BRAINTREE, MA (May 7, 2019): Students from the seventh grade at Austin Preparatory School in Reading recently visited the Pastoral Center in Braintree to explore the concept of vocation: who students are being called to become and how they are being invited to share their gifts and interests in the service of the Church.
This visit was one of 10 concurrent site visits that seventh-grade students conducted at Catholic parishes and colleges throughout New England. The visits provided students with an opportunity to speak with people about their pathway toward service in the Church and they gained an appreciation that there are many ways to participate in the life and ministry of the Church.
While at the Pastoral Center, the students received a tour from Very Rev. William P. Joy, who is assistant vicar for administration and special assistant to the vicar general. Austin Prep Head of Middle School Michael McLaughlin accompanied the students on their trip. He said, “The students most especially enjoyed speaking with Fr. Joy and learning about the administrative structure of the Archdiocese. They appreciated his thoughtful responses to their questions and felt honored that he showed them where Cardinal Seán completes his work when he is at the Pastoral Center.”
In addition, during their visit the students spoke with representatives from the Catholic Schools Office, Human Resources, the Office of Respect Life Education, and Pilot Printing.
Associate Superintendent for Leadership and Mission Effectiveness Daniel Roy was happy to meet the students and hear about their learning. “It was wonderful to see this bright, inquisitive group of students taking such a keen interest in the ministries of the Church. This kind of experiential learning can be quite formative.”
About Austin Preparatory School
Austin Preparatory School is a Catholic independent day school serving 750 young men and women in Grades 6 through 12. The school seeks to cultivate the hearts and minds of our young students and provide an environment in which our students can successfully learn, grow, and develop beyond the classroom. www.austinprep.org
Students from South Boston Catholic Academy have some GREAT tips for kids who just began the spring MAP assessment session!
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (April 2019): Our Lady of Perpetual Help School in Roxbury, Mass., was awarded the grand prize for Technology Integration in a contest held by Today’s Catholic Teacher magazine at the National Catholic Educational Association Convention & Expo, held in Chicago April 23-26. The school received a $1,000 check as an award, which was sponsored by Follett, a company that provides educational products, services and technology.
This is the first time that a school in the Archdiocese of Boston received the grand prize for Technology Integration at the NCEA Convention & Expo, and Mission Grammar was the only school from the Archdiocese of Boston that was a finalist for this year’s suite of awards.
Mission Grammar, which educates students from three months to grade 6, has focused on technology integration for eight years, with the support of the Lynch Foundation, the Catholic Schools Foundation, and the Archdiocese of Boston Catholic Schools Office.
Principal Aliece Dutson said, “The 1:1 Technology Initiative is an important part of the school’s Road to College goals — if scholars learn to use technology effectively during their elementary school education they have a strong technological background to build upon as they enter into high school and eventually college.”
She continued, “Mission Grammar School is proud to educate many students who come from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds. Some of these students do not have regular access to technology and the internet at home. As a result, for some students their opportunities to use iPads and computers at Mission Grammar are their only chances to gain important computer skills and experience.”
As part of the initiative, teachers design lessons to activate critical thinking and support digital citizenship utilizing iPads. The students in grades K0-K2 interact with iPads in small groups. This helps to foster group learning and sharing. The students also can use the iPads one-on-one during free time. This gives scholars the freedom to explore all the different educational applications on the devices.
Scholars in grades 1-6 use the iPads individually during lessons. Scholars learn electronic presentation skills using tools like iMovie and PowerPoint, where they can create their own content. For example, in the 6th grade religion classes, students use iMovie to create presentations to illustrate Catholic Social teachings.
All the applications used on the iPads foster technological literacy, including essential skills like web navigation, digital camera use, programming, and typing. Recently, the school moved toward a Chromebook model in the upper school. Every scholar having his/her own Chromebook enables the school to support scholar collaboration and productivity, streamline class and homework, and gives students access to what a college classroom/ learning environment looks like.
