Catholic School Matters

August 7, 2016

Welcome to "Catholic School Matters"

Many of you will be reading this for the first time since I've added new friends to the mailing list. This weekly newsletter is a collection of interesting articles I came across in the past week as well as information for the great principals and teachers in the Catholic schools in Montana. But it's not simply for them. My thought is that all teachers, coaches, parents, and learning leaders might all find something useful. After all, if we're not learning, how can we lead?

We're all busy and we don't have time to look for interesting things to read. I try to provide a variety of articles on Catholic schools, leadership, teaching & learning, and life which might interest you. I certainly don't expect you to read everything. I hope you might find something useful and please feel free to share. If you come across something interesting, please share with me.

Even though I took a month sabbatical from Twitter, I still came across some great articles this summer. This issue is my chance to clear the decks to prepare for the new school year. Next week, I'll publish my "Back to School" issue with tips for principals and teachers. If you have anything to add, please send it my way.

Dr. Tim Uhl, Superintendent

The Week Ahead

Monday: office (Helena)

Tuesday: Great Falls meetings

Wednesday: vendor meeting (Anaconda)

Thursday: office (Helena)

Friday: office (Helena)

This week: 394 miles

Last week: 883 miles

2015-16: 2,041 miles

What I'm Reading 2016-17

  1. Finding Our Way: Leadership for an Uncertain Time by Margaret J. Wheatlet (underway)
  2. The Orange Frog by Shawn Achor (on deck)
  3. The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis

Montana Catholic Schools

Serving 3800+ students in 24 Catholic schools across the Treasure State

For Principals

  1. The New Teacher & Administrator Retreat is right around the corner (August 15-16) in Great Falls. Principals, please see the email sent August 4th with details. Special thanks to FACTS for sponsoring our banquet.
  2. The newly designed website is up and running. Check it out
  3. Sr. Mary John Fleming, OP has a number of great resources on the election and faithful citizenship. Here is the link
  4. Here is a great article on planning your Back to School Night.
  5. The U.S. Department of Labor issued a Final Rule updating minimum wage requirements for exempt employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Th change goes into effect December 1, 2016. Does this impact your private school? Yes, and you need to begin preparing now for this change. To help you do that, Dr. Tom Cathey, ACSI’s Director for Legal Legislative Issues, will conduct a webinar on Thursday, August 25, at 11 am Mountain. Dr. Cathey will cover the basics of the new regulations, what has changed, and what you need to do. There will also be time for questions and answers. You may register for the webinar at:

  6. Catholic Mutual Safety surveys: The survey can also be completed at under Risk Management Info - Youth – Schools – School Safety Survey. In addition to completing the two School Safety Surveys, the designated School Safety Coordinator will be required to complete two online training safety modules. These can be found by visiting You will need to create an account if you don’t already have one. The School Safety Coordinator Program Requirements are located under “Optional Trainings.”

  7. The new school policies are on the website. There were only minor changes except for one affecting the schools in the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings. Previously, an employee would have to work 30 hours to be eligible for all benefits. Now employees who work 20 hours per week are eligible for retirement benefits.

  8. Please make sure employees are up to date with all Safe Environment requirements. In the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings, returning employees are now eligible to log in and take the renewal course. The deadline is May 1, 2017 to complete this requirement.

  9. I've included the powerpoint for Board/Advisory Council training in the Principal Portal (no password needed) on the website. I'd like to schedule a meeting with each board/advisory council this fall. If you haven't sent me your schedule, please send it my way so we can schedule a visit.

  10. On the website I've included the flyer for the October professional development days (Oct 20th & 21st). Please share this with your faculties. I've also scheduled concurrent workshops on the same dates in the same cities for development & marketing directors. That flyer should be ready next week.

Montana Catholic School News

American Catholic News

New York Post article entitled "The City Needs Every Good School It Can Get" which explores the issue of charters replicating Catholic schools, Catholic schools replicating charters, and the surrounding political issues

Leadership Links

Teaching & Learning