COAL TOWNSHIP — Our Lady of Lourdes Regional School, which has an enrollment of approximately 500 students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, is continuing to implement new programs and renew partnerships with educational entities.
Too Good For Drugs and Too Good For Violence Programs
First-year school administrator and high school Principal Sister Mary Anne Bednar and elementary Principal Sister Maureen Donati said elementary (kindergarten through sixth grade) and high school (grades 7 to 12) students continue to use the Too Good for Drugs and Too Good for Violence programs.
Next year will be the third year for the program and the school’s second year using the Too Good for Violence program.
Both programs were created by the Mendez Foundation.
Too Good For Violence provides students with opportunities to learn and develop social and emotional learning skills for resolving conflicts, anti-bullying, anger management and respect for themselves and others.
Too Good For Drugs offers students substance abuse prevention skills such as healthy decision making so that they can lead happy and healthy lives.
Both programs are sponsored by the Northumberland County Drug and Alcohol Program.
STEAM3S is a federal 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and is administered by the Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit (CSIU).
Lourdes teachers JoAnn Picarelli, Shane Corrigan and Ben Hartman work with 35 students in grades four through 12 in the program that runs two days a week at the school.
Next year, teachers and administrators hope that more students will take advantage of the after-school program.
Bednar said the school has renewed its three-year contract with the JDO Foundation on global classroom collaboration. The foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Littleton, Colorado. Through global classroom collaboration, students learn how to be responsible and informed digital citizens.
JDO provides students and teachers opportunities for growth, Bednar said. “Our teachers are provided college certified professional development and our students are given the opportunity to pair with a classroom from another country. Together, they collaborate weekly through email and blogs on co-curricular lessons planned by both teachers. They also communicate throughout the year in a live setting over the internet through a secure setting classroom to classroom,” she said.”
Lourdes is one of 64 schools around the world working with the JDO Foundation.
Currently, Tara Novak’s third-grade class is partnered with a school in Finland and Ann Czeponis’ seventh-grade class is working with a school in India.
Luzerne County Community College
Lourdes has partnered with Luzerne County Community College to offer college courses to students at a reduced cost.
Several members of the school faculty are certified to teach the courses.
Immaculata University Partnership
Lourdes also has entered into a partnership with Immaculata University in which students will be guaranteed admission into Immaculata University as a full-time, first-time matriculated college student if they earn a high school diploma from Lourdes, attain a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale, attain a combined SAT score of 990 (critical reading and math) and satisfy all other application requirements.
Immaculata will provide a minimum $9,000 academic merit scholarship to qualifying students. Students who have a higher than the minimum GPA may qualify for additional merit-based aid.
In addition, Lourdes students may also qualify for the Immaculata University’s Catholic School Grant in the annual amount of $2,000.
In addition to the outstanding educational programs the school provides, last year measures were taken to improve the safety of students, staff, volunteers and everyone in the school building.
Cameras were installed in hallways and lock systems were added to doors to be used in emergency situations.
Teachers underwent ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate) training. Stop the Bleeding, CPR and AED training also were provided.
The Educational Income Tax Credit (EITC) program has been instrumental in increasing enrollment at the school during the past several years.
The program provides tax credits for businesses that contribute to scholarship organizations. In 2018, Lourdes was able to offer $300,000 in scholarship money to those with needs.
Parents of current students or future students are encouraged to fill out an application to guarantee every parent has an opportunity to receive tuition assistance.
Last year was the inaugural year of the school’s four-year biomedical program. This year, students are studying human body systems, followed by medical intervention and complete biomedical innovations in their senior year.
The program was made possible by a $21,200 Merck Foundation grant and generous alumni donations.
STEAM equipment donation
Through the efforts, commitment and generosity of Bose Corp. and its Shamokin native employee Bill Edmondson, the STEAM program at Lourdes continues to grow with new equipment donated by the nationwide audio equipment company.
“Bringing a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) program to my alma mater was something that has been on my mind for years,” said Edmondson, a 1978 Lourdes graduate who serves as lead software architect for the consumer electronics division of Bose Corp. “Since software and product development are my strengths, it seems natural that the activities would include some programming projects.”
Among the equipment purchased by Bose for the STEAM program are 30 Chromebook laptops, three Alexa-enabled Bose speakers, headphones, 10 third-generation Dots and two Node IOT starter kits.
Bose plans to provide additional equipment to Lourdes throughout the year.
The STEAM program continues to be a popular after-school activity with students, Donati said. She said students work on multiple projects such as creative engineering.
Through the JDO Foundation of Colorado, students in third and fourth grades previously received laptops and iPads that are used to communicate with classes in other parts of the world.
Raise the Region
The school raised approximately $20,000 in the Raise the Region event earlier this month. Last year, the school received approximately $11,000 from donors in Raise the Region.