Catholic School Matters
May 24, 2022
Bullying & Harassment Language
At Monday night's interfaith prayer service for healing and racial justice, Bishop Fisher spoke strongly about how we need to change. "What we do now that we should have, could have done before?" he asks. Another speaker called us all to fight racism in its many forms, to confront and call out racist comments we hear in the moment so we can work to eradicate the virus of racism. We can start with our school environments.
It's time for us all to look at our handbook language and policies surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion. We've developed updated language for Anti-Bullying & Harassment for your handbooks which can be found in Part 1 of this document. We've adopted this as part of our Diocesan school policies (see Policy 570). We recommend that you update your policies by comparing what you have to what we present.
The next step is to examine whether you specifically address hate speech. Why? You might have something that addresses harassment, for example, so why should you include something that specifically addresses hate speech? Consider this example. A student could tease another for a bad haircut, for example. The teasing could become persistent and disruptive. Your harassment or anti-bullying policies would address that. But what if the teasing involved an African-American student's dreadlocks? The two instances are not the same. In the latter incident, the student is being singled out because of his race. So we should address hate speech in some fashion so that we're not equating all types of harassment. Our policies need to prioritize fighting racism.
We're presenting two options. The first is explicit, defining hate speech and articulating the types and consequences. Thanks to St. Joe's Collegiate Institute here in Buffalo for this example. The second option is a little more generalized. We have chosen the second one from Walsh Jesuit in Cleveland. You can find these examples here. Take the time to consider both options. This provides a teaching moment for you to educate your board, your faculty, your parents, and even your students what you're choosing and why.
Finally, we've included the newly approved DEI statement from the Diocese of Buffalo as a recent effort to promote belongingness in the diocese. Amid all the trauma, this statement of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is a worthy effort.
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
This past week I had the opportunity to attend my first hope ribbon ceremony at St. Christopher School. It was a joy to see the pride beaming from both soon-to-be graduates and their parents. But the moment that stuck with me the most was when the 8th graders passed on a candle to a current 7th grader. As I watched this passing of the “torch,” I was struck by the reaction of the 7th graders. They stood a little taller, their faces became a bit more serious, and you could see that they were ready to take on a new challenge. As we look to the next school year, I invite our teachers and leaders to live out this same spirit and join me as we challenge our own instructional expertise with the addition of Classroom Learning Labs.
Classroom Learning Labs are an opportunity for teachers in the Diocese of Buffalo to experience in-depth observation and professional learning around the art of teaching within a cohort of colleagues.
Teachers will have the opportunity to strengthen relationships with fellow educators, identify instructional strengths and areas for growth in their practice, observe fellow teachers in the Diocese of Buffalo, and engage in cycles of continuous improvement and reflection to advance their instructional practice.
Classroom Learning Labs will occur once per month in area Catholic Schools. For this to be a success, I ask that schools protect the one day per month that our cohort will meet by ensuring a substitute is available for each participating teacher.
Are you interested in recommending a teacher or volunteering to host a learning lab? Please take a moment to complete this survey. More information to come!
- When: Thursday, June 9th
- Where: St. Andrew Country Day School
- 1545 Sheridan Dr
- Kenmore, NY 14217
- 7:45-8:15 Arrival/Sign in Materials
- 8:15-10:00 Scorer Training: Training set, practice set, CAS
- 10:00-1:00 Scoring
** Please enter through the gym doors
Previous "Academic Corner" posts from Kari
We have created a very short survey for principals to express interest in a few upcoming programs such as the principal retreat, virtual math academy, pathways to certification, etc. Here is the link for the survey designed to be taken this week.
Meitler is offering a Catholic School Leadership cohort for next year. We can recommend this program. Please apply soon because the kickoff retreat is coming up.
Here is the tentative list of dates for meetings & activities for the 2022-23 school year which includes a new date for final principal meeting of the year (now in June, not May).
