The onslaught of “back-to-school” newspaper ads and television commercials has begun. The beginning of another school year is just around the corner. The time has also begun to finalize the plan for another Sunday Church School year. Here’s a checklist.
Meet with the Priest. Are there any issues that he needs addressed this year? How will he want to be involved with the program this year that might be different from other years? How might he work with teachers on training matters?
Teachers and Assistants. Do you have enough teachers? Are all the teachers ready to start? Need to find a few more? Will they need assistants? Do you need any substitute teachers? Are all the background checks complete? What about special programs: Oratorical Festival Chair, Music Teacher, Arts and Crafts specialists? Have you planned some meetings to deal with administrative matters? Have you planned for some training sessions? What will the focus be?
Lists. Do you have the class lists ready for each teacher? Student’s information (birthday, nameday, special issues like allergies), parents contact information (especially email), how they’ve offered to assist the program that year. Do you have a list of all the teachers, assistants, all the contact information.
Review the calendar. Set the days for registration, when classes will begin and when they will end in 2016 (include a day for preregistration for Fall 2016). This year will be challenging because Pascha is May 1, 2016. Note the other days for when Sunday school will not meet because of Church holidays, vacation seasons, or special parish events. Note the days for special programs, like Christmas pageant rehearsals, the Oratorical Festival (the National Festival is June 10-12, 2016), retreats and service projects. Select days for teacher training meetings. Make sure that all of these are on the parish master calendar. Distribute the calendar to all in the parish.
Check the supplies. Will you have enough textbooks, teacher’s guides, Bibles, icons? Do you have enough materials, paper, pens, crayons, glue, notebooks, and all the rest. Take advantage of the back-to-school sales.
Are the classrooms and teaching spaces in good order? Are there enough desks, tables, chairs, whiteboards. Do some need repair or replacement? Are they sized correctly for the class? You don’t want the furniture designed for kindergarten to be in the space that you’ll use for high school and vice versa!
Electronics. Do you have projectors and other display technology? Is it all working? Are all the cables in the right place? Does the wireless network work? If it’s password protected, do you have the proper passwords?
Pray. Pray for the teachers, the students and their families. Pray that the 2015-2016 Sunday Church school year be a year of growth and learning for the teachers, the students and their families.
Anton C. Vrame, Ph.D., Director
Departing of Religious Education
50 Goddard Avenue
Brookline, MA 02445