by Anthony Biscione
St. John’s University, Jamaica, will partner with 17 Catholic elementary schools in Brooklyn and Queens under the umbrella of The Institute for Catholic Schools to develop new curriculum and instructional practices to fit the needs of students in the 21st century through the formation of four-person Curriculum Leadership Teams in each of the participating schools.
The Institute for Catholic Schools has the endorsement and commitment of both St. John’s University President, Father Donald J. Harrington, C.M., and the Dean of the School of Education, Dr. Jerrold Ross.
The formation of the institute is yet another outgrowth of Preserving the Vision, the ongoing strategic planning process for Catholic elementary schools and academies in the Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens, which calls for the formation of multiple partnerships with colleges and universities in the New York City area.
The five Brooklyn schools and 12 Queens schools that are participating in program are:
Corpus Christi School, Woodside;
Divine Wisdom Catholic Academy, Douglaston;
Holy Child Jesus School, Richmond Hill;
Immaculate Heart of Mary School, Kensington;
Most Precious Blood School, Long Island City;
Our Lady’s Catholic Academy, South Ozone Park;
Our Lady of Hope School, Middle Village;
Our Lady Queen of Martyrs School, Forest Hills;
St. Brigid School, Bushwick;
St. Camillus School, Rockaway Park;
St. Frances Cabrini School, Bushwick;
St. Helen School, Howard Beach;
St. Jerome School, East Flatbush;
SS. Joseph and Dominic Catholic Academy, Williamsburg;
St. Michael School, Flushing;
St. Mel School, Flushing; and
St. Rose of Lima School, Rockaway Beach.
These schools will be joined by three Catholic elementary schools in the Diocese of Rockville Centre and six Catholic elementary schools in the Archdiocese of New York.
The Curriculum Leadership Team in each school is composed of the school principal, a lead English language arts teacher, a lead mathematics teacher and a technology savvy teacher. The teams have already participated in a weeklong training program at St. John’s University’s Jamaica campus in August with follow-up sessions planned for five subsequent Saturdays during the school year.
Teams will focus on the implementation of the New York State Common Core State Learning Standards with an emphasis on differentiated instructional practices, formative and summative assessments and technology integration. The common core state standards are sweeping the nation and will unify the curriculum in 44 states across the nation. The common core state standards are looked upon as more rigorous than the current generation of New York State standards.
Leading the Curriculum Leadership Teams will be a team of St. John’s University professors, including Dr. Mary Jane Krebbs, Dr. Fran Guastello, Dr. Regina Mistretta, Dr. Judy McVarish, along with associate superintendents, Anthony Biscione and Diane Phelan from the diocesan Office of the Superintendent of Schools, Catholic School Support Services.
The major objective of the Curriculum Leadership Teams will be to reinvigorate their school curriculum and lead the way for innovative practices by sharing what they learn and experienced at the institute with their respective school faculties throughout the new academic year.
For more information contact Anthony Biscione or Diane Phelan at 718-965-7300.