Plan receives strong support from Bishop James V. Johnston, parish leadership and more than 300 stakeholders
St. Joseph, Missouri – As Catholic schools prepare to reopen across the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, a new plan to revitalize Catholic education in St. Joseph, Missouri has been officially approved.
Following a 12-month process involving a 50-person steering committee, more than two dozen listening sessions and input from more than 300 stakeholders in the St. Joseph community, St. Joseph Catholic Schools is today officially kicking off its Vitality in Catholic Education plan with the start of the 2020-21 school year.
A team of parish pastors, school principals, and other lay leaders, will continue meeting to discuss the recommendations from the plan with the intent to establish a full roll out in the 2021-2022 school year.
“Our Catholic schools are treasures which offer a unique partnership with our families, helping to raise happy, holy, healthy children that are wise and good and prepared to meet the challenges of life,” said Bishop James V. Johnston, Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph. “Our schools are not only about educating the mind but also the heart, forming the whole person, helping our children to become who God wants them to be, and we do that in a wholesome, religious environment. We are obligated to do all we can to ensure the vitality of Catholic education in our diocese and I’m so proud to see this renewed focus in the St. Joseph area.”
The Vitality in Catholic Education plan emphasizes the development of the whole student in Catholic teachings and values and seeks to stabilize, and eventually increase, enrollment to reach more students across the St. Joseph area.
“I am grateful for the many members of the committee who put a lot of time and effort into forming a workable plan. Collaboration is truly messy work involving a wide variety of people who are passionate about their ideals and hopes, and I am so proud that even with all the challenges and setbacks, they persevered,” said Fr. Christian Malewski, pastor at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in St. Joseph. “I am most passionate about the possibility of forming a unified vision and mission among our Catholic schools. It’s vitally important that we all know what we’re about and what our ultimate goal is – to help form young people to be true disciples of Jesus who will continue to live their faith out in the world and continue to build up the Church as a whole.”
The plan presents six values and operational recommendations for implementation beginning with the 2021-22 school year and into the next several years:
Pat Modlin, implementation director for St. Joseph Catholic Schools Vitality Plan, said, "St. Joseph has had Catholic schools for over 120 years. This plan, endorsed by Bishop Johnston and the Pastors of our schools, is innovative and will transform how Catholic education is delivered, ensuring we'll have Catholic schools here for another 100 years. Having a vibrant and exceptional educational choice available to the St. Joseph community is important for our Catholic families and also non-Catholics who want more options for their children."
Modlin will lead the ongoing work of the Implementation Steering Committee, made up of the Diocesan Schools Office plus the pastors and principals of the Cathedral of St. Joseph, St Francis Xavier Church, and St. James Catholic Church, along with these members of the core team:
Learn more, including how to enroll, at stjosephcatholicschools.com or St. Joseph Catholic Schools on Facebook.
About St. Joseph Catholic Schools
The mission of St. Joseph Catholic Schools is to build and foster a thriving, collaborative & sustainable K-12 Catholic School System in St Joseph, Missouri that educates the whole
person through unique attention to academic and spiritual formation, based on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. St. Joseph Catholic Schools teaches its students the lessons they will need as they strive to share with the world their gifts and talents, so that in all things God may be glorified. stjosephcatholicschools.com
About the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph
The Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph was established in 1956 when the Dioceses of Kansas City (founded in 1880) and St. Joseph (founded in 1868) were combined. Led by Bishop James V. Johnston, Jr., the Diocese is home to nearly 124,000 Catholics in 88 parishes and 10 missions across 27 counties in northern and western Missouri. Under the guidance of Bishop Johnston, the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph continues its mission to announce the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to live and serve in charity in northern and western Missouri. kcsjcatholic.org
Vital to the mission of the Catholic Church, the Kansas City-St. Joseph Catholic School System works in partnership with our communities and especially our parents, who are the primary educators of their children, to educate the whole person through unique attention to academic, human and spiritual formation based on Jesus Christ and His Gospel.
The COVID-19 pandemic presents the most serious public health crisis the world has experienced in generations. Looking forward to the 2020-21 school year and beyond, the Kansas City-St. Joseph (KCSJ) Diocesan schools/centers are resolved to do everything we can to reopen our campuses safely with the health and well-being of our entire community in mind.
Kansas City-St. Joseph (KCSJ) Diocesan schools/centers will re-open with in-person instruction in August.
Recommended start date: Week of August 24
The following recommendations are based on the assumption that a vaccine will not be available for 12-18 months, which means each KCSJ Diocesan school/center needs to be able to respond quickly to circumstances in its own school/center community as well as to conditions in surrounding municipalities. Individual schools/centers will follow the direction of the local health department and/or civil authorities. Even as we plan to reopen our campuses in August, we know we may need to close them again with very little advance warning. This means the KCSJ schools/centers will be prepared to toggle between different learning models designed to fit a variety of circumstances and drivers. This plan is based on the following principles:
The principal and pastor of each KCSJ Diocesan school/center will base the selection of a learning model on their assessment of health risk based on local health departments and local civil authorities’ recommendations.
