Sep 21st Newsletter

Sep 21st Newsletter

Click through for this week’s newsletter about learning from our present experience.

Sep 14th Newsletter

Click here to read the Sep 14th #catholicschoolmatters newsletter focusing on building better connections with students

Aug 31st newsletter

Click here to read this week’s newsletter exploring the current racial reckoning in our country and its applications to our Catholic schools.  #catholicschoolmatters

August 24th newsletter

Click here to view the August 24th newsletter.  The blog explores the crisis in Catholic education and offers solutions and perspective.  #catholicschoolmatters

August 17th newsletter

Click here to view the Aug 17th newsletter.  The blog focuses on the Serenity Prayer and also includes some great resources and links for Catholic school leaders.

May 24th Newsletter

This weekend’s edition of Catholic School Matters will mark the final edition of this school year.  So I’ve put a collection of the most important COVID resources in one place as well as including some articles I’ve come across in the past week to spark some thought.

The Top 5:

  1. A group of Catholic school leaders has been working to help articulate a value proposition for Catholic schools during uncertain times. Here is the Executive Summary, designed to be put in the hands of Catholic school leaders on the front lines.  What are the themes that will resonate right now?  Print it out, email it, help distribute this great resource.
  2. The Greeley Center published a great planning guide for Catholic schools “Leading with Hope.” It’s the best planning guide I’ve seen.
  3. I also included links to the Montana Catholic Schools policy guidelines as well as the Diocese of Sacramento’s reentry template. These should help with your planning.
  4. I include an NCR article about how St. Michael Indian School is serving the Navajo in this time of need. I’m not seeing enough stories about how the Church is extending its hand to serve—instead I’m seeing too many stories about how the Church is holding up its hand to receive help.  The field hospital should be our metaphors, says Pope Francis, serving those most in need.
  5. The Deloitte article about resilient leadership in this time of crisis is well worth considering.

May 17th Newsletter

In this week’s newsletter, I’m focusing a bit on testifying and sharing the good news of your schools.  I’ve also connected some great resources and here is the Top 5:

  1. The Journal of Catholic Education is offering a special rolling COVID issue. The first two articles have been posted.  They are both articles from Dr. Quentin Wodon, lead economist at the World Bank affiliated with Notre Dame, and discuss the immediate impact of the COVID crisis on American and international Catholic schools.  They are extensive, thorough articles with fascinating data.
  2. In the midst of this pandemic, it’s worth your time to read about a Supreme Court case about employment law and the ministerial exemption. There’s a story from America magazine, from the New York Times, and LA Times.  We might see some radical changes.
  3. Watch this great interview with Jill Kafka from Partnership Schools. She says, “Catholic schools are pulling people together as the world is falling apart.”
  4. In the Educational Links, the first article is a deep dive on curriculum. It’s part 2 of a four-part series and it’s worth your time to consider how we adapt to our new reality.
  5. Don’t miss these…The CDC has published a decision tree for reopening schoolsand daycare facilities. Johns Hopkins Center for Educational Policy has released a planning guide for next year.  It’s really well done and worth printing out and sharing.

May 10th Newsletter

The Newsletter can be found here.  This week’s top 5:

  1. The first article focuses on three possible futures for COVID-19. No one knows what the future holds but I’ve yet to talk to anyone in education who doesn’t think it’s going to impact school operations this fall.
  2. The second article discusses the latest research regarding whether children can suffer from and transmit the virus.
  3. The next article from Kathleen Porter-Magee of Partnership Schools discusses planning implications for next year. There are a number of great projects for Catholic school leaders bubbling up and this blog post is the tip of the spear.
  4. There are three great articles on how schools are (creatively) dealing with graduation. The first discusses James Madison High in NYC, another focuses on creative ways principals are reaching out to their graduates, and a third highlights the faculty visits by one New York Catholic high school.  Let’s get out and (safely) visit our graduates!
  5. I’ve been working on a new curated list of resources to include the following categories: technology professional learning, remote learning PD, resources for teachers, and resources for home learning.

May 3rd Newsletter

It’s Sunday again which means another edition of Catholic School Matters tackling the confusing reality of planning for the fall.  I think that’s the block of ice we’re all trying to carve into a masterpiece before it melts.  I say “Sunday again” because I find myself looking at the calendar more often just to remind myself what day it is.

This week, Frank Donaldson of ISPD is the sponsor and I highlight some of his summer online classes through University of Dayton to assist leaders through this crisis.  This week’s Catholic School Matters podcast features one long-form conversation with Tom Barrett, the Aussie blogger and consultant who I’ve been following for years.

The Top 5 for this week:

  1. The first two links both follow the same theme. “Who will we become after the coronavirus?” in America magazine by Sister Rosemarie Nassif of LMU tackles the impact of resilience and “Pandemic sparks creativity” in Crux also discusses the response by innovative Catholic educators like John Galvan and Julie Cantillon in San Diego.
  2. The “Letter from the Holy Father” presents two new prayers for the pandemic and a call for the rosary this month. Lately there have been quite a few stories about the race for a vaccine.  Even if a vaccine is discovered, the choices about how to distribute, etc. need clear direction.  We have much to pray for.
  3. In the Education Links section, the first article “Why are some kids thriving during remote learning?” from Edutopia is a great article. We tend to see stories about who is being left behind, who is disconnected from education, how much education is being lost, and how exhausted we all are.  But it’s important for a minute to consider that some students (and teachers) are thriving.  Why?  And what does say about our traditional educational environment?
  4. The next two links are what I’ve been waiting for? I really haven’t seen many good ideas about how to deal with graduation and end of year rituals.  The Edutopia article “Four Ways to Celebrate Graduation” and the NY Times article “High School seniors are making yearbooks on Instagram” also highlights creativity.
  5. In the Miscellany section, the first two articles are about the taxing nature of Zoom calls aka “Zoom Fatigue.” This is certainly part of my reality and it’s nice to come across some research that confirms what I’ve been experiencing.  I’m finding the old-fashioned phone call is usually more productive.  Perhaps we’ll see an article about bringing back the telegram.

April 26th Newsletter

The link to this week’s newsletter.

Last week’s Catholic School Matters podcast featured an interview with Dr. Eric Wearne of Kennesaw State discussing the “Open Letter to Independent School Leaders,” and Leslie De Leonardis, the STEM Director at the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, also joined the podcast to discuss how valuable and relevant STEM can be in a remote learning environment.  This week I’ll be joined by two outstanding school leaders—Tom Campbell of Our Lady of Good Counsel HS outside DC and Mary Patrick from St. Stephen’s outside Baltimore.  The Top 5:

  1. The Ed Week article “Developing a Crisis Management System” is a great call to action for school leaders. The author suggests we form a task force to begin planning for the fall—scheduling, responses, cleaning, communication, etc.
  2. Partnership Schools has another great blog post “Lessons Learned from a Crisis” which illustrates the value of reflection and learning.
  3. HBR has two articles of value. “When a Crisis Hits, Lead with Humanity” and “Finding the Right Words in a Crisis” are both chock full of great suggestions.
  4. I have developed a new section where I compile resources as well as my own COVID collection. Far and away the best resource I came across this week was from SmartBrief.
  5. The article at the end of the Miscellaneous section about a partnership between St. Mary’s University and the neighboring parish illustrate evangelization at its best. This is an example of a university reaching out to serve its community and I couldn’t be more proud to be a Rattler alum.