Tag: archdiocese (page 2 of 4)

So We Have a Catholic School Board – Who Does What Around Here Anyway?

catholic-school-boardFor most Catholic schools, the school Board exists primarily to formulate policy and give strategic direction to the school (i.e., plan).

The Board is charged with furthering the school’s mission and ensuring the school’s success. The Board’s core activity is planning, and the Board’s primary constituency is not today’s students but the students of the future.  

The minimal functions of a Catholic school Board includes:


1. Developing a strategic plan

2. Policy development

3. Hiring the chief administrator

4. Approving an annual budget

5. Overseeing financial accountability including establishing just compensation and tuition pricing.

6. Ensuring that in broad terms the school is fulfilling its mission.


The Board members should NOT be involved in the day-to-day operations of the school. Such daily practical matters should be handled directly by the Chief Administrator of the school. The primary responsibility of the chief administrator is to:


· Implement the policies established by the board.

· Oversee the implementation of the curriculum and classroom management.

· Evaluate, hire and fire staff within the financial constraints determined by the Board.


 The critical distinction between the roles of the Board and the Chief Administrator is that the Board controls the big picture and gives direction to the Chief Administrator, who implements policy with considerable discretion. The Board is responsible for approving the annual budget, for developing a long-term strategic plan, and for the evaluation and the hiring and firing the Head of the school. The school Head handles the day-to-day operations of the school, typically without any Board intervention or input. 


About the Author – Steven Virgadamo

Steve Virgadamo provides thought leadership to Church leaders, Trustees and Board members. His expert counsel over many years has led to many Bishops, Chief Finance Officers, Superintendents, Pastors and Principals to consider him to be the expert in both Church and school management and the most premier consultant for Catholic schools, colleges and universities. He travels throughout the United States and internationally to mentor and teach school leaders, teachers, pastors, and more. His domestic and international reputation has led to Steven’s selection as a delegate for the World Congress on Catholic Education sponsored by the Congregation of Catholic Education.

Thank you for reading!

Steve Virgadamo

School Choice Remains Both a Civil Rights Issue and an Economic One


Expanded educational alternatives are needed to provide our next generation with access to a quality education and create the skilled workers that are essential to American competitiveness in the global economy. We cannot continue to ask children and families stuck in chronically failing public schools to wait any longer. Quite simply, parents and children deserve a choice. We must be able to fulfill our obligation to provide parents and their children with educational alternatives. By giving parents the power of choice, we are ensuring that students will have the opportunities they deserve for a bright and successful future.

 The need for improved school choice has never been more evident. Today, thousands of students are trapped in chronically failing schools in our most economically depressed communities and dense urban areas.   Educational Savings Accounts, Charter Schools, and Voucher programs are just some of the potential avenues to reform our failing government run school system. We must focus on urban education reform and work to provide a solid foundation for our children to achieve their dreams. School choice is a no-brainer because we know that kids win when parents choose and every student counts.

With strong leadership and a commitment that never strays from putting the best interest of our children first, change can come.

Thank you for reading!

Steve Virgadamo

Catholic Schools are both good for America and the Catholic Church

catholic-usAfter 30 plus years of working with Catholic schools throughout the United States I have an understanding and appreciation of the long history of support by the Catholic faithful for the  Catholic education for young people.

On average, American Catholics have had about eight years of education in Catholic schools. Half have attended a Catholic elementary school, about three in 10 have attended a Catholic high school, and just over one in 10 have attended a Catholic college or university.  The evidence suggests that the total number of years of education in Catholic schools is positively correlated with achieving a higher level of education and thus also achieving a higher household income.

In general, the strongest effects of Catholic education among those who attended Catholic schools, particularly as they affect measures of attachment to the church. According to the research available, those who attended a Catholic school are more likely than those who did not to attend mass and engage in parish life.

Catholic schooling pays off in a number of ways for the Church and our country in that attending a Catholic school  leads to a higher level educational attainment and  subsequently a higher household income. In addition, Catholics who attended a Catholic high school appear to have a stronger attachment to the church on some measures. They are somewhat more satisfied with the church as it exists today and more accepting of some of the measures many dioceses are adopting to address the shortage of priests.

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Steve Virgadamo

The Catholic Information Center

catholic-information-centerWelcome to the Catholic Information Center. The Catholic Information Center is one of the front runners for brining new life into the Catholic Church and new Evangelisation. The center is located in Downtown Washington and has become a staple for the community and the Catholic following. This community of believers as you will hear from the video are not just locals, there are people that travel far and wide to walk through the front doors of this wonderful center and seek guidance, forgiveness, and hope.


This video highlights some of the main reasons why the CIC is so popular and so beloved by so many people. The Catholic Information Center is located right on K Street in Downtown Washington D.C. providing the center a pivotal spot to bring in new followers and attract more attention. The CIC is also widely regarded as having the best Catholic book stores in the country. With more literature than you know what to do with you will never be without the word of the Lord.

Enjoy the video and please come back soon for more videos and more information.

Thank you for viewing!

Steve Virgadamo

Daily Catholic Mass – Fr. Miguel

father-miguelHello all, and welcome back to my website. I wanted to somewhat change the way I add to my blog posts section of this site by adding in some videos for extra information. I plan to start sharing new videos and old ones that highlight the Catholic faith and any news going on within the sector. Below you will find a video of a full Catholic daily Mass performed by Father Miguel. Please enjoy the video and be sure to check back regularly for more videos.


Thank you for viewing!

