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St. Edmond welcomes students back | News, Sports, Jobs

– Messenger photo by Kelby Wingert

Chaplain Reverend Ross Caniglia greets elementary students at St. Edmond Catholic School on Tuesday morning for the start of the school year.

St. Edmond’s Catholic School welcomed its students to a new school year Tuesday morning with a pair of flag-raising ceremonies led by Air National Guardsmen with the local 133rd Test Squadron.

This year, in keeping with the school’s mission to provide a holistic academic and Catholic education, St. Edmond will continue its religious Virtues in Practice program, Principal Tabitha Acree said.

“My hope this year is to inculcate our love of God and our virtues,” she says. “We are always trying to develop Christian leaders and Christian disciples, to continue to strengthen the whole person.”

In the three-year program, this is the year of hope, Acree said.

“As long as we have God, we have hope – this is our big theme of the year”, she says.

– Messenger photo by Kelby Wingert

Elementary students at St. Edmond Catholic School recite the Pledge of Allegiance during the flag-raising ceremony on the first day of school Tuesday.

In addition, the primary school will also have a new series on religion.

“We are thrilled about this because it has a strong family component and we believe it will engage more of our families in religion and education,” Acre said.

Acree is also looking forward to seeing students engage in their extracurricular activities.

“Being a small school, our children are involved in everything,” she says. “They can play two or three sports and be in college clubs. They manage to do everything. You don’t have to choose just one thing and I like that in our school.

The school also welcomed new staff for this school year. Among these new faces is Reverend Ross Caniglia, the school’s new chaplain.

– Messenger photo by Kelby Wingert

Lt. Col. Jason Kolacia, commander of the Iowa Air National Guard’s 133rd Test Squadron, raises the American flag on the first day of school at St. Edmund’s Catholic School Tuesday morning.

The school has about 600 TK-12 students and is growing, Acree said.

“We actually added another sophomore section,” she says. “So now we run three sections of kindergarten, first and second and we hope that will continue.”

Next week, the school will welcome its preschoolers, and new this year is the 3-year-old preschool program.

“We had only planned two sections, but we added a third section because we had a waiting list”, Acre said.

With recent criminal activity occurring a block north of the school in the Dodger Townhomes complex, security will be high on the priority list this year, Acree said.

– Messenger photo by Kelby Wingert

K12 music teacher Jacque Batz greets students in the hall on the first day of school at St. Edmond Catholic School on Tuesday.

“Safety is always our priority with our children,” she says.

The school has added more outside supervision during dismissal and return, the principal said. Initially, students who are not picked up within 10 minutes of the end of the school day, will be brought inside to await their ride.

“There is a new security assessment that will take place in our building”, Acre said. “We are considering updating our protocols.”

In September, the school will host a session for parents to review safety protocols and procedures.

– Messenger photo by Kelby Wingert

Students from St. Edmond Catholic School fill the halls on the first day of school Tuesday.

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