Update on Action Strategies for Collaboration

February 7, 2013

The City Catholic Collaborative members have been very busy working on five action strategies approved in April 2012.  These strategies are helping the Collaborative reach its goals while integrating our action with the priorities announced by Archbishop Carlson in February 2012.  The Alive in Christ Mission Advancement Initiative is more than a title, it is a reality in the city Catholic elementary and middle schools.

Principals are excited about following through with developing their own Professional Learning Community (PLC) to enhance their professional leadership in the schools.  Once a month 15 principals are coming together to learn from each other as they work to understand an assigned piece of professional reading.  First they break bread together and share conversation and prayer.  Although schedules are busy, they have made this a priority for excellence.

Pastors and Principals volunteered and worked during the summer of 2012 and into the fall to investigate various models of structure and governance for our schools.  After their research and discussion, they felt that there was an immediate need for planning for some of the schools in south St. Louis.  In December 2012 pastors and principals from Immaculate Heart of Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows, St. Ambrose, St. Gabriel, St. James the Greater, St. Joan of Arc, St. John the Baptist, St. Margaret of Scotland, St. Raphael, and St. Stephen Protomartyr met to review and discuss population trends, school enrollment trends, and financial trends for the ten parishes and schools.  After this initial meeting all ten pastors agreed that they needed to initiate a planning process for the future of Catholic education in south St. Louis.  The initiative was announced the weekend of January 18-20 to parishioners and school parents.  Additional information and communication will be ongoing and interested persons will be given opportunities to give in-put.  As this process progresses, information will be shared with the larger community.

Other areas that are being developed include grant development for joint projects and formulating a master calendar for the nineteen schools in the Collaborative.  Those responsible continue to discuss and plan for some common dates for all.  This is ongoing and not implemented at this time. 

The schools of the City Catholic Collaborative are working diligently to work together in ways that will enhance who they are and what they are able to offer to the children living in St. Louis city.

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Grant Allows Three Schools to Collaborate on New Program

September 17, 2012

The Norman J. Stupp Foundation awarded $8,750 toSt. Roch, St. Francis of Cabrini and St. Cecilia schools for the Mental Math– Middle School Project.   The grant was written by Professor   Richard Lodholz who consulted with principal Gloria Openlander, and St. Roch Math teachers Paul Shaver and Tim Cummins concerning the project.

The Project goals are:

1. To increase student computational proficiency and numerical understanding by creating and implementing periodic lessons depicting key strategies with related daily 3 minute practice exercises throughout the school year in grades 5, 6, 7, and 8;

2. To strengthen teacher and principal knowledge of mathematics by professional development through collaboration with teachers and principals in other schools and the project director;

3. To develop a researched based mental math/estimation program across grades 5-8 through the medium of Power Point lessons and printed daily exercises on Word software that can be disseminated to other schools in following years.

 

The schools involved are excited about this opportunity and look forward to working together throughout the school year.   The school communities appreciate the efforts of Professor Lodholz.!

(This article is from the E-vangelizer published by the Archdiocese of St. Louis and was written by Sue Brown, Director of Marketing.)

Great Students Are Here

August 31, 2012

Great students are here.  The City Catholic elementary and middle schools welcomed 3, 665 great students for the beginning of another outstanding school year!

Our schools are excellent and it appears that many parents and guardians agree it is the place for their student.  The Alive in Christ scholarships were a great help to many who might not have been able to attend.  We are grateful to all those who helped to fund these scholarships.  Local schools and parishes also helped with tuition assistance for many.  The assistance money comes from many individual parishioners or donors through their parish collections and the special Scholarship Sunday Collection sponsored by the City Catholic Collaborative.  Thanks to all of you!

Among these 3, 665 there are 370 preschool students developing their skills in the 11 preschools within our schools.  Many of these students are just beginning their Catholic school experience. 

Welcome to all in our schools!  May you grow in faith and knowledge each day.

New Year brings New School

August 30, 2012

St. Louis the King Catholic School at the Cathedral officially opened August 24, 2012.

Located at the site of the former Cathedral Basilica School, St. Louis the King is the first school to open in the City of St. Louis under Archbishop Robert J. Carlson’s leadership and pronouncement that “Catholic schools are my first priority!” (See sidebar for pictures)

The Archbishop, along with Superintendent Mr. George Henry, members of the school community, and community leaders and supporters marked the occasion with a prayer service, ribbon-cutting and release of balloons by the students in celebration of their new school. 

The Archbishop said to the  children, “I am praying for and counting on you to make this school, as Jesus said, like a “city on a mountain that cannot be hidden.” In other words, Alive in Christ! 

(This post is an article from the E-vangelizer published by the Archdiocese of St. Louis.)

Enriched Algebra for Select Eighth Grade Students

August 24, 2012

The enriched Algebra I class for select Eighth Grade students registered in one of the city Catholic elementary or middle schools began its third year on Monday, August 20, 2012.  Twenty four students and a parent or two for each arrived at Bishop DuBourg High to pick up their text and other necessary materials and meet their teacher.

An air of true excitement and enthusiasm was almost palpable when students gathered.  Not only did they receive an invitation to participate in the program based on their test scores and grades, they were going to be attending Bishop DuBour High school every Monday through Thursday.  Quite a privelege for them.

The students, who satisfactorily complete the year long course of studies with at least a C average or above, receive high school credit that transfers to the high school they will choose to attend in the fall of 2013.  This gives them the opportunity to take additional math classes at the high school level and be more prepared for future studies and careers. 

The program has been available to eighth graders in city Catholic schools for three years.  It has been well received by students and parents and every student has been successful!  The teacher seems to have enjoyed the course as much as the students. 

During the coming year the Sophomore students who were the pilot group in 2010 will be part of an evaluation to determine if our goal of more math in high school is being achieved.  Receiving high schools have been very supportive of the program.

This program is a direct result of collaboration between a group of High School Administrators and the City Catholic Collaborative.

Collaboration Enhances Opportunities

August 1, 2012

Collaboration has brought about some enhanced opportunities for the City Catholic Schools.  The two highlighted here represent collaboration with the city Catholic elementary and middles schools and additional collaboration with two of our city Catholic high schools.  We have had opportunities like these in the past, but these are enhanced through collaborative planning.

All educators from the city Catholic elementary and middle schools are invited to participate in a special Professional Development Day on November 2 at St. Mary’s High School.  St. Mary’s will provide the presenter, space, and some of their teachers and staff to share about their application of 9 strategies for Instruction that Works.  The featured speaker will be Jane Pollack an educator and author.  Some of you have heard Jane before or read some of her books, but there is always more to share.

This will be a launching event to begin the initial steps of forming Professional Learning Teams (PLTs) for teachers from more than one school.  The Northeast Deanery Federation of Catholic Schools has been doing this for the past year and after consultation with their organizer, a special team of principals from the City Catholic Collaborative have developed their own spin on the PLTs.  Initial volunteer group(s) will begin in second semester and a full plan will be rolled out for the 2013 – 14 school year.   Due to varied school calendars, some schools will not be participating. 

Principals of the schools will have an initial opportunity to reflect on the need for PLTs and the creative sharing they provide between schools through their own Principals’ PLT beginning in the fall of this school year.

Confirmation rally/retreat opportunity for the 2012 year will be a joint venture between the City Catholic Collaborative and Bishop DuBourg High School.  We have been offering a rally/retreat for the last four years.  This year, November 9,  it will look a little different and be enhanced by the leadership of DuBourg student leaders.  The staff of DuBourg will help with planning and provide the team leadership with the DB students.  All of this is possible through a grant received by Bishop DuBourg from the Koch Foundation.  There will be approximately 168 students participating from 7 Catholic elementary schools in St. Louis and the South Deanery PSR program.

The seventh and eighth grade students will have more opportunities to share among their peers and to experience the witness of faith from DB students and staff.  It will be interactive and a faith filled experience.

Welcome

July 25, 2012

The City Catholic Collaborative is a network of the Catholic elementary and middle schools located in the city of St. Louis, Missouri.  It also includes the parishes that support these schools.  We are working together to ensure excellent Catholic education continues in the city of St. Louis.  It is our belief that we accomplish this through collaboration and sharing of resources with one another.

Visit the City Catholic Schools blog often to see what we are doing to accomplish our mission and how our schools are excelling.  You may also want to read about what our schools are doing by visiting the www.archcityschools.com site.