Steve Virgadamo

The Pope Visited a Catholic School

Perhaps you should as well. You’ll find that that the school is still Our Father’s school, but not your father’s Catholic School anymore.


While many Catholic schools have closed, more than 150 schools opened during the past 10 years. Hardly a diocese in the country exists that does not have plans on the drawing boards for new schools and additions to others. Catholic parents in suburban parishes are now the prime movers behind the opening of new schools. From California to Virginia, from Florida to Indiana, examples exist of new schools opening with capacity enrollments and waiting lists.

The best way to understand what is happening in Catholic schools is to take a good look at the following four traits:






1) Have a proven record of academic excellence;

2) Recognize you as the primary educator of your child(ren) and partner with you for the good of your children;

3) Continue the religious formation of your children begun in your home;

4) Offer a rigorous curriculum

5) Provide a challenging environment;

6) Maintain a secure environment;

7) Deal with the issues of today and show students the application of Christian principles to them;

8) Have educators who believe that all children can succeed;

9) Provide a Christian value-centered education; and most importantly

10) Prepare students for not just college, but heaven too!

If you are not a parent but a Catholic parishioner, I ask you to examine with me the following reasons for helping the renaissance of Catholic schools throughout the United States: 1. At Baptism we joined the family of God and were charged to become evangelizers. We do this chiefly by acting in a Christ like manner. Because we are charged to be evangelizers, we need to assist those who do this on a full-time basis. We need to support our Catholic schools.

2. Catholic schools are good for America. Large numbers of Catholic schools provide a top-quality education to very poor children thereby treating the disease of poverty and social injustice as opposed to just the symptoms.

Catholic schools have done more for evangelization than any other American Church institution. For more than 200 years, they have been the most effective means of helping youth grow in their faith. Catholic schools have been a great gift to the nation. They have educated millions and millions of students who became productive citizens intensely loyal to their country.

Thank you for reading!

Steve Virgadamo

11 Things for Every Catholic School Leader to Consider During October


In this article Steven Virgadamo, a renowned expert in Catholic School Leadership shares some October wisdom with Catholic School Leaders.

Looks like you made it!

October 1 – first month of your Apostolic work as a Catholic School Leader is in the history books. Congratulations!



To help you prepare for your next month in your leadership ministry Steven Virgadamo shares a few insights for new and experienced Catholic school leaders:

1. Continue to listen carefully to the staff- the faculty, lunch staff and custodians. We are larger than the sum of our parts! More often than not the faculty, staff and custodians have a pulse and perspective on what is working and of course what is not,”

2. Continue to honor the history of the school, and avoid using words like at another school I worked…”

3. By now, you have good read on your faculty and have identified teachers who have a passion for knowledge and “upping their game”. Encourage them to take measured risks and support them as they will help those more fearful of change to adjust to new pedagogies.

4. Relationships matter. Focus on building community and never ever forget to admit when you are wrong or hold your ground when it is right for the children to do so.

5. Research indicates a direct link between classroom management and academic success. Never stop practicing MBWA (Management by Walking Around), be visible in the hallways, dining facilities, playground and of course a mentor to new teachers.

6. Keep your eye on the goal – the  SMART Goals and be prepared to measure the effectiveness of your year in relationship to the goals.

7. Test scores, test scores, test scores…be creative and innovative, work with teachers to conduct formal and informal student assessments in all academic disciplines but particularly focused on increasing students performance in Math and ELA.

8. Model behaviors and be sure your staff perceives you as a lifelong learner. Staff meetings should be professional development opportunities not just informational monologues

9. As you gather with the students and parents for first Friday liturgy, remind them that this is a school and Church built by God, it is HIS House and the more time that they spend in it and get to know Him and love Him the happier they will be.”

10. Remember to manage up – as well as down –  Keep your Pastor, Board, and  Superintendent in the loop. Each is a great resource. Consult with them regularly and be sure to share both triumphs and tribulations.

11. Keep a professional journal. It will be a great resource for you and will empower your growth as a school leader in service to the Church.

And lastly, but perhaps most importantly, make memories and be joyful as you are a important partner in Our Father’s business.

Thank you for reading!

Steve Virgadamo

Top 10 Relics of Jesus Christ PT: 2

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Steve Virgadamo

Top 10 Relics of Jesus Christ PT: 1

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Steve Virgadamo

Catholic School Leaders and Boards – Who runs the school?

archdiocese-nycAs I work with Catholic Schools throughout the United States I am frequently presented with scenarios of conflict between school leaders and board members.  The dysfunction in such a relationship can be destructive to the Faith community we call the Catholic school. In the article below, I attempt to articulate the primary roles, responsibilities and focus of the Chief administrator of a Catholic School, or a Catholic School system and the Governing Board. It is my hope that it will be used widely to clarify roles and responsibilities before the scenarios of conflict emerge.

For most Catholic schools, the school Board exists primarily to formulate policy and give strategic direction to the school (i.e., plan). The Board is charged with furthering the school’s mission and ensuring the school’s success. The Board’s core activity is planning, and the Board’s primary constituency is not today’s students but the students of the future.

The 8 minimal functions of a Catholic school Board includes:

1. Developing a strategic plan

 2. Policy development

3. Hiring the chief administrator

 4. Approving an annual budget

5. Overseeing financial accountability

6. Establishing just compensation for employees

7. Set tuition

8. Ensuring that in broad terms the school is fulfilling its mission.


Thank you for reading!

Steve Virgadamo