LAWRENCE, MA: One of the most daunting challenges facing college students is understanding and acquiring the skills of scholarly inquiry required for high level collegiate work. Scholarly inquiry requires finding, reading and analyzing articles, research studies and foundational, literary and philosophical texts, along with real life accounts and experiences. Beyond these tasks, college students are expected to synthesize this information from such sources and develop their own perspectives through critical thinking, and to be able to ultimately express and defend their perspectives in writing and orally, both individually and as part of a team.
Years before they enter college, students at Central Catholic High School intensely learn, practice and test these skills in a highly innovative new academic discipline,
AP Capstone. In addition to 26 AP courses now offered, Central Catholic High School is one of a small number of high schools in Massachusetts to offer AP Capstone, a curricular framework developed by the Advanced Placement Program of the College Board. Central Catholic offers two year-long courses that make up the AP Capstone program: AP Seminar and AP Research.
Students in grade 10 can elect AP Seminar. In Central Catholic’s model, AP Seminar is an interdisciplinary course focuses on the real world issues of education and race issues in the United States, often divisive and controversial issues, through the lens of American Literature. Students are reading, studying and analyzing classics such as Harper Lee’s, “To Kill A Mockingbird”, Mark Twain’s, “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” and other literary and real-life resources and documents dealing with the themes of education and race. Students are also taught to develop experience with researching scholarly databases for studies and published articles on these issues, all in order to become familiar and understand differing perspectives and viewpoints from various periods of history.
Students in AP Seminar are divided into teams of three for the year-long course and required to complete five AP Seminar Performance Tasks. After weeks of guided research and analysis of the topics, the first of two tasks requires students to synthesize their research and write an Individual Research Report, an essay of 1,200 words that is scored by the College Board. Each three-person team meets regularly to synthesize their individual perspectives on the focus issue and creates an 8-10 minute Team Multimedia Presentation scored by the teacher. As the year of research and study progresses, the latter three AP Seminar tasks include each individual student developing an Individual Written Argument of 2,000 words with their viewpoint on possible solutions to the issue. Thereafter, students produce an Individual Multimedia Presentation of 6-8 minutes presenting their argument and solutions and an Oral Defense to the teacher. The AP Seminar class concludes with 2-hour End-of-Course Exam testing student’s research, analysis and synthesis skills on a topic given on the exam scored by the College Board.
Year 2 of the AP Capstone program at Central Catholic High School requires a year-long course for grade 11 students, titled AP Research. Students in AP Research deeply explore an academic topic, issue or problem in which they have a passionate interest from any academic field of their personal choice. The tasks required cover mastering research methodology, ethical research practices, curating artifacts necessary for their scholarly work as well as personal reflection and creating a process portfolio. Individual conferences are scheduled with the teacher for review and approval of the students' work as they progress through the stages of activity. Assessment and grading in the AP Research course lies in two major components. Students must write and fully document a 4,000-5,000 word Academic Paper on their chosen topic of research, ultimately scored by the College Board, followed by a 15-20 minute Presentation and Oral Defense of their findings, argument and conclusions in front of a panel of three CCHS faculty evaluators.
CCHS students who complete both programs are awarded full academic credit from Central Catholic for the AP Seminar and AP Research courses. Additionally,
AP Capstone students completing four additional AP courses with a score of competency score of “3 or higher” during their Central Catholic High School career will receive the AP Capstone Diploma, a credential awarded by both the school and the College Board, which gives extraordinary evidence of the mature skill level of CCHS students to admissions officers at their prospective colleges and universities.
Leading Central Catholic’s AP Capstone program is Ms. Christine Leonard, a six-year English Department faculty member and 2006 alumna of CCHS. “I’m excited to provide a variety of challenges geared to help students develop independence in the required AP Capstone skills, and to observe them as they work together as a team for a significant common goal,” said Leonard. “The highlights for me are to see CCHS students develop over time their own unique perspectives on important issues and confidence in their expressive skills. Additionally, the Capstone program challenges our students to learn to add power and persuasion to their arguments and to realize the benefits and value in collaborative problem-solving.”
As preparation for leading this academic endeavor, Ms. Leonard attended an intensive week-long professional development program with AP Capstone expert-teachers in Baltimore during the summer of 2017. A recipient of the “2014 Most Promising New Teacher of English Award” by the New England Association of Teachers of English, Ms. Leonard earned a B.A. with a double major in Political Science and English from Stonehill College and a Master’s Degree in Literature from the University of New Hampshire. Ms. Leonard has also completed studies in literature at Oxford University. Outside the classroom, Ms. Leonard serves a senior class advisor, assistant to the CCHS Theatre Guild and is a faculty participant with Project Rebuild.
