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Conference Overview

Adelante_2023_opening-dinner_keynoteAdelante builds on the success of the Latino Enrollment Institute (LEI), which for 11 years has been an exceptionally effective engine of Latino enrollment growth in Catholic schools around the country. While the LEI’s explicit focus on school-level change necessitates the commitment of school teams, including year-long leadership formation for principals, Adelante offers an alternative, which is open to a variety of constituents.

Each summer, the Adelante conference explores a different topic at the intersection of the Church, Catholic schools, and the growing U.S. Latino population. This past summer, recognizing the important role that language plays in creating spaces of belonging and thriving in schools, we took a deep dive into pedagogical practices that accelerate language learning in our classrooms. Our team was thrilled to partner with Guided Language Acquisition Design (Be GLAD) training to offer this unique professional development opportunity for teachers. Be GLAD is an instructional model in the area of academic language acquisition and literacy, which provides a common set of highly effective teaching strategies, instructional routines, and observational protocols that help teachers “amplify, not simplify” standards-based learning. Be GLAD has been identified as a “Program of Academic Excellence” by the U.S. Department of Education for its research-based, field-tested approach. Check out the highlights from the 2023 summer conference.

Conference Framing

We recognize that there are many actors working to advance educational opportunities for Latinos in the United States. Therefore, Adelante features a broad range of topics and speakers that address the variety of ways in which Catholic schools and parishes can work creatively together to embrace, educate, and empower Latino families through the vital ministry of Catholic education.

This two-and-a-half day conference helps build awareness around topics pertaining to Latinos in Catholic schools while expanding the network of advocates for this mission. Adelante embodies the overarching mission of the Catholic School Advantage — to promote the unique value of Catholic schools to Latino families, and to help schools and parishes respond effectively to the unique needs of Latino families. In doing so, the conference topics address the three core goals of the CSA: to embrace the universality of the Church through an increase in Latino enrollment, to educate culturally and linguistically diverse children through excellent academic formation, and to empower all families through the celebration of faith, language, and culture. 

While Adelante remains rooted in these three core goals, each year spotlights a unique topic related to this work. Past themes include: a deep dive into the demographic imperative impacting Catholic schools, the challenges that immigration poses for children, families, and schools, and growing Latino enrollment: marketing, recruitment, and admissions done well.

The theme for the summer 2024 conference is Latino Family and Community Engagement. 

We encourage the participation of superintendents and diocesan leadership, principals, PK-12 grade classroom teachers, instructional coaches, dual language educators and advocates, resource teachers, and anyone else who is engaged in this mission to advance educational opportunities for Latino children.

We are excited to be collaborating with Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies, whose work in advancing the understanding of the fastest-growing and youngest population in the U.S. will enhance this conversation greatly. ILS stands at the center of research that asks the fundamental question: Aside from simply bringing the large number of Latino Catholics in, how can we foster the many gifts that they bring being put at the service of the Church and the service of our country?

We firmly believe that Catholic schools are one of the most powerful institutions for human formation and societal transformation, whose impact is especially pronounced amongst the growing number of Latino youth. Join us this coming summer to learn more about how we can all work together to put Latino children and our nation on the path to a bright future.




For any questions, contact Katy Lichon (


"I learned so much about understanding the changing demographics in our nation. We are seeing this in our own school but have not done well to react or build a culture to enhance our enrollment. We have much work to do, but we have a path and direction coming out of this gathering. I learned a ton and I really enjoyed the time we had together!"

Jim Huth
Bishop Luers High School
Fort Wayne, IN

"Phenomenal program - I am so glad that I attended! It was very moving and inspiring (and eye-opening!) Gracias por todo su trabajo y preparaciones!"

Bill Hobbs
Network of Sacred Heart Schools
Washington, DC

"I was energized and moved by the conference and looking forward to taking the information and inspiration into my own work and the efforts in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. I hope to have opportunities to share these experiences, through myself and directly, with many others. Thank you!"

John Amann
The Pursuit Academy
Saint Paul, MN

For any questions, please contact Katy Lichon ( or visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.