Superintendent of Archdiocese of Boston Catholic Schools Kathy Mears said, “It is so rewarding to see Mission Grammar’s hard work recognized on a national stage. Principal Ali Dutson and her team are committed to providing a stellar education to their students – this technology integration initiative is just one example.”
ABOUT OUR LADY OF PERPETUAL HELP SCHOOL
Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Mission Grammar School is a private Catholic school located in Roxbury, Massachusetts, that educates students from 3 months old to grade 6. Mission Grammar is dedicated to nothing less than Unity in Diversity, Excellence in Education, Since 1889.
BROCKTON, MA: Cardinal Seán O'Malley led a special Mass to celebrate Cardinal Spellman High School's 60th Anniversary on Wednesday, April 24.
The school was bustling with great anticipation of the Cardinal's arrival with a packed auditorium full of Spellman students, parents, alumni, board members and special guests including Tom Carroll, new Superintendent of the Archdiocese of Boston.
The Cardinal presided at Mass, reminding students that "Jesus wants to be invited into our lives." Following Mass, students gathered at the altar for a group photo followed by a reception in the school's Library Learning Commons.
Campus Minister Jason Deramo was also delighted to meet with the Cardinal. When asked about him he said "Having the Cardinal here is a reminder that we're part of something much larger than our school. His presence is a testament to that."
Photos of this event can be found at: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmxE7kfN
Mr. Steven Chiavaroli
Cardinal Spellman High School
The Archdiocese of Boston Catholic Schools Office, with support from the Catholic Schools Foundation, is excited to announce the recipients for the prestigious Archdiocese of Boston Excellence in Education Award. Five elementary school teachers and five secondary school teachers were selected as the recipients of the award. The recipients will receive $1,500 and be honored at a luncheon in May with Cardinal Seán O’Malley and Superintendents of the Archdiocese of Boston Catholic Schools Kathy Mears and Thomas Carroll.
2019 Archdiocese of Boston Excellence in Education Award Recipients:
Eric Bernazzani, Cardinal Spellman High School, Brockton
Julie Billingsley, Saint John the Evangelist School, Canton
Vincent Bradley, Catholic Memorial School, West Roxbury
Kathleen Carabine, East Boston Central Catholic School, East Boston
Melissa Ewing, Boston College High School, Dorchester
Rachel Ferullo, Blessed Sacrament School, Walpole
Christopher Lynch, St. John’s Prep, Danvers
Michael Murphy, Nativity Preparatory, Boston
James O’Neill, Central Catholic High School, Lawrence
Mary Powers, South Boston Catholic Academy, South Boston
Thank you to all those who took the time to nominate a teacher! The committee received more than 120 nominations for excellent educators in the Archdiocese of Boston and had a difficult time narrowing to just 10. We hope everyone will participate next year!
Please check back here throughout the week to learn more about the recipients.
BRAINTREE, MA (April 2019): The Archdiocese of Boston Catholic Schools Office (CSO), in partnership with the Catholic Schools Foundation (CSF), is focused on building a pool of qualified, committed, and trained individuals to actively serve as board members at Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Boston. The CSO placed 10 people with schools last spring and it hopes to place 12 people on boards this year.
Catholic Schools Office Director of Data & Research Annie Smith organized the board member recruitment efforts. She said, “This program helps schools that might not have the time or the network to find new board members. We connect the schools with people who are passionate and want to give back and help the future of Catholic education.”
Smith continued, “The partnership with the CSF is part of our shared leadership initiative. The CSF has a robust young professionals’ group, full of Catholics who are committed to helping others. We’ve found that it’s crucial to introduce young professionals to Catholic education and show them that they can make a difference in a school community.”
Sister Mary Paul McCaughey, O.P., the coordinator of the Catholic Educational Leadership Program and graduate instructor in the College of Education at DePaul University, leads the trainings. During the trainings, Sister Mary Paul covers the roles on the various types of boards, the attributes of a strong board member, and how to be effective lay leaders.
