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From the Interim Superintendent

Welcome to the back-to-school edition of the Archdiocese of Washington Catholic Schools e.Newsletter, The Messenger.  Through this monthly publication, it is our hope to provide our Catholic school community with useful information about the education of our students and to strengthen our bond as a faith community.

We started the 2014 – 2015 school year as we do all things – with prayer.  More than two-thousand clergy, school leaders and educators participated in the Opening of School Mass that was celebrated by Bishop Barry Knestout at the National Shrine of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.  Bishop Knestout’s prayers and support of Catholic schools are sincerely appreciated.  As part of the celebration, several schools, principals, and teachers were recognized because they are celebrating milestone anniversaries this year.  Please find enclosed additional details about the schools and individuals that are celebrating anniversaries.

Our nationally accredited Catholic schools offer a well-rounded and rigorous curriculum for all grade levels and periodic assessments to gauge progress.  As we go “back-to-school”, we would like to share information about the standards based curriculum that is utilized by Catholic elementary schools in the Archdiocese of Washington. We look forward to our continued collaboration with parents to develop appropriate goals and assess progress, understanding the unique gifts and abilities of each student.    Please read on to learn more about the curriculum and assessments in Archdiocese of Washington elementary schools.

In closing, I wish you a great start to the new school year.  I invite you to look forward to future editions of The Messenger which is published monthly during the school year.  Please share your thoughts and recommend topics for future editions by sending an email to wwilliams@adw.org or find us on Facebook where you can send us your message.

Sincerely in Christ Jesus,

August 2014 Vol. 3 No. 1

What Parents Need to Know about the ADW’s Standards-Based Curriculum
By Wendy Anderson, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Professional Development

"A curriculum that is “standards-based” indicates specific criteria that delineates what students are expected to learn and be able to perform and usually includes both content standards and performance standards." (Department of Education Massachusetts)

In other words, standards based curriculum clearly lists, by grade level, what we want students to know and what they should be able to do. It also provides how we determine when students know the content we want them to know. A third grade ADW mathematics standard illustrates this. Students should be able to read and write whole numbers up to 1,000,000.
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Catholic Schools Return for Fall by Celebrating Mass
By Ken Gaughan, Assistant Superintendent for School Operations and Catholic Identity

On August 18th, 35 Catholic school educators from over 20 schools in the Archdiocese were recognized for significant years of service to Catholic education by Bishop Barry Knestout, an auxiliary archbishop for the Archdiocese of Washington.  Those dedicated educators represented over 1,200 years of cumulative service.  In our Church’s history, over 1,200 years ago, Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne as the first Holy Roman Emperor in Rome.  Charlemagne promoted stability in Europe and the Church, which resulted with an increase in knowledge, education, cultural awareness, art, architecture, and biblical studies. 
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The 2014 Data Summit
By LeShaun Quander Mosley, Director for Assessment Research

On a sunny day in late June, Archdiocese of Washington school leaders and teachers assembled for the second annual Data Summit led by the Catholic Schools Office.  The Data Summit is a culminating event that highlights assessment performance results and trends in local assessment data.  The central agenda topic for the annual meeting is the Superintendent’s report on the current academic performance of Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Washington.  The report is a look at aggregate results in the three areas of academic performance – National Rank, Mastery of Standards, and Growth.  The Data Summit is one venue for sharing the measured impact and value added of the newly implemented, comprehensive assessment program, the academic initiatives led by the Catholic Schools Office and school principals in response to the assessment data, and the efforts of teachers to utilize the real-time data available to them through the assessment system to adjust instruction and support academic excellence for all students.
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Important Dates