Teach the required curriculum and administer common assessments; effectively maintain and monitor on-going student progress.
  • Provide students with effective instruction/modeling/interventions in the various behavioral areas.
  • Develop detailed, accurate and concise lesson plans for each subject area; plan and provide appropriate educational supplemental activities to meet both group and individual needs of all children within the classroom, including students with special needs.
  • Utilize “best” classroom management practices to create a learning environment that is conducive to learning, curtails disruptive behaviors and enhances students’ self-esteem.
  • Collaborate with special education staff to provide students with individualized education programs (IEPs) appropriate accommodations and supplementary aids.
  • Participate in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of the effectiveness of strategies for individual and group behavior management and academic goals.
  • Participate in and contribute to professional development, implement strategies learned with fidelity

Parent and Community Engagement

  • Make and maintain regular, positive contact with parents via phone calls, email and/or home visits including communicating student progress.
  • Establish and maintain effective written and oral communication and rapport with students, parents and colleagues.
  • Participate in parent meetings, including IEP’s and Parent/Teacher Conferences.
  • Contribute to the development of a positive attitude between the school and the wider community through cooperative relations, publications, competitions, etc.
  • Contribute to community service and global citizenship goals

Other Duties

  • Display physical, social, mental and emotional soundness in order to execute the duties of job.
  • Serve as a role model for all students and within the school community.
  • Interact with co-workers, administration, students, parents and the community in positive, supportive and cooperative ways.
  • Encourage the team spirit and contribute as a team member in the decision-making processes of the school as facilitated by the building administrator.
  • Attend staff meetings and serve on committees as required.
  • Contribute to extra-curricular activities such as clubs and academic competitions and school programs
  • Maintain and promote school district goals and objectives.
  • Comply with state, federal and District policies, procedures, rules, and the union contract.
  • Regular and on-time attendance is required.
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Current appropriate Michigan teaching certification

Additional Requirements

  • Demonstrated understanding of current research as to how children learn and the ability to motivate student to perform at their best
  • Demonstrated ability to work in an economically, culturally, and racially diverse environment.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively in the English language, both orally and in writing.
  • Demonstrated ability to differentiate instruction, by using a variety of styles, and inspire mixed culture and ability classes by creating challenging and engaging learning opportunities for all students
  • Demonstrated ability to participate as a member of the team.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage a diverse and demanding workload

The physical demands, work environment factors, and mental functions described below are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
While performing the duties of this job, the employee is required to stand, walk, sit, use hands to finger, handle, or feel, reach with hands and arms, climb or balance, stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl, talk, hear (in a quiet or noisy environment), taste and smell. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 40 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision and ability to adjust/focus.
The noise level in the work environment is usually loud to moderate.  Work is performed indoors although there will be required outdoor activities.  The employee is directly responsible for the safety, well-being and work output of students.
While performing the duties of this job, the employee is required to compare, analyze, communicate both orally and in writing in the English language, copy, coordinate, instruct, compute, synthesize, evaluate, use interpersonal skills, compile and negotiate.
Grand Rapids Public Schools manages employment applications online.  Applications must be completed online at www.applitrack.com/grps/onlineapp.  No hardcopy applications/resumes will be accepted for this position.   Computer terminals are available in the GRPS Franklin Campus lobby from 8:00am – 4:00pm, Monday-Friday, for applicant use (Monday – Thursday during the summer).

The Grand Rapids Public Schools will not discriminate against any person based on race, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and expression, height, weight, color, religion, national origin, age, marital status, pregnancy, disability or veteran status.
Americans with Disabilities Act accommodations: Assistance with the application process may be requested though the Human Resources Department at 616 819-2022 or humanresources@grps.org


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Technology Update for 2017-18

Dear Parents and Students,

I hope you and your families are enjoying the start of summer and have had time to relax and enjoy God’s creation following a productive and exciting school year.  Before we are too far from thoughts of school, we want to share with you information about an upcoming change to the way we manage access to technology at Catholic Central to take effect at the start of the new school year. 