For more information about Central Catholic High School, contact Director of Communications Dave DiFillippo at email@example.com.
If schools are interested in exploring eligibility for this program, contact Deputy Superintendent Amy Ryan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Camden Maiona, a third grader at Saint Catherine of Siena School in Norwood, was the top reader in Massachusetts in a statewide summer reading program supported by libraries across the state and sponsored by Mass Literacy and Readocity. Named, Summer Smart Reading Champions, the contest required students to create a digital reading log of minutes spent in summer reading.
Camden won the award by logging in over 11,170 minutes (186 hours) of reading as part of the challenge. According to her mother, Lorna Maiona, she reads constantly and prefers books two or three levels above her grade level. “She really is a bookworm,” said Mrs. Maiona. Congratulations to Camden for not just meeting the summer reading challenge, but exceeding it in a spectacular way!
To learn more, read this article from the Boston Herald.
Fall is the perfect time to explore a Catholic school in the Archdiocese of Boston! See the list below for elementary, middle, and high schools that are hosting open houses. Please note that this is not a comprehensive list. If you are interested in a Catholic school, please reach out: they would love a visit!
BRAINTREE, MA -- The Catholic Schools Office (CSO) in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston has hired Mary Goslin as Director of Government Programs and Grants. In this role, Goslin, a long-time experienced educator, develops workshops and courses for school leaders on how to access federal programs and services that benefit students and teachers. She will also provide professional development activities for school leaders that support the mission of the Archdiocese and the Catholic Schools Office.
Superintendent Kathy Mears said, “Mary’s passion for wanting to make a difference in the lives of others, combined with her varied experiences in curriculum development, program evaluation, instructional coaching, and special education made her a perfect fit for this position. I am very happy that she has joined our team.”
A native of Quincy, Goslin graduated from Saint Ann School in Quincy and Fontbonne Academy in Milton. She completed her bachelor’s degree at Suffolk University, Boston, and obtained her master’s degree from UMass Lowell in School Administration. Goslin holds a Massachusetts educator license, in addition to being a licensed principal. She currently lives in Norwell.
Prior to arriving at the CSO, Goslin worked in the dual role of teacher and assistant principal at St. Brendan School in Dorchester. Before that position, she was a Literacy Team member for Hingham Public Schools, and worked closely with the Special Education Department. Said Goslin, “My success as an educator stems from the belief that every student can learn. I’m passionate about meeting the learning needs of individual students and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity in this role to make contributions to Catholic schools on a broad level.”
Part of Goslin’s role is to help schools acquire Title funds and then use those resources effectively. Title funds provide services from the federal government to assist students and teachers.
Said Goslin, “Typically, in the past, children who needed specialized instruction felt that they had to go outside Catholic schools. With these funds, Catholic schools can more easily provide students what they need in a Catholic setting.”
She continued, “This will open doors to students and allow our schools to welcome more students who are on educational plans.”
About Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Boston
Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Boston educate 38,000 students in 117 schools. The schools offer a high-quality, rigorous education that is rooted in Catholic faith and values for students age 2.9 through grade 12. www.csoboston.com
BRAINTREE, MA -- The Catholic Schools Office at the Archdiocese of Boston announced the hiring of Andrew Miller, PhD, as Director of Academics. A native of McLean, Virginia, Dr. Miller completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Notre Dame, and recently obtained his PhD in Curriculum and Instruction at Boston College.
Superintendent Kathy Mears said, “I am thrilled to welcome Dr. Miller to our team. His extensive experience in instructional leadership, much of which took place in the Archdiocese of Boston, is so important to the Catholic Schools Office and our community.”
Dr. Miller is a familiar face in the Archdiocese of Boston. While undergoing his doctorate, Dr. Miller acted as an instructional coach for the Urban Catholic Teacher Corps (UCTC). Dr. Miller was also on the board at Mission Grammar School in Roxbury and is a member of Boston Advocates for Catholic Education (BACE).
Thanks to his time spent teaching master’s level courses at Boston College and working as an instructional coach at UCTC, Dr. Miller has collaborated with many leaders and educators at schools in the Archdiocese, including St. Columbkille Partnership School and St. Joseph Preparatory High School in Brighton, St. John Paul II Catholic Academy in Dorchester, Cathedral High School in Boston, St. Peter’s in Cambridge and others.
