Professional Education

In collaboration with leading experts and researchers at Boston College and around the world, the Roche Center offers innovative professional education opportunities throughout the year to support Catholic educators in the sacred work of formation. Within a supportive communal context, participants are invited to reflect not only on pedagogy, but on the personal and spiritual understanding of teaching and formation as a Christian vocation. Designed with teachers in mind, the courses provide accessible yet challenging content that can be immediately applied to culturally and linguistically diverse classroom contexts. Different courses are offered each semester and throughout the summer, so we invite you to check back often!


Spring 2021 Courses and Webinars

Orin Carpenter

Educating for