Category Archives: Newsletters

Turnaround Catholic Schools

Here is the link to the January 28th newsletter.  This week’s top 5:

  1. I’ve included links to the turnaround schools and a few articles about this schools. They are amazing stories.  Clearly, there is no silver bullet to turn around every Catholic school’s fortunes.  But you’ll be inspired by the efforts!
  2. However, school closing announcements have been pouring in. It’s important to read these stories because there are still people out who aren’t woke to our reality.  We have to help people understand that innovative approaches are necessary.  This section can be found after the American Catholic News section.
  3. Speaking of which, look no further than the first article in the American Catholic News section by Partnership School’s Kathleen Porter-Magee’s essay “To Spark a Catholic School Renaissance, We Need to Put Our Faith in Autonomous School Networks” is a must read.
  4. I recommend the article by HBR on Customer Service in the Leadership section. Sure, it’s common sense to pick up the phone and call parents to hear their concerns.  But it’s not common!  I’ve heard of principals who call a set of families every Friday to check in.  Not email.  Not letters and memos.  Phone calls.
  5. It’s Oscar season so enjoy this article on Lady Bird’s creator and her affinity for Catholic schools.

Have a great week celebrating Catholic schools!

January 21st newsletter

Here is the link to the Jan 21st newsletter

This week, I have a very lengthy blog which tries to bring together lessons I have learned from the Church Documents series.  Monday’s podcast marks the final podcast in the series and I wanted to draw your attention to the landing page for the Church Documents PLC.  My top 5 links:

  1. Religious Education is Broken is more than one year old but I find it remarkably relevant. How we are conducting religious education in parishes and religion classes in schools is simply not working.  I think treating it like a subject is part of the problem.  Activity-based programs such as Catechesis of the Good Shepherd have met with success.
  2. Further down in the American Catholic news section, Sarah Silverman’s interview with Fr. Greg Boyle is stunningly effective. They begin to talk about brokenness and humanity and it is surprisingly sweet.
  3. ‘Tis the seasons for announcements of school closings. Check out the School News section for information on schools as well as parents who are rallying to save certain schools.  It can get depressing but believe it or not there are still people out there who don’t full grasp the enormity of the crisis.  They are the proverbial frogs in the water as it is slowly heating to a boil.
  4. The Disciplined Pursuit of Less is a great article about time management but it also serves as a reminder for Catholic schools to be mission-driven/market-sensitive as opposed to mission-sensitive/market-driven. What are you supposed to be doing?  Spend most of your time doing that, says McKeon.
  5. Complexity Bias is a great article in the Miscellany section which explores our preference for complex solutions. Beware the consultant who makes the simple seem complex!


Innovation in Catholic Schools

Here is the link to the Jan 14th newsletter.

This edition of Catholic School Matters is devoted to Catholic school innovation.  I blog about my visit last month to Seton Catholic Schools in Milwaukee, a remarkable charter-like Catholic school network.  It would benefit any school or diocesan school leader to pay attention to what’s going on there.

I then include descriptions and links to thirteen other innovative models: ACE Academies, Catholic Schools Center of Excellence, Cristo Rey, Faith in the Future, Drexel Schools, Healey Education Foundation, Independence Mission Schools, Jubilee Schools, Lumen Christi Schools, Nativity/Miguel network, Partnership Schools (NYC), Seton Education Partners, and TWIN-CS.

My top 5 all focus on Seton Catholic Schools (Milwaukee):