Growing up, Dr. Miller was interested in education, though at the time, his interests were wide, ranging from the elementary level to post-graduate work. Upon finishing his undergraduate work, he joined Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) in their “Service through Teaching” program. Since the program’s founding in 1993, ACE has strengthened K-12 schools through innovative practices in four realms integral to school transformation: forming talent, expanding access, enhancing school vitality, and conducting research on school improvement. Dr. Miller said, “While in ACE, I developed a passion for education in K-12 schools. I became focused on the question as to how teachers and leaders can work together and more effectively to enhance the quality of the profession.”
Megan Adzima, Director of Allocations and Partnerships at the Catholic Schools Foundation and co-chair of BACE, has worked closely with Dr. Miller during their time on the BACE leadership team. She said, “Andrew is an incredibly hard-working, smart and kind individual who has demonstrated his commitment to the mission and success of Catholic schools through his role on the BACE leadership team for numerous years.”
She continued, “In that role, he has shown his ability to work collaboratively and effectively with colleagues, school leaders, students, and community partners. His insights and efforts make our organization a strong community!"
Dr. Miller’s first project at the CSO is centered around articulating and aligning PreK-8 ELA and math content standards, as well as foundational dispositional and noncognitive standards, as a way to enhance the quality of curriculum and instruction in Archdiocesan schools. Dr. Miller said, “This standards work is designed to be a way for schools to build on their current strengths, to help them continue to promote their students’ educational growth and spiritual development. I very much look forward to working with teachers, instructional leaders, and parents throughout this process.” It is anticipated that these standards will begin their roll out to schools by Thanksgiving.
In addition, Dr. Miller will manage the Kindergarten Robotics Initiative and Math Shelf, both which began in school year 2016-2017. He will also work in collaboration with the Catholic Schools Foundation, which is a strong supporter of schools in the Archdiocese.
Superintendent Mears added, “Though we’re just reached the end of Dr. Miller’s second week at the CSO, he has already made great headway surrounding ELA and math content standards. I look forward to working with Andrew. I know he will receive a warm welcome from everyone in the Archdiocese.”
Dr. Miller is passionate about education and his new role in the Catholic Schools Office and the Archdiocese of Boston. He said, “I’m very excited to continue collaborating with all of the dedicated teachers and leaders working for our students in Archdiocesan schools.”
National data shows Latinos are the fastest-growing segment of the Catholic Church in the United States. According to the National Survey of Catholic Schools Serving Hispanic Families, 60% of Catholics under the age of 18 are Hispanics. Catholic schools serve nearly 3% of the Hispanic school age children.
The Catholic Schools Office recognizes our responsibility as Catholic educators and the great opportunities these children bring to our Church and our schools. As we continue to plan for the best ways to support our schools achieving the goal of educating Hispanic children, we are gathering information, resources and best practices that we can apply in our schools. For this reason, Sr. Bárbara attended the latest cohort of the Latino Enrollment Institute.
The Latino Enrollment Institute is a four-day summer program that takes place on the campus of the University of Notre Dame and includes lectures and presentations from school leaders with demonstrated success in developing innovative Latino outreach programs. Some of the key areas of focus are:
Since 2012, 163 Catholic schools from 72 (arch)dioceses have participated in the LEI, with some schools experiencing upward of a 100-percent increase in Latino enrollment in just a short time.
Look for new resources coming soon. In the meantime, if you have any questions or would like to learn about attending next year’s institute, contact Sr. Bárbara at (617) 779-3608 or email@example.com.
Throughout the Archdiocese of Boston, 118 schools are wrapping up their activities. The schools are hosting commencements, Masses, community service projects, field days, and more. Click through the slideshow below to join in the celebrations! (If you would like to submit a photo from your school for this slideshow, please send one photo and short caption to Meghan Stellman.)
BRAINTREE - June 2, 2017 - Last week 12 students in the Archdiocese of Boston were awarded the Cardinal Medeiros Scholarship. The Medeiros Scholarship is a full, four-year scholarship to Boston University that is presented each year to graduates of Catholic high schools in the Archdiocese of Boston. To be considered for this full tuition award, students must be nominated by their high school principals or guidance counselors. Awardees are chosen for their academic achievements, demonstrated leadership skills and contributions to their schools and communities.