As many of you are aware, Catholic Central piloted a Chromebook program last year, providing opportunities for students to use these devices in a variety of classroom environments.  We then gathered survey feedback on the functionality of these devices in our learning environment as compared to the iPad.  That survey data, alongside other factors, led our decision to remain with iPads for the 2017-18 year.  This survey data also revealed a concern shared among students, parents, and teachers regarding distractibility; namely, the access to games and non-school-related apps can challenge students’ focus and interfere with learning.  

In response to this concern, both Catholic Central and West Catholic will begin utilizing school-managed Apple IDs, a development recently introduced by Apple. This means that, because school manages the Apple ID, the school is also able to manage the apps that are installed on our iPads.  Teachers, and students with teacher approval, can request apps that they want to use for educational purposes in addition to our current list of school-provided apps.  Catholic Central’s management system will then push these apps to the devices.  Students will no longer be able to download apps without this step.  It also means that apps already installed by students outside of school-managed apps will no longer be available on school-issued iPads; however, these apps will remain available on any other personal device linked to their personal Apple ID (iPhone, personal computers, etc.). 

In order to accomplish this, we will collect iPads from sophomores, juniors and seniors to convert iPads to the new management system and return them to students on the following schedule, providing the least possible disruption:       

  • Seniors should bring their iPads with them as they arrive for their COREX Retreat on August 12th.  We will collect the iPads before they leave for Camp Blodgett, and return them as seniors arrive back from COREX weekend on August 14th.  
  • Sophomores and juniors should bring their iPads to their Orientation on August 25th.  We will collect the iPads during Orientation and return them at the start of the first day of school on August 28th.   
  • Freshmen will receive their iPad ready to use on one of two Freshmen iPad Distribution Days:  
    • Students with last names A-K on Monday, August 7th, from 9AM to 10AM at Cathedral Square, 2nd floor.
    • Students with last names L-Z on Tuesday, August 8th from 9Am to 10AM at Cathedral Square, 2nd floor.

Freshmen will be instructed on how to access tech resources, how to manage their device, and how to be good digital citizens.  Parents are also encouraged to attend a Parent Orientation during this time to learn about how the device is used at school, student responsibilities concerning the device, and tips on how to manage device use at home.  

If you have any questions about this process, please contact our new Instructional Technology Specialist, Mrs. Danielle Bouwhuis (daniellebouwhuis@grcatholiccentral.org), who will be happy to assist you.  

As we enter year four of our 1:1 program, it is clear that technology has helped to transform learning, allowing students to learn, create, research, and communicate in innovative, individualized, and expressive ways.  And it is also clear we want to reduce access to non-school-related games and apps to minimize distractions to learning. This move is intended to help students make the best use of the powerful tools and resources available to them while also helping them manage some of the challenges inherent in being part of our digital world.    

As in the past, we will continue to provide instruction in Digital Citizenship that promotes Catholic Social Teaching, fosters responsible use of technology, expands learning, and helps students learn to manage their time.  

Thank you for all you do to support and strengthen our Catholic Central community.  We are keeping you in our prayers over the summer, and we are excited to see you in August to launch our 2017-18 school year.  


Greg Deja


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Our Graduates Are Going Places!

Catholic Central’s Class of 2017 was awarded more than $4,900,000 in scholarships and these graduates are attending 55+ colleges and universities across Michigan, the Midwest, and the country. We send them off with our prayers and want to thank all those who have made these futures possible through your financial support.

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Staff Summer Locations

Although the academic year has officially come to an end, construction at the school is in full swing. During this time staff members have been temporarily relocated. The following is a list of locations where staff members can be found. They can also be contacted via phone or email.

Summer Locations:

Attendance Secretary Sarah Hipp, IT Specialist Mary Ottenwess, and STEAM Director Catherine Molleseau are located in CC 201 as needed through the coming weeks.

Vice-Principal Linda Olejnik and Dean of Students Mike Jacob are located within Cathedral Square in the Catholic Information Center on the 2nd floor.

Admissions Director Jackie Stetson is located in room 201 in Cathedral Square.

Summer Academies and Economics classes will be held in the Gallagher Room on the 2nd floor of Cathedral Square (Located in the Catholic Information Center).

Health class will be located in the Catholic Central High School Band room.

Guidance staff will be located in room 315 in Cathedral Square.

Principal/CEO Greg Deja, Secretary Lisa Doyle, and Technology Instructor Josh Friederichs will be located on the 4th floor of Cathedral Square.

