Catholic School Matters

September 17, 2017

ESSA is Here; Where Are You?

This is the first year of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and it should mean increased Title funding for your school. Here is the link to the ESSA transition page with lots of information and here is the USCCB's page on Public Policy with lots of great information on ESSA, too. Here is the NCEA web page with lots of great ESSA resources, too.

Have you checked your allocation? Without the set asides, your Title II allocation should have increased. If so, what do you plan to do with the increased funding? In some ways, this situation represents the thought question “What would you do with an additional $(insert amount) thousand for professional development?” Until you’ve asked the question you can’t begin to answer it. So now the question is staring you in the face. What are you going to do?

If can identify priorities and strategies for utilizing these additional funds, the increase will pay off. Here are a few suggestions:

1. The NCEA Convention this year is in Cincinnati (April 3-5, 2018). Money from Title II funds can be used to defray travel, lodging, and registration. I’ve heard of schools ask for interested teachers then drawing the names of 2-3 teachers for the conference. These teachers are expected to return and present to the entire faculty. The Convention puts teachers in touch with current trends, best practices, and connects them with the community of teachers across the country. Why not set aside some of the new allocation for the Convention?

2. Catapult Learning, the largest provider of education services to private and religious schools, offers assistance in navigating the changes brought on by ESSA, as well as access to the most effective programs for students, teachers, and school leaders. By clicking on this link, you will find valuable, easy-to-access information about ESSA, particularly as it pertains to private school students in federal education programs. Please click on the “free consultation” tab in the top right corner of the website, to request that a Catapult Learning representative contact you.

3. Dr. Pat Haggarty, my popular predecessor, has become involved in this segment, too, as the President of FACTS Education Solutions. ( FACTS Education can consult and offer innovative solutions for your professional development needs.

If you don’t identify a plan, your additional funds will be absorbed in the typical “potpourri” approach where the teacher requests are met when they come in (as long as there is money).

Want to keep up with the conversations surrounding Catholic education? Set up your own Google Alert, subscribe to the Catholic Schools Daily, or subscribe to the Catholic School Matters podcast. Keep reading.

Dr. Tim Uhl

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What I'm Up To

This is the second week of the Catholic Leadership Summit (CLS) previews. For these two weeks, I'll be interviewing CLS presenters in order to preview the conference. Every day (Monday-Friday) a new CLS preview podcast will drop. If you are a superintendent or central office member, have you made plans to attend the CLS? It's not too late to RSVP.

Tomorrow's podcast (Episode # 71) is an interview with Dr. Barbara Edmondson, the new Director of Leadership Development at NCEA. Tuesday's podcast will be an interview with Dr. Mike Boyle of the Greeley Center, Wednesday will be an interview with Dr. Kurt Nelson from the Archdiocese of St. Louis, Thursday will be an interview with Dr. Mary Kearney from the Archdiocese of Chicago, and Friday will be the incomparable Sr. Angie Shaughnessy. Here is the link to the podcast on iTunes. Here are videos showing you how to download and subscribe to a podcast on iTunes and how to download and subscribe a podcast on Android.

I'm continuing to develop a "Church Documents" podcast study series. The series will kick off October 30th and will trace Church documents on Catholic education from Vatican II until today. I recommend you order At The Heart of the Church so that you can read along.

Here's what I'm working on this week:

  • Monday: Church Documents podcast series production/ Office (Helena); CLS Preview Podcast Episode #71: Dr. Barbara Edmondson.
  • Tuesday: Visit to St. Paul Mission Grade School (Hays); CLS Preview Podcast Episode #72: Dr. Michael Boyle.
  • Wednesday: Visit Sacred Heart School (MIles City) & Billings Catholic School Board; From the blog: Wed book blog Joy of the Gospel by Pope Francis. CLS Preview Podcast Episode #73: Dr. Kurt Nelson.
  • Thursday: Great Falls meetings; CLS Preview Podcast Episode #74: Dr. Mary Kearney.
  • Friday: Office (Helena); continue production of Church Documents podcast series. CLS Preview Podcast Episode #75: Sr. Angela Shaughnessy

Miles this week: 1,134 road miles

Miles travelled in 2017-18: 6,268 road miles; 4,866 air miles

American Catholic News

Leadership Links

Teaching & Learning


Past Issues of Catholic School Matters

September 10, 2017 "On Leadership"

August 27, 2017 "American Catholic News"

August 20, 2017 Back to School Issue

What I'm Reading

  1. Wait, What? And LIfe's Other Essential Questions by James E. Ryan.
  2. Learning Transformed: 8 Keys to Designing Tomorrow's Schools, Today by Eric Sheninger & Thomas Murray (finished)
  3. The Joy of the Gospel by Pope Francis (finshed)
  4. Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right by Arlie Russell Hochschild (finished)
  5. Tribal Leadership by Dave Logan, John King & Halee Fischer-Wright (finished)

Click this link for a full list of my professional reading along with links to Wed Book Blogs

For Montana Administrators & Teachers

  • Here is the flyer advertising the Catholic Teacher Days October 19th & 20th in Butte, America. Since the University of Notre Dame jumped on board with two different presentations--one on Science & Religion and another on reaching high-risk students by the American Indian Catholic School network--I'm working on a new flyer. Stay tuned!
  • Here is the flyer for the Sophia professional development for religion teachers on October 19th in Butte, America
  • Here is the slideshow from the Sep 5th Admin Virtual meeting. Included are all the links to the documents & reports we discussed. Next meeting scheduled for Oct 3rd!