Office of
Catholic Schools

March 3, 2023

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Dear Catholic School Administrators,

We can never say it often enough, THANK YOU for the work you do! We know your role is both rewarding and exhausting...and everything in between. Know you are in our prayers, and we are here when you need us. We look forward to celebrating your successes and assisting you when things are challenging.

Unfortunately, we were not able to meet for our Principal meeting that was scheduled for last week. We will cover most of the material from that meeting at our In-Person End of the Year Administrators meeting which will take place on Monday, April 20 from noon to 3:00 PM. Please mark your calendar and plan to attend.

There are two items that need to be addressed before then. First, there is a reporter from Wisconsin Watch who has been contacting schools regarding School Choice, the Special Needs Scholarship Program, alleged discrimination, gender policies, etc. Other Christian schools are being contacted as well. Our office is working with WCRIS and all five diocese in Wisconsin have collaborated to discuss. Please refer to Todd's message that was sent out Monday and is copied below.

The other item is in regard to NWEA MAP testing. As we shared last month, a report about NWEA 's position on LGBTQ+ issues was brought to our attention.

In consultation with Bishop Ricken, the Office of Catholic Schools is scrutinizing our use of this assessment.  After speaking with our point of contact, Mark Duquette, we feel that it is safe for schools to give the spring MAP assessment (see more below). A scrubbing of the MAP assessment was completed by NWEA, and we have been assured that at this time, there are no questions on the MAP assessments in conflict with the teachings of the Catholic Church. We are continuing to determine how to address our assessment needs for the future.

May God bless each of you and the work you do.

Todd, Jamie, and Liz at the Office of Catholic Schools


Saint Katharine Drexel Prayer

Feast Day: March 3

Ever loving God, you called Saint Katharine Drexel to teach the message of the Gospel and to bring the life of the Eucharist to the Black and Native American peoples.

By her prayers and example, enable us to work for justice among the poor and oppressed. Draw us all into the Eucharistic community of your Church, that we may be one in you.

Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Click the image of St. Katharine to learn more about her life and her work in

Catholic education, especially with Native Americans and Black Americans.

Lenten Resources

The Religion Teacher
NCEA Lenten Resources
Operation Rice Bowl

Next editions of the Office of Catholic Schools Newsletter:

Friday, March 17

Wednesday, April 5

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

Mar. 7: PowerSchool User Group Meeting 9:00 (Virtual)

Mar. 9: Quarterly School/System President Meeting with Bishop Ricken 9:00 (Bishop Fox Board Room)

Mar. 10: High School Principal Meeting

Mar. 13: New School Administrator Workshop 9:00 (Bona Hall)

Mar. 13: DASA North & Northeast 1:30 (Virtual)

Mar. 14: PowerSchool User Group Meeting 9:00 (Virtual)

Mar. 16: DASA Southeast 1:30 (Virtual)

Mar. 16: WRISA Visiting Team Training 4:00 (Bona Hall)

Mar. 17: Spring MAP CRF due to Becky Krahn

Mar. 21: DASA Central 1:30 (Virtual)

Mar. 23: DASA Executive 1:00 (Bona Hall)

Mar 28: E-Rate Application Deadline

April 3 - April 28: Optional Spring MAP Window

April 6 - April 13: Curia Closed for Triduum and Easter

Link to: OCS 2023-2024 Calendar

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

URGENT! - Reporter from Wisconsin Watch

Dear Presidents and Principals,


You may have been contacted by a reporter from Wisconsin Watch (Phoebe Petrovic) about school choice, the special-needs scholarship program, alleged discrimination, gender policies, etc. 

After discussion with the Office of Communications for the Diocese we recommend the following:

  • Ignore the request, DO NOT RESPOND with "no comment"

Remember, you are under no obligation to speak or correspond with any media. Unfortunately, my experience with the media as of late is that they lie and tend to have a specific narrative in mind.

Inform your staff staff they are not authorized to speak or write anything on behalf of the school. That you or the pastor are the point of contact.

Always assume you are being recorded or filmed and it will be put online. Be pleasant and happy, even though that will be hard. Don't let anyone into the school. Stop them at the door with the intercom system. That too might be recorded, so be polite, but firm.

Once again if you would like more assistance, place contact the Office or Catholic Schools and Office of Communications.


Todd A. Blahnik

Superintendent of Catholic Schools

~ ~ ~

School Choice Wisconsin and other schools and organizations continue to get questions from Wisconsin Watch reporter Phoebe Petrovic.

We sent the reporter the following response:

“School Choice Wisconsin is unaware of any determination of a violation against any school by DPI. For us to comment further would not be fair to all parties involved including DPI, schools, and families. We support and encourage compliance to all rules and processes set in place to address issues of this nature.” 

The reporter has followed up with additional questions. We do not plan to respond. Please call SCW if you would like to discuss this situation.