Chris Riso on Government Services
The ability for you to claim Regents Scoring Workshop Hours on Mandate 4 of your Mandated Services claim is a great financial benefit to your school, reimbursing you for the hours that your teachers spent prior to exam scoring to prepare for the exam scoring as is required by NYSED. Therefore, let me remind you of how you should be verifying that these workshops took place along with the hours your teachers spent in these scoring workshops. Please be sure that you create and save Regents Exam Scoring Workshop agendas and sign-in sheets for each exam your teachers correct. These documents will substantiate any Regents Scoring Workshop hours you claim on your 2021-22 Mandated Services Claim. NYS mandates that scorers receive “task-specific training on the actual administration of the exam[s]” (wording differs for each exam) so be sure to claim these hours spent training to score; this would include collaborative work analyzing the anchor papers provided in the scoring manual. It would not be unreasonable for 1 or 2 hours to be scheduled for this training for each Regents Exam you score so make sure your day-of-scoring agenda shows this training time. Here is an example of a day-of-scoring agenda with room to teachers to sign in:
- Regents Algebra I (Common Core) Exam Scoring Agenda
- June 16, 2022
- 12:30am – 10:30am Training Raters to Score Student Responses
- 10:30am – 3:00pm Scoring Exams (with 1/2 hour lunch)
If you want, you can leave blanks for the start and end times so you can fill them in with the actual times you spent in training. Be sure to also have an area below with lines for teachers to print their names and sign in. Once this form has printed names and signatures, make a copy for your 2021-22 Mandated Services folder. If you (or the school your teacher scored with) did not create these agendas last January and require teachers to sign in to each workshop session, I recommend that you take the time now to recreate those documents and get the teachers involved to sign in (albeit after the fact) so you have forms to verify the hours you are claiming for your 2021-22 claim. I know that these workshops occurred because they are mandated prior to exam scoring – just make sure you have the paperwork to verify that these sessions actually occurred and can show who was in attendance. Please call me if you need further explanation on this.
NYSED Elementary AIS Funding Information – Reimbursement Forms and Guidance
End of Year Checklist for Government Programs
1. Order Hardware, Software and Library Materials from District to use up any remaining funds.
2. Ensure parents of Special Ed. students with IESPs Request 2022-2023 Special Ed. Services from the public school district in which your school is located by 6/1/2022.
3. Eight required Fire Drills and four required Lockdown Drills have been completed.
4. Complete a written 2022-2023 Professional Development Plan based on identified student concerns and faculty/school needs.
5. Elementary AIS Reimbursement form is due by 6/30/2022.
6. Arrange for Title I, Title IIa, Title III, and Title IVa consultation with the public school district of school location prior to signing the “Written Affirmation of LEA Consultation” form in August. You will need to consult with other districts for Title I funding and services, only, based on qualified 2021-2022 free/reduced or similar poverty lunch counts.
7. Based on your Professional Development Plan for 2022-2023, start to think about where you will “keep” your Title IIa funds: with the School District of location, Erie 1 BOCES, NYSCIRS, or any combination of those three options.
8. 2021-2022 Mandated Services Folder – Receipts (BOCES; Scoring Workshop Fees; calculator purchases), Test Scorer Training Agendas & Sign in Sheets, Test Rosters with status clearly identified (Completed vs. Opt-outs; Exempt Students), copy of your Comprehensive Attendance Policy, copy of your Documentation of Integration of Required Instruction in 7th and 8th Grade (DIRI-Mandate 9), copy of school calendar showing student days in attendance and teacher days worked (after removing snow days).
Complete the School-specific Excel spreadsheet in July or August.
9. School Safety Plan – If not updated recently, set up June or summer meetings to update or convert your emergency plan to a “School Safety Plan” before school begins next fall.
10. Review NYS Teacher Certification Status of your teachers
11. Textbook Ordering – follow district or BOCES procedures and meet deadlines.
12. NYSED MST Teacher Reimbursement Request is due 8/1/2022.
- 6/1/22 Last day for Parents to Request Special Education Services from Districts
- 6/10/22 Complete 2022-23 Professional Development Plan (Recommended)
- 6/17/22 Complete 12 Required Drills; Four must be Lockdown Drills
- 6/30/22 AIS Reimbursement Form Due to NYSED – Elementary Schools Only
- 7/1/22 First day 2022-2023 Textbook Orders are allowed
- 8/1/22 NYSED 2021-2022 MST/STEM Grant Submission Deadline
Previous posts from Mr. Riso
- Language for Anti-Bullying & Harassment for your handbooks, addressing hate speech, and the Diocesan DEI statements can be found here.