Radhika Bhagat of the Academy of Notre Dame, Tyngsboro
Megan Costa of Bishop Fenwick High School, Peabody; and St. John School, Peabody
Jonathan Deeley of Archbishop Williams High School, Braintree
Joseph DiStefano of St. John’s Prep, Danvers
Jonathan Harris of Cardinal Spellman High School, Brockton
Priya Kumari of the Academy of Notre Dame, Tyngsboro
Gabrielle Lakis of Newton Country Day School, Newton
Julia Leary of Bishop Fenwick High School, Peabody; and St. Patrick
Hayley Leger of St. Joseph Preparatory, Brighton; and St. Jude School, Waltham
Amanda McFarland of Mount Alvernia High School, Newton; and St. Agnes School, Arlington
Heidi Santa Cruz of Arlington Catholic High School, Arlington
Madison Tyler of Notre Dame Academy, Hingham
Documentary filmmaker Artemis Joukowsky, who co-directed Defying the Nazis: The Sharps War, recently spoke to Catholic Memorial School juniors in West Roxbury about filmmaking and living a moral life.
Mr. Joukowsky worked for more than 15 years to research the story of his grandparents, Unitarian Minister Waitstill Sharp and his wife, Martha Sharp. As Nazi Germany conquered Czechoslovakia and France, the Sharps left their family in Wellesley, Mass., and went to Europe to rescue Jewish refugees and bring them to the United States.
Mr. Joukowsky collaborated with noted documentary filmmaker Ken Burns on the project. Tom Hanks provided the voice for Waitstill Sharp.
All juniors watched the film in their US History classes as part of a unit on World War II and the Holocaust.
“We were blessed with the presence and insights of a tremendous filmmaker and very deep and substantial person,” said Vin Bradley, chair of the History and Social Studies Department. “We strive to bring thought leaders like Artemis Joukowsky to campus in order to bring the past to life, and help students recognize the heroic choices made in our nation’s history.”
In his appearance, Mr. Joukowsky shared his thoughts on courage and morality in relation to the story of his grandparents. In place of a typical speech, Mr. Joukowsky engaged in a conversation with students.
“I thought it was really interesting to talk with Mr. Joukowsky about his film,” said junior John Dashe. “I especially liked how he made it so engaging having an open-ended conversation about the messages and themes of his film.”
"I thought Mr. Joukowsky had great insight not only on his grandparents’ story or the filmmaking process, but also on how our moral education provides us with a foundation from which we can make the world a better place,” said junior Jack Manning.
“It was fascinating to be in the presence of someone related to the Sharps, who were true American heroes,” said junior Michael Maloney.
Mr. Joukowsky has screened his film at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and at the White House for scholars and Holocaust survivors.
Article reprinted with permission from Catholic Memorial.
About Catholic Memorial
Catholic Memorial, the Christian Brothers School of Boston, is an all-boys college-preparatory school that transforms lives and prepares them for college and the world. The school is in West Roxbury, Massachusetts. For more information, visit www.catholicmemorial.org.
Archbishop Williams High School senior Margaret “Maggie” Slein of Scituate will be the first-ever student in the school’s nearly 70-year history to compete in an international science fair, the Intel ISEF (International Science and Engineering Fair), which will be held May 14-19, in Los Angeles.
Slein’s selection for the fair followed her high scoring at the 59th Annual South Shore Regional Science Fair held May 11 at Bridgewater State University, where she earned a 1st Place award, a $100 cash prize, and the prestigious and highly competitive Wilma M. Shields ISEF award.
The 1st Place award allows Slein to advance to the Mass. State Science and Engineering Fair May 5-6, at the Mass. Institute of Technology; the Shields award allows her to advance directly to the Intel ISEF competition.
“I am really excited and shocked that I was chosen to move forward to the international fair,” Slein said. “There were a lot of environmental science projects, and the research I did was complex, but I think my presentation and my presentation skills gave me an overall advantage.”
The regional fair included 143 students from 24 high schools in southeastern Massachusetts and from Boston private and Catholic schools, who presented 127 individual and team research projects. The top 40 of those students advance to the Mass. state fair. Meanwhile, the regional fair committee sends two students to Intel ISEF where they will compete against approximately 1800 students from 75 countries.
Slein’s winning project, The Study of Hemigrapsus Sanguineous: Population Density and Genetic Variation, is a year-long study of Asian shore crabs - an invasive species - and their impact on native species. She collected samples from the shoreline in Scituate and Quincy, and analyzed their DNA variations with the assistance of Annie Evankow, Collections Associate of the Ocean Genome Legacy Center of New England, Northeastern University Marine Center, Nahant.
