Diocesan School Advisory Council forges revitalization initiatives
By Carol Kostyniak
Secretary for Catholic Education
Under the direction of Bishop Richard J. Malone, the Diocesan Catholic School Advisory Council is focused on many important facets to truly revitalize Catholic school education in the Diocese of Buffalo. Council members, both clergy and laity, serve as chairpersons and committee members, providing the necessary expertise and perspectives from across the diocese - urban, suburban and rural.
The realignment of Catholic elementary schools in January was necessary to manage resources more efficiently, but it was only the first step required to strengthen education for the future. The committees of the Advisory Council have been working diligently over the past several months to identify needs and clarify potential solutions to stabilize and grow our school communities.
Committees and their charges include:
- Catholic Identity - ensure that our Catholic faith is central to our education and woven throughout the curriculum and daily activities.
- Academics - oversee strong professional development for teachers and administrators and align a robust elementary curriculum more closely with that of the Catholic high schools.
- Finance - analyze market data to design a more equitable financial support for our schools while at the same time increase financial assistance to those families in need.
- Community partnerships - link the schools in need of expertise with appropriate persons and businesses to assist them.
- Organizational structures - develop boards at the local level with the 21st century expertise needed to operate a Catholic elementary school and seek ways to identify and train teachers and administrators to provide a sustainable succession plan.
- Health and Human Services - create a model for an in-school social worker program and engage Catholic Charities to find a way for schools to afford this important service.
- Enrollment Management - monitor and analyze enrollment trends and regional demographics on a continuous basis to maximize retention and grow enrollment.
- Marketing - evaluate market trends and the effectiveness of marketing campaigns, including an increased use of websites and social media for enhanced communication to all constituents.
For our Catholic schools to be successful we need everyone's help. Through , school websites, social media, parish bulletins and the Western New York Catholic, we communicate with our valued parishioner partners. Through an electronic newsletter, we are reaching out to alumni across the country and asking for their assistance. We are encouraging parent input and participation through the newly founded Federation of Home-School Associations. We ask for your continued support in strengthening our schools and spreading the Good News of Catholic School education in Western New York. Please pray for our Advisory Council and our many committee members as we begin a new school year.
For more information, visit www.faithintomorrow.org