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From the Superintendent

The Archdiocese of Washington is preparing to graduate nearly six thousand kindergarten, eighth and twelve grade students in the coming weeks.  Graduations mark the culmination of years of individual effort by students who have been supported by their families, teachers and our entire faith community. We are very proud of our graduates.

Last month, Catholic educators from across the country convened for the National Catholic Education Association conference to learn best practices and strategies to educate students while fulfilling the mission of the ministry of Catholic education.  Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, provided the official kickoff to the conference by giving the keynote address about the New Evangelization and passing on the faith today in an ever increasing secular world.  Thousands of educators and catechists were present to receive this important message.  Please read on to learn more about Cardinal Wuerl’s address to Catholic educators and the New Evangelization.

Featured in this edition of The Messenger you will find an article that will help you enjoy a relaxing summer while also keeping your student academically focused.  Students have certainly earned a well-deserved break from classroom activities. However, there is an optimal balance between academic stimulation and relaxation to prevent the need for re-learning in the fall.  Staying Busy and Learning This Summer offers recommendations for summer activities to keep the brain engaged over the summer months to help combat learning loss. 

Please note that The Messenger will return with the back-to-school edition in August.

Enjoy your summer.

Sincerely in Christ Jesus,

May 2014 Vol. 2 No. 10

Catholic Schools and Religious Education are important “bridges” for the Church in the New Evangelization

As families celebrated the Easter holiday and enjoyed Easter break with a week away from school, the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) held its annual education conference.  Over 6,000 Catholic educators gathered in Pittsburgh, PA during April 21-24, 2014.  The successful conference provided a multitude of teacher, principal, and catechist workshops on varied topics such as curriculum development, technology integration, classroom management and, most importantly, Catholic identity and teaching of the faith to the almost two million students enrolled in Catholic schools in the United States today. 

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6th Annual Golden Apple Awards
By Wendy Anderson, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Professional Development

"Mrs. Donatelli teaches our school children with total dedication and conviction. Her balanced outlook in life is a great asset to the development of integral and solidary Catholic humanism among our children.”  Reverend Paul Lee, Pastor, St. Jude Regional School.

Jeanne Donatelli, religion teacher at St. Jude Regional Catholic School, is one of ten Archdiocese of Washington teachers selected this year to receive a Golden Apple award. The Golden Apple celebrates excellence and dedication of educators in teaching academics and passing on the Catholic faith. 

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Staying Busy and Learning This Summer
By Margaret Hubbard, Director for Special Education

Summer vacation is the most anticipated time of year for school children everywhere and, while it is important to allow children the opportunity to rest and relax, as parents we also recognize the importance of keeping our children active and engaged but also learning during the summer. Much has been written about “summer brain drain” and the negative impact it can have on school achievement.  But most children are decidedly not interested in doing school work during the summer. The good news is that here are many enriching, stimulating, and educational activities that can be done with children that will help keep their brains engaged and in the “learning mode” while also being fun. Following are a few ideas that are appropriate for children of all ages.

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