When asked about what constitutes a “perfect” board, Sister Mary Paul said, “A perfect board member brings talent, grace, and creative strategies to help make Catholic schools strong. A great board member comes in every flavor, but each is motivated by mission to forward what is best for kids in the context of our Catholic community and has the energy to engage in planning. A perfect board brings these disparate people together as a blend in a community of listening, ideas, and action designed to create a vibrant future for a school.”
Megan McKeon, 30, is director of development & communications at a local non-profit and was matched with East Boston Central Catholic School’s board last spring. She said, “It's been a pleasure to join a school board that is so passionate about the success of its students and their families. Every meeting, discussion, and activity is focused on what can be done to serve the school's families.”
Bobby Casaletto is the principal of East Boston Central Catholic School. He said, “Both Megan and the other new board member have been valuable additions to our school board thus far and we highly recommend participation in the board training.”
If you are interested in learning more about joining a Catholic school board, contact Director of Data & Research Annie Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CARDINAL O’MALLEY APPOINTS THOMAS W. CARROLL SUPERINTENDENT OF CATHOLIC SCHOOLS FOR THE ARCHDIOCESE OF BOSTON
Braintree, MA (April 3, 2019) – Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley has appointed Thomas W. Carroll as Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Archdiocese of Boston. Mr. Carroll comes to the position with decades of experience in education, nonprofit management, fundraising, and Catholic advocacy. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Carroll served as the president of the Invest in Education Foundation, based in New York. His first day with the Catholic Schools Office (CSO) will be Monday, April 8, 2019.
“We are pleased to welcome Tom Carroll to the Archdiocese of Boston as our next Superintendent of Catholic Schools,” said Cardinal Seán. “Tom brings a wide range of experience to this important role, including founding and running successful urban schools, and we look forward to supporting his efforts to strengthen Catholic education. For more than one hundred years, Catholic schools have been centers of academic excellence and faith formation for generations of students. We are blessed to be able to support this ministry which continues to give back so much to our Church and the wider society.”
In accepting the position, Mr. Carroll said, “I am grateful for the opportunity to share in the wonderful tradition that is Catholic education in the Archdiocese of Boston. I want to thank Cardinal Seán for providing the vision for our Catholic schools and for entrusting me the leadership of the Catholic Schools Office. I will continue the focus on helping the children in our Catholic schools become strong scholars as well as good and virtuous people. We have a wealth of riches in the talents of our faculties and staffs across the Archdiocese, and at the same time a great need to continue to find the resources so critical to maintaining our long-standing record of accomplishment. With great pride, we will continue to reach out to families from all communities we serve about the unique opportunities a Catholic education provides."
Carroll also has been steeped in educational policy, founding and leading the Foundation for Education Reform & Accountability and the Invest in Education Foundation, both in New York.
He brings a mix of academic, public policy and development experience to the position having led a network of high-quality urban schools, renovating and constructing school facilities, advocating on behalf of Catholic schools, and raising millions in private donations for Catholic scholarships.
Most recently Mr. Carroll has been leading a national coalition he founded, working closely with the Catholic Church, focused on the adoption of a federal tax credit to encourage donations to Catholic and other K-12 scholarship funds. If adopted, this plan could generate $5 billion in donations for Catholic and other schools, scholarship organizations and nonprofits focused on tutoring and career and technical education. The coalition includes all major faiths, independent schools, black and Hispanic community groups, business organizations and several dozen labor unions.
He earned a Master of Arts and Bachelor of Arts from the University of Albany. A Catholic convert, he and his wife, Claudia (a pre-school teacher), have two children both of whom attended an all-boys Catholic school. They currently reside in Clifton Park, NY.
Mr. Carroll succeeds Kathleen Power Mears who announced her decision to return home to Indianapolis at the conclusion of the current academic year following five years leading the Catholics School Office. Carroll added, “Kathy Mears has done a great job strengthening the academic rigor and Catholic identity of our schools.”
Cardinal Seán thanked the search committee led by John J. Regan, Esq. for their commitment to bringing forth a high degree of accomplished professionals.
