Catholic School Matters

November 1, 2022

Good News for Catholic Schools

The news last week from the NAEP data release was welcome good news for Catholic schools. Read the NCEA analysis here and Dr. Kathleen Porter Magee’s opinion piece here. The data shows that Catholic schools outperformed public schools in the past year and Catholic school proponents are quick to assume it’s because Catholic schools were often quicker to open after the pandemic. But I haven’t seen any data indicating how many more instructional days Catholic schools were in-person than their public school counterparts.

Perhaps the data simply indicates what it usually does every year—Catholic school students outperform their public school counterparts. Either way, it’s good news and I recommend you share any (or all!) of the following articles to your parents and supporters:

· From Education Next: Catholic Schools are a rare bright spot in Nation’s report card

· From America magazine: Catholic schools outperform public and charter counterparts

· From Catholic News Agency: Public school students in some grades lost more ground

· From Aleteia: Catholic schools’ test scores declined least during the pandemic

Recall that the national narrative surrounding the release of NAEP scores was that they might reveal an “October surprise” influencing the elections. The story was going to be that those red states who reopened sooner would show greater gains. But, alas, that didn’t happen so the story is one of pandemic loss in learning.

Those dioceses who have robust formative learning programs were able to quickly show parents how much their students were learning during the pandemic’s disruptions. Remember when “pivot” was the word of the moment? As we move forward in the Diocese of Buffalo, we’ll be able to use our STAR data to reveal how much our students are learning and quickly compare to our state and national counterparts.

Previous blogs can be found here. 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

National Black Catholic History Month

In the year 1990 November was deemed National Black Catholic History Month. But, why was the month of November chosen for this honor? November includes a number of important dates for Catholics of African descent.

  • November 1 All Saints Day: an opportunity to review the lives of the hundreds of Saints of African descent in the first 300 years of the Church.

  • November 2 All Souls Day: a time to remember all those Africans lost to cruel treatment in the Middle Passage crossing of the Atlantic Ocean.

  • November 3 Martin de Porres became the first black American saint. He was canonized by Pope John XXIII in 1962.

  • November 13 The birth of St. Augustine in 354 A.D, who was the first Doctor of the Church from North Africa

  • November 20 The death of Zumbi of Palmares who was the South American founder of a free state for Black people. (Black Catholic History Month | CUA)

How can you celebrate National Black Catholic History Month with your students? Consider teaching them about the history of Black Catholics using the timeline here.

Or, you can dive into the lives of six Black Catholic Americans who are currently on the road to sainthood.

  • Venerable Pierre Toussaint
  • Venerable Father Augustus Tolton
  • Venerable Mother Henriette DeLille
  • Servant of God Mother Mary Lange
  • Servant of God Julia Greeley
  • Servant of God Sister Thea Bowman.

Black Catholics on the Road to Sainthood | Loyola Press

This link will take you to a series of videos curated by Loyola Press about these six inspiring individuals.

  1. Aquinas College has curated a great list of Black Catholic history resources

  2. Kaye Crawford has developed a Black Catholic curriculum & resources at

  3. Tia Noelle Pratt has a number of great resources on her website

Math Competition!

Today is the last day to sign up for the first Diocesan Math Competition! Sign Up Here!

Previous "Academic Corner" posts from Kari

Office Updates

  1. Principals are asked to fill out this year's Health Card survey. Here is the link.

  2. Register for the BPO concert here.

  3. Here is the link for the Office Blog with the latest forms and information. This can be found on the website under "Blogs.

Chris Riso on Government Services

NYS Minimum Wage Amount for 2023: In case you were not aware, New York State has released the minimum wage amount for 2023 - $14.20 per hour, effective 12/31/2022. Please see this link directly from the New York States webpage.

EEOC Employee Rights Poster - Must Be Posted: On October 19, 2022, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released a new employee rights poster that updates and replaces the previous “EEO is the Law” poster. The EEOC asserts that the new posting makes it easier for employers to understand their legal responsibilities and for workers to understand their legal rights. Covered employers must display the poster in the workplace. Click here for the poster: EEOC_KnowYourRights_screen_reader_10_20.pdf

BEDS Online Report Due to NYSED by 11/20; Save in Google Sheets For Our Office: Remember that there is a new application on the NYSED Business Portal ( for you to submit your BEDS report. When you are ready to file your BEDS report with NYSED, go to “IRS Data Exchange” under “My Applications” (do not use BEDS/IMF – that only holds your archival data now). It takes about 10 to 15 seconds to load but you should see “BEDS - Nonpublic Data Form” for “Collection Year” 2022-2023 as one of your choices on the new site. Once you click on it you should be able to enter your data using this form. Thank you for also saving your responses in the Google Sheet shared with you by our office; this allows us to see your submitted BEDS data.

