Office of
Catholic Schools

January 6, 2023

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The Work of Christmas Begins

When the carols have been stilled,

When the star-topped tree is taken down,

When family and friends are gone home,

When we are back to our schedules

The work of Christmas begins:

  To welcome the refugee,

  To heal a broken planet,

  To feed the hungry,

  To build bridges of trust, not walls of fear,

  To share our gifts,

  To seek justice and peace for all people,

  To bring Christ’s light to the world.

- by Michael Dougherty, a variation on Howard Thurman’s ‘When the Song of the Angels is Stilled’

Dear Catholic School Leaders,

This week, the Church celebrated the Feast of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. Born and raised Episcopalian, Elizabeth did not convert to Catholicism until after her husband's death. When her husband was sick, they traveled from America to Italy. During their time there, Elizabeth learned about the Catholic faith. She felt called to the Eucharist and found comfort in seeing the Blessed Mother as her mother.

Elizabeth was a young widow and mother of five when she and two other women opened the first free Catholic school in the United States. The women professed vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. Mother Seton and the Sisters served the poor and vulnerable by opening schools and orphanages, spending the rest of their lives in service to others educating children in the Catholic faith.

I may be bias because I share her first name, but I've always loved and admired St. Elizabeth. Shortly after I moved to Virginia in 2002, I made a trip to Gettysburg, PA. On my way there, I saw a beautiful, gold statue of Our Blessed Mother on the side of a mountain. I immediately turned my car around and drove toward the statue of Mary. There I discovered Mount St. Mary's University and Seminary as well as the Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Emmitsburg, MD. I honestly believe the Holy Spirit led me there that day. It was moving to be where a saint served in the same vocation God had placed me in. I had an epiphany that day and since then, I have truly seen my work in Catholic education as a calling from God. I've been blessed to return many times and I encourage anyone who is in the area to be sure to make Emmitsburg part of your journey.

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton is a wonderful example for Catholic educators. Her yes to to God by doing service of others is something we should all work toward. You and your school staff are in my prayers in a special way this week. I pray for the intercession of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton for you and your schools. May she continue to be a guide as we do God's work in serving His children.


Liz Goldman

Associate Superintendent of Instruction and Academic Accountability

“The first end I propose in our daily work is to do the will of God; secondly, to do it in the manner he wills it; and thirdly to do it because it is his will.”

-- St. Elizabeth Ann Seton


Next editions of the Office of Catholic Schools Newsletter:

January 20

February 3

Archive of Superintendent’s emails:
Archived emails
Calendar Items
(See details in articles below)

Jan. 4 - Jan. 20: OPTIONAL Winter MAP Testing Window

Jan. 9: New School Administrator Meeting

Jan. 9: DASA North & Northeast Meeting

Jan. 10: School Choice registrations and auditors fees due

Jan. 13: *CANCELLED School Budgets due*

Jan. 13: Pupil Count Day for DPI

Jan. 16: DASA Central Meeting

Jan. 19: DASA Southeast Meeting

Jan. 25: DASA Executive Meeting

Jan. 24 - Feb. 4: Catholic Schools Week

*Since we have not hired a replacement for the financial position at OCS, we are not collecting school budgets at this time. If you need any support with your budget, please let us know and we will connect you with someone who can help.

Link to: OCS 2023-2024 Calendar

2022-23 Schools Calendar
Important Dates for Private School Choice Programs
New Items

Pope Benedict XVI

How are you celebrating the life of Pope Benedict XVI in your school? During this period of mourning, we encourage all of our schools to remember Pope Benedict with special prayer intentions, lessons, and projects. There are some great resources on including a children's audio book called Max and Benedict: A Bird's Eye View of the Pope's Daily Life.

In addition to celebrating Pope Benedict's life with your students, please take some time to share the text below with your teachers. A great proponent of Catholic education, Pope Benedict's intercession will surely be a blessing to our Catholic Schools.

Text of Pope Benedict XVI’s address to Catholic educators on April 17, 2008 at Catholic University

Catholic Schools Week

Since 1974, National Catholic Schools Week is the annual celebration of Catholic education in the United States. It starts the last Sunday in January and runs all week, which in 2023 is January 29 – February 4. The theme for National Catholic Schools Week 2023 is “Catholic Schools: Faith. Excellence. Service.” Schools typically observe the annual celebration week with Masses, open houses and other activities for students, families, parishioners and community members. Through these events, schools focus on the value Catholic education provides to young people and its contributions to our church, our communities and our nation.  

Please plan to share some of your CSW ideas with your DASA groups at upcoming meetings. Click the tab to get some great resources and marketing tools from NCEA.

