Dear Billerica Catholic Religious Education Families,
It hardly seems like it has been 4 years since we planned the original BCRE program, turning 3 separate programs into one program that was held at our 3 locations! We knew that with such significant change, we would have to adjust the program over time. Each year, we have made small changes in order to fine tune the program, always seeking to improve how we deliver Faith Formation to our children, and you, their parents.
For the BCRE year that starts in September 2019, we have several larger changes to announce. As we open registration for the 2019-2020 year, it is important that you understand the changes and ask any questions that you may have.
Here are the changes…
- We will be offering Faith Formation for Kindergarten children. Since K and Grade 1 children are mostly pre-readers, we will work with them together in one section (Young Disciples). We will separate Grade 2 children into their own section (Seekers), since they are generally readers, and we can use more age-appropriate materials. Kindergarten is optional this year.
Preparation for Reconciliation and Eucharist remains a 2-year program, and we will continue to have workshops for Reconciliation and Eucharist. Parents are still required to attend sessions with their children. Mrs. Melissa Gozzo will continue to lead the Young Disciples and Seekers program.
- Grades 3-4-5 (Explorers) and 6-7-8 (Navigators) will be reorganized into 3 grade groups: Grades 3-4 (Explorers), Grades 5-6 (Pathfinders), and Grades 7-8 (Navigators). We have long recognized that there are important differences in the way that 3rd and 5th graders, and 6th and 8th graders learn. We have received a lot of feedback about this, and finally believe we have found a solution that works. Grades 3-4 will meet on the Elementary weeks with Grades K-1 and Grade 2. Grades 5-6 and Grades 7-8 will meet together on alternating weeks with the younger grades.
- The curricula for Grades 3-4 and 7-8 will remain the same, but the curriculum for Grades 5-6 is being finalized with materials that match the age of these children.
- We will be asking both Grade 5 and 6 parents to attend classes on an every-other-session rotation. Parents will help with classes by leading activity and service project stations, running ice-breaker games, covering Hall Monitor duties, and other similar roles.
- Mrs. Deb Fergus will coordinate both Grades 3-4 and Grades 5-6.
- Mr. Tony Carbrello will Coordinate Grades 7-8 and continue in his role as Assistant Director of Faith Formation.
- The times and dates of session offerings have been adjusted based on this year’s attendance, and the availability of volunteers. We will analyze attendance information to offer session times in the future that make good use of our Coordinator and volunteer time, as well as the limited space in our three locations.
- We are testing online registration during early registration. Mr. Carbrello has done an awesome job of moving our paper forms on-line. If you would to give the new system a spin, please e-mail Tony at firstname.lastname@example.org for our testing. More information will come later in the spring.
As always, we continue to pray for you daily. We ask the Lord for clear a path to Him and to protect your families each and every day.
Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions.
Deacon Phil DiBello
Director of Faith Formation
Last Updated: April 8, 2019