“We don't usually work with high school students, but most high school students aren't like Maggie,” Evankow said. “Maggie was willing to give up her vacation to work on an independent project she feels is important. She knew it would be challenging to complete this project before the science fair, but instead of giving up, she worked harder. Although many of the procedures were new to her, she did her best to learn as much as she could and complete as much as possible on her own. It is a pleasure to work with someone who cares so much about her project. I believe she could accomplish anything at this point, given enough time.”
Slein especially enjoys the real-life, practical application of the research. “It’s so satisfying to get first-hand experience with this level of research for the first time,” Slein said. “The crab project involves a lot of data collection because you have to document everything, their population, and even their DNA.”
The project was made possible when Slein won a highly competitive $6,000 grant from the Marjot Foundation, Woods Hole, Falmouth, Mass. The grant helps to pay for DNA testing and supplies, and is partially shared by her mentor, Archbishop Williams High School Science Department Chair Raymond Whitehouse, who works closely with Slein on all facets of the project and who made the connection to the Northeastern lab for her.
“She wrote a really good grant,” said Whitehouse. “Her project is highly relevant to today’s problems. It’s real science in real time with data that is meaningful and important to the community.”
Slein’s grant was one of only two awarded to Massachusetts students, and five awarded to students in New England. According to Dr. Ann Craig, DVM, president of the Falmouth-based foundation, the highly competitive grants are for “students engaged in independent field and or laboratory research projects focused on environmental issues” - right up Slein’s alley.
“We like kids like Maggie,” Craig said. “You can really tell it’s her passion.”
“Maggie personifies the ideal science student - full of questions, persistent, and open-minded,” Whitehouse said. “I can’t tell you how difficult this is to do, to succeed at this level.”
Slein’s environmental passion, talent and work ethic have also been recognized by the Henry David Thoreau Foundation, which announced on March 18 that because of her “academic strength, demonstrated environmental interest, and capacity as a future environmental leader,” she will be awarded a scholarship which will total up to $20,000 for four years of college. On March 24, Slein’s excellence was again recognized when her project took 3rd Place among 29 poster presentations at the prestigious Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS) at Boston University. The JSHS program promotes, “original experimentation and research in the sciences, engineering, and mathematics at the high school level.”
For Slein, her science class work, especially Honors Biology, Advanced Placement (AP) Biology, and AP Environmental Science, coupled with her internships and volunteer experiences at the New England Aquarium, laid the foundation for the grant proposal.
“The idea wouldn't have existed without the Aquarium and the proposal wouldn't have been possible without the knowledge from all the classes I've taken,” Slein said. “My internships have shaped the direction I have chosen to take my life in a major way.”
Ironically, environmental science wasn’t always a major goal for Slein. “The first summer I interned at the Aquarium, I was convinced that my passion for the environment was only going to be a hobby.”
But once there, Slein knew she had found her calling, earning three separate competitive internships where she made presentations about ocean and conservation issues to audiences with as many as 300 people. She also assisted with the Aquarium’s greater Boston mobile community outreach program. In recognition of her skills, the Aquarium went beyond her internships, asking her to serve in its “live blue™” Ambassador Program, where Slein taught students to restore and preserve natural habitats at various Boston sites, including the Boston Harbor Islands.
“Through that experience, I was inspired to learn more about exactly how Asian Shore Crabs influence an ecosystem,” Slein said.
Slein was also selected to serve in the Aquarium’s competitive ClimaTeens Program, which seeks students who can engage public, and especially peer audiences, in learning about environmental issues. Topping it off, she even represented the Aquarium at the Mid-Atlantic Youth Alive Summit at Yale University.
“What a wonderful girl, a self-starter who is committed to the environment,” Whitehouse said.
"Maggie is an incredibly passionate, dedicated student,” said Archbishop Williams High School Principal Michael Volonnino. “We are so proud of her and our faculty for their pursuit of excellence in an area that will make a meaningful contribution to society. She is doing truly important work and we can't wait to show it off on the international stage."
According to its website, Intel ISEF is sponsored by the Society for Science & the Public, the world’s largest international pre-college science competition, which provides the opportunity for millions of students worldwide to compete at the local, state, and at the international level. The organization “unites these top young scientific minds, showcasing their talents on an international stage, where doctoral level scientists review and judge their work.” The Society and Intel, joined by dozens of corporate, academic, government and science-focused sponsors, provide support and up to $4 million in awards at Intel ISEF.
For more information:
Walter Lucier, Publicity Assistant, AWHS: firstname.lastname@example.org
Raymond Whitehouse, AWHS Science Dept. Chair: email@example.com