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.
Michael C. McLaughlin, Head of Middle School at Austin Preparatory School in Reading has been awarded the 2019 NELMS A+ Administrator Award
The New England League of Middle Schools (NELMS) announced at its 38th Annual Conference (held March 21-22, 2019) that Michael C. McLaughlin, Head of the Middle School at Austin Preparatory School in Reading, Massachusetts was awarded the NELMS 2019 A+ Administrator’s Award.
Jeff Rodman, Executive Director of NELMS, stated, “NELMS seeks to honor administrators who value, understand, and support effective middle level education that promotes powerful learning for young adolescents.” He added that those honored with the award have an excellent understanding of how young adolescents learn and a record of actively promoting middle level education and building community support.
To that end McLaughlin, who is in his fourth year at the helm of Austin’s Middle School, is a curriculum author for the Sophia Institute Press and a TA with National Geographic in their Certified Educators Program. An avid traveler, McLaughlin has led a number of student tours abroad and will serve as International Faculty Coordinator with the Independent Schools Cultural Alliance, a summer study abroad program designed specifically for middle school learners housed outside of London, United Kingdom this July.
McLaughlin has marshalled a number of new programs in the Middle School consistent with best practices in young adolescent development and education. Students exercise choice and voice in their curriculum with a selection of Mandarin, Latin, French, and Spanish World Languages and a menu of over a dozen electives in the Department of Art and Design from Robotics and Filmmaking to Drama, Dance, and Art History, a course McLaughlin teaches. Students in grade six study the Humanities in intentional cohorts, resulting in collaborative projects like the annual Egyptian Museum Night.
Marla Pascucci-Byrne, Art and Design Chair at Austin Prep, nominated McLaughlin for the honor. She cited her work with McLaughlin on redesigning and aligning courses with the best practices for the specific needs of early adolescents. She describes McLaughlin as a man with “boundless enthusiasm” and whose mission-driven approach to leadership is appreciated by students, teachers, and parents. She wrote: “His leadership, example, and exuberance are gifts to our students and our school community, and, though I am known as a tough grader, I am confident that Michael McLaughlin earns an A+.”
Founded in 1961, Austin Preparatory School is an independent Catholic school in Reading, MA for students in grades 6-12. We seek to cultivate the minds and hearts of our young students and provide an environment in which they can successfully learn, grow and develop outside the classroom. Austin Prep has 750 students from 61 towns in Massachusetts and New Hampshire and is guided by the Augustinian mission of veritas, unitas and caritas, or truth, unity and love.
The New England League of Middle Schools is a nonprofit organization. Through its vision, leadership, and programs it provides a network of services for learning about and implementing developmentally appropriate practices for young adolescents. For further information about NELMS, call 978-557-9311 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
AUSTIN PREP MEDIA INQUIRIES: Contact Ross Blacker (781) 944-4900 ext. 849; email@example.com
.;The Bishop Fenwick High School board of trustees recently selected Thomas E. Nunan Jr. to serve as Fenwick’s first president, effective July 1.
Nunan brings 34 years of Catholic school experience and leadership, most recently as the founding head of school at St. Joseph Preparatory High School in Boston. There, Nunan was central in creating a vibrant school culture from two existing schools while assembling an exemplary faculty and staff, developing a rigorous and responsive curriculum, and providing myriad for students’ intellectual, personal, moral and spiritual growth.
Prior to St. Joseph’s, Nunan spent 27 years at St. Sebastian’s School in Needham. There, his roles included chair of the theology department; director of the Senior Service Program; director of the New Orleans Service Program; NEASC Self-Study Leader; and a member of various school committees and projects. Nunan also led and mentored students as their soccer, hockey, lacrosse and tennis coach.
Nunan was identified as the new leader after the Fenwick Board commenced a national search to succeed Head of School, Brother Thomas Zoppo.
“Being the school of choice for Catholic, coed, college-prep education on the North Shore, I am honored and privileged to lead Fenwick and its extraordinary people into a bright and dynamic future,” Nunan said.
Nunan received his undergraduate degree in philosophy and Master of Education in religious education from Boston College. Nunan completed the Lynch Leadership Academy and the Emmaus Program, both at Boston College.
“We are very excited about Fenwick’s new chapter, and the many opportunities for achievement we offer our students,” said Dan Dunn, chair of the Fenwick Board of Trustees. “We know that with Mr. Nunan’s leadership, we are poised to elevate Fenwick and St. Mary’s to their next levels of excellence.”
For more information, visit https://www.fenwick.org/about/new-leadership.
