Montana Catholic Schools Weekly

November 30, 2014

Tips & Tricks for Making Newsletters

Several people have asked how I find the time to put together this newsletter every week. There are several tools that I recommend. Don't be intimidated. I think of the proverb, "Great is the enemy of good." Sometimes I think we're afraid to try something new because it will pale in comparison to something much better. Just give it a try!

1. Chrome. The best platform for the web.

2.. Diigo. This bookmarking tool works well in Chrome as an app. Whenever I open/log into Chrome, it's there. I can book mark articles that I find interesting. I can even put in categories so later I might want to call up all articles dealing with "stress" or "leadership."

3. Twitter. Find people you might want to follow and then click on their name and find their followers. Follow their followers. Repeat until you are following 300+ people. I'll put a few "Twitter how to" articles at the end of the newsletter. You need to understand Twitter like a fire hose that's always firing water. You can't possibly keep up with it all day. But if you can find 30 minutes a day (perhaps even 3 periods of 10 minutes) you might find an article or two that will interest you.

If you don't follow the people who are tweeting what they're eating and you can overlook the blatant self-promotion that is taking place (i.e. retweeting a compliment, shout out, thanks, or positive review), you'll find great articles.

4. Google Alerts. You can get a daily email with articles that "hit" on your topic such as your school, your neighborhood. or even Catholic schools. Just google "google alerts" and you'll find out how.

5. Smore: The best platform for newsletters! You just click newsletter, and away you go. If you're using Diigo or some other bookmarking application, you just copy the link and paste it in Smore (under "embed link"). You can drop in pictures and text, too. You can enter in emails so they are simply one click away. Or you can send out the link.

My goal for every Christmas and summer break is to learn something new. I encourage you to give these tools a try.

Dr. Tim Uhl, Superintendent

The Week Ahead

Monday: Helena & Missoula

Tuesday: Missoula

Wednesday: Missoula & Helena; Billings Catholic School Board via Skype

Thursday: office day (Helena)

Friday: office day (Helena)

This week: 650 miles

Last week: 835 miles

This year: 15,117 miles

Safe Environment

For our schools in the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings, the Diocese will be moving to the "Safe and Sacred" program on January 1st.

  • This is an online program with a yearly online class required.
  • All employees and volunteers will be required to take the class in the first 90 days. This means that all GFB employees and volunteers will need to take the class in the first 90 days.
  • My suggestion is that you try to carve out some time for your employees to take the class.
  • Every site will need to appoint a Safe Environment coordinator who will monitor all employees and volunteers online. This should be you, your assistant, or someone else in administration. We'll need this name ASAP so we can get your site online.
  • For this spring, the curricular materials for the student instruction piece will remain the VIRTUS program. These materials have been sent out and can also be accessed through the online portal on the Diocese of GFB website under the "Protecting our Children" tab.

For the Diocese of Helena schools, the DOH will remain in the VIRTUS program. Several principals expressed frustration about tracking their employees and volunteers. Please call the Diocese with those questions. Please distribute the curricular materials and make sure to publicize initial training sessions.

American Catholic News

Educational Leadership

Teaching & Coaching