Principal's Newsletter -- Vol. 07, No. 04 -- May 26, 2017

Dear RHS Parents and Guardians,

Thank you to all parents and students for a great school year.  We have witnessed many wonderful achievements from our students this year.  It is so hard to believe that the 2016-2017 school year is now in the record books. Summer break has begun!  

On Sunday, May 21st, we held a wonderful graduation celebration for the Class of 2017, and our underclassmen finished their exams on May 24th.   We wish the best of luck as our newest alums head off to college, and we wish our rising seniors well as they begin to assume the leadership of key aspects of the school.    I look forward to working with the class of 2018 as they lead our important programs.  

Your son’s final grades are now available in NetClassroom.  Please keep in mind that all failing grades must be remediated in summer school.  Mr. Chris Bosco, the Assistant Principal for Student Life, is the contact for all matters concerning summer school.   While it is my hope that your son achieved the level of academic success consistent with his goals, I remind all students that the gift God gives them is the opportunity to begin anew in the new school year.   

A habit of active and prayerful reflection is a fundamental value of Ignatian spirituality and in Jesuit education.  I ask that you encourage your son to take some time to reflect on his academic year.  What were his strengths and weaknesses?  What are areas for growth academically and socially?  What changes would he like to make for next year?  

I would like to make an important note about school life.  Active participation in school activities is an essential part of the Rockhurst experience. We consider these activities to be co-curricular as we believe a significant level of formation occurs in these activities, clubs, and sports.   If your son was not involved this year, please encourage him to reach out and get involved in this aspect of school life.   Please contact Mr. Mike Dierks for information regarding athletics or Mr. Chris Bosco for information on clubs and activities.  

Please ask your son about preparation work or summer reading material that may be required for his 2017-2018 academic schedule, especially preparation work for AP classes.  

Rockhurst students really don’t take the summer “off”.  This summer we will be sponsoring immersion service trips to Mexico and Appalachia, as well as the freshman urban plunge immersion service experience here in Kansas City.  I encourage your son to get involved in some sort of service learning experience.  These trips are great opportunities especially as we strive to “give and not to count the cost”.  

From the Office of Ignatian Service Programs:   

All seniors will register for their January senior service projects on Thursday, Sept. 7th during a late start.  It is not too early to begin to reflect on what type of work your son would like to do during these important two weeks.  

Key Dates for 2017-2018

Though I want all in the RHS community to enjoy a great summer, once again here are the primary dates for the 2017-2018 school year.  Please see the RHS website calendar for complete details.


KEY CALENDAR  DATES:  School Year 2017 - 2018

July 31, 2017

All School Offices Reopen

July 31, 2017

Fall Sports Begin

August 3, 4, and 7, 2017

NEW Faculty Inservice

August 8, 9, 10, 2017

ALL Faculty Inservice

August 14, 2017

SR / JR / SO Convocation

August 15, 2017

Freshman Orientation / Convocation

August 16, 2017

First Day of Classes / First Semester Begins

October 13 - 16, 2017

Fall Break

October 30, 2017

Winter Sports Begin

November 22 - 24,  2017

Thanksgiving Break

December 18 - 20, 2017

First Semester Final Exams

December 21, 2017 - January  3, 2018

Christmas Break

January 4, 2018

Classes Resume / Second Semester Begins

February 26, 2018

Spring Sports Begin

March 12 - 16, 2018

Spring Break

March 30 - April  2, 2018

Easter Break

May 14 - 16, 2018

Second  Semester Senior Final Exams

May 20, 2018


May 21 - 23, 2018

Second  Semester Underclassmen Final Exams

May 24, 2018

Summer Break Begins


Summer Office Hours:

With the exception of the main office staff, all faculty and most support staff will be away for the summer.  If you have concerns, especially with end of year grades, please communicate them as soon as possible.  

The President’s and Principal’s offices will be open during the summer break; hours for both offices will be:  Monday-Thursday 9AM - 3PM. and Friday 9AM - 2PM.  Summer hours will begin on May 25th.   Please keep in mind that the entire building will be closed for maintenance from July 21st to July 30th.  

Summer Construction:

There will be quite a bit of construction activity in main school building and at the stadium during the summer months.  Some school offices will relocate for the summer.  Most important for parents, the Academic Affairs Office and the Registrar’s Office, and the Admissions Office will temporarily relocate to Xavier Hall.  The State Line “main” entrance to the school will also relocate to the Xavier Hall entrance (W7) for the summer.  There will be signs in the front of the school to help those who need to come to school during the summer.  All school phone numbers will remain the same.

Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding during construction.  The end result will be outstanding new spaces for our students.


General Comments:
This year marked the departure of several members of our faculty/staff. Fr. Baum, SJ is being reassigned to St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati, and Mr. Michael Kern has retired.  Messrs. Daniel Hrdlika, Sean Lawlor, Kevin Reardon, Jay Burns and Brian Bruce are all moving to new pursuits in their lives.  We wish them well in their new endeavors and thank them for all they have given to our community.   

I offer again my sincere thanks to all of you for your help and support offered to me during this year.  I am blessed to be part of this community.  Your thoughts and prayers and your support have enabled me to recover!  Thank you!

As we move into the summer months, I wish each of you a wonderful and relaxing summer.  Our students work very hard during the school year, and they deserve some time off.  I appreciate all you have done to make this past school year such a success.  This building is filled with bright, talented young men, none of whom got here on his own.  I understand the decision to invest in a Catholic education is a sacrifice for you.  Jesuit schools nationwide depend upon the parents of our students to keep our mission alive and well.  Thank you to all parents and guardians for all you do to assist us in the Catholic, Jesuit education of your son(s).

As Pope Francis reminds us: “Together with a culture of work, there must be a culture of leisure as gratification. To put it another way: people who work must take the time to relax, to be with their families, to enjoy themselves, read, listen to music, play a sport”.  

May your summer break be a time of renewal, rest, and celebration with friends and family.

May this time away from the everyday demands of school bring you closer to God.   May you travel safely and return to Rockhurst ready to begin anew in August.  Know that you will be in my thoughts and prayers during the summer months.  I ask that you pray for me.   If you need anything from the school, please do not hesitate to call or email us.  

Many blessings and happy summer, AMDG!


In Christ,
Gregory Harkness

Gregory Harkness, 81

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