Montana Catholic Schools Weekly

May 16, 2016

The Year's Best

This issue serves as the final issue for this school year. This is the 20th issue this spring and 36th this school year. This spring the newsletters averaged 1174 views per week. The top 3 newsletters all surpassed 1400 views. They were:


  1. Jan 10th "Why Are Catholic Schools Closing?"
  2. Jan 24th: "Growth vs. Fixed Mindsets"
  3. May 2nd: "Contracts, Benefits & HR"



I can also isolate the most popular link from each issue. Here they are:



I'll return in mid-August with a Back to School issue. This summer I'll be taking 4 graduate courses to finish up my superintendent certificate as well as working on some major projects here in the office. But I'll find some time to go to Glacier, Yellowstone, Ft. Peck, and Seattle. See you in August!


Dr. Tim Uhl, Superintendent

The Week Ahead

Monday: Missoula meetings

Tuesday: Billings meetings

Wednesday: St. Labre Board & HS graduation (Ashland)

Thursday: Sacred Heart visit (Miles City)

Friday: office (Helena)


This week: 1,089 miles

Last week: 843 driving miles

2015-16: 27,271 driving miles; 14,969 air miles

What I'm Reading in 2016

  1. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling.
  2. What College Trustees Need to Know (on deck)
  3. Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson (finished)
  4. Getting it Done: How to Lead When You're Not in Charge by Roger Fisher & Alan Sharp (finished)
  5. Motion Leadership in Action: More Skinny on Becoming Change Savvy by Michael Fullan (finished)
  6. HBR's 10 Must Reads "On Emotional Intelligence" (finished)
  7. A Framework for Understanding Poverty by Ruby Payne (finished)
  8. The Heart of Change: Real-Life Stories of How People Change Their Organizations by John P. Kotter (finished)
  9. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen (finished)
  10. Motion Leadership by Michael Fullan (finished)
  11. The Laws of Simplicity by John Maeda (finished)
  12. It's Your Ship: Management Techniques from the Best Damn Ship in the Navy by Captain D. Michael Abrashoff (finished)
  13. Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard by Chip & Greg Heath (finished)
  14. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeon (finished)
  15. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (finished)
  16. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (finished)
  17. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (finished)
  18. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (finished)
  19. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (finished)

Montana Catholic Schools

Serving 3800+ students in 24 Catholic schools across the Treasure State

For Principals

  1. Many questions have arisen regarding the new overtime provisions. Please see the "Q & A" below. Two questions I have heard repeatedly can be answered simply: yes, teachers will remain exempt but all staff members will not (unless they surpass the income threshold), and the way that the Dept of Labor will monitor your compliance is through employee complaints.
  2. There's a great opportunity to study the practice of development monthly with other Catholic school personnel. Here's a webinar registration.
  3. Please reserve August 15th & 16th for the New Teacher & (current) administrator Retreat in Great Falls at the Ursuline Centre. Doug Tooke will be the director.
  4. Open Enrollment is the time when benefit-eligible employees can make changes to their benefit plans. The dates: Diocese of Helena (May 10-24) and Diocese of Great Falls-Billings (May 18-June 2).
  5. We currently have two principal openings: Our Lady of Lourdes parish school in Great Falls and Butte Central Elementary. Please direct interested parties to me.
  6. The Great Falls Task Force now has a web page with links to all meetings notes, etc.
  7. The Principal/President Evaluation process is now underway. Principals & presidents filled out goal statements last fall and will be asked to evaluate themselves as part of the process. Here is the form that I will fill out, too. I have scheduled dates for these interviews when I will come and visit the school and observe the learning climate, share the perception data, and talk about the principal's performance this year. The dates: Julanne Gauger, St. Jude (May 18th), Catherine Kirchner, St. Mary's (May 19th), and Bart Freese, Sacred Heart (May 26th).
  8. The Annual Report template is now posted and ready for each principal. This Annual Report is due June 9th at the June Principal Meeting in Livingston.
  9. There is one more survey regarding Professional Development. Every teacher & administrator is asked to fill out this very short survey. This will close tomorrow.

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