Catholic School Matters

November 6, 2016

Diocesan Demographics

Last week I was able to complete our NCEA data report which sheds light on the vitality of our Catholic schools. No schools closed in the past year and we are still seeing 26 schools—although one could argue that the new bilingual preschool in Lodge Grass could be considered a new school. Overall our Catholic schools in Montana showed an increase of 46 students mainly due to our high schools and preschool programs.


· Diocese of Helena: 1,343 students this year (1,297 in 2015, 1,349 in 2014)

· Diocese of Great Falls-Billings: 2,532 students this year (2,543 in 2015, 2,551 in 2014)


The Catholic Schools are still the 7th-largest school district in Montana. Other interesting data points which shed light on our system and provide good comparisons for individual schools:


· Over 67% of our students are Catholic. Approximately 70% of our staff members are Catholic.

· Over 23% of our students are Native American, most of whom come from our 7 reservation schools.

· Over 31% of our students qualify for Free/Reduced meals.


Here’s a closer breakdown of the schools:


· Diocese of Helena

o Preschool (4 programs): 144 students in 2016; 147 in 2015; 138 in 2014

o K-8 (6 schools): 858 students in 2016; 841 in 2015; 856 in 2014

o 9-12 (3 schools): 351 students in 2016; 309 in 2015; 355 in 2014


· Diocese of Great Falls-Billings:

o Preschool (9 programs): 287 students in 2016; 273 in 2015; 258 in 2014

o K-8 (13 schools): 1,643 students in 2016; 1,688 in 2015; 1,736 in 2014

o 9-12 (3 schools): 603 students in 2016; 582 in 2015; 557 in 2014


Dr. Tim Uhl, Superintendent

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"Catholic School Matters" Podcast

Last Monday, Episode #8 dropped and included an interview with Jonathan Doyle, the Aussie founder of Going Deeper. We'll discuss teacher faith formation and the needs of Catholic school teachers. Tomorrow, Episode #9 will drop and I'll inteview Fr. James Martin, SJ. Yes, the author of 8+ books, Editor at large of "America," blogger, Tweeter, and former chaplain of the Colbert Nation.


Here is the link to the podcast on iTunes. Please subscribe to the podcast so new episodes will automatically download. The show is also available on Stitcher and Google Play. If you don't have accounts with any of those content providers, here is the link to my basic page with the podcasts.

The Week Ahead

Monday: Travel

Tuesday: Superintendent Meetings (Napa)

Wednesday: meetings (cont)

Thursday: meetings & travel

Friday: St. Paul Education Board (Billings)


This week: 661 driving miles; 2,434 air miles

Last week: 650 driving miles

2016-17: 13,584 driving miles; 9.678 air miles

What I'm Reading 2016-17

  1. Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen.
  2. The Gift of Failure by Jessica Lahey. (on deck)
  3. Reading with the daughter: Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis. Finished:Prince Caspian; The Horse and His Boy; The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; The Magician's Nephew.
  4. The Song of the Dodo by David Quammen (finished)
  5. Learned Optimism by Martin Seligman. (finished)
  6. Reinvention: Accelerating Results in the Age of Disruption Cragun & Sweetman (finished)
  7. Cultures Built to Last: Systemic PLCs at Work by Fullan and DuFour (finished)
  8. Daring Greatly by Brene Brown (finished)
  9. Finding Our Way: Leadership for an Uncertain Time by Margaret J. Wheatley (finished)
  10. The Orange Frog by Shawn Achor (finished)

Montana Catholic Schools

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

For Principals & Teachers

  1. For high school principals, I shared an upcoming E3 training webinar on November 17th from 10:30 am-1:30 pm.
  2. There is a great NCEA webinar on mindset coming up this week. "Mindset Matters" will be given on Nov 10th from 2-3 pm. Here is a link to the registration.
  3. Here is an update on the Great Falls Catholic School system.
  4. Here is the slideshow for the upcoming principal meetings. I'll be updating the slides up until the day of the meeting.
  5. Please distribute the following survey to all staff members who attended the Professional Development Days. The survey is due November 22nd.
  6. This is the third call for nominations for Educator of the Week. Nominations must include a picture and a short reason for the nomination.
  7. Montana Catholic Schools now has a new Facebook page. Please like it so I can share marketing material there.
  8. On the Horizon:
  • Fall Principal meetings (10-2): Nov 14th OLL (Great Falls), Nov 15th Pryor, Nov 16th Missoula.
  • E3 Team Training: Nov 22nd 9 am

American Catholic News

Catholic Schools Closing, Consolidating, and Opening

  1. Shoreline (WA) Catholic school adopts International Baccalaureate model
  2. New Boise-area Catholic school construction on target
  3. Two More St. Louis Catholic schools slated for closure

Leadership Links

Teaching & Learning

Miscellaneous

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADR7dUoVh_c
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Educator of The Week: Chris Nelson

NB: Teachers are encouraged to nominate a colleague for this prestigious honor. Please send in a short bio and picture.


Christopher R. Nelson (18th year teaching at St. Andrew School) has a BA from Carroll College, an M.Ed from Montana State University, and a Class 1 Teaching Certification. Growing up in Denver, he attended Regis Jesuit High School, which instilled a love of his faith and sense of service. Chris loves to play and coach soccer, strum on his guitar, paint, hang with his family, and help his community. His favorite subject to teach is history, but he also enjoys teaching math, Spanish, literature, and PE. Lastly, Chris loves historical quotes and mottos, one of his favorites being "Carpe Diem" or "Seize the Day."

Just this past summer Mr. Nelson published a book of fiction titled "Carving Names: The Hum of Hostility" which is available on Amazon and Kindle. Pursuing a host of jobs in his life, Chris has worked as a beekeeper, soda jerk, construction worker, shelf-stocker, editor, gravedigger, and historical interpreter. However, his life-long passion has been teaching, which he has done full-time in Helena, Montana, for the past couple decades. Wanting to broach the topic of bullying and bring about a discussion on our schools today, Mr. Nelson has journeyed into the field of fiction in hopes of uncovering truths within our human stories. If you get a chance, give it at read! Available at Amazon or Kindle.

https://www.amazon.com/Carving-Names-Hostility-Christopher-Nelson/dp/1534762345