Nicholas Kelly

President, School Choice Wisconsin 

School Choice Information

We at School Choice Wisconsin understand that being new to the choice program or a new choice administrator can be confusing and daunting at times. To help alleviate some of those issues, we are creating a working group that will be meeting on the third Wednesday of each month, March thru July, and will be held from 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM on those dates. 

General format of the sessions:

·         Important upcoming dates and what is expected of the school

·         General updates about what is going on with the choice programs

·         Tips and Tricks from experts

·         Informal Q&A time

Why you should register for the working group:

·         Your school is new to the program

·         You are a new choice administrator

·         Succession planning (Never a bad idea for more people to understand duties and requirements)

·         Networking with other choice schools and administrators

·         Access to advice/guidance from experts about the program(s)

If you or someone at you school would be interested in this opportunity, click on the dates below to register for that session.

· To register for Wednesday, March 15, 2023, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM working click here

· To register for Wednesday, April 19, 2023, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM working click here

· To register for Wednesday, May 17, 2023, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM working click here

· To register for Wednesday, June 21, 2023, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM working click here

· To register for Wednesday, July 19, 2023, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM working click here

Please feel free to share this email with anyone you feel would benefit from these sessions. 

Dates to Remember:

March7-April 20, 2023

  • Choice schools administer the ACT with writing for grade 11:
  • Paper and pencil format: March 7, March 21, and April 11.
  • Online format: March 7 - April 20. 

March 20-April 28, 2023

FORWARD Exam Window: Choice schools are required to administer the following standardized tests:

  • Wisconsin Forward Exam for English Language Arts and Mathematics for grades 3-8
  •  Wisconsin Forward Exam for Science for grades 4 and 8.
  • Wisconsin Forward Exam for Social Studies for grades 4, 8, and 10.

PreACT Secure: Choice schools are required to administer the PreACT Secure for grades 9 and 10. 

Opportunity for Choirs and Bands

The Seymour Park Neighborhood Association in Green Bay will be having a Celebration of Spirit Concert on Saturday, July 22nd from 1-4. They are currently looking for school choirs or church choirs that would be interested in performing that day. Information can be found on their Facebook page at or they can reach out to Tanya Westmoreland at [email protected]. There is no charge to participate. 

Curriculum Corner

Pre-K Religion Resources

Click the images for more information.


The spring MAP testing window will be open from Monday, April 3 through Friday, April 28. CRF files are due to Becky Krahn by Friday, March 17. For this year only, we are making the spring window optional. If you or your community members have concerns about the assessment, please reach out.

Statement to our Catholic school partners from NWEA

January 19, 2023

Dear Partner,

NWEA values the deep partnerships we have with schools within the Catholic diocese across the nation. Our relationships span decades and are seeded in trust and a commitment to helping all kids learn. We also respect the expertise and professional judgment of educators and parents to make the best, and most appropriate, decisions to meet the needs of their students,

classrooms, and communities.

Our organization serves schools across the country and around the globe. We provide support in content, psychometrics, professional learning, and school improvement. From all of these vantage points, we understand the diverse nature of the populations we serve and try our best to provide resources, research, and guidance from an array of perspectives to meet the wide ranging needs of our partners.

Trust comes from understanding. NWEA has always stood for inclusive practices that remove systemic barriers that hinder students from achieving their full potential. While we defer to the expertise of educators and school leaders, we look for ways to help them create more welcoming, safe, responsive learning environments for their students and support the needs of the diverse communities they serve.

Regarding our assessments, we do not have any LGBTQ+ related test items. With that said, NWEA test items strive to include representation of the breadth of humanity of the students we serve, the people in their lives, and the family structures that support them.

Our assessments include fiction and nonfiction passages written by authors of diverse backgrounds, informational passages by experts in their fields, and passages from various historical periods. All passages are carefully vetted by content experts, including an external review panel, for any potential issues related to bias, sensitivity, or fairness. We work to ensure that people are portrayed in diverse ways throughout the item bank.


Fred McDaniel

President – District Division

Worth Repeating

IMPORTANT Reminders from the

Office of Safe Environment

Greetings from the Office of Safe Environment to all School Leaders Spring 2023

As a friendly reminder, all employees/volunteers that support your school as principals, administrators, teachers, substitute teachers, chaperones, coaches, aides, hall monitors, bus drivers, etc., must meet the diocesan Safe Environment Requirements.   All employees (paid personal regardless of position/job title) and all adult volunteers who have contact with minors as part of their volunteer duties are required to:

1)  Have a Diocese of Green Bay approved background check,

2)  Complete a VIRTUS "Protecting God's Children" Adult Online Awareness session,

3)  Review and sign either the Our Promise to Protect (employees) or the Diocesan Code of Pastoral Conduct for Volunteers (volunteers). 

Not only does the Charter require that adults must receive safe environment training but the diocese is also required to provide safe environment training for the children.  In the school setting each child must receive three hours per grade level each year of safe environment training.  The diocese purchased the VIRTUS Lesson Plans for children and they can be found on the diocese website at:

Safe Environment Lesson Plans and Resources for Children | Protecting Our Children | Protecting Our Children (

The VIRTUS lesson plans are meant to be used as the primary safe environment training material.  A school may always supplement the lesson plans, but the basis of the training needs to be the VIRTUS lesson plans.

