October 27, 2021
NCEA SmartBrief
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Academic Excellence
Wis. Catholic school closes pandemic learning gaps
Student achievement at Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic School in Beloit, Wis., fell 7% last fall amid remote instruction. By January, those losses rebounded, and by April, students were performing ahead of grade level, Principal Trevor Seivert said, adding that the school instituted changes to recover learning losses by providing more time with a counselor and hiring a teacher's aide to support struggling students.
Full Story: Beloit Daily News (Wis.) (10/25) 
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Project-based program brings "learning to life"
Linn-Mar High School in Iowa this year started a project-based learning program, Venture Program, which allows students to address real problems in their community and learn about careers. Elyssa McDowell, the high school's strategic partnerships coordinator, says the approach brings "learning to life."
Full Story: The Gazette (Cedar Rapids-Marion, Iowa) (10/26) 
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Are teachers using materials aligned with Common Core?
More teachers reported using curriculum materials aligned with the Common Core State Standards between 2019 and 2020, but that growth flattened during the previous school year, according to a RAND Corp. report. The report found that teachers were more likely to use curriculum aligned with the standards in math classes than in English classrooms.
Full Story: Education Week (10/26),  The 74 (10/26) 
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New Catholic App for Parent Engagement
Rediker Software has partnered with Connect1 to offer the first secure engagement app for Catholic schools. School staff and PTOs can tap into the skills and talents of their parent communities, connect with them in a fun, Catholic-focused app, and increase overall participation. Full Story
Leadership and Innovation
Ariz. launches Virtual Teacher Institute
K-12 schools in Arizona are partnering with the state's public universities to support teaching and learning, writes Kathy Hoffman, Arizona superintendent of public instruction. In this commentary, Hoffman writes that the partnership recently led to the formation of the Arizona Virtual Teacher Institute, a free, online professional development program for teachers statewide.
Full Story: The 74 (10/26) 
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Wes Cottongim, principal at Cumberland Trace Elementary School in Bowling Green, Ky., worked with the school's assistant principal and librarian to guide a school redesign that supported student engagement and active learning. In this blog post, Cottongim offers seven tips on encouraging active learning spaces in schools, including giving students seating options.
Full Story: SmartBrief/Education (10/26) 
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Strategies and Practices for Online Learning
As the new school year began, the COVID-19 Delta variant made plans for in-person learning incredibly uncertain, and made the potential shift to online learning higher. Join a discussion that will provide valuable strategies and key elements for implementing online learning, from emergency preparedness to designing an integrated long-term program. Watch Now!
Mission and Catholic Identity
Catholic schools in a Tennessee diocese are responding to prayer requests from hospital workers on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19. Students and staffers have taken the opportunity to support those in the medical field by writing prayers that are part of daily prayer meetings at Ascension Saint Thomas hospitals in Nashville, Tenn.
Full Story: Catholic News Service (10/26) 
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Why Education Leaders Need Coaches, Too
Teachers and staff carry an ever greater responsibility for student success. And if there was ever a time when leader coaching and professional development were needed, it's now. Read this SmartFocus to make sure your leader PD and coaching has the potential for greatest impact.
NCEA Resources
Share your knowledge and expertise with Catholic school educators. The NCEA 2022 Call for Proposals is open.
NCEA 2022 Call for Proposals is open. NCEA welcomes proposals for 30- to 45-minute pre-recorded and 75-minute in-person sessions for NCEA 2022, taking place virtually and in person in New Orleans, from April 19 to 21. Forms must be submitted online and are due by Dec. 1.
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Early career leaders, get full support for 2021-22
You don't have to go it alone. Bolster your knowledge and confidence with the yearlong NCEA and FACTS New Leaders Academy (NLA) for Catholic-school principals, superintendents and diocesan leaders. Pre-registration is open.
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