Editor’s Note: Spring 2020 Issue

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We’re excited to announce the four winners of the 2020 Innovations in Catholic Education Awards in this issue! Check out the list of the winning schools in each award category. Congratulations to these schools on their creativity and hard work. You’ll read about them in more detail during the 2020-21 school year.

As we continue our full-year focus on our 2019 award winners, this issue highlights Bishop John King Mussio Central Elementary School (BJKM) in Steubenville, Ohio, the winner of the award for Curriculum and Instruction. BJKM hired intervention and behavior specialists, speech and occupational therapists, and test readers to support the learning needs of their diverse student body. The resulting curricular improvements benefitted all learners at the school.

Wayne Sheridan, in After-School Success, highlights the varied ways extracurricular experiences bring joy and passion to children’s lives. Sheridan describes after-school activities as motivators to get reluctant learners to come to school and highlights activities as a spark to engage children in a new realm. I have witnessed the benefits our elementary-age sons gain from after-school activities. From cultivating a new business plan, mastering the Ninja warped wall, and supporting a “greener” world to playing Joseph in the Christmas pageant, our sons have challenged their bodies, minds, and spirits after school. I believe it is the cultivation of these new ideas that enlightens children to life’s opportunities.

In Build Community at Recess, Lori Hadacek Chaplin provides ideas for enriching recess with new games and employing positive behavior management strategies on the playground. Chaplin also highlights how recess supports student learning. She explains how even a 10-minute break can be beneficial. My older son has a 10-minute morning stretch and then recess after lunch. The students get fresh air and movement during the morning work period. Recently, I have noticed more middle schools extending the transition between classes up to 10 minutes to allow students to socialize and regroup before class.

Since change is difficult for individuals and institutions alike, Louise “Toni” Moore shares her thoughts on supporting the change process as a school leader in Shepherding Schools Through Change. Last November, Assumption College announced it will transition to Assumption University next academic year. This change grew from a vision and many conversations with members of the Assumption community, including two school-wide strategic planning days. Moore’s article provides guidance to support any change process.

Many blessings during the Lenten season,

Dr. Lisa D’Souza


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