Catholic School Matters
November 7, 2023
Building on the university partnerships articulated the past two weeks (Boston College’s Roche Center two weeks ago for board formation, Loyola Chicago’s Greeley Center for teacher professional development last week), it’s time to announce an exciting new partnership with Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE).
Through the generosity of a local WNY benefactor, we can now offer scholarships for many ACE programs as part of our Superintendent Catholic School Leadership Initiative (SCSL):
We can offer significant scholarships to make the Remick Leadership program affordable. This MA/principal certification program is designed for aspiring principals, is cohort/community-based, is rigorous and imbued with Catholic values. Combined with school funds or Title funds, this program could be fully funded.
We can offer significant scholarships for the Principal Academy–a two-year coaching program for current Catholic principals which includes some time over the summer on the ND campus as well as visits to high-performing schools.
We can offer significant scholarships for the Pastor’s Institute, a summer program designed for school pastors and chaplains.
We can offer significant funding for the fall leadership conference to current principals.
All these scholarships are not full-rides–there is an expectation that individuals will seek out additional funding through Title funds, the school budget, foundation grants, or donors. But the money is significant and there is a commitment from the anonymous donor for an ongoing significant annual dollar amount. In fact, there is a provision for how the money we DON’T spend will be used. So we’re incentivized to use it!
We’re excited to partner with ACE to inject their brand of quality Catholic formation into our leadership ranks!
Previous blogs can be found here. Want to keep up with the conversations surrounding Catholic education? Set up your own Google Alert, subscribe to this newsletter by clicking "follow," or subscribe to the Catholic School Matters podcast.
Dr. Tim Uhl
All Catholic schools are asked to consider sponsoring the Catholic Education luncheon, purchase tickets and ads, and tables. Here is the link. We are still looking for a part-time STREAM Coordinator. You can share this job posting with someone who may be interested. The Diocesan Spelling Bee will be held on January 29th at 6pm at Mount St. Mary’s High School. Please register your top 3 spellers HERE after you have held your own school-wide spelling bee. You can find resources and practice spelling words HERE along with some tips for your in-school spelling bees.
We've created a google doc for agendas and notes from the 8:30 am Wed Teams Meetings. Here is the link.
All Catholic schools are asked to consider sponsoring the Catholic Education luncheon, purchase tickets and ads, and tables. Here is the link.
We are still looking for a part-time STREAM Coordinator. You can share this job posting with someone who may be interested.
The Diocesan Spelling Bee will be held on January 29th at 6pm at Mount St. Mary’s High School. Please register your top 3 spellers HERE after you have held your own school-wide spelling bee. You can find resources and practice spelling words HERE along with some tips for your in-school spelling bees.
Here's the link to the Office Blog
Chris Riso on Government Services
- 11/7/23 Election Day - Please Vote!
- 11/17/23 BEDS Report Due to NYSED via Business Portal IRS-Data Exchange
- 12/1/23 Fire Safety Inspection Must be Completed; Report Due 12/16/2023
Parental School Choice Review by USCCB: Jennifer Daniels from the USCCB wrote a wonderful review of Parental School Choice options along with an update of the states that have currently implemented school choice programs. Her article, found in the Fall 2023 edition of NCEA’s Momentum magazine, explains how state-wide parental choice efforts changed from vouchers, to Education Savings Accounts (ESAs), and now to Universal School Choice.
NYSDOH Annual School Immunization Survey Due 12/15: Please work with your Public School District nurse to arrange for submission of your school’s annual immunization survey by 12/15/23. Your school or the District nurse will submit this survey via the Health Commerce System (HCS). If you have questions regarding the 2023-2024 School Immunization Survey, including how to access it, please contact me or visit https://www.health.ny.gov/prevention/immunization/schools/.
Unused NYSDOH HCS Accounts will be Disabled 1/1/24: I was notified that any Health Commerce System (HCS) user that has not logged into the HCS in 1096 days (three years) will be disabled starting 1/1/24. If you have an HCS account please make sure you log into the HCS system at https://commerce.health.state.ny.us/ and then verify and update your contact information. If you are the Coordinator, please make sure you remove any users that are no longer at your organization by using the Coordinators Update Tool. You can use the Communications Directory Search and Export Tool to determine when your users have last logged into HCS (I did this search for each school - email me if you want me to send your list of users to you). If any users have issues logging to HCS, please contact the Commerce Accounts Management Unit (CAMU) at 866-529-1890 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Federal Guidance from USDE, USCCB Flyer: The USCCB Secretariat of Catholic Education put together a document that includes links to US Department of Education equitable services guidance for federal programs (Title Programs/ESSA; IDEA/Special Education). The document has individual QR codes so you just scan the code with your smartphone to access the guidance you are interested in.
