Montana Catholic Schools Weekly

November 23, 2014

Good News from Montana Catholic Schools

  • · Butte Central hosted a Thanksgiving dinner for the community. They serve a free meal for 700 community members, including the poor, homeless, disabled, and members of nursing homes. They delivered over 250 meals to shut ins, too.
  • · Butte Central added a band program and it is proving to be successful.
  • · Butte Central schools have tried a $1,000 rebate to parishes for any new families referred to the schools
  • · Great Falls was hosting Project Unify, a partnership between the school and Special Olympics
  • · De La Salle Blackfeet reported their involvement with the Better Ways Foundation which promotes Blackfeet traditions and involve the faculty in teaching Blackfeet traditions
  • · De La Salle reported that the entire faculty would be attending a Lasallian education conference in Chicago this weekend
  • · Holy Spirit’s new science lab and library, new Promethean projectors and 170 iPads were all courtesy of a grant from the Wiegand Foundation.
  • · Great Falls Central Catholic shared the good news of their receipt of a matching grant from the Wiegand Foundation for over $600 thousand. If GFCC raises $150k, then the Wiegand Foundation will support the construction of a new athletic performance center (weight room, training room, locker rooms, and coaches office).
  • · The Billings Catholic Schools are actively raising money to build a new elementary school which will unify all three elementary campuses. The Capital Campaign is going public this Tuesday!
  • · The St. Francis Elementary schools reported high attendance at Parent-Teacher conferences and successful deployment of a 1:1 iPad program as well as implementation of PowerSchool
  • · St. Labre Indian Elementary reported the successful use of Title I funds to provide an instructional coach for teachers. They also reported a successful WCEA accreditation visit
  • · St. Charles Indian Elementary shared the good news of the implementation of a Crow language immersion program in pre-K and Kinder. The teachers are writing the textbooks!
  • · St. Labre Indian Middle School also shared the success of WCEA Accreditation and their use of data to target student needs in language arts. The school has signed up for “Hour of Code.”
  • · Billings Central Catholic shared the success of their mandatory drug-testing program, the success of behavior contracts, parent-teacher conferences, and a new dual enrollment program.
  • · St. Labre Indian High School reported successful parent-teacher conferences, high numbers of students on the honor roll, numbers up in their SOAR program, perfect attendance numbers rising, successful study halls before and after school, and a new “Native Hope” workshop that was a 3-day workshop on anti-bullying, suicide prevention, among other topics.

The Week Ahead

  • Monday: drive to Great Falls; Chancery Meeting 8:15-11:00 am; Great Falls Central Catholic Advisory Council Meeting 11:30 am; Bishop Warfel 1:00 pm; drive to Billings
  • Tuesday: All-School Mass at Billings Central 9 am; drive to Missoula; Missoula Catholic Schools Advisory Council meeting 5:30 pm; return to Helena
  • Wednesday: office (Helena)
  • Thursday & Friday: holiday

This week: 765 miles

Last week: 1120 miles

This year: 14,282 miles

Montana Catholic Schools

Serving over 3800 students in 24 schools spread across the Treasure State

News About the American Catholic Church

  • In Dickinson, North Dakota, plans are underway to build one school to consolidate all of their operations under one roof:
  • Pope Francis confirmed his trip to the US next fall which should include Philadelphia, New York City, and Washington: I don't see Montana on the itinerary (yet)
  • A new Catholic high school was announced for Mobile, Alabama:
  • An author has argued for the necessary changes in American Catholic schools:
  • A writer describes her affection for Catholic schools:
  • Pope Francis is trying to destigmatize autism:
  • A summary of the Diocese of Helena's bankruptcy plan:
  • Another article about the Archbishop Cupich and the "Francis Effect":
  • Archbishop Flores argues that Catholic schools must serve the underserved:
  • Pope Francis argues that the Church is a "mother without borders" and therefore must help all migrants:

RIP, Chris Connors

One of my former colleagues at Bishop Blanchet (in north Seattle), Chris Connors, passed away this week after a short and brutal battle with cancer. Chris was a great teacher, coach, and colleague. He will be missed by his wife, his two daughters, and the entire Bishop Blanchet community. Those of us who have taught in Catholic schools know the bonds we build with fellow teachers and how hard it is to lose a friend too soon.

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Random, Miscellaneous, and Perhaps Interesting

Helena takes flight