August 3, 2018
Dear Parents and Students,
Welcome back to Bishop Alemany High School as we begin our new 2018-2019 school year. I hope that you have had a restful and refreshing summer leading now to the promise of an exciting school year. We have new and innovative plans and projects that will expand and improve our Catholic identity, academics, athletics, and the safety of all our students.
Our plans to complete a new Tech Center in the old locker hall is going full speed ahead. At our first parent meeting we will have our architectural renderings of this exciting endeavor on display for our parents to experience. They will show a building with STEM-based functionality including:
- sound-proofed, glassed-in study rooms for students to work together while fully supervised.
- a Tech Center where supervised students can study and research during and/or after school with a full view of the “parent pick-up area” as they wait for parents to arrive.
- a state-of-the-art computer lab for classes and individual students.
- a STEM advanced manufacturing center for robotics and other student engineering projects.
Every student at Alemany H.S. builds their individual spiritual and academic understanding while a student here. It is our responsibility to work with our parents to identify and address every student skill at Bishop Alemany High School to start your child’s entry into post-secondary education with all that is necessary to succeed in college and in life.
The most important issue every school faces though, is the responsibility to keep our students safe in every way. In January it will have been 25 years since the Northridge Earthquake destroyed the Alemany campus and led to the move to our current location. I have always been impressed by the degree of preparedness that our school has developed to prepare for another emergency of that sort. However, we also read consistently about tragedies across the country involving an intruder on campus there to do harm to students and teachers. Schools are mandated to regularly drill for fires and earthquakes by state law but there is no state mandate to drill for an unauthorized armed person on campus. This year we will have regular drills and training for our faculty, staff and students. We have been working to address every safety issue that confronts today’s schools.
Many of us have our own children in school and we are as concerned as our parents about the schools they are attending. Likewise, we have approached this national phenomenon with the same focus that we expect from our own children’s schools. During the summer we met with representatives from the LAPD who did a full inspection of our school to assess our readiness to deal with intruder emergencies. This summer we are installing special locking devices to allow for immediate physical isolation of each classroom in case of emergency. In addition to our meetings with police groups specializing in preparation, we are also meeting with a Holy Cross Hospital task force to prepare for drills. Throughout the school year we will be meeting with parents at several evening meetings discussing student safety and other issues.
There are also personnel changes and additions. We have a number of highly skilled new faculty who we will introduce on our website and our first parent meeting. Mrs. Jan Galla, who possesses a Masters Degree in Pastoral Counseling, will now be applying those skills and gifts in her new position as Pastoral Counselor for our students, faculty and staff. She will also be teaching Religion as well. We are looking forward to the growth of this new and important dimension of outreach here at Alemany.
Mr. Richard Guante, previously our Assistant Principal for Academics will now take on the role of Vice Principal. He has overseen new programs and has brought state-of-the-art academic innovation to our school, such as AP Capstone and our Honors Academy. Among many other aspects of his position, he will still be concentrating on continuing our academic growth into the premier academic secondary school in the San Fernando Valley. I am excited to see his skills and innovative thinking brought to bear on our plans for the future. Moving into the Assistant Principal for Academics position will be Ms. Alexis Arnold, currently our Head Counselor and our Counseling Department will now be led by Ms. Maria White.
As we head into 2018 and 2019, we look forward to a challenging and productive year. The school is looking beautiful with new paint, repairs and the addition of new technologies. As Principal, it is my intention to work with our entire school community to build upon this tradition of excellence and, with your help, continue to establish Bishop Alemany High School as the absolute best possible place for our children to learn and grow as they prepare for a promising adulthood outside our school gates. I am looking forward to an exciting and fulfilling school year.
Dr. David Chambers, Principal
Bishop Alemany High School