Three Models for Learning
In anticipation of ongoing and changing challenges associated with the coronavirus pandemic, the KCSJ Diocesan school/centers have developed three learning models.
Daily Routine Recommendations
The following routines are based on current CDC recommendations and local pediatricians.
Pediatricians discourage gathering a large number of students in a large room and recommend maintaining cohort groups within schools to minimize exposure to others and limit the spread of COVID-19. Exposure is defined by the Centers for Disease Control as contact that lasts more than 15 minutes with less than 6 feet of distance, whether masked or unmasked.
There is not much evidence that masking alone is effective without physical distancing. It is also important that students and teachers not touch their own faces as this can assist the transmission of the virus. When masks are required, students with special medical, sensory or other conditions are not required to wear masks, but must take extra precautions to prevent transmission of COVID-19 by physical distancing or other means.
Visit our School Locations page for available individual school learning plans.
Bright Futures Helps Students in Need Receive a Catholic Education
Bright Futures Fund is an independent 501(c)3 corporation, with 100 percent of donations going directly to students. Every child is able to attend Catholic school without financial barrier.
All administrative costs are underwritten by the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph. For over 30 years, Bright Futures has provided need-based assistance for low-income children in the Kansas City, Missouri urban core. This fund fully supports the operating costs for our two Bright Futures Schools, Holy Cross and Our Lady of Hope. It also subsidizes tuition for nearly 100% of their students.
"School should be a place to develop the whole child -- mind, body,
and spirit -- where one grows learning how to live."
-- Pope Francis
The loving and generous support of our donors has allowed Bright Futures to provide over 30,000 scholarships, help over 15,000 families, and invest over 76 million dollars in the future of our faith and our children. The Bright Futures Fund strives to challenge and encourage students in Kansas City to discover their full potential while developing a personal relationship with Christ.
From: We Are Teachers Blog – April 2020
Sadly, the recent COVID-19 Crisis closed all schools early. But all is not lost. Enjoy the humor and fond memories, resulting when the We Are Teachers blog asked, “What’s the one thing you miss about school that you thought you’d NEVER miss?”
We miss our classroom routines and prep.
“Morning duty when I would get a chance to visit with former students and actually I really miss seeing them interact with each other. They would have their inside jokes, stories they shared, and I even miss their roasting each other for fun.” —Meg A. via Facebook
“The routine. Preparing for distance learning and all it entails in special education (services, confidentiality, how to do IEP meetings, etc.) has been so overwhelming!” —Sarah C. via Facebook
“Putting on real/professional clothes.” —Veronica M. via Facebook
“The before school ‘quiet before the storm’ time. 😔” —@morgan_s_goodman via Instagram
Arriving way earlier to class to prepare everything for the day. That meant I had to wake up even earlier, but I miss those quiet moments of preparation before the schools day officially started.
— 1st Grade Teacher (@Willing2inspire) April 2, 2020
Greeting the kids at the door and those first few minutes of class.
— missjtothek … staysixfeetaway (@MissJtotheK) April 2, 2020
The sound of the bell ringing. It meant I had a schedule!
— Kerry Graham (@mskerrygraham) April 2, 2020
The wandering student popping in during prep time ❤️
— Mrs. DuBois (@FCS_MrsDuBois) April 2, 2020
We miss all the teachable moments with our students
“What I miss that I didn’t think I’d miss is that constant struggle to keep them focused, keep them on task. I think what is so hard about this is when things are uncertain or upsetting, kids really need that reliable structure they get in the classroom, and that is the very thing that is gone now.” —Donna M. via Facebook
“The life lessons I get to instill in the midst of handing out a consequence to a student as a High School VP. It’s essential teaching students the 3 C’s: Compassion, Communication, Consequence.” —@vp_jbrown via Instagram
When my students try to get me off topic. Those moments are when content takes a back seat to personality, rapport and the realization that my kids won’t remember most of what I teach them years from now, but they’ll remember if I invested in their personal journey to adulthood.
— Mr. Sullivan (@MrSullivanRHS) April 2, 2020
In the MIDDLE of a lesson! And yes, I answer it. And yes, it may side track me for 10 minutes!
— Scott Wenmoth (@EdwardsPhysEd) April 3, 2020
Enjoy the complete comments on their blog post...
Everyone Is Welcome
The Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph Catholic Schools proudly offers children of all faiths and life circumstances the opportunity to become a part of an enriched educational community. Your child’s success not only includes academic achievement; but spiritual growth, respect, morality, and self-discipline for life. Students are encouraged to recognize the presence of Christ in themselves and others.
In our schools, each child is a valuable member of a loving and caring community dedicated to showing them how to live successful, virtuous, and educated lives through the teachings of Christ. Every classroom experience includes a welcoming and challenging learning environment guided by life lessons of discipline, kindness, honesty, confidence, character, and faith, to name a few.
Catholic Education Is at the Heart of the Catholic mission
It provides a complete education by teaching to both the heart and the mind which empowers children to reach their full potential. Every child is a known and valuable member. They will always feel welcome!
We encourage your family to visit for a tour. Your student is also welcome to attend a shadow day. Until then, learn more about the values of Catholic Education by viewing A Dozen Reasons to Attend Catholic Schools Infographic.