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Teacher Advice: What to Do When You're Angry

Friday, February 19, 2016 by Brian Collier, Ph.D.


If the Church is the people, then obviously the Church gets angry. Even the holiest of among us get angry sometimes.

Take my first boss at a school, Sr. Patrick Marie. She was kind, patient, and saintly in every way. She was quick to laugh and compassionate to a fault, but even she got angry sometimes.

Every Student Succeeds Act: English Language Learning Children Not Left Behind

Monday, February 15, 2016 by Katy Walter Lichon, Ph.D.

ENLFebruary15on15thEnglish learners (ELs) are the fastest growing population in U.S. schools. By 2025, nearly 1 in 4 US school children will be an EL. While their numbers grow, their performance lags behind their native English-speaking peers. Less than 63 percent of English-language learners graduate high school in time. The recently minted Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) might provide an opportunity for educators who aim to help ELs thrive.

Why Students Need a Third Language

Friday, February 12, 2016 by Matt Kloser, Ph.D.

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I had a difficult choice: Spanish, French, or Latin.

Those were my choices for my high school’s second language requirement. If I had to make the choice in 2016, I would say that an important option was missing—not Chinese or German, although those could be useful—but rather a “third language” option. I should be able to choose a computer programming language, and so should our students in Catholic (as well as public, private, and charter) schools.

Catholic Schools Enable Teachers, Students to Feel “Fully Alive"

Friday, February 05, 2016 by Andrea Cisneros


I am a product of public schools from pre-school clear through university, even teaching in a massive public high school as a student teacher. The eighteen-year experience was overwhelmingly positive, and I was blessed with one great teacher after another. Moreover, several public school teachers in my family were role models who inspired me to become a teacher in the first place. In fact, the first Catholic school I ever set foot in was the first one I taught in. Yet despite their absence from my formative years and my deep appreciation for my education, I have not looked back. Since my first day at St. John Bosco School, I have been fixated on Catholic schools.

Come and See: Catholic Schools Plant Seeds for Vocations

Thursday, February 04, 2016 by Fr. Lou DelFra, C.S.C.


I discovered my vocation to be a priest in Catholic schools. Surely, the seed was planted by the diocesan priests and IHM sisters who taught me at St. Pius X Grade School in Broomall, PA, and the Augustinians who taught me at Malvern Prep. But it was while I stood on the other side of the desk, as a teacher, that these seeds took root and blossomed into a religious vocation. Though the details differ, many could tell a similar story….

Why I Sent My Protestant Son to a Catholic School

Wednesday, February 03, 2016 by Ann Primus Berends by Ann Primus Berends

“We don’t teach them because they’re Catholic but because we are Catholic.”
                                                                        - Cardinal James Hickey, Washington, DC
This quote is a favorite of mine. Education Next dubbed it “a call to arms in the new crusade to save Catholic education.” Capturing as it does the Catholic principles of charity and devotion, the quote reflects the fundamental reason Catholic schools make a difference in this country—and will continue to do so: they are grounded in the Church.

Catholic Schools Debunk the Myth of Unteachability

Monday, February 01, 2016 by Laura MacLean

Pens need to be vertical. Every teacher knows that. When a student’s wrist goes limp and his pen falls to the desk, it’s trouble. It’s the sign of despair, the sign that the mental willpower to tackle a problem has been exhausted.

Catholic Schools Week 2016 - For Our Communities

Sunday, January 31, 2016 by Caela Carter


Chicago Jesuit Academy, where I was blessed to work for four years, is a place of hope. Although it is surrounded by violence and poverty, and although the students are choosing to use their already-tough middle school years to do something incredibly daunting, the attitude of these young men and their teachers, families, and benefactors is consistent: work hard, love well, pray often and there are great things waiting on the horizon.

Catholic Schools Week: 3 Ways to Celebrate All Students

Saturday, January 30, 2016 by Jennifer Dees, M.Ed.


Beginning tomorrow, Catholic school communities across the country will seize the opportunity to celebrate the extraordinary gift that we have in Catholic education. Most schools mark this festive week with special liturgies, open houses, and fun activities for students and families. As we began to prepare for the week with our own children's schools, my colleagues and I in the English as a New Language team wondered how we might ensure that students and families from every tradition feel included in the celebration.

Catholic Schools Week 2016 - For Our Parishes

Saturday, January 30, 2016 by Fr. Nate Wills, C.S.C.


"The seeds of faith, sown at his Catholic school, drew Gabe’s family together in faith and made them an inspiration for the parish"

When I was an associate pastor at St. Joseph parish in South Bend, Indiana, I met a fifth-grade boy named Gabe who wanted to become Catholic. Gabe learned about our Catholic faith in his religion classes, he went to Mass with his classmates, and he decided he wanted to be baptized. His parents sent him to a Catholic school, but Gabe’s family didn’t go to Mass on Sunday and his parents didn’t quite know what to make of their son’s desire to join the Church. But they were supportive of their son and took him to Mass one Sunday. The spark of Gabe’s enthusiasm and faith spread to the rest of his family and I started to see them at Mass every weekend. Not long after, Gabe’s dad joined RCIA, his little sister was baptized, and his mom who had grown up Catholic, came back to the Church.

What U.S. Catholic Schools Can Learn from Education in Haiti

Wednesday, January 20, 2016


Without windows.

Without lights.

Oftentimes without basic school supplies.

As we visited Catholic schools in Port-au-Prince, I found myself wishing there was something we could do to provide these children with the type of education that many of us experienced, an education where so many things are provided and even taken for granted.

Making the Dream a Reality: 3 Challenges from Dr. King

Saturday, January 16, 2016 by Alec Torigian


As a young man with no smartphone and poor map reading skills, I naturally got lost the first time I drove to see the school at which I would teach in Mobile, AL. Everything and everywhere was new, and I had no idea how to get around. Then I saw it…Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. I knew my school was the last historically black Catholic school in the Archdiocese, and I knew it played a role in the city’s civil rights movements, particularly in the ‘60s. With only that information, I headed toward the street sign and took the turn in faith; sure enough, I eventually stumbled upon the beautiful old school I would be blessed enough to call home for the next two years.

The Key to a Successful School Year? Try Joy

Thursday, January 07, 2016 by Kole Knueppel


During my time as a school leader, we regularly set a goal to have the most joyful school in the country.

We reminded our team and family of teachers that as ambassadors of Christ and his church, there must be a marked difference between our school and the schools down the street. To live distinctively as a disciple of Christ does not mean that we carry ourselves in sanctimonious, somber obedience, grimly waiting for eternal rest. Instead, the closer we are drawn to Christ, the more light and tender-hearted our outlook can be.

Why What We Believe about Students Really Matters

Wednesday, January 06, 2016 by Mary Frances "Frankie" Jones


In the current political climate of education reform and high-stakes accountability, we often hear calls for “higher expectations.” For those of us invested in the work of transforming Catholic schools, we wouldn’t argue for lowering them.

ACE's Top Stories of 2015

Thursday, December 31, 2015

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As we prepare for the ball to drop, for a rousing rendition of Auld Lang Syne, and to ring in the New Year with loved ones, New Year’s Eve also gives us a chance to look back at the year we’ll be leaving behind. Here at ACE, we’d like to share with you our top stories from 2015, a year filled with blessings for all those who devote their lives to Catholic schools.

Plus, what’s more fun than a countdown?

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