He also extended his gratitude to Superintendent Mears. “Kathy Mears has served with distinction and dedication over the past five years. We are grateful for her leadership and many contributions actively partnering with priests, school leaders, teachers, and community stakeholders to enhance Catholic education in the Archdiocese of Boston” stated the Cardinal.
Strength of Catholic Education
"No other institution in the U.S. has been as successful at moving people from poverty into the middle class." - Cardinal Seán
BRAINTREE, MA (March 29, 2019): Members of Archdiocese of Boston School communities are invited to participate in a series of three webinars on recognizing and minimizing bullying behaviors. The next webinar, titled “Challenges when working with parents around issues related to bullying or behavior problems” will take place April 9. The third and final webinar, “Research on Elementary Age Children and the Risks Associated with Social Media and Technology” is May 14.
The webinars, which are hosted by the Catholic Schools Office, are led by Dr. Elizabeth Englander, director of Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center (MARC) at Bridgewater State University. In addition, Dr. Englander is a professor and researcher at BSU.
Mary Goslin, director of government programs and grants at the Catholic Schools Office, organized the program. She said, “This series of webinars provides a level of support to our teachers that is greatly needed. These are difficult waters for parents and teachers alike to navigate, and having a toolkit with concrete strategies from a professional like Dr. Englander is a real gift.”
During the first webinar, held Feb. 26, “Responding to Subtle Behaviors that Lead to Bullying,” Dr. Englander described bullying behaviors and showed participants how to recognize subtle behaviors, known as gateway behaviors, and how to respond.
Dr. Englander explained that gateway behaviors are ones that show contempt, such as eye-rolling, laughing at someone, talking about someone in front of them, and ignoring someone when they talk. She elaborated, “It’s important to understand that gateway behaviors are insidious because they happen right in front of adults. In elementary school, the classroom is the second most common area children are bullied in, and in secondary school, it’s the most common area.”
She outlined a quick response that an adult should give when witnessing gateway behaviors. This response involves telling the student that you saw the behavior and stating that you find it rude, without referring to the intended target of the behavior. Dr. Englander said, “The bottom line is that you always want to respond to the overt behaviors. And if you see clues that indicate repetition or a power imbalance, you should investigate further and see if bullying is going on.”
Dr. Englander also addressed the impact of bullying online. She said, “Although severity of behavior does matter, what may matter even more is the context. If a child is also being targeted at school, then almost anything that happens to them online is likely to have a really big impact on them psychologically.
The 30-minute webinars are free to attend, and you can also view a recording if you miss the scheduled time
To learn more about the MARC Center, visit www.MARCcenter.org.
(NOTE: This release is from the Pioneer Institute)
State should establish a fund to provide partial support for health services for private and parochial schools
BOSTON – Private and parochial school students in Massachusetts have been denied well over $10 million in school nursing services to which they are entitled under state law, according to a new study published by Pioneer Institute.
In 1993, the state Department of Public Health (DPH) established the Essential School Health Services (ESHS) program, which provides competitive grants to local school districts. Since 2002, districts should have then allocated a proportional share of the grant to private and parochial schools within their boundaries, based on enrollment.
“DPH’s defective administration of ESHS and its own funding formula have resulted in a serious injustice being done to thousands of private and parochial school students across Massachusetts,” said Father Thomas Olson, co-author of “Wise and Humane: Private School Nursing in Massachusetts.”
Father Olson and co-authors Sandra Velazquez and Kelli Randall found that in 2008, DPH required that private and parochial schools benefiting from ESHS grants have their own private school-funded nurse, something the vast majority of private and parochial schools can’t afford.
In November 2017, DPH cut private and parochial school ESHS allocations by 37 percent while holding harmless funding for public school students. DPH blamed the action on a minuscule $88,000 budget cut.
The authors also found that DPH allocates money to private and parochial schools that no longer exist and violates its own funding formula. By fiscal 2018, ESHS funding for 14 private and parochial schools was underfunded by between 18 and more than 70 percent.
