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From the Interim Superintendent

Welcome to the November edition of The Messenger, the e.Newsletter of Archdiocese of Washington Catholic Schools. 

With the completion of the first grading period now having occurred, students will soon receive their first quarter report cards.  Featured in this edition of The Messenger you will find a comprehensive article about Archdiocese of Washington Catholic Schools report cards.  In addition to information about the purpose and frequency of the report card, you will learn more about the traditional and standards-based report card and how they vary by grade level.  Please read on to learn more.

Lessons from St. Augustine provides information about the Religion Curriculum in Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Washington. Catholic elementary schools teach the faith to children using the Archdiocesan Pre-K through 8th Grade Curriculum Guide, Forming Disciples for the New Evangelization.  This guide follows the outline given by St. Augustine (and other saints) as it strives to help students learn about their faith, which in turn prepares them to choose to live this faith in relationship with God and the world. Please read on to learn more about the Religion Curriculum in the archdiocese.

Operating affordable Catholic schools is priority for the Archdiocese of Washington.  The Maryland Education Credit is a legislative initiative in the State of Maryland that, if passed, could greatly benefit Catholic schools.  Although the legislation has been unsuccessful in past General Assembly sessions, we are optimistic about the bill that will be introduced and voted on in the upcoming General Assembly Session which begins in January.  Each of us has an important role in supporting this important piece of legislation.  Please read on to learn more about the legislation and how you can help.

Sincerely in Christ Jesus,

November 2014 Vol. 3 No. 4

Lessons from St. Augustine
By Sara Blauvelt, Director for Catechesis

Aside from Jesus, St. Augustine is my favorite teacher of the faith.  In his years as Bishop of Hippo, St. Augustine was asked to develop a short document -a little handbook- that could serve as a resource for those who wanted to teach and defend the faith.  Laurence, the deacon who requested this handbook, asked St. Augustine to give answer to the following: “What is to be sought more than anything else? What is to be avoided more than anything else? How are faith and reason related to each other? How can Christian doctrine be summarized? What is the sure foundation of Catholic faith?” These questions, asked early in the 5th century, resound today.  Do we not sometimes find ourselves asking such questions?  I know as a parent, and catechist for many years, our children are asking these questions.

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Understanding Report Cards
By Wendy Anderson, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction, and Professional Development

Although you probably feel like you just sent your students back to school, the time is passing quickly and the first marking period is coming to a close. This means the arrival of the celebrated or dreaded report card is upon us. Here is a list of ten things all parents should know about Report Cards:

1. Archdiocese of Washington (ADW) Catholic Schools report cards are prepared for parents once each quarter of the school year in grades 1 through 8, and once each semester in grades PK and K. Archdiocese of Washington schools have both standards-based and traditional report cards, depending on the grade level.

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The Maryland Education Credit and How You Can Support It
By Brian Radziwill, Director of Government Programs & Grants

You may have heard about the proposed education tax credit legislation, which has been considered in Maryland in different forms for the last several years.  While this legislation has been unsuccessful in past General Assembly sessions, there will be another push for it to be introduced and voted on in the upcoming legislative session from January 14 to April 13, 2015.

What is a tax credit?
The Alliance for School Choice defines scholarship tax credits as programs which “give families greater access to high-quality private schools by providing incentives for businesses to get involved in education reform”. 

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