Monthly Archives: November 2019

Nov 17th Newsletter

I’m back at it this week with a newsletter after spending last weekend chaperoning a field trip to Boise.  Trust me, I’d rather be writing!  I plan to put together a “Best Of” edition for next Sunday so I can spend December working on the book project.  The Top links for this week:

  1. The first article in the American Catholic News section is about churches but is just as relevant for Catholic schools. “There is No Such Thing as Church Revitalization” from the Lewis Center for Church Leadership describes how church communities who are suffering from losses in membership need to look to their mission, not simply recreating their past practices.  This conflict between tradition and innovation is playing out in countless Catholic schools right now.
  2. The next article, “It’s Not Easy When One’s School is Closed” is a well-written piece about seeing one’s alma mater closed as well as a reflection about poor planning which doomed a diocesan Catholic school system. This week I brought back the “Catholic Schools Opening and Closing” section–not for self-flagellation or to promote despair but to learn from the experiences of others.  Over the next few months we’ll see these announcements become more frequent.
  3. The next three articles are all referred to in the blog but I recommend “Synodality Isn’t Just an Option” as a way to understand the current reality.
  4. The last link in the section “Language Immersion Program” details an innovative program offered by the Archdiocese of Boston giving Catholic school faculty and staff (and administrators!) full scholarships to enroll in an intensive summer language institute. Couple this article with this video about the Latino Enrollment Institute at ND (which is now accepting applications for next summer).  We can’t lose sight of the fact that ministering to Latino Catholic families is the largest opportunity for growth in our schools and will keep the V Encuentro momentum rolling.
  5. In the Leadership Section, “5 Mental Mistakes That Kill Your Productivity” from HBR is a great little reminder about productivity.
  6. In the Teaching & Learning section, “The Right Way to Lead Teacher Learning” is a great piece on effective professional development and facilitation.

November 3, 2019 newsletter

This week’s newsletter focuses on financial best practices in Catholic schools.  Selecting the top 5 articles this week was very, very difficult.

  1. Following the theme of financial best practices in the blog, I present three articles in the American Catholic News section which touch on the same subject: “Twelve Lessons about the Future of Catholic Schools” in the Homiletic & Pastoral Review, “Ten Essentials for Sustaining Catholic Education” from the Healey Education Foundation, and “The Era of the Parochial School is Over” from America magazine. These articles provide further context for the discussion about the need for better financial practices in our Catholic schools.
  2. In the Teaching & Learning section, the first link is to MSU’s extension magazine. On page 10, there’s a great article about the efforts to establish a STEM program at one of our reservation schools, Pretty Eagle.  Their fantastic teacher, Jack Joyce, and principal Garla Williamson are featured—as well as their incredible folding bridge project.
  3. The second link is a blog post from Z-Winning Mindset entitled “The Big 6 Mindset Red Flags for Schools” and serves as a reminder of the warning signs for a flagging school culture.
  4. In the Miscellany section, this great article from Reader’s Digest describes the efforts to eradicate anti-Semitism from Billings in the early 1990s. There’s a great little piece on the role that Billings Central Catholic HS played about half way through.  Most of us don’t see anti-Semitism as part of our world or even our role in eradicating this prejudice.  This article provides an example for all Catholic schools to follow.
  5. The second article in that section is a great story of a hearing-impaired student at Loyola Sacred Heart High School (Missoula) who has found a home at the Catholic school.