Mandated Services for 2021-22 – Online Forms Available 1/3/2023 for 4/1/2023 Submission Deadline: NYSED just released the 2021-2022 Mandated Services forms. To help you prepare for the Mandated Services claim process, I have created a personalized Excel spreadsheet for each school which was sent to 16 schools over the last four months. For the remaining 37 schools, if you are ready to begin working on your claim please send me an email to request your personalized “Form 1” Excel spreadsheet. Verifying the salary and benefits information on Form 1 is the most time-consuming part of the Mandated Services process. Additional information will be sent to all schools when the online claims are made available by NYSED on the Business Portal around 1/3/2023.

Previous posts from Mr. Riso

Athletics Info

With basketball seasons right around the corner, reminder to all coaches that one change to the Athletics Handbook is the requirement that every player gets to play every game. We also hope that if there are cuts, they are based on lack of commitment or effort, not on talent.

Cross Country results:

  • Girls Champions: Nativity of Our Lord. Individual champion was Caroline Brown with a time of 9:55. Seventy-one girls competed in cross country!
  • Boys Champions: St. Mark's. The individual champion was Thomas Bell of Notre Dame Academy with a time of 9:07. One hundred and six boys competed in cross country!

Bowling results:

  1. Team results: St. Stephen's (676 points), Notre Dame (637), St. Mark's (625)
  2. Boys 5th/6th champion: Adrian Brace (St. Mark) 268
  3. Girls 5th/6th champion: Eralin Krebs (St. Stephen) 136
  4. Boys 7th/8th champion: Patrick McWilliams (St. Stephen) 259
  5. Girls 7th/8th champion: Gabby Paolini (Notre Dame) 208

Volleyball playoffs start on Thursday, November 3rd, at NFVB starting at 5 pm. Pairings won't be complete until Tuesday night.

Please see the athletics/activities blog for the most up to date information.

Save the Date!

  1. Weekly principal Zooms at 9:00 am on Wednesdays
  2. Diocesan Education Summit, November 10th. This is for principals, pastors/canonical administrators, board chairs, and one other stakeholder (4 from each school). Click here to RSVP.


  1. Devotional Calendar 2022-23.
  2. October's Sportsmanship Videos
  3. The Diocesan Health Scorecard.
  4. School Pastor's Administrative Guide
  5. "Principal Task List." This is organized as a living Google Doc by month.
  6. New Policy Manual for all Catholic schools in the Diocese of Buffalo.
  7. New Operations Manual for Diocesan Catholic schools.
  8. Administrator Goal Sheet and the new Administrator evaluation form

Catholic School Matters Podcast

With so many events planned in October & November, the podcast is going on a little hiatus. This season's Catholic School Matters podcast episodes:

  • Dr. Kevin Baxter, the co-editor of Conscience & Catholic Education and the keynote for thisf all's Diocesan Education Summit. We discuss the book and how it pertains to current issues in Catholic education. Here is the direct link to the podcast episode.
  • I spoke to Shaka Rawls, the principal of Leo Catholic HS on Chicago's Southside. He is a dynamic leader of this predominantly African-American Catholic high school who describes the mission of the school as one which serves the community. Here is a direct link to the podcast.
  • I talk with Greg Richmond, the Superintendent of the Archdiocese of Chicago. In his second year, Greg comes from the charter world and shares his unique perspective on this new position which he loves.
  • This week's podcast gives us a chance to hear the perspective of a person fired from her position at a Catholic high school due to same-sex marriage.
  • Season 7 kicked off with a great conversation with Rich Clark of Cleveland. He helped found a Cristo Rey High School and played a pivotal role in Partnership School's Expansion to Cleveland. Our interview was recorded on September 2nd and Rich passed away on September 20th.

Here is a link to the podcast on Apple Podcasts.

Articles for Your Reflection

Catholic School Matters

A weekly newsletter of resources to spur enrollment and excellence in our Catholic schools.

Location: Buffalo, NY, USA
Phone: 716-847-5520
Twitter: @drtimuhl

My Last 5 Books

  1. The Art of Happiness (2022) by His Holiness the Dalai Lama
  2. Everything Belongs (2003) by Richard Rohr

  3. Leading Change (1996 ) by John P. Kotter

  4. The White Noise of Survivorship (2022) by Tara Rolle

  5. On Change Management (2011) HBR's 10 Must Reads

          Click this link for a full list of my professional reading

          Past Issues of Catholic School Matters

          Oct 25, 2022 "Updates"

          Oct 18 2022 "Health Scorecards"

          Oct 11, 2022 "Devotion & Sportsmanship"

          Oct 4, 2022 "Strategic Updates"

          Sep 27, 2022 "Cloud of Witnesses"

          Sep 20, 2022 "The Learning Platform"

          Sep 13, 2022 "Diocesan Education Summit"

          For previous newsletters, click this link

          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.