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Catholic School Advantage

Introducing Anchor Point and Grace Period, Spiritual Resources from ACE

on Wednesday, 17 February 2021.

Grace Period Anchor Point, Spiritual Resources from the Alliance for Catholic Education

As teachers and school leaders face these days of darkness, the Alliance for Catholic Education invites you to join us as we walk toward the light that our faith tells us lies ahead.

Each Monday, join us for Grace Period, a weekly series of audio reflections by Fr. Lou DelFra, CSC, designed to meet your busy schedule as teachers and educators and help you pause, listen for God’s voice in your life, and begin anew.

And each day, we invite you to pray Anchor Point, a daily prayer to proclaim God’s love to begin the day and proclaim God’s faithfulness as the day draws to a close.

We pray that each of you find grace in each day, and we thank you for all you do for Catholic schools.

Forging New Partnerships in the Face of Uncertainty: ENL Program and Five Chicago Catholic Schools Begin New Latino Outreach Initiative

on Monday, 18 January 2021.

By: Erika Gallardo - Hispanic Engagement and Outreach Manager, Archdiocese of Chicago

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The ongoing and continually evolving pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges to many Catholic schools throughout the country. For some, the economic toll was simply insurmountable, and for many others, the future remains rife with uncertainty. Still, Catholic schools have shown remarkable resilience in the face of innumerable challenges over this past year, continuing to respond to the call to make God known, loved, and served.

One such example can be found in the newly formed partnership between five Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Chicago and the Alliance for Catholic Education's English as a New Language (ENL) program. Even in the midst of the pandemic, these five schools bravely heeded the call to work with the ENL program and the Archdiocese of Chicago Office of Catholic School’s Marketing Department to serve Latino students boldly and purposefully in the inaugural Chicago English Learner and Latino Outreach initiative (CELLO). Four of the five schools in the program are located in Chicago—Our Lady of the Snows, St. Richard, St. Pius V, and Queen of the Universe—as well as one in Summit, Illinois—St. Joseph School.

Mentor Spotlight: Getting to Know Christine Tax

on Friday, 15 January 2021.

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Mentor principals have played a critical role in the success of the Latino Enrollment Institute (LEI) since the program’s inception in 2012. The experience, accountability, and personal attention that these leaders provide has been a defining characteristic of the LEI, helping Catholic school principals—and their teams— institute lasting changes. 

After schools attend the LEI summer conference, mentor principals maintain regular contact with the 4-6 school leaders in their group through monthly video conference calls. These conversations, which focus on various themes related to Latino outreach, recruitment, and enrollment, are an opportunity for school leaders to learn from one another and receive real-time consultation and feedback from their mentor on some of the things that they’re doing in their school. 

The commitment of our LEI mentors, most of whom are still active Catholic school principals themselves, is truly the engine that drives the LEI. These Mentor Spotlight pieces are intended to be a fun way to help you get to know these incredible school leaders—both professionally and personally—who dedicate so much of their lives to this mission.

This month, we highlight Christine Tax, who is the principal of St. Agnes Catholic School in Phoenix, Arizona. Christine first attended the LEI in 2014 with St. John Vianney School in Goodyear, Arizona. At that time, she served as the assistant principal and, shortly thereafter, as interim principal. During her time at St. John Vianney, Christine helped to nearly double the school's enrollment in just three years, as well as implemented a financial aid program that allowed students to receive over 1 million dollars in scholarships, maximizing the state tax credit system. She also implemented a blended learning program at the school and worked to establish a school culture that elevated student learning expectations. In 2016, Christine became Principal of St. Agnes Catholic School in Phoenix, Arizona, picked up right where she left off at St. John Vianney and bringing everything she had learned during her time as assistant and interim principal to lead St. Agnes School. Within just one year,  she managed to substantially grow enrollment, increase scholarship monies, improve the school's academics.

Read the interview with Christine Tax below.

Best Stories of 2020

on Thursday, 17 December 2020.

ACE Best Stories of 2020

As we enter into a new year, we also look back on the past year and our most popular news stories and blog posts. 

Mentor Spotlight: Getting to Know Jeannie Courchene

on Tuesday, 17 November 2020.

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Mentor principals have played a critical role in the success of the Latino Enrollment Institute (LEI) since the program’s inception in 2012. The experience, accountability, and personal attention that these leaders provide has been a defining characteristic of the LEI, helping Catholic school principals—and their teams— institute lasting changes. 

After schools attend the LEI summer conference, mentor principals maintain regular contact with the 4-6 school leaders in their group through monthly video conference calls. These conversations, which focus on various themes related to Latino outreach, recruitment, and enrollment, are an opportunity for school leaders to learn from one another and receive real-time consultation and feedback from their mentor on some of the things that they’re doing in their school. 

The commitment of our LEI mentors, most of whom are still active Catholic school principals themselves, is truly the engine that drives the LEI.  

This month, we highlight Jeannie Courchene, who has worked in education for over 40 years and has served as a mentor principal for the LEI since the program’s inception in 2012. Prior to joining the LEI team, Jeannie served as principal of St. Rose of Lima School in Denver, Colorado, for ten years. When Jeannie became principal of St. Rose of Lima in 1999, the school was in physical disrepair and in dire need of renovations. She and the pastor began the long road to cleaning up the school, while also seeking ways to attract more students. Under her leadership, Jeannie, along with the development board that she established, turned a failing inner-city Catholic school with declining enrollment into an incredible success story. Because of the school’s success, especially in serving the Latino community, St. Rose of Lima was the feature school in the University of Notre Dame’s 2009 publication, To Nurture the Soul of a Nation: Latino Families, Catholic Schools, and Educational Opportunity, which served as the impetus of the Catholic School Advantage Campaign.

Although technically retired from her role as a school leader, one would be hard pressed to find an individual who gives more of their time, talent, and energy to Catholic schools than Jeannie Courchene. She remains a tireless advocate for the mission to improve educational opportunities for Latino children, and she continues to share her expertise, knowledge, and passion with Catholic school leaders around the country through the LEI. 

Read the interview with Jeannie below.

 

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