Alliance for Catholic Education spreads light in summer conferences

Author: Bill Schmitt

Alliance for Catholic Education

The University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) will once again welcome hundreds of visitors to campus this summer for a unique series of conferences, all advancing ACE’s mission to sustain, strengthen and transform Catholic schools.

The conferences, some of which are currently accepting registrants, constitute a growing part of the busy summer to be enjoyed by ACE participants. More than 250 of those participants will receive skills and personal formation to earn master’s degrees as K-12 Catholic school teachers and leaders.

Various units of ACE, which have multiplied during the initiative’s 19 years in response to the needs of children in under-resourced Catholic schools, host conferences that address today’s urgent issues. These include galvanizing top-notch teachers and school leaders; encouraging parental choice policies and informed financial strategies for Catholic school sustainability; promoting athletic coaching that ministers to young people; and introducing parents and South Bend-area educators to the summertime wellspring of Notre Dame’s commitment to K-12 schooling.

These conferences are coming up in 2012:

ACE Teaching Fellows Annual Conference (June 5-10). Participants in the Melody Family ACE Teaching Fellowship program convene to assess and catalyze their growth as master teachers, educational leaders and generators of problem-solving research. Several benefactor-supported fellowships support highly promising educators who wish to continue their careers in Catholic classrooms while pursuing advanced knowledge and skills. Fellows work with mentors to cultivate these leadership assets during the conference. Read more about the conference here.

Advocates for Parental Choice Symposium (June 15-20). This intensive formation experience gives participants a first-hand experience of people and places on the cutting edge in implementing school choice policies. Catholic school supporters will receive skills, insights and working relationships to equip them as advocates in the parental choice movement. Major speakers and visits to Wisconsin and Florida will increase these future leaders’ understanding of the legal, social, constitutional, political and moral dimensions of parental choice.

Hope in Action: Transforming Haiti Through Catholic Education (June 19-20). A select group of Church, education, philanthropic and international developmental leaders will gather to probe how a stronger Catholic education system can transform Haiti’s education sector and advance the nation’s social and economic development. Forum hosts and partners will introduce innovative pathways for quality Catholic education in Haiti. Partners in this international leadership forum include Catholic Relief Services, the Congregation of Holy Cross and the Haitian Episcopal Commission for Catholic Education, as well as three units of the University — ACE, the Kellogg Institute for International Studies and the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. Read more about ACE in Haiti here.

Play Like a Champion Today Sports Leadership Conference (June 22-24). This annual conference, titled “Champion Character in Sports” for 2012, emphasizes developing the whole person through sports. Guest speakers offer professional development for coaches and athletic administrators at both the youth and high school levels. Hosted by ACE’s Play Like a Champion Today experts in sports as ministry, the conference gathers representatives of parochial leagues around the country to network and share best practices. Register for the conference here.

Superintendents Strategic Leadership Conference (June 24-27). ACE Consulting will host its annual Superintendents Strategic Leadership Conference, inviting educational leaders from dioceses across the country. This year’s conference is titled “Together in Mission: Creating a Culture of Hope.” Expert speakers and in-depth conversations will explore key issues faced by school leaders. Learn more about the Superintendents Strategic Leadership Conference"here":http://ace.nd.edu/consulting/professional-development/superintendents-strategic-leadership-conference.

Principals Academy (June 26-29). A four-day enrichment experience for Catholic school principals will focus on identifying and shaping a school’s culture to benefit leadership and learning. The values of a school, expressed actively and nurtured in a culture, provide a framework in which teachers can reduce students’ achievement gaps and leaders can promote continuous improvement in a school. This academy, hosted by ACE Consulting, will help principals develop action plans to improve and utilize their school culture. Register here for the Principals Academy.

Equitable Services Institute (July 8-12). Students in Catholic schools across the country are not getting federally funded services to which they are entitled. The Equitable Services Institute assists diocesan superintendents, principals and other educational leaders to solve this problem. Attendees will receive updated information about complex federal funding policies plus practical road maps for the process of consultations by which educators obtain equitable shares for their students from titles 1, 2 and 3 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Learn more about, and register for, the Equitable Services Institute here.

School Pastors Institute (July 17-20). Pastors whose parishes include schools are invited to this annual institute to learn to better manage and leverage the distinctive relationship between a parish and its school. The Institute develops many skills and perspectives that a pastor will need in overseeing a parish school, its people and its finances. It provides insights for valuable reflection on the value of Catholic schools to the children and parents of a parish and to the future of the Church as a whole.

ACE Parent Retreat (July 25-27). Parents whose sons or daughters have just finished their first year in ACE Service through Teaching often have many questions about these first-year teachers’ experiences. ACE Advocates hosts a special retreat for these parents at Notre Dame to get their questions answered and to see the broader context of the journey their ACE teachers are taking. The retreat also allows these parents of the ACE 18 cohort to hear presentations, worship together and swap stories. Learn more about the ACE Parent Retreat here.

Mary Ann Remick Leadership Conference (July 13). This conference, a capstone event for those earning their master’s degrees in educational administration through the Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program (RLP), is a unique and informal venue for South Bend-area educators to discuss current research with ACE leaders and experts from across the country. The RLP participants present the action research they have conducted to help address key day-to-day issues facing Catholic schools, and local educational leaders attending free-of-charge may exchange useful ideas. Read about the "Remick Leadership Conference here and read about the value of action research here.

Contact: Bill Schmitt, 574-631-3893