Department of Greek Education
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
Report to the Archdiocesan Council
1) Greek Orthodox Parochial Day Schools
September marks the beginning of our ecclesiastical year as well as a new beginning in school life for the young students enrolled in the Greek Orthodox Parochial Day Schools and the Greek Afternoon Schools of our Holy Archdiocese.
At present, there are 18 parochial day schools functioning throughout the United States, under the auspices of our Holy Archdiocese, with a total enrollment of 4,056 for the current school year 2002-03. They are located as follows: 2 in California; 1 in Florida; 2 in Illinois; 1 in Massachusetts; 11 in New York; and 1 in Texas.
Greek Orthodox Parochial day schools maintain pre-school centers, kindergartens, elementary and secondary grades and offer a program of studies that adheres to both local and state curricula. In addition, they incorporate within their curriculum the teaching of the Greek Orthodox faith and the Modern Greek language, history and culture.
We are pleased to report that a number of parishes across the United States have started early childhood programs in the last few years. Each school has expanded their program by adding one grade class each year. However, all have the potential to expand to full-day parochial schools.
The parishes, which currently sustain early childhood programs and early elementary grades, have reported a total enrollment of 314 students for the school year 2002-03. They are:
Holy Cross, Pittsburgh, PA (T.H.E.O.S. School) Pre-School — 3rd Grade
Prophet Elias, Salt Lake City, UT (St. Sophia School) Pre-K — 5th Grade
Holy Trinity, Dallas, TX Pre-School to 2nd Grade
Holy Trinity, Birmingham, AL Pre-Nursery to Kindergarten
St. Haralambos, Niles, IL Pre-School to Kindergarten
It should be noted here that Dr. Christal Chaney, principal of the Three Hierarchs Eastern Orthodox School (T.H.E.O.S.) in Pittsburgh, was the main presenter of an educational session at the 36th
Clergy Laity Congress in Los Angeles, which was devoted exclusively to the establishment of early childhood programs by parishes. Dr. Chaney gave an excellent presentation on the T.H.E.O.S program and provided the participants with useful handouts.
The Rev. John Chakos of Holy Cross, Pittsburgh, and Dr. Christal Chaney have made themselves available to the Archdiocesan Department of Education and are willing to advise anyone who is interested in starting an early childhood program within the framework of a Greek Orthodox parish.
There are more than 300 parishes that maintain after school Greek language and culture classes. It is estimated that 25,000 — 30,000 students, ages 6-15, are currently enrolled in these programs.
Furthermore, a great number of adults of Greek and non-Greek ancestry attend evening classes in Modern Greek.
The Archdiocesan Department of Greek Education’s main objective is to promote the teaching of the Modern Greek language, Greek history and culture and all that constitutes our Greek Orthodox heritage. To fulfill its mission, the Department provides community schools
1) On the National Level with:
2) On the Archdiocesan District Level:
The Department of Greek Education held its first for the new school year meeting of the day school principals in metropolitan New York on Thursday, September 12th, at St. Demetrios School in Astoria.
A major topic on the principals’ agenda was the upcoming Staff Development Seminar scheduled to take place on November 4 and 5. The principals also discussed the recommended by the Archdiocesan Department of Greek Education Teachers Salary Scale, pension and health insurance benefits for day school teachers, and the existing Regulations of the System of Greek Education.
Among the views expressed was their wish to speak and act as a unified body under the umbrella of the Archdiocese. Other topics of discussion included plans for the Greek Letters Day Celebration in January 2003 and participation in state conferences. The principals will meet again on October 18th.
The Cycladic Art Foundation, an affiliate of the Nicholas P. Goulandris Foundation (Athens,Greece), has funded a grant to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, in order to provide a children’s program in Cycladic and ancient Greek Art to students in the Greek Orthodox Parochial Schools in New York.
At the invitation of the Archdiocesan Department of Greek Education, Mrs. Estelle Sotirhos, member of the Board of Directors of the Cycladic Art Foundation, Mr.Nicholas Ruocco, Education Director of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and his assistant Ms. Eileen Flanagan presented their plans to the principals of the parochial day schools of metropolitan New York at their meeting, on September 12th. The principals were pleased to accept CAF’s offer, which will consist of the following educational programs:
Annual Staff Development Seminar
The Department of Education is currently preparing for its annual Staff Development Seminar to be held on November 4 & 5, at St. Demetrios School in Astoria, New York.
Held under the aegis of His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, this year’s Staff Development Seminar will offer in-service training to all the teachers who serve in the parochial day and the afternoon schools of the tri-state area (NY, NJ, CT). Over 300 teachers are expected to attend.
The Seminar will include workshops for the teachers of the English curriculum such as: classroom management; guided reading; cooperative learning; science; math; Internet and Web-page design.
Greek teachers will be offered workshops on the current methodologies for the teaching of foreign languages. Mrs. Evangelia Georgantzi, a well-known Greek writer of books for teaching the Greek language to foreigners has been invited to be one of the presenters. In addition, Mrs. Donna Kondylis-Geller will give a presentation on the Kindergarten Curriculum, currently under development. Mrs. Geller heads the writers team.
Mr. Dimitri Tolias, Director of Greek Studies of the Hellenic American Union, Athens, Greece, will visit the Archdiocese on October 7 & 8. Accompanying him will be testing expert and teacher trainer, Ms. Vaso Kourbani, and Mr. Alexis Tagaris, director of Information Technology of HAU.
The purpose of Mr. Tolias’ visit to the Archdiocese is to follow up on plans for collaboration between HAU, a testing center and teaching institute, known throughout Europe and the Balkans, and the Archdiocesan Department of Greek Education. Plans include collaboration on the development and evaluation of the annual Comprehensive Examination in Modern Greek (Regents) as well as design of a teacher preparatory program that will certify competency in teaching the Greek language.
Following a formal proposal, the Archdiocesan Department of Greek Education received a grant of $100,000 from the Niarchos Foundation in December of 2000. The funds were granted towards the development of curricula and materials for the teaching of the Greek language and culture. As a result, the Department has been working on the following two publications: