Program Examines Catholic Schools

By Sandra Howe
Staff Writer

Educators from Catholic elementary and secondary schools around the country convened at Boston College last week to discuss ways of integrating Catholic identity into all aspects of school life.

The July 11-14 program, "Conversations in Excellence," was organized through the Selected Programs for Improving Catholic Education project, and was part of an ongoing effort by the School of Education and the National Catholic Educational Association to identify and evaluate successful Catholic elementary and secondary schools. It featured participants from seven schools which have successfully integrated Catholic identity into their programs.

University President J. Donald Monan, SJ, Academic Vice President and Dean of Faculties William B. Neenan, SJ, SOE Dean Mary Brabeck and Asst. Prof. Joseph O'Keefe, SJ (SOE), co-director of SPICE, made appearances.

"One of the strengths of Catholic schools has always been their ability to do so much with limited resources," said Fr. O'Keefe, SJ. "SPICE is an opportunity for Catholic educators to continue to be an invaluable resource to one another and 'Conversations in Excellence' is just the beginning."

The program featured a keynote address by psychologist and author Robert Coles and presentations by school representatives on their approach to religious education.

Participants teamed up to design professional development programs which could serve as models for integrating schools' academic and spiritual mission.

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