Federal Equitable Services: I will be joining Catapult Learning this week in St. Louis for their Equitable Services Institute. I will be learning best-practices for working with districts on Title I, Title IIa, Title III, Title IVa, and Special Education (IDEA) services.
Previous posts from Mr. Riso
Articles for Your Reflection
Hot-button topics may get public attention at the Vatican synod, but a more fundamental issue for the Catholic Church is at the heart of debate
Pope Francis' Synod on Synodality is attempting to move the church toward a more dialogue-based model of authority, a scholar of Catholicism explains.
Works of mercy: Catholic high school students served in multiple roles at
Most high school students, at some point in their educational career, are asked to complete service hours where they volunteer a certain amount of their time helping someone in need as a requirement for graduation.
Catholic School Matters Podcast
This season's Catholic School Matters podcast season is underway. This week, I bring Kelby Woodard back on the podcast. Kelby is now the President/CEO of the Cristo Rey Network after previously serving as a Head of School. He updates the status of Cristo Rey schools in development as well as new challenges to Cristo Rey. Previous episodes:
- In October, I kicked off a series of podcasts on leadership in Catholic schools. These five podcasts include a conversation with a Catholic school leader about five controversies which have impacted Catholic schools in the past year. Then I invite on another Catholic school thought leader to reflect on what they've heard.
- In the fifth and final installment, Chris Mominey of Avanti Advisers comes on to discuss a number of different controversies and then Dr. Daniel McMahon returns to the podcast to reflect on what he heard. Here's a blog about the episode
- The fourth podcast includes a conversation with Dr. Melanie Palmisano about five controversies and then a reflection by Dr. Antonio Felix of LMU. Here's a blog post about the episode
- The third podcast includes a conversation with Dr. Kevin Baxter of ACE about five controversies, and then a shorter conversation Dr. Bill Hughes. Here's a blog post about the episode
- The second in the series includes a conversation with Greg Richmond of the Archdiocese of Chicago and commentary from Faustin Weber. Here's a blog post about the podcast.
- The first podcast includes a conversation with Dr. Daniel McMahon from DeMatha Catholic High School and a reflection by Beth Purvis of Wake Forest. I've also penned a blog post which gives a little more context to the project
- I invite John Kennedy of St. Joseph High School in South Bend onto the show to discuss the school's decision to drop their Native American nickname and the process by which this decision occurred
- I spoke with Fr. Jack Podsiadlo, SJ, the author of the recent book "The Nativity Phenomenon." In the book, he tells the story of how the Nativity schools began and their incredible growth. Now semi-retired back home at McQuaid, this was a face-to-face conversation.
- I brought David Palmieri back on the podcast to discuss diocesan policies about human sexuality. Palmieri has done the homework to discover origins of different policies and find out how they are related to each other. We discuss the different types of policies, their origins, and their implications
Here is a link to the podcast on Apple Podcasts.
My Last 5 Books
White Too Long : The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity (2020) by Robert P. Jones
The Art of Learning ( 2007) by Josh Waitkin
The Great Dechurching: Who's Leaving, Why Are They Going, and What Will It Take to Bring Them Back? (2023) by Jim Davis, Michael Graham, and Ryan Burge.
The Rule of Benedict: A Spirituality for the 21st Century (2010) by Joan Chittister
Click this link for a full list of my professional reading
A few years ago I set out to write a book which would explore the challenges of Catholic school leadership. My premise that there are no easy answers and that we have to learn from our (and other's) mistakes in order to form a mindset appropriate for orchestrating conflict proved prescient as we all faced completely new and unexpected challenges in 2020. The book,Orchestrating Conflict: Case Studies in Catholic Leadership is now available on Amazon or on the Barnes & Noble site in print or e-book formats. The book explores issues in Catholic school leadership and the tensions between building community and following Church policies and introduces deliberate practice as a method for leadership formation. Most recently, I have completed a new book proposal so book #2 is underway!