I wish to express my sincere appreciation on behalf of the Saint John School staff for successful Annual Fund campaigns in the past two years. Through your generous contributions, we have made substantial improvements to the academic, faith, and service programs; added a variety of technology device applications; and funded an extensive teacher professional development program. We have also completed several facility projects including Project Domino, improved security, remodeled bathrooms, new air conditioning units, concrete bleachers, as well as continued athletic field improvements. We also began the scholarship program with a new student from a family in the Saint John Parish community.
As we begin a new year, we look forward to your continued generosity with the Annual Fund. Our goal above and beyond the money and the projects is to develop a culture of giving that allows us to continue to improve student learning to benefit both our current and future students. The improvements we have made to date are based on student, parent, and staff feedback and are aligned to our Mission Statement.
While there is no one main project this year, there are several improvements we wish to complete. We are looking to continue our facility improvement with new carpeting and painting for our oldest classrooms. The exterior of our campus buildings are also badly in need of repair and repainting.
Technology continues to be an area of need as well. We would like to add a variety of devices to the classrooms while also upgrading the technology lab. Funding our teacher professional development programs as well maintaining competitive teacher salaries will ensure we retain a highly qualified, professional teaching staff.
While some have asked why we don't increase the tuition to cover all these needs, the reality is our mission as a parochial school is to strive to make a Catholic education affordable for as many families as possible. Our current tuition is very competitive with similar parochial and private schools in our area, but it is also a financial stretch for some of our families. The Annual Fund allows us to stay competitive, keep a healthy enrollment, fund additional programs and maintenance, while eliminating a variety of small fundraisers that we had in past years.
Participation is the key to our Annual Fund. Sixty-six percent of our families contributed something to our fund last year. We hope to build on that number this year. Your tax deductible donation of an amount comfortable for your family will help us continue to educate the Catholic leaders of tomorrow.