CSW2013: Catholic Schools Are Raising the Standards in The Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens

by Dr. Thomas Chadzutko

The theme for Catholic Schools Week 2013 is “Catholic Schools Raise the Standards.”
Catholic schools and academies within the Diocese of Brooklyn are noted for the quest of academic excellence and the establishment of high moral standards. This year’s theme celebrates and recognizes the constant attention that Catholic educators pay to increasing the learning and knowledge of all students.
As we continue to fully implement the New York State Common Core Standards throughout the Diocese of Brooklyn, it is evident that our school/academy communities are taking a proactive approach to raising the standards.
2a_CSW2013_QRCAThis theme has special meaning as we recognize the establishment of the Catholic School Accreditation Association, a new vehicle by which Catholic schools and academies within the Diocese of Brooklyn will be accredited.
Catholic Schools Week is a time to draw special attention to the academic, faith development and service activities that students pursue all year long.

Catholic Schools Raise the Standards: In Our Parish
The parish is essential to Catholic schools and academies. Our pastors and parish priests are involved in the life of our schools/academies on a regular basis. Through monthly liturgies, seasonal prayer services and parish service projects, our students are engaged in the life of the parish. Our pastors and parish priests visit classrooms on a regular basis, and many are involved in the teaching of religion to specific classes. What better way to build community than by recognizing the important role that the parish plays in the life of the school and academy.
Essential to the work that is undertaken by our parish leaders are the standards that:
– center on the person of Jesus Christ,
– contribute to the evangelizing mission of the Catholic Church, and
– sustain the Gospel message in all that we do.

2a-CSW2013_sfa_astCatholic Schools Raise the Standards: In Our School/ Academy Communities
Striving for academic excellence is a major theme throughout the Diocese of Brooklyn.
This vision is set by the principal and all his/her efforts to ensure that the students entrusted to them are receiving a quality Catholic education. This vision is supported by the work of faculty and staff and their ongoing commitment to raising the standards in the classroom.
Embracing 21st-century technology, implementing the New York State Common Core Learning Standards and the pursuit of ongoing professional development are the standards by which teachers are raising the bar in the learning environment that they have created.
“Excellence in education is when we do everything that we can to make sure they become everything that they can.” This is so true in our Catholic schools and academies as every effort is made to meet the needs of all students and assist them in being successful for years to come.
This theme recognizes our focus on developing students both academically and spiritually today so they can become leaders in our community tomorrow.

Catholic Schools Raise the Standards: In Our Students2a-CSW2013_haca
Catholic schools/academies, because of their focus on high standards of academic achievement and faith development, produce graduates who make a significant contribution to our Catholic Church and American society.
Here within the Diocese of Brooklyn, our students are recognized for their involvement in the parish and greater community.
Academic excellence is one aspect of the student’s education, but involvement in extracurricular activities and enrichment programs is yet another sign of raising the standards.
Going beyond the curriculum is a priority, and all schools and academies continue to raise the standard in this area. Our school days are becoming longer, and our students are challenged to attain more.


Catholic Schools Raise the Standards: In Our Parents
Our parents make the sacrifice to enroll their children in our Catholic schools and academies. They are truly committed to ensuring that their children will be prepared for the challenges that will face them in the future by providing a firm foundation from the very beginning. Parents set high expectations for their children and want them to be successful. Through a partnership with the schools and academies, this can be attained.
During this Catholic Schools Week, we pause to acknowledge parents’ many contributions to our schools and academies by volunteering on a regular basis, serving on a sub committee of the board of directors, serving on an advisory board or by being involved in the Home School Association.
Parents play an essential role in our schools and academies and are recognized for the difference they make in Catholic education.
Catholic education is our future, and through the efforts of Preserving the Vision, we will continue to ensure that Catholic education within the Diocese of Brooklyn will be viable and vital for generations to come.
Catholic school and academies within the Diocese of Brooklyn truly set the bar high, and we are collectively working to raise the standards.

Dr. Chadzutko is the diocesan Superintendent of Catholic School Support Services.