BRAINTREE (March 18, 2019): Forty-three students from 11 Archdiocese of Boston Catholic schools competed in Thursday’s South Shore Catholic Schools Annual Regional Spelling Bee, held this year at Saint Francis Xavier School in Weymouth. The winner was seventh grader Alexandra Lacandula from Saint Francis of Assisi School in Braintree. Mark England, who is in the fifth grade at Saint Bridget School in Abington, came in second, and Christopher Boensel, who placed third, is in the seventh grade at Saint Joseph School in Holbrook.
Catholic Schools Office Associate Superintendent of Leadership and Mission Effectiveness Daniel Roy was a judge, along with Kathleen Puleo. Puleo was the principal of Saint Jerome School in Weymouth until her retirement in 2018.
Roy said, “It was such a fun evening and I marveled at the way that students stood in front of their own school communities and other school communities and delivered the way they did. The students were truly impressive. Bob Murphy, principal of Saint Francis Xavier School, did a stellar job organizing and hosting the event.”
The competing students were in the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth grades. Prior to this event, each school held grade-level spelling bees, and the winner from each grade then advanced and competed in the regionals. During the competition, once a student was a presented with a word to spell, he or she could ask for parts of speech, origin, definition, and to hear the word used in a sentence. Contenders were asked to spell words such as “jacquerie,” “phalanx,” “felicitously,” and “chloroform” during the Spelling Bee.
Brian Cote, principal of Saint Francis of Assisi School, said, "I am always so impressed with all the students; they were amazing! Our school communities truly look forward to this competitive event, which now has become a tradition with the South Region Catholic Schools."
Nancy Carr, principal of Saint Agatha School in Milton, attended the event for the first time. While Carr is a long-time principal in Archdiocese of Boston Catholic schools, this is her first year leading a school on the South Shore.
She said, “This was a wonderful tribute to parochial schools. It gives the children an opportunity to compete and for us to applaud them for their successes. The Spelling Bee is a great opportunity to come together as Catholic school students, teachers, principals and families and celebrate what happens in the classroom every day.”
Due to Lacandula’s victory, Saint Francis of Assisi will host the Regional Spelling Bee next year.
BRAINTREE, MA (March 5, 2019): The 30 women came to the Pastoral Center in Braintree last Wednesday night from across the Archdiocese of Boston. They have children and grandchildren to care for, aging parents and other responsibilities - but they set those concerns aside for three hours to deepen their understanding of pediatric and adolescent health, in order to better serve their Catholic schools in the Archdiocese. The Catholic school nurses listened attentively as Maile Moore, MSN, RN, CPNP-PC, from the Sleep Center at Boston Children’s Hospital taught about the importance of sleep, particularly in pediatrics. She spoke about sleep disorders and other contributing factors that impact children’s overall health.
She also gave nurses guidance on how to compile a comprehensive sleep history in the school health office. In particular, the nurse should ask a family about an evening routine, including screen time; the sleep schedule; other daytime sleep, such as short naps; and the weekend schedule.
In addition, the nurses discussed a fictional case study of a 16-year-old boy with sleep complications and performed a deep dive into the adolescent sleep cycle. Moore said, “All adolescents experience a normal shift in circadian rhythms with age and in association with the onset of puberty.” Due to school start times, this often leads to a sleep deficiency during the weekdays and an attempt to catch on the weekends. In short, “teenagers are living in one time zone during the week, and an entirely different time zone on the weekend. It’s as though they are in a permanent state of social jet lag,” said Moore.
Moore also covered screen time and its effect on sleep. She pointed out that “use of screen media by youth is associated with shorter total sleep time, delayed sleep onset, shorter sleep duration, later bedtime and poorer sleep quality.”
Another adolescent sleep disrupter is caffeine. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, referenced by Moore, found that “caffeine was significantly associated with internalizing behavior; over-control of emotions, social withdrawal, demand for attention, and feelings of worthlessness or inferiority.” Additionally, “caffeine consumption was significantly related to sleep routine, morning tiredness, and restless sleep in children, with increasing caffeine consumption correlated with increasing sleep problems.”
Karen O’Neil is a school nurse who is in her first school year at St. Pius V School in Lynn, and this was the first event that she has attended with the Catholic Schools Office. She said, “The presentation was phenomenal. Pediatric sleep is such an important topic, especially in today's ‘screen age.’”
Bridget Jaklitsch, RN, is the nurse at St. Francis Xavier School in Weymouth and stated, “This workshop increased my awareness around the importance and impact of sleep. I brought the information back to Saint Francis Xavier School and asked the teachers to talk to their students in their classrooms about the importance of sleep; how it’s associated with wellness and increased success in school.”
Jaklitsch continued, “Thanks to these professional development events funded by the Catholic Schools Office, nurses are able to support each other intellectually, emotionally, socially and spiritually.”