Resources from NCEA

School Choice Updates

Please complete and submit the Notice of School's Intent to Participate (ITP) in OAS as soon as possible, but no later than Tuesday, January 10, 2023.

The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) encourages schools to view the following helpful resources to answer common questions for the ITP:

If you are considering adding a grade level for next school year, this must be added in the ITP. The school must also be sure the grade is accredited by August 1, 2023.

Additional reminders:

  • Jan 13th All schools participating in the Choice Program take the Second Friday in January count of Choice students enrolled in their school. 
  • Jan 31: Deadline for schools to submit in OAS the completed second Friday in January Count Report. Deadline for schools to submit in OAS the completed second Friday in January Count Report. 

Two Eagles Grant

Watch for the Two Eagles Grant application. The applications are usually mailed in January. This is a great opportunity to request funds to help offer tuition assistance for students.

Getting Ready for Enrollment Next Year: Tis the Season!

What should you be doing now to prepare for next years enrollment? Here are some things you'll want to focus on between now & Catholic Schools Week.

  • Update your school's collateral & website with new tuition rates
  • Refresh and prepare your lead tracking application to keep notes in order 
  • Set target dates and numbers to strive for as a team
  • Propose ideas for incentives to the principal and enrollment team
  • Plan your visual wall displays that'll go up for Catholic Schools Week
  • Schedule admission events such as financial aid nights, open houses, and shadow days

Remember, time management is crucial. Block off time on your calendar for critical tasks and lean on your fellow marketers, the Office of Catholic Schools staff, and volunteers for support and fresh ideas.

Rural Life Scholarship

Rural Life Scholarship: The application period for the 2023 Rural Life Scholarship is now open. This scholarship worth $500 is sponsored by the Rural Life Committee of the Diocese of Green Bay. The purpose of this scholarship is to provide financial aid for an aspiring student interested in serving agriculture and/or rural life in their chosen profession. Please share this information with students who would make good applicants and encourage them to apply. All information about the scholarship, the application, and the pastoral recommendation form can be found at The scholarship deadline is March 31, 2023.

Mental Health Webinar

Operation Rice Bowl Information for Lent

Rice Bowl Letter
Letter to Schools
Curriculum Corner

Winter MAP Testing Window

Winter assessment is a nice way to benchmark the progress your students are making. It is not a required assessment, but we do encourage you to use it to gather more data and be able to address areas of concern. The Winter MAP Testing Window is open from January 3 through January 27.

Worth Repeating

Catholic Educator Formation and Credential Program

The Institute for Catholic Liberal Education offers a robust alternative to state teacher licensure: a national credential that prepares educators to infuse a deeply Catholic philosophy and practice of education into their teaching.

The Catholic Educator Formation and Credential (CEFC) program is an 18-month hybrid program that features five robust courses on content and pedagogy rooted in Catholic philosophy and theology.

The application is now open to be part of our fourth cohort: the 2023-2024 national cohort of K-12 educators, which kicks off July 31-August 4, 2023 with one of three in-person sessions at Aquinas College in Nashville, Tennessee.

Please share this with teachers who may be interested. Click here for more information on the program.

Protecting Religious Freedom in Catholic Education

Below are links to the three-part webinar series, Protecting Religious Freedom in Catholic Education, hosted by The Cardinal Newman Society. You can click on the links below to view each recording or, as a bonus, click on the link to view a compilation edition that takes the key portions of each recording and condenses them into a single one-hour episode.

Click here for the compilation video or below on the link of your choosing.

Luke Goodrich, vice president and senior counsel for Becket Law, presented on "Recent Key Court Rulings Impacting Catholic Education." Click here.

Gregory Baylor, senior counsel and director of the Center for Religious Schools at Alliance Defending Freedom, presented on "Current Threats to Religious Freedom and Opportunities for Religious Education." Click here.

Patrick Reilly, founder, and president of The Cardinal Newman Society presented on "Defending Against New Threats to Catholic Identity." Click here.

School Choice Training

The Choice Team will again be offering virtual training sessions geared towards new schools to the Choice Program for the 2022-23 school year. As we did last year, we would like to extend this opportunity to existing schools in the Choice Program who are interested in a refresher related to program requirements (see topics below). New Choice Administrators and Designees may find these training sessions particularly helpful. The dates and topics covered can be found below. The trainings will be offered via Microsoft Teams; the link to each training can be found below as well. Please note these trainings are not mandatory but encouraged.  

All times are 3:30 - 4:30 on the dates listed below:


More . . .
NCEA Newlsetter Link
Click on icon below to read the latest issue of Catholic School Matters Newsletter from NCEA and Dr. Tim Uhl.
Full Education Policy Manual for SY 2022-2023

Office of Catholic Schools

Questions? Contact us at or (920) 272-8273.

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