Moving Forward

Technology at Verbum Dei has taken major steps in the last six months. With assistance from our Federal Government’s E-Rate program, the school was able to procure funding to pay for a large portion of our new wireless and switching networks.  In addition, the school’s administrative data and server base achieved a much needed overhaul in 2016.  Lastly – with benefactor assistance – a new security appliance was installed, protecting the school from today’s latest data threats.  A sturdy and secure data infrastructure will enable our school to move forward with educational technology initiatives that best fit our unique blend and needs of our students.

Forecasting impactful Ed-Tech developments comes with some subtleties that are unique to Verbum Dei. Primarily, we’re looking to pilot a blended-learning initiative for the 2017-2018 school year with a vision to rollout the following year.  With blending learning, we look to involve traditional classroom curriculum and lesson planning with online instruction, both in school and at home.  Verbum Dei faces some upstream impedances; namely access to the internet at home on a consistent basis for some families.  Last year, we surveyed our families and found that 10% of our families do not have internet at home.  Although this seems daunting to tech initiatives, my gut feel is that the gap is closing.  I sense that all of our families will have internet services accessible in home in the seeable future.  And for those who may not, there are services and devices that can provide those families accessibility solutions on a case-by-case business.  Lastly, we are contemplating plans to roll-out some form of a one-to-one device initiative in the next few years.

Of course, funding and sustaining these programs require Verbum Dei to derive solutions from various sources. It’s not without consideration that families may be asked to contribute to some form of a “tech fund” as many schools – both public and private – have adopted.  We also will need to lean on deploying devices that have proven to be durable, as well as cost effective.  Lastly, we always need to effectively leverage the ongoing assistance of our loving benefactors and donors.  With this, we’ll ensure lasting, meaning directives that benefit our most valuable asset – our students

Connecting Verbum Dei’s Past and Present

It is with great pleasure that I get to interact with alumni from time to time. The history and tradition of Verbum Dei High School is fascinating…and often heart-warming.  Please enjoy the recent interaction between the son of Claude Child, a Chemistry & Physics teacher from 1963 – 1979, and Steve Wellington, one of Claude’s students from the Class of 1972:

Dear Verbum Dei,

It is with great fondness that I recall Fr. Francis visiting our home after Sunday Mass at Our Lady of the Rosary in Paramount, California during the sixties.  He did so often, creating a strong friendship with my dad, Claude H. Child.

In those days my Dad worked as a staff scientist with North American Aviation in Downey, California.  Fr. Francis had plans for an all-boys high school in Watts.  He would talk about these plans with my Dad, asking if he would teach Chemistry and Physics when the campus was built.  To my recollection, the campus was completed mid-summer 1963 with its first classes starting in the Fall of 1963.   I know this because I helped my dad set up Verbum Dei’s Chemistry class room.   I must have been 10 or 11 years of age. 

Bishop Francis, my Dad and many years have since passed away. I read the legacy of Bishop Francis. It warms my heart.  Like any son, I wonder if my Dad’s efforts made a difference.  I read on your web site that Verbum Dei has gained recognition for its sports program.  Did any of Verbum Dei’s students from the sixties go on to careers in the science fields? 

The men my dad taught would be in their mid-sixties to seventy years of age by now.   Like me, they’d probably have grandchildren, possibly even grandchildren soon to be attending Verbum Dei.

It would be a blessing to know this legacy story, so that I may pass along a more complete history to my grandchildren.  Does Verbum Dei’s Alumni have active members that might remember my Dad?

Having written to you about a year ago, and receiving no reply, I had given up hope of following up on these legacy thoughts.  This evening, at a fund raiser for Mother Teresa Maternity Home here in Placerville, a chance conversation with a priest named Fr. James sparked a renewed interest.  Fr. James taught at Verbum Dei before leaving to teach in China.  He is now a pastor here in Eldorado County.  I was encouraged to try contacting you again.

May God Bless You,  

John J. Child

Response…

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Hello John,

I was one of your father’s physics student’s during the 1971 – 72 school year. He was a great influence on me as I pursued a biology degree from UCSD and a Master’s degree in Business Administration and Technology from the University of Phoenix. I spent most of my career in science and seven years ago I managed a state-accredited laboratory, which supported a major utility, nuclear and non-nuclear, water plant operations.

I am grateful he devoted his time and knowledge of physics to students wanting to realize their full potential in life. Some of us held to the sciences while others led fulfilling and meaningful lives elsewhere.

Thank you for reaching out; your father was a great teacher and wonderful person to have known.

Steve Wellington

(Verbum Dei Class of 1972)

Winter Sports Seasons Winding Down

We are entering our last week of league play in anticipation of CIF Playoff Berths in both Basketball and Soccer. Our soccer program, led by Coach Rosa is tied for 3rd place in the Santa Fe League Standings. The finale against Bell-Jeff on Wednesday, February 8th may well determine whether the Soccer team makes the playoffs.

Our basketball program has made strides from last year and has won more games than previously. Our boys are sitting in 4th place in the Santa Fe League. With the new playoff formats, both basketball and soccer may still get either a 3rd place berth or a wild card berth to the CIF Playoffs!