Principal's Newsletter -- Vol. 07, No. 02 -- December 19, 2016

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Greetings from Rockhurst.  This letter is coming to you from behalf of the Administrative Team as Mr. Harkness continues his recovery. The first semester of the 2016-2017 school year is now complete, and your son’s grades are now available in NetClassroom.   We come to the end of a great first semester.  Our senior leadership, especially that of Messrs. Ryan Chandler and Cole Smith,  has been exceptional.  During the semester we have had many wonderful opportunities to gather together for prayer and reflection.  Our Kairos retreat and our senior silent retreat were both a success.  We continued our senior camping retreat, and, though it rained for the second consecutive year, our students and faculty moderators reported a great experience.  Work is underway for the 2017 Freshman Retreat.  We appreciate all that Messrs. Cade Prins and Cole Smith have done and will do to make the Freshman Retreat a great retreat experience for the class of 2020.   

The outstanding performances of our fall academic and co-curricular programming  stands as a testimony to our success this semester.  We appreciate all that our teachers, coaches, moderators, and parents do to help our students thrive.   Great things are happening each and every day here at the Rock.  Here are a few of the highlights from the first semester:

  • Eight students from the Human Dignity Club and four faculty members attended the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Social Justice in Washington, D.C..  This was the first delegation Rockhurst has sent.

  • A team of six students placed second at the MECA Challenge held at Rockhurst University, beating all but one college-led team.  The entrepreneurial event tasked teams with creating innovative solutions to real-world problems.

  • Members from the newly formed Future Business Leaders of America club participated in the national FBLA leadership conference in Dallas.

  • Design teams from our Engineering and Software Engineering Clubs competed at design competitions at KU and K-State, respectively.

  • Seven young men were named National Merit Semifinalists by the College Board, and they are currently waiting to hear if they advance into the next round.  Additionally, eight students were named National Merit Commended Scholars.

  • The mock trial team won 5th place at the prestigious, international, Empire San Francisco invitational tournament and are now preparing for the local KC rounds in January.

  • Our fall sports teams all finished the top 10 in state. Three programs brought home state trophies, highlighted by cross country’s first state championship in school history. Rock STATE! Many athletes continue to be honored by local and state organizations for their individual play and are noted on each team’s page at the school’s website.  

  • Several members of our choral and instrumental programs have advanced into districts and the even more competitive state choir and orchestra.  For the choir program, all 16 students who auditioned for the district honors choir were accepted into that choir and three of the six basses are Hawklets! On the instrumental side several students were named to All District Jazz and Concert Bands.

  • The Regis Club successfully completed its annual Christmas Toy Drive.  Additionally, they worked with Mr. Murphy and his classes to have students build wooden toy trucks for the drive.

  • Our students have been busy and generous with countless hours of service to our school and community.

  • Our Harvest Food Drive gathered much needed food for local food banks.  Our coat drive, and our “Feet for Francis” shoe drive provided much needed clothing resources to those in need.  

It is our hope that your son had a great semester.  We ask that, as you review his grades, you begin a conversation about his semester.  Frequent reflection is a particularly important aspect of the Ignatian spirituality that guides our thinking here at Rockhurst.  If your son has been successful, we ask him to seek the “Magis”, and not only continue doing well, but ask what more can he do.  If your son has not yet become involved in a co-curricular activity, second semester is a good time to do so.  We firmly believe that co-curricular clubs, athletics,  and activities are an essential part of the educational process here at Rockhurst.

If your son is struggling in a particular class(es), please make sure to contact his teacher(s) when we return from break.  The best and most logical place to start is with your son’s teacher(s).  You may also contact his guidance counselor or the Assistant Principal for Academic Affairs.  Please recall that any grade of “F” must be remediated in summer school.  If your son is having difficulty in his course work, encourage him to look at January as a new beginning.

The following are updates and reminders in no particular order:

  • Please note:  all first semester financial obligations to the school must be cleared before your son’s grades and second semester schedule will be released.  If you have questions about a hold on your son’s grades or schedule, please contact the Business Office at ext. 525.  Please pay special attention to any and all communication sent from the business office.  

  • Please note that all school offices will be closed December 23-26 and closed December 30th and January 2nd for the Christmas Season.  Hours for school offices, on days we are open, will be 9am-3pm.  

  • All faculty and academic staff will be away until January 3rd.

  • Attention senior parents:  all seniors are to report to school on Wednesday, January 3rd at 8am (in dress code) for the beginning of their service projects.  Attendance will be taken.   

  • Classes for juniors, sophomores and freshmen will resume on Wednesday, January 4th as well.  

  • As we are now officially in winter, please recall the following regarding school closing or schedule changes due to weather.  It is our goal to make decisions concerning school as soon as we can.  Once a decision is made about closing or amending the schedule, a text message will be sent via TextCaster. We will send an email to all students, a notice will be placed on our website and phone message, and local media will be notified.  

  • Please keep in mind that the BEST way to communicate with us at school - especially faculty - is by email.  

  • Please note that students may not be dropped off at the State Line entrance to the school before 8AM.  Students who do use this door prior to 8AM will receive a JUG.  

  • Thank you all parents who brought in cookies for the Christmas Cookie Exchange for the faculty.  

Christmas Blessings,

Administrative Team of Rockhurst High School

Medical Bulletin on Gregory Harkness -- Fr. Terrence A. Baum, SJ, President


Ten days after having been operated on to repair a cerebral aneurysm, Mr. Harkness is clearly on the road to recovery.  He no longer is in ICU, his pain has lessened and he is much more alert and communicative.  It is hoped that over the holidays he will be released from the hospital.  Please continue to keep him in your prayers.

ACT Prep Course

For many juniors, the spring semester is synonymous with stress. They are concerned about their grades and standardized test scores. They want to begin their college search but are worried that their test scores will not be high enough for admittance into the colleges of their choice. Luckily, Rockhurst High School offers an ACT Prep course. The class includes 15 hours of test preparation at RHS and an ACT Prep book. The program has seen proven results over the past ten years. To find out more information or to register online, please visit the main page of the Rockhurst website.  Here is the link to the ACT Prep class.

Admission Office

Rockhurst will offer the High School Placement Test on Saturday, January 7th at 8:00 a.m.  Please encourage any eighth graders who might be interested in Rockhurst to take the test. Walk-ins are also welcome. The Admission Office will accept online applications until mid-January, so help spread the word to family, friends and neighbors!

Calendar Reminders

  • All senior students are to report to school on Wednesday, January 4th for the beginning of their service projects.  Attendance will be taken.

  • Classes resume on Wednesday, January 4th for freshmen, sophomores and juniors.

  • Seniors and their parents are reminded of two mandatory meetings on Tuesday, January 10, 2017.  Seniors will meet to reflect on their Service Projects while senior parents will meet with the Dean of Students to review year-end expectations for our senior class.   Both meetings begin at 6:00PM.

  • Sophomores and their parents are reminded of the Sophomore Conversations which begin on January 23, 2017.  Please contact Mrs. Cavlovich if you have questions.  

  • Monday, January 9th, freshmen and sophomore students will take the Pre-ACT at Rockhurst while the other classes will not have school that day. The test should finish by noon. Required prelection for the freshmen and sophomores is Thursday, January 5th, at 8:30 am in the Rose Theater.   Mr. Scott Reagan will later be sending information about an informational meeting open to all parents in late February regarding the purpose and understanding of standardised testing.


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