Go Eagles!

We, on the academic side of Verbum Dei have been full steam ahead since the beginning of spring semester!

College Guidance took the freshmen to UCLA for a college visit where they toured the campus, met two of our Verbum Dei alum who are current students there; Zachary Byrge, c/o ’15, and Christian Munoz, c/o ‘16, and listened to a panel discussion on the experiences of first generation UCLA students. The sophomore class also experienced college visits and tours of University of Concordia in Irvine, and UC Irvine. College tours during the early high school years are a good way to inspire our students to stay the course, and work hard to reach their goal of attending university after their time here at The Verb.

In addition, AP season has just ended! Our Advanced Placement course offerings have grown from 2 to 5 in the last two years. This year we had a total of 55 Verbum Dei students take AP exams in Spanish Language, English Literature, Calculus AB, US History and Government & Politics. We hope to add two additional AP courses in Spanish and English to our curriculum next year. The AP exam season culminated in an AP Luncheon held Friday, May 18th, where we celebrated our students and faculty, and recognized the hard work they put into their courses.

And now, looking forward, we have 38 current 9th – 11th grade students who will continue their learning experiences, in the spirit of the Grad at Grad principles of being Open to Growth, Committed to Doing Justice, and Intellectually Motivated, by spending part of their summer participating in summer programs at universities and institutes across the country, such as Brown University, Boston College, and the ACLU Summer Advocacy Institute to name just a few.  Students will be engaging in a variety of topics such as engineering, economics, advocacy, and mathematics. Please join me in prayer for these students, that they grow a deeper appreciation and understanding of their place and value in society, in their communities, and at Verbum Dei, through these enriching experiences.

And as always, Go Eagles!!!

Another Dei in Admissions

The real thing about Admissions is “fit”! Finding the “right fit” is our goal, the student and his family, those that understand the values of delayed gratification, hard work and dedication! Today the Verbum Dei campus community was addressed by our new President Fr. Stephen A. Privett, S.J. offering Faculty and Staff member’s encouragement as we transition to a private, Jesuit School and one of the leading college preparatory schools in Southern California. What this means in the Admissions Department is we must become more creative for identifying the “right fit”. Of course, a visit to our campus is a great way to get prospective students to develop a good feeling for the character of our school, but there are many ways for which we can offer the inspiration necessary to engage with them and assist them to appreciate what “The Verb” has to offer. The majorities of High Schools these days have comprehensive Web sites, use social media and utilize other creative approaches for outreach to connect with prospective students. Understanding just how important the “right-fit” is requires more. We are of the belief, prospective students and their families should have greater opportunities to make implicit decisions based on experiences from a range of angles. By inviting them to visit our campus to gain a generalized knowledge about the benefit of the Verbum Dei educational experience and challenging them in their analysis, we believe our school’s educational experience and the expected outcomes are undeniable; graduating a Jesuit High School, composing a four year resume detailing a unique Corporate Work Study experience and 100% College acceptance!

In Admissions, we are well aware of the goal to attract the young men who were successful in Middle School and had exposure to a bunch of extracurricular activities, yes absolutely, but we also must strive harder to identify opportunities for those prospective students falling slightly beyond the margin. With the proposed plans to strengthen instruction, strengthen student support services and continue expanding our College Guidance curriculum outlined by our Principal Dr. Odom we are showing the mature, motivated, marginalized and underserved student he is going to be able to be highly successful and benefit most from the uniqueness of our institution. The Admissions Department is heeding the suggestions of our leadership. We are planning, assessing, choosing activities, tools, and arranging our goals carefully, with focus on fostering the prospective students’ habits of choice and learning more about the activities for which we should focus. Using critical thinking and helping the prospective students to uncover authentic concerns about the Verbum Dei High School experience we believe they will fully appreciate the answer is self-evident. With our strongest focus on fostering prospective students’ habits of choice, we better our chances of increasing our enrollment. However, there is no automatic relationship between prospective student choices and increased enrollment. There are two factors of the most importance: The prospective students’ way of exercising control over their choice for the High School they plan to attend and the prospective parents’ way of exercising control over their choice for the High School experience for their son. The strongest way to gain the outcomes we seek to achieve is by using a clear and visible system for recruitment that involves our entire campus community, Faculty, Staff current students and parents so the prospective students and their families understand what the expected outcomes truly are and we all successfully promote their ability to matriculate, graduate and go on to College.