Marking a sixth year in a row of enrollment increases, Mount Carmel School opened doors for the new 2017-2018 school year with an enrollment of close to 600 students, up from a historic low of 260 six years ago. In addition to the enrollment increase, the school launched the new year with many enhancements, including additional sections of kindergarten, an upgraded information technology system, a new computer science course, and a revived band program.
Regarding the enrollment increase, Principal Frances Taimanao attributed it to the concerted efforts of faculty to improve instructional quality. She said, “Our students did really well on the recent SAT-10 test and AP tests, showing that we are prioritizing student learning.” She added, “This comes from our continuing efforts to help teachers grow and improve.”
Student Council president, Erika Mendiola, is excited about all the new developments. “I think it’s great,” she said. “There are more choices for students that give them new opportunities that could one day be their passion.”
The first day of school started with the annual opening day mass, the Mass of the Holy Spirit, which was celebrated by Bishop Ryan Jimenez. After proclaiming the Gospel, Bishop Ryan led school employees in the Commissioning Ceremony of Catholic Educators, which is held every start of the school year during the Mass of the Holy Spirit. The ceremony highlighted the commitment of faculty, staff, and administrators to the school’s mission and philosophy.
Soon after the Commission Ceremony, Bishop Jimenez delivered his homily, in which he related a new school year to his daily runs at American Memorial Park. As he put it, “At first it’s hard, but once you get going, it gets better.” He also welcomed new and returning members of the school family, inviting them to surrender to the Holy Spirit as they launch the new school year.
While there has been a substantial enrollment increase, the school still has limited slots available in a few grade levels. For more information, call 234-6184 or visit mountcarmelsaipan.com.