Parents need to be aware of when the safe environment training will be presented, that they can request the materials to review and that they have the option to opt their child out of the safe environment training. Our hope would be to see no child opted out of the safe environment training. It’s important the communication explaining the safe environment training focuses on teaching what is and is not appropriate boundaries, what to do when someone makes a child feel uncomfortable, and who they can talk to about what they are feeling.

Thank you for all you do, especially in keeping our children safe!    

Register for TECIP Training Today

Tragic events within the school or parish community, such as an unexpected death, or a catastrophic disaster, have significant potential to inflict pain, turmoil, confusion, and heartache on both students and staff. With this recognition, the primary purpose of this two-day course is to introduce a flexible proactive Traumatic Event Crisis Intervention Plan (TECIP)® that can be readily implemented following exposure, either directly or indirectly, to a traumatic event.

This course will provide participants with knowledge, protocols and materials designed to facilitate (1) competent, thorough, and proactive pre-incident (traumatic event) preparation, (2) subsequent day (after students and staff have returned) deployment of crisis response team members and management of the building response, and (3) familiarity with a variety of intervention strategies and documents specifically designed to strengthen building response following a traumatic event.

There will be a training at the Diocese of Green Bay on April 24 and April 25 from 8-4. Please plan on being in attendance both days. Lunch and training materials will be provided. There is no charge for the training thanks to a grant from the Catholic Foundation. Advance registration is required. To register please go to For questions, please contact Lori Paul at [email protected] or 920-272-8318.


Over the past few months, I had the wonderful opportunity to visit and meet with some of our local Religious Sisters. I've enjoyed learning about the beginnings of Catholic education in our area, some examples predating the existence of the Diocese of Green Bay! The priests who settled here and began our parishes were so focused on also establishing Catholic schools which were run by several religious orders. Now most of our Catholic school educators today are lay people. We would not be where we are without the work of those who came before us.

It is important for us, and for our students, to remember the Vocation of our Priests, Deacons, Seminarians, Religious Sisters, and those in Formation. Please take time to pray for these men and women with your students. If you would like to have posters for Religious Vocations, please contact me: Liz Goldman

Visit the Holy Family Convent in Manitowoc

The Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity have extended an invitation to our Catholic Schools to visit the convent. If you are near Manitowoc, or have another field trip planned that would take you through Manitowoc, I think you and your students would love the experience. The visit would include a tour, which lasts about an hour. There is also a gym there so the kids can run around before getting back on the bus. Please contact Sr. Julie Ann Sheehan at 920-323-9632.

"Sophia Institute for teachers was founded in 2013 to renew and rebuild Catholic culture through serve to Catholic education." Sophia Institute for Teachers

Each summer, the Diocese of Green Bay hosts a 2-day event for Catholic school teachers and parish catechists to attend. This is FREE to all who particpate. We are excited for the line up planned for this year.

Seating is limited, so Sign Up NOW!

Hiring for the 2023-2024 School Year

It is that time of year when principals begin to post for open positions. Before posting new positions on WECAN, please be sure to review your old/current postings. Remove or revise them as necessary to ensure the information posted is accurate.

In addition to using WECAN, we encourage you to share openings on your school Facebook page, in the church bulletin, and other local resources. Please let our office know what positions you need to fill.

Speaking of hiring, the Office of Catholic Schools at the Diocese of Green Bay is currently seeking a full time versatile & highly motivated School Finance Coordinator. Do you have a talent for working with numbers? Would you like to work in a faith-filled environment? If the answer is yes, this may be the calling for you. For more information, click here.


Diplomas for the Class of 2023

If you need diplomas for your 8th grade students, you will need to order them from the Digicopy Portal. To access the portal and to order. go to 

Enter your username and password - your username is your email and, if you have never used the Digicopy Portal, your password is 1234 and you will be prompted to change it. If you have difficulty logging in, please contact Jeremy Vaughn at [email protected] to have your password reset. 

Click on the Blue Square labeled DIPLOMAS. Follow the directions while choosing the options you want.

If you chose the option to have the student name pre-printed on the diploma, you will be required to download and complete the diploma spreadsheet template.  

When you check out you will be required to pay. If you do not have a school credit card, please contact DigiCopy to make payment arrangements.  

Instructions are also included on the web page and all customer support information for DigiCopy is also included at the bottom of the web page.

If you have any questions or need assistance with ordering, please contact Jeremy Vaughn at DigiCopy: [email protected] or 920-857-2208. 

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 Newsletter Link

Click on icon below to read the latest issue of Catholic School Matters Newsletter from NCEA and Dr. Tim Uhl. (updated link)

Full Education Policy Manual for SY 2022-2023

Office of Catholic Schools

Questions? Contact us at [email protected] or (920) 272-8273.

Diocese of Green Bay
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