State law says that private-school students are entitled to publicly funded health screenings. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held that the provision of publicly funded health services to private school students is essential to maintain public health and safety.
Research shows that school nurses significantly reduce absenteeism and finds a direct correlation between improved attendance and better education outcomes.
A 2014 study found that school nurses save more than twice what they cost by eliminating the need for outside-school medical care and increasing teacher and parent productivity.
To rectify the problem, the authors’ recommendations include administrative fixes to ESHS and establishing a publicly controlled fund. This would provide private and parochial schools at least partial redress for the accordant and unjustified losses in school-based healthcare they have sustained.
Rev. Thomas Olson is a priest of the Archdiocese of Boston who is currently assigned as Parochial Vicar of Gate of Heaven and St. Brigid Parishes in South Boston. Fr. Tom is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross, St. Louis University, and Boston College.
Sandra J. Velazquez, RN, MS is a nurse practitioner who currently provides healthcare services to underserved children and adolescents in the Worcester Public School system. She is a graduate of Fitchburg State College and the University of Massachusetts Graduate Schools of Nursing at both Worcester and Amherst.
Kelli Randall, RN is a registered nurse who currently serves as the school nurse at Venerini Academy, a private Catholic school in Worcester. She is a graduate of Keene State College and the Massachusetts Bay Community College.
About Pioneer Institute
Pioneer Institute is an independent, non-partisan, privately funded research organization that seeks to improve the quality of life in Massachusetts through civic discourse and intellectually rigorous, data-driven public policy solutions based on free market principles, individual liberty and responsibility, and the ideal of effective, limited and accountable government.
MEDIA CONTACT: Jamie Gass, 617-723-2277 ext. 210 or email@example.com
BRAINTREE, MA (March 2019): Fourteen aspiring leaders and four apprentice principals recently gathered to learn how Catholic schools’ finances contribute to their operational vitality.
Catholic Schools Office Associate Superintendent of Leadership and Mission Effectiveness Daniel Roy organized the event. He said, “Catholic school finance is an area identified by aspiring and new school leaders as one for which they often do not have prior knowledge or preparation. This is an area of need, as it is not typically covered in graduate school leadership programs.”
Catholic Schools Office Director of School Finance Martha Hultzman presented to the aspiring leaders and apprentice principals. Hultzman, who started at the Catholic Schools Office in 2018, was formerly the director in a CPA firm for many years, and was the company lead for non-profit organizations, including schools.
She said, “One of the themes was of principals as financial stewards. Financial stewardship focuses on the financial health of a school both today and in the future in order to deliver on the mission of Catholic education. I found this group to be energetic, analytical, and insightful.”
During the session, Hultzman introduced and discussed common financial terms and then the attendees analyzed sample budgets in small groups followed by a whole-group debrief.
Meaghan Roach, a teacher in the social studies department at Archbishop Williams High School in Braintree, is an aspiring leader who attended the sessions on financial literacy. She said, “It was interesting to look at a budget summary and consider all the elements that need to be balanced to make a Catholic school successful. It is important to plan budgets out well, but often variables such as enrollment or facility maintenance can be unpredictable.”
Jillian Boudreau, lower school dean of students at the Academy of Notre Dame in Tyngsboro, was also at the meeting. She said, “Martha explained every financial term clearly, but also provided real school examples of each term, allowing me to make connections to my school. In addition, the group activity of reviewing a sample school budget provided us the opportunity to collaborate and really delve into what the responsibility of reviewing a budget entails. I learned ideas of what to look for in a budget, what questions to ask in reviewing one, and how to best organize so it is clear and straightforward.”
This program is one of nine monthly in-person meetings during the school year that is designed to introduce and train aspiring leaders in topics that are essential in the successful administration of a school. Each meeting is complemented by a virtual meeting held beforehand during which participants prepare via assigned readings and discussions with school administration. The next session, which takes place in April, will focus on family and community engagement.