Catholic School Matters
October 10, 2023
Over the past couple of months, I’ve been working on a podcast project which built on my 2020 book Orchestrating Conflict: Case Studies in Catholic School Leadership. In that book, I presented 10 different scenarios as in-depth case studies. This fall, I designed conversations with thought partners about recent controversies in Catholic schools.
The idea is that we don’t talk about controversies enough and thus we’re losing the chance to learn from them. We should talk about these issues so we can form better leaders.
In these podcasts, I invite a thought partner to discuss 5 recent controversies–including how they might have approached the situation, whether they’ve encountered anything similar, and how they could have worked toward a different result. Then I send that file to another person who listens and then comes on the podcast to discuss what they liked and what they wished they had heard more.
Thus far, I’ve recorded four of these podcasts and they’re dropping all month. It’s a great chance for your own professional development. If nothing else, it keeps you current on issues in Catholic schools. At its best, it will give you actionable insights into how to improve your professional practice.
Here’s a link to this week’s Part 2 when I discuss a few controversies such as religious charters with a former charter executive/current Catholic superintendent, Greg Richmond. This is especially relevant since Oklahoma is moving forward with the nation's first religious charter school. Here’s a link to Part 1. I’ve written two blogs to introduce links about each of the controversies so you can learn more. Here’s the first blog post, and here’s the second.
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
Oct 6th PD Day
Chris Mominey of Avanti Advisors discussed mindset and vocation in the afternoon session
We've created a google doc for agendas and notes from the 8:30 am Wed Teams Meetings. Here is the link.
STAR Champion Academy is now being held on Oct. 25, 26 & 27 at UB Newman Center, 495 Skinnersville Rd, Getzville, NY 14228. Register HERE. View a sample of what will be covered here and how your school will benefit from Renaissance-U here
The Diocesan Speech Tournament has been postponed to January 20th, still at Cardinal O’Hara. More details to follow.
Catholic School’s Day with the BPO is Feb. 13, 2024 at 10:15am. This year’s theme is The Orchestra's Secret Formula. Use the BPO Registration form to register your school (grades 1-4). Payments must be received by January 8th.
8th Grade Diploma Order Form must be completed by January 31st.
It is our pleasure to send the annual nomination forms from The Foundation of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo for the Natalie Mattimore Lewis Kindness Counts Character Award and The Tim Russert Creative Scholarship for Writing Award. New this year, there is another scholarship for students to apply for called The Joseph S. Fanara Scholarship for Music Enrichment. Additional details and qualifications can be found by clicking on each scholarship name.
- The STREAM coordinator position is now open and we're searching for a part-time coordinator.
Here's the link to the Office Blog
Chris Riso on Government Services
- 10/12/23 Government Services Update for Board Chairs, Chaplains, Pastors, & Principals
- 10/13/23 Register for CSAANYS Gathering in Syracuse 10/18
- 10/23/23 NCEA Updates/Corrections Due to our Office via Google Sheet
- 10/25/23 Deadline to Register for Albany RISE Conference to get Free Hotel Room
- 10/28/23 Last day to register to vote in NYS – Encourage all Families to Vote!
- 11/1/23 Title I Letters Sent to Each Public School District w/Poverty Students
- 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
Government Services Quarterly Update via Microsoft Teams 10/12: The first quarterly Government Services Update for school board chairs, principals, business managers, chaplains, and pastors is on 10/12 at 3:15pm. Email invitations were sent on 10/4/23. Contact Chris Riso at firstname.lastname@example.org if you did not receive your invitation and wish to attend.
Mandated Child Abuse Reporter Training: Item 11 of the BEDS Report just released includes an attestation regarding the mandated Physical & Behavioral Indicators of Child Abuse and Maltreatment training for your staff. I just wanted to give you a reminder that NYS Education Law §100.2(hh) requires our teachers, administrators, teacher aides, and bus drivers to comply with Section (8) of Chapter 363 of the Laws of 2018; they must complete two hours of coursework or training regarding the identification and reporting of child abuse and maltreatment and/or the new yearly “Child Abuse in an Educational Setting Training”. The training requirements, separated by personnel categories, can be found at Child Abuse Prevention Training | New York State Education Department (nysed.gov). We recommend that your staff do this training via the BOCES or other approved providers and then save the receipts for NPSE (Non Public Safety Equipment) reimbursement.
You have two options for the one course which must be completed each year: “Child Abuse in an Educational Setting Training”: training provided by Erie 1 BOCES or training provided by the Capital Region BOCES.
Erie 1 BOCES online training - Erie 1 BOCES has created a 30-minute pre-recorded PowerPoint training that meets the requirements of Education Law Article 23-B and the accompanying regulations requiring “ongoing training” of various school employees on child abuse occurring in an educational setting. Once purchased, the training can be replayed as many times as you need and can even be used in future years to meet the yearly “Child Abuse in an Education Setting Training” requirement. The cost of this training is a one-time fee of $200 per school and can be shown to a group or watched by individual staff members. If new topics are required by NYS law in future years, Attorney Dermott will update the presentation and then recommend you purchase the updated version for a nominal fee ($75?). Questions about this program can go to Amanda Dermott at email@example.com. If you are ready to purchase the training, contact Ashley Sweeney at 716-821-7115 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Capital Region BOCES Online Training - NYSED continues its partnership with Capital Region BOCES and PowerSchool to offer an online version of the new trainings that will fulfill the requirements associated with the amendments to the reports of child abuse in an educational setting adopted by the Board of Regents at their October 2019 Board of Regents meeting. To learn more about the online course offerings, including how to easily register, complete, and access your completion certificate, please visit the website here. Each individual staff member will pay for the online course (which I think is still $10) because the school cannot pay directly with the way it is currently set up; you would then reimburse each staff member for the cost of the course and retain all the documents (proof of attendance, payment receipts, canceled checks from the school for payment to each employee) to submit with your next NPSE reimbursement request and as proof that your staff met the training requirement.
If you have anyone who still needs to take the once-in-a-lifetime training regarding the identification and reporting of child abuse and maltreatment, you may want to instead have them take the free online course so you don’t have to pay another $10. All certified teachers and administrators would have had to complete this course prior to becoming certified to teach in NYS.
Previous posts from Mr. Riso
Articles for Your Reflection
New Iowa guidelines praised as a 'milestone' by LGBTQ Catholics and advocates
In a departure from many diocesan policies on the topic, a new document from the Diocese of Davenport, Iowa, stresses the first response to LGBTQ individuals should be "one of welcome, love, and respect."
Catholic School Matters Podcast
This season's Catholic School Matters podcast season is underway. Last week,.I kicked off a series of podcasts on leadership in Catholic schools. These five podcasts will 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. 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. Previous episodes:
- 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. Josephy 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
- I spoke with Rob Birdsell of Amerigo Education & Catholic Virtual. It's a wide-ranging discussion about Catholic education and innovation
- I spoke with William Daily, the longtime principal of St. Mary Magdalene School in San Antonio which has undergone a remarkable transformation in the past decade.
- Conversation with Christine Healey. The Healey Foundation has been in incredible partner with the Diocese of Buffalo and Christine describes the new direction for the foundation.
Here is a link to the podcast on Apple Podcasts.
My Last 5 Books
Distributed Leadership (2006) by James Spillane.
Born to Win: Find Your Success (2017) by Zig Ziglar.
Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works (2013) by A.G. Lafley & Roger L. Martin
The Interior Castle by St. Teresa of Avila.
White Too Long : The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity (2020) by Robert P. Jones
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!