The Advancement Team is operating out of the CAT.

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Cougar Gear Sale


Good news, Cougar fans!

Due to heavy demand, there will be a Cougar Gear sale on Saturday, June 10th from 10am-1pm at the Cougar Stadium store location (2770 Knapp St NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525).

Items available are from the 2016-2017 inventory. Some will be marked down to make room for new inventory. New items will be available on Community Day in August.

*New Cougars* — you will need CC tees for summer workouts. Come get some while they’re on sale!

Questions? Please email CougarGear@GRCatholicCentral.org

Follow Cougar Gear online at www.grccathletics.com/CougarGear 
It’s a GREAT day to be a Cougar! 🐾

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Track and Field teams win big at State Finals

The Catholic Central boys and girls track and field teams competed in the MHSAA State Finals on Saturday, June 3. The girls team finished in a three-way tie for 6th place overall at the Division 2 State meet, earning their highest team finish in 15 years.
The quartet of Sydney Maddox, Joslyn Fox, Avery Gill, and Julia Adams kicked off the day with an 11th place finish in the 4x800m relay in a time of 9:48.64. Julia Adam’s followed up the relay performance with a 12th place finish in the 800m run, completing with a time of 2:19.95. She shaved off .01 seconds off her personal record for the event.
Sydney Maddox finished 26th in the 320m run with a time of 12:16.29.
Jakarri Alven earned the Cougar’s first podium finish of the day by defending her 400m dash state title. She ran her second fastest time ever in the event, finishing at 56.48. Alven earned a second podium finish in the 200 m dash, finishing in 8th place with a time of 26.95.
Mary Claire Mikolay, Avery Gill, Tess Ens, and Jakarri Alven closed out the day with a State Championship win in the 4x400m relay, establishing a school record of 4:01.10. The four participants earned All-State honors for their performance. Coach Dave Snyder was also honored as the Region 17 Coach of the Year.
The boys team finished in a four-way tie for 35th place out of 59 teams. Antonio Strong kicked off the day with a 10th place showing in the 100m dash, setting a new personal record of 11.32 seconds. He later competed in the 4x100m relay with Erik Grabow, Anthony Shukis and Michael Brown. They finished 3rd overall, and had their best time of the season at 43.35 seconds. They also earned All-State honors for their performance.
The Cougars finished the meet with another accomplishment by Dylan Sykes. He finished 23rd with a time of 9:47.63 in one of the largest and deepest fields in the 3200m run.
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Introducing Strong Catholic Families

Attention Parents of Incoming Catholic Central Freshman:

The research on faith and teens cannot be clearer:  Parents matter…a lot!

Catholic Central is inviting all parents of incoming freshman to an evening to gather with other parents and school staff on Friday, June 2, 7 – 9 p.m., at Cathedral Square (360 Division Ave. – adjacent to the high school campus).

  • Start Building Community now. Share with other parents and school leaders your hopes, needs and concerns about the faith of your children and how the school can support you in your efforts to instill faith.
  • Explore and assess your own “family faith inventory” and discern steps for growing in faith as a family in the coming year.
  • Discover some practical ideas and tools for family faith growth.

Follow the link for more information SCF_Parent Session Flyer_CCHS

Atención Padres de Estudiantes de Primer Año en Catholic Central:

Las investigaciones sobre la fe y los adolescentes no pueden ser más claras: ¡Los padres importan… y mucho!

A Catholic Central le gustaría invitar a todos los padres de estudiantes de primer año a un encuentro para compartir con otros padres y miembros de la facultad de la escuela el viernes 2 de junio, de 7:00-9:00 PM, en Cathedral Square (360 Division Ave. —junto a la escuela secundaria).

  • Empiece a crear una comunidad unida desde ahora. Comparta con otros padres y líderes escolares sus esperanzas, necesidades y preocupaciones acerca de la fe de sus hijos y como la escuela puede ayudarle en su esfuerzo por inculcar la fe.
  • Explore y evalúe su propio “Inventario familiar de Fey discierna los pasos para cultivar la fe como familia en el próximo año escolar.
  • Descubra ideas prácticas y herramientas para crecer en la fe como familia.

Para obtener más información, visite  SCF_Parent Session Flyer_CCHS

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