Date published: April 1, 2011
From the NCEA Bookshelf
Leonard DeFiore, John J. Convey and Merylann Schuttloffel
In "Weathering the Storm: Moving Catholic Schools Forward." the authors, colleagues at The Catholic University of America, identify critical factors that face Catholic schools, particularly those in urban areas, and propose strategies that, if employed consistently and well, will help to stabilize and reverse the downward trend in the number of Catholic schools and students nationwide. The book, first published in 2009, is now in its fourth printing.
Although in the final analysis, most schools closed because of financial circumstances, other factors such as declining demographics, weak leadership, weak Catholic identity, poor academic programs, individual family financial circumstances, strong competition and lack of parental interest in the value of a Catholic education are contributing factors. The authors discuss each of these in more detail in the chapter titled Why Catholic Schools Close.
The critical elements needed for a Catholic school to be "viable, vital and effective" are, not surprisingly, almost the opposite of the signs of failure: effective leadership, stable or upward enrollment, financial stability, academic quality. Catholic identity and strategic planning.
In chapters titled Constructing the Ark and Completing the Ark, the authors explore effective local and diocesan leadership: public policy efforts; effective financial management: planning, monitoring and intervention: maintaining academic excellence and strong Catholic identity.
Coming Soon: "Before the Storm." In a "prequel" to "Weathering the Storm." author DeFiore. a former NCEA president, provides a concise history of the events that led to the current situation as well as some policy recommendations for addressing them. He provides statistics and commentary on what he describes as the two largest waves of enrollment decline: Wave One from 1965 to 1990 and Wave Two from 2000 to the present. The book provides background and analysis for anyone needling to understand how Catholic education got to where it is today. In a sense, the book ends where "Weathering the Storm" begins.
"Weathering the Storm: Moving Catholic Schools Forward," ADM-201460. $12 member/$18 nonmember.
"Before the Storm." ADM-20-1492. $12 member: $18 nonmember.
Order both from the NCEA Online Store at wwww.ncea.org.
World Mission Sunday
World Mission Sunday is celebrated each year on the next-to-last Sunday of October. For this year that's Oct. 23. For reference, the dates for coming years are: Oct. 21. 2012: and Oct. 20, 2013. This year, the Holy Father's theme is "As the Father has sent me. so I send you" (Jn 20:21). The Society for the Propagation of the Faith coordinates this celebration and offers materials that will be available during the summer months on the Web site or available upon request.
The society recently launched two informative sites: MissionlnScripture.org, which links missionary activities to Scripture readings, and PreachingMission. org, a multi-media Web site featuring a prayer with brief faith reflections. The "voices" on Preaching Mission will vary, from missionaries to local priests, religious or laity from the missions; diocesan directors of the Pontifical Mission Societies to Catholic media professionals. No one is introduced so that listeners may instead focus on the message, reflecting as well on the personal call through baptism to be a "mission voice" daily.
"Catholic Education: A Journal of Inquiry and Practice" Available Free Online
"Catholic Education: A Journal of Inquiry and Practice" now is available free online at the Web site above. The refereed journal dedicated to issues of research and practice affecting Catholic elementary, secondary and higher education formerly was a traditional print, subscription-based publication. The new open-access electronic format will continue to provide quality, peerreviewed national and international research and scholarship on Catholic education. The new format allows for greater dissemination and availability for practitioners, university faculty and international audiences. The editorial team plans to produce two issues annually.
The journal was founded in 1997 as a collaborative partnership between Fordham University, Saint Louis University, the University of Dayton and the University of San Francisco, with a grant from the Lilly Endowment, to support, explore and challenge the profession, practice and pursuance of Catholic education through the publication of highquality scholarship. Today, 18 Catholic colleges and universities are part of a collaborative effort to support the journal, providing the financial assistance necessary to cover operating costs and make the content available electronically free of charge.
In addition to being available through traditional library databases and collections, the open-access format of the journal now will be accessible through the journal Web site as well as through popular search engines such as Google and Yahoo. This makes the content of the journal available to anyone in the world with Internet access.
Through the support of the Boston College Libraries, all back issues of the journal- those originally published in print only- have been digitized and archived and are available in the open-access format.
All traditional mechanisms for reviewing and vetting the quality of scholarship remain as before. Submissions containing original research and scholarship are welcome; three qualified experts will review all manuscripts submitted for publication.
Fuel Up to Play 60
Fuel Up to Play 60 was launched by the National Dairy Council and the National Football League in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to encourage youth to consume nutrient-rich foods and achieve at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. The program empowers students to engage peers to "fuel up" with nutrient-rich foods and "get up and play" with 60 minutes of daily physical activity.
Any U.S. K to 12 school can enroll in the free program. The Web site has additional information and teacher resources.
Additionally, schools may apply for funding of up to $3,000 to provide support for activities and tools, such as food service materials and equipment, nutrition and physical education materials, student and staff incentives and staff development. June 15 is the deadline for fund applications, but schools may enroll in the program at anytime.