December Monthly Insider
Celebrating the Beauty of Every Child
As we reflect on and celebrate this year’s theme, “Celebrating the Beauty of Every Child”, the Catholic Schools Office (CSO) is mindful especially during this Season of Hope how important it is that each and every child in the Diocese of Fall River’s Catholic schools be given an opportunity to reach their God-given potential. Your children are such a blessing and we are so grateful for the gift that they are to our Catholic school community.
To ensure each and every child’s success, the CSO has embarked on a Data Driven Instruction Initiative to strengthen the academic programs in all of our elementary/middle Catholic schools. During this school year, the elementary/middle schools in the Diocese of Fall River replaced the IOWA standardized tests with the MAP Suite Assessment system. The data derived from these assessments provided and will continue to provide to school leaders and teachers the data needed to make strategic and intentional decisions in real time about teaching and learning so that each and every child can succeed.
This past summer, using the IOWA testing results from the past three years, data walls were developed for each of our elementary/middle schools. These “snapshots” of student achievement provided school leaders with the data that they needed to assist them with goal setting for this current school year, ensuring the success of each and every child.
The Catholic Schools Office has also made Special Education a priority and has set a goal that by School Year 2021 every school will hire a certified special education teacher to work with students, families, and faculty. With the opening of the 2018-2019 school year, 11 out of 20 schools have certified special education teachers on staff. To support these teachers and programs, the CSO has provided comprehensive special education program guidelines, assisted schools with accessing the federally funded Individual with Disability Education Act’s (IDEA) special education services, and is readying to initiate a Catholic school special education parent coalition.
Knowing that some children and youth encounter social and emotional issues that can adversely impact their academic growth, the CSO has partnered with St. Vincent’s Home Corporation of Fall River to provide on-site mental health services. We are so grateful to St. Vincent’s Leadership Group for their collaboration. It will assist hundreds of children and youth with maximizing their potential.
As this school year proceeds, the CSO will continue to brief you on the many new initiatives that the CSO is undertaking to ensure that each and every child has the opportunity to reach their God-given potential.
Please be assured of my and the entire CSO’s Leadership Team’s prayers and well wishes during this holy season of Christmas.