DCS Administrative Bulletin

January, 2016

Dear Principals, Presidents, Administrators, and Teachers in the Archdiocese of San Francisco,

Please note that you must be logged into the password protected DCS Website in order to view the individual items included in this Administrative Bulletin.


Dear God,

Thank you that you make all things new. Thank you for all that you've allowed into our lives this past year, the good along with the hard things, which have reminded us how much we need you and rely on your presence filling us every single day.

We pray for your Spirit to lead us each step of this New Year. We ask that you will guide our decisions and turn our hearts to deeply desire you above all else. We ask that you will open doors needing to be opened and close the ones needing to be shut tight. We ask that you would help us release our grip on the things to which you’ve said “no,” “not yet,” or “wait.” We ask for help to pursue you first, above every dream and desire you’ve put within our hearts.

Shine your light in us, through us, over us. May we make a difference in this world, for your glory and purposes. Set you way before us. May all your plans succeed. We may reflect your peace and hope to a world that so desperately needs your presence and healing.

To you be glory and honor, in this New Year, and forever.

In Jesus’ name,


Wishing you, your school communities and your families many blessings this new year.

The DCS Team

Around Our Schools


This past Christmas season, Assistant Principal for Student Life Christine Buell personified compassion and the spirit of giving for the entire SHC Community.

Buell underwent surgery just after Christmas to donate one of her kidneys to former student Kelvin Saunders '13.

Read more about Christine and Kelvin's touching story.



Please click on the button below to view the Department of Catholic Schools calendar of events for January, 2016 - March, 2016
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The location of the January 21, 2016 Basic Certification Classes on Knowledge of Faith and Communal life has been changed from Our Lady of Mercy to St. Cecilia Church Hall at 660 Vincente St, San Francisco.


Beginning on December 8, 2015 (The Feast of the Immaculate Conception) and continuing until November 20, 2016 (Feast of Christ the King) the Jubilee of Mercy will be a special, holy year focusing on God's forgiveness and mercy.

The Archdiocese of San Francisco will observe monthly themes based upon the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy and themes of the Year of Mercy. The Corporal Works of Mercy are kind acts by which we help our neighbors with their material and physical needs. The Spiritual Works of Mercy are acts of compassion by which we help our neighbors with their emotional and spiritual needs. For a complete list of Monthly Mercy Themes, please click on the link below:


To celebrate this special year, the Archdiocese of San Francisco has created a website with information on the Jubilee Year; including activities, videos, and articles. To access this site, please click on the link below:



The Office of Religious Education and RCL Benziger will present a workshop on the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults Adapted for Children on January 26 at the Chancery. Attendees will learn about the rite itself, collaboration that must happen between Catholic schools and parishes, catechetical sessions, working with families/guardians, and pastoral considerations. Presenters: Laura Bertone, Director of the Office of Worship; Molly Malloy, Senior Editor for RCL Benziger; and Sr. Celeste Arbuckle, SSS, Director of the Office of Religious Education & Youth Ministry. Fee: $10 individual, $40 parish group. Please click below to see flyer, which includes registration instructions:



On Friday, February 5, 2016, the Department of Catholic Schools, in conjunction with the Department of Catholic Identity Assessment, will host a High School Faculty Convocation Day at Junipero Serra High School. The theme for this day is "Ever Ancient, Ever New" - Exploring the Catholic Intellectual Tradition. Please click on the link below to view the details of this event.


An email was sent to all High School Presidents and Principals earlier this month with registration details. For more information, please contact Pamela Lyons at lyonsp@sfarch.org.


As a result of the survey given last year, the Principals' Day of Retreat will be held on April 8, 2016, rather than in January. More information will be provided in January.


Please be reminded that the ACRE Assessment 2013 Edition for religious education assessment is to be administered to grades five and eight during the month of February 2016. Please click on the link below to view the newly created ACRE page on the DCS password protected website.


Walk for Life West Coast Youth Rally - You & Me: Known from All Eternity

Friday, Jan. 22nd, 9am-1pm

1111 Gough Street

San Francisco, CA

The Archdiocese of San Francisco, in cooperation with the Walk for Life West Coast, is beginning its outreach for the 12th Annual Walk for Life taking place on January 23, 2016. This year we are establishing a new program to involve our student population even more. On Friday, January 22, 2016, The Sisters of Life & Franciscan Friars of the Renewal will lead the 6th - 12th grade students of the Archdiocese of San Francisco in a Youth Rally that will include talks by the Sisters & Friars, Mass in the Cathedral, and a brown-bag lunch.

More information on the Walk for Life Youth Rally, including a Registration Form, is available by clicking on the link below:




Just a reminder that we are asking that any communication to the DCS is sent to us digitally. The DCS fax machine was removed from our office months ago.


We have created a document that gives you information on the proposed Renaissance STAR testing rollout. The steering committee met this week and discussed many of the information points presented here. Please click the link below to view the document:


The next meeting of the steering committee is April 5, 2016 at 1:30 p.m. at St Brendan’s. You are all invited, and we will send out a sign up closer to the meeting date.

To ease the implementation of Renaissance STAR Testing, the Archdiocese has decided to implement SchoolSpeak Lite at all our school sites as our SIS interface with STAR. This will not replace the current Student Information System you are currently using, however it will make the uploading of data to STAR and the Archdiocesan disaggregation of data easier and more streamlined. In addition, SchoolSpeak Lite will eliminate some of the paperwork we require you to complete each year and greatly simplify the NCEA Standard School Survey process.

We will be holding two informational meetings on SchoolSpeak and would like a representative from each school to attend one of the following dates:

  • January 29, 2016 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
  • February 16 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Representatives from the company will be here to tell you more about SchoolSpeak Lite and answer your questions. Please complete the form below to indicate which date you would prefer to attend.


Hooray! The 2016 - 2017 School Calendar information has been emailed to each school and included a number of supporting documents for your planning. Additionally, they can be located on our password protected website.

Please return your completed forms to Alicia Weinman as soon as possible, but absolutely no later than May 1, 2016. Please return your local School Calendar and Supplemental Information Form via email or mail. Do Not upload your completed forms to the Dropbox. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Alicia. 415 614-5666 or weinmana@sfarch.org.


Please send Rodney Yee your QuickBooks Profit and Loss statement (the P&L) as of December 31, 2015. The version I want is a FISCAL YEAR MONTHLY version CONDENSED. And Balance Sheet, CONDENSED.


To insure that Degree Completion is accessible to our Catholic School Teachers, the Archdiocese of San Francisco has set up a Scholarship program, the Educator Incentive Grant.

How the Program Works

For school year 2015-16, we estimate that we will be able to award $75,000 to our full-time teachers in semester increments of $750 for Doctoral; $700 for Masters and $650 for Credential. All courses must have units that would count toward those degrees, i.e. not CE courses.

The Educator submits an application, their Principal submits a recommendation and after the completion of the class is verified through (unofficial) transcripts, awards and checks are distributed until the fund is distributed for the year. Applications are at: http://www.sfarchdiocese.org/catholicschools/employment/educator-incentive-grant.

Educator Incentive Grants

OCT 31st application due for Summer, Fall and Spring

OCT 31st Transcripts due for Summer; Awardees notified; Checks mailed within a month

FEB 10th application due for Fall and Spring (note, these will only be accepted if funds remain)

FEB 10th Transcripts due for Fall; Checks mailed within a month

JUNE 15th application due for Spring (note, these will only be accepted if funds remain)

JUNE 15th Transcripts due for Spring; Checks mailed within a month

The Archdiocese is unable to provide financial aid to all teachers who apply.


To insure that Catholic High School education is accessible to children who live in Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo Counties, the Archdiocese of San Francisco has set up a Scholarship program. The program is a cooperative effort of Families, Catholic High Schools, Parishes of the Archdiocese, and The Department of Catholic Schools

How the Program Works

For school year 2015-16, we estimate that we will be able to award just slightly more than $1,000,000 in tuition assistance to our families on an as-needed basis. We will split the amount between high school awardees and elementary awardees. We continue to offer assistance on an as-needed basis.

High School Students have a deadline, specified by the individual schools, but not later than February 8th for submitting applications, including all documents supporting income, as requested to the third party need-evaluation company (TADS), and the Clergy Recommendation form. The Clergy Recommendation Form is part of the Archdiocesan Financial Aid / Scholarship application process, and can be downloaded during completion of the on-line forms. The applicant brings this form to his or her church. The Pastor or the Clergy returns the completed Recommendation Form to the applicant’s high school. The school will then submit the Scholarship Request Form and the Clergy Recommendation to the Archdiocese. Within the limit of available funds, the Archdiocese will then award additional financial aid to supplement the assistance granted by the high school.

Elementary School Students have a financial aid application deadline of April 15th. No Clergy form is needed for elementary applications, but please submit all documents supporting income as requested by the third party need-evaluation company (TADS). NO OTHER COMPANY IS ACCEPTABLE, IF YOU ARE APPLYING TO THE ARCHDIOCESAN GRANTS.

After the Student Aid Form has been processed, the school will make a financial aid award from its own resources. The Archdiocese’s Department of Catholic Schools reviews the completed applications, ranked on the basis of financial need.

Late applications will NOT be considered. Students must live in San Mateo, San Francisco or Marin Counties. High Schools will announce the Archdiocesan Scholarship awards to high school families at the same time the school acceptance letters are sent. The Archdiocese will announce Elementary Family Grants to elementary families and their schools in May.

Message to Our Donors The Archdiocese of San Francisco wishes to thank you for your continued generosity to our schools. It is because of generous donors like you that generations of students and their families have and will receive a Catholic school education. If you wish to find out more about contributing to the scholarship funds, or wish to inquire about a specific fund, please don’t hesitate to contact Gustavo Torres at torresg@sfarchdiocese.org Thank you.

We use TADS Service as our third party information data entry service and provider. To use the TADS Financial Aid online application go to www.mytads.com. You will be guided through the application. If you have any questions, you can phone TADS at 800-477-8237.

School Families

FEB 8th (or earlier) High School application due

APR Award Letters sent to high schools

APR 15th Elementary Applications due

MAY Elementary awards Letters sent to families

SEPT Confirmation of Attendance due to DCS

OCT Award checks sent directly to schools

The Archdiocese is unable to provide financial aid to all students who apply.

If a family is notified that the Archdiocese cannot provide assistance, the family should contact the school for information about any additional assistance that may be available directly from the school.

Change of Venue for K - 8 Educators Conference

Friday, Feb. 5th, 8:30am-2:30pm

Saint Cecilia School

On Friday, February 5, 2016, the Department of Catholic Schools will host a K - 8 Educators Conference at Saint Cecilia School and Technology Program at St. Gabriel School. Please click on the link below to register for this event if you have not already done so.


Technology component happening at St. Gabriel School, San Francisco 2550 41st Ave. @ Ulloa.



Each year, the Archdiocesan Respect Life Program sponsors an Essay Contest for Catholic Schools, homeschoolers and Religious Education departments. 2015 marked the 27th annual contest. This year’s theme focused on angels – powerful allies in the pro-life battle. Students were asked to reflect on guardian angels and archangels and to compose a prayer asking for their protection and intercession for the unborn and vulnerable. More than 400 students participated in the contest, with 95 entries chosen for awards. These students and their families will celebrate an Awards Liturgy & Reception at St. Mary’s Cathedral on February 7 at 11:00 am; all are welcome to join them. Thank you to the volunteers and teachers who made this year’s contest such a success. Read the names of the winners by clicking on the link below:



City College of San Francisco will host a Speech Tournament for participating students in

grades 6 – 8 from public, private and Catholic schools within the Archdiocese of San Francisco, on Saturday January 23. There is no charge for this tournament and there are wonderful prizes being offered. For additional information and other tournament dates, please contact Speech Coach & Director, Stanford Chandler or Danise Chandler at 415 314-8434 or at danisec0113@comcast.net.


Please note that effective January 1, 2016, schools can no longer accept "personal belief exemptions" for students whose immunizations are not up-to-date. Only medical exemptions are acceptable. Two links have been added to the Students:Health section of the password protected DCS website the provide additional information on SB 277. In addition, the website http://www.shotsforschool.org, has lots of easy to understand information about SB 277 and vaccines in general.

To access the DCS Student Health page, please click on the link below:



All Catholic High School Students are invited to participate in the 12th Annual Walk For Life on Saturday, January 23, 2016!

Participating schools will be walking together, with their schools, at the front of the Walk and we encourage you to bring your School Banners​. What began as a grassroots movement twelve years ago by a small group of San Franciscans, is now the 2nd largest Pro-Life event in the country after the March For Life in Washington DC. You will be contacted by Kathleen Bruno, WFL High School Coordinator with more information shortly. Kathleen's contact information is kathleenbruno@gmail.com and phone 415-302-6400. WFL website is www.walkforlifewc.com.


The Respect Life and Family Life programs of the Archdiocese of San Francisco are hoping to increase participation of San Francisco Catholic students in the annual Walk for Life. This is a tremendously popular pro-life event, last year involving over 50,000 people. Please encourage your students to go, consider walking as a school (with a banner) and please consider offering service hours for attendance at this year’s event on January 23rd.

For more information please go to www.walkforlifewc.com/schools/



As a reminder each elementary school should begin the 2015-2016 process for the annual WCEA Catholic Identity Ongoing Review.

All documents can be found by going to our password protected website under Accreditation:Elementary Document Library or by clicking on this link: http://www.sfarchdiocese.org/catholicschoolsadministration/accreditation/elementary-document-library

Included in this section of the website, you will find the following items/documents as you outline the tasks necessary for the Catholic Identity Review:

  • WCEA Catholic Identity Ongoing Review Process
  • WCEA Catholic Identity Ongoing Review Timeline
  • WCEA Catholic Identity Ongoing Review ISL School Chart 2013-2019
  • Years III-VI Simplified Plan: Accomplishing Catholic Identity Goals 2015
  • Improving Student Learning: Catholic Identity Ongoing Review Template 2015

Instructions for completing the annual Catholic Identity Ongoing Review process are found in the documents listed above.

The Catholic Identity Ongoing Review Report is due on JUNE 30, 2016. Questions may be directed to Pamela Lyons at LyonsP@sfarchdiocese.org or 415-614-5663.