Students and teachers to see changes this school year

Photo Special to The Record
A group of St. Catherine Academy eight-graders worked on a project Aug. 8, the first day of school.

Archdiocese of Louisville schools — which are all back in session as of this week — opened to some changes this school year.

Students will see new math standards and have a new academic assessment tool. Teachers will find new professional learning opportunities. And parents will have some learning to do this year, too.

In addition, three schools have welcomed teaching fellows from the University of Notre Dame’s Alliance of Catholic Education (ACE) program.

Madison Schreiter, Joseph Kelly, Madeleine Corcoran and Thomas Bergan will serve at Holy Cross High School, Presentation Academy and St. Nicholas Academy.

This is the first group of teachers from the ACE fellowship to serve in the Archdiocese of Louisville, said Leisa Schulz, superintendent of schools.

“We are delighted to welcome our four ACE Teaching Fellows to the Archdiocese of Louisville Catholic schools,” said Schulz. “These young adults bring their commitment to Catholic education, dedication, commitment, and love of learning to our students.”

Photos Special to The Record
Fifth-grader Isaiah Powers, left, and his sister, eighth-grader Avery Powers, were welcomed back to St. James School in Elizabethtown, Ky., Aug. 8 by Dominican Sister of St. Cecelia Marie Hannah Seiler, principal. Most students in the Archdiocese of Louisville have returned to the classroom as of this week.

The teachers, who have earned undergraduate degrees, will serve for two years in their assigned schools and also have the option to remain in the archdiocese beyond those two years, said Schulz. Through the ACE fellowship, they’ll also earn master’s degrees in education.

Notre Dame’s ACE website explains that the program recruits talented college graduates to teach for two years in “under-resourced” schools. It seeks to “form leaders in Catholic schools, to prepare informed and active citizens for the world and to provide high-quality educational opportunities for the under-served.”

Also new this year, local school leaders hope elementary

school students across the Archdiocese of Louisville find that math makes more sense thanks to “Making Math Matter” — the new math standards being rolled out in the archdiocese.

Under the new standards, teachers will cover fewer topics in greater depth, said Schulz. Students will also use and apply their math knowledge to solve real-world problems. (Read more about the standards on page 8.)

The success of the new standards and other curriculum will be measured in a new way this school year, too.
Starting this year, all Catholic grade schools will administer the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) Measures of

Academic Progress (MAP) assessment. The test measures reading, math and language usage skills. It will be administered to students in third through seventh-grade this fall and in the spring.

Elementary schools will also administer a MAP assessment to kindergarten through second-grade students to measure reading fluency, foundational skills and comprehension. (Read more about the assessments on page 9.)

For adults, the archdiocese is partnering with the Center for Teaching and Learning to provide professional learning.

Elementary and middle school teachers took classes related to the new math standards over the summer and will receive additional training and support in the fall, said Schulz.

The archdiocese will also offer educational programs to support parents this school year. Schulz noted that while parenting is “full of joy” it is also “one of the most difficult responsibilities an individual takes on.”

In light of this, Catholic schools want to partner with parents to “offer them community opportunities to come together to learn more about social media, parent engagement, and adolescent stress, anxiety and depression,” said Schulz.

The first session is called “Instagram ate my daughter and my son won’t stop playing Fortnite: What parents need to know to improve the odds for their children.” It will take place Sept. 17 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in Mercy Academy’s auditorium, 5801 Fegenbush Lane. The program will be presented by Dr. Leonard Sax, who has written several books on parenting.

A second program for parents entitled “What teens want you to know and won’t tell you” will take place Jan. 29 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in St. Xavier High School’s auditorium, 1609 Poplar Level Road. All parents are invited to attend both programs.

Schulz said she hopes “parents feel supported in their roles and look to their children’s Catholic schools as places to look for resources and support.”

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