Catholic School Matters

February 28, 2023

How to use the newsletter

Midway through the school year, it seems like a good time to put out a reminder of how to use Catholic School Matters. Our goal is to put out one email a week when school is in session so that we don't flood your inboxes but then we run the risk of overwhelming with too much information. To combat that, we have created blogs so you’ll know where to go for information. If you’re like me, you have grown tired of searching your own emails for information!

First, a reminder that if you are receiving the newsletter via email, by clicking on the newsletter you’re opening it and will get a better readership experience.

So let’s take the newsletter piece by piece. First, there’s a blog by me that I try to keep topical. You can find past issues here at this site and then you can search the blog by date or topic. You aren't required to read this. The same holds true for Kari’s blog and for Chris’s blog. Chris tends to share a lot of information but you can always go back to his blog and search “transportation” or “mandated services” to find out more information. The information they share is always there.

In between their blogs is a section called “Office Updates.” We try to post things there for only a week and then you can access everything on the office blog.

Next up is the section on Athletics. The blog site has all the useful information and can be accessed later if you forgot about a bowling date or needed to see the brackets.

The next section is “Save the Date” which is usually redundant to the office section. We delete dates which have passed by and do not capture this in a blog. The “Resources” section is redundant to our website but it puts forward the most highly used resources.

The section “Articles for your Reflection” are curated articles which are relevant to Catholic education or articles of general interest to me. You are not required to read any of those–they are simply there for your professional learning. I follow that with links to my podcast episodes. Again, these are not required. My hope is that you might find one of the topics interesting and listen for your own professional learning. Ditto for the book list which shows you what I’ve been reading. To cap it all off, I have links to the last 5 issues in case you want to go back to any particular issue. These links can also be found on our website.

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," subscribe to the Catholic Schools Daily, or subscribe to the Catholic School Matters podcast.

Dr. Tim Uhl

Kari Buchinger on Academics

Golden Apple/St. Sebastian Nominations

All Diocese of Buffalo Catholic Schools are invited to nominate one teacher for the Golden Apple Award. This award is meant to celebrate a teacher in your school who goes above and beyond and has had a positive impact on the education of your students. On May 30th a Golden Apple winner will be selected from each of our three regions. All nominations are due by Monday, March 27. Golden Apple Nomination Form

We are also bringing back the St. Sebastian Award. This award is to recognize an individual who has positively impacted your school's athletic programs. This could include principals, physical education teachers, coaches, athletic directors, league directors, officials, etc. On May 30th a St. Sebastian winner will be selected from each of our three regions. All nominations must be submitted by March 27.

St. Sebastian Award Nomination Form

Testing Tip!

Pacing! Sometimes pacing can be very difficult for students when they take exams. This is even true when students have untimed tests. Discussing pacing can help your students build their comfort level and stamina for the NYS exams. How long do students have to take their in class assessments? Do your students know how long they should work on one question? Or when to move on to the next question if they are struggling? Preparation in this area can ease stress when our big testing days come around.

Previous "Academic Corner" posts from Kari

Office Updates

  1. Here is a link to sign up for the 8th grade retreat and Here is the flyer .

  2. The March Principals Meeting Registration link (for the March 9th meeting). Working agenda link can be found here.

  3. Here is the link for the Office Blog with the latest forms and information. This can be found on the website under "Blogs.

Chris Riso on Government Services

Catholic School Advocacy Request: This week I will be setting up Zoom meetings with some of our NYS Legislators so we can share our thoughts on how the NYS Budget can support Catholic Education. Programs affected include AIS, Mandated Services, and Instructional Materials funding as well as NonPublic SafetyEquipment (NPSE) and Math, Science, and Technology Teacher Salary Reimbursement. I will be asking specific principals to join me for these meetings - look for an email from me by 2/28/23 asking for your participation. Meetings will likely be scheduled for after school on Thursday or sometime on Friday, either this week or next week.

Mandated Services Update: I am trying to catch up on the Excel spreadsheet and online claim reviews requested over the last few weeks - thank you for your patience while I work through these reviews. Check out my thoughts on your need to have official payroll and benefits reports. If you have not yet opened your 2022 claim online yet, please do so this week - you can enter the information later. Remember, I am hosting Mandated Services Data Entry Sessions 3/20 & 3/21 for those interested. Please email me if you have any questions about the Mandated Services process.

Previous posts from Mr. Riso

Athletics Info

Save the Date!

  1. Weekly principal Zooms at 9:00 am on Wednesdays
  2. Meeting with Catholic high school principals/presidents March 8th.
  3. Principal Meeting, March 9th, St. Andrew CDS
  4. Catholic High School information nights March 21st Nativity of Our Lord, March 28th St. Andrew CDS, 6-7:30 pm each night. Open to all students/parents in grades 6-8.
  5. 8th grade retreat April 21st.
  6. Diocesan Awards Ceremony May 30, St. Stephen's
  7. New Teacher Inservice (including VIRTUS), August
  8. School Board workshop September 22nd
  9. Fall Professional Development day, October 6, 2023 @ St. Mary's HS.


  1. School Visit Form, spring 2023.
  2. Devotional Calendar 2022-23.
  3. The Fall 2022 Diocesan Health Scorecard; The spring 2022 Diocesan Health Scorecard.
  4. School Pastor's Administrative Guide
  5. "Principal Task List." This is organized as a living Google Doc by month.
  6. New Policy Manual for all Catholic schools in the Diocese of Buffalo.
  7. New Operations Manual for Diocesan Catholic schools.
  8. Administrator Goal Sheet and the new Administrator evaluation form

Articles for Your Reflection

Catholic School Matters Podcast

This season's Catholic School Matters podcast season is underway with a conversation iwth Dot Teso, the president of St. Michael Indian School. Previous episodes:

Here is a link to the podcast on Apple Podcasts.

Catholic School Matters

A weekly newsletter of resources to spur enrollment and excellence in our Catholic schools.

Location: Buffalo, NY, USA
Phone: 716-847-5520
Twitter: @WNYCatholicEd

Past Issues of Catholic School Matters

Feb 14th "Activities & Retention"

Feb 7th "Anchor Churches"

Jan 31, 2023 "Catholic Schools Week"

Jan 24, 2023 "Accreditation"

Jan 17, 2023 "AI Blog!"

Jan 10, 2023 "January Updates"

For previous newsletters, click this link

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.