- We recorded a few short videos on May 12th from our veteran principals offering new principals advice. I had never used iMovie before, this is my first attempt. This is an 8 1/2 minute video with five different voices.
- The Diocesan Health Scorecard.
- The "Shoot for the Stars" one-hour TV special.
- School Pastor's Administrative Guide
- The Executive Summary. of this year's school data.
- Video recording of All-schools Mass at OLV with Bishop Fisher. Here is the link to Dr. Uhl's talk.
- "Principal Task List." This is organized as a living Google Doc by month.
- Here's a link to the forms on our website.
- New Policy Manual
- New Operations Manual
- Administrator Goal Sheet and the new Administrator evaluation form
Catholic School Matters Podcast
This week on the podcast, Leticia Oseguera, the superintendent-elect for the Diocese of San Diego, joins me to discuss why she wants to be a superintendent and how her Latina heritage has shaped her leadership. Previous episodes:
- Kari Buchinger and I discuss the Diocesan Health Scorecards. We discuss how they came about, how they evolved, who was involved, and how we collected the information.
- I take a look at controversies that have impacted Catholic schools. There is not a guest! It's just me exploring the issues. There is a resource page, too.
- Earlier this month, the podcast features a great panel to provide a primer on the latest Congregation for Catholic Education's document, "The Identity of a Catholic School for a Culture of Dialogue": Dr. Melodie Wyttenbach, the Executive Director of the Roche Center; Dr. John Piderit, SJ of the Roche Center; and Dr. Lauren Casella of Loyola Marymount.
- Dan Horn, the President/Principal of St. Genevieve Parish Schools, joins the podcast to discuss his successful turnarounds at two separate Catholic school sin the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Dan is a transformational leader whose story is inspiring
- John Reyes of the Roche Center joins the podcast to discuss his contribution to the "Cultivating Talent" report and his journey of leadership
- Dr. Elena Sada of the Roche Center joins me to discuss their ground-breaking report, Cultivating Talent, which investigates how to recruit and retain Hispanic educators in our Catholic schools. She also discusses bilingual Catholic education and the role of the TWIN-CS.
Here is a link to the podcast on Apple Podcasts.
Articles for Your Reflection
Buffalo bishop lays flowers, personal prayer at mass shooting memorial
BUFFALO, N.Y. (CNS) -- Bishop Michael W. Fisher of Buffalo joined mourners outside a Tops grocery store where 10 people were killed and three others were injured in what law enforcement authorities said was a racially motivated crime.
Buffalo makes it clear: Racism and gun violence are a Christian problem
Franciscan Fr. Daniel P. Horan is the director of the Center for Spirituality and professor of philosophy, religious studies and theology at Saint Mary's College in Notre Dame, Indiana. Follow him on Twitter: @DanHoranOFM. Enter your email address to receive free newsletters from NCR.
First Person: Here's how I'm addressing the Buffalo massacre in class
In my nearly 20 years of teaching U.S. history at a public high school in New York City, I have made it my mission to teach the truth in my class and link current events to what we are learning in the curriculum.
Opinion: American Catholic bishops owe us more in response to anti-Black terrorism
On Saturday, an 18-year-old White male by the name of Payton Gendron drove almost 200 miles to carry out a racially motivated mass shooting that he had written about beforehand in a 180-page radical manifesto.
After the Buffalo slayings, parents struggle through talks with their children - MindShift
When NPR spoke with Walden-Glenn on Monday, she said her middle school-aged children did not go to school that day. The emotional burden, she said, was too much for children to be expected to deal with in a classroom. "We went through such a violent violation, and we are so shaken," she said.
My Last 5 Books
- The Great Upheaval: Higher Education's Past, Present, and Uncertain Future (2021) by Arthur Levin & Scott Van Pelt
Collaborative Professionalism: When Teaching Together Means Learning for All (2018) by Andy Hargreaves & Michael T. O'Connor
40 Days with God: Time Out to Journey with the Bible (2021) by Kent Hickey
Strategic Planning for Parishes (2021) by Tad Dickel
Click this link for a full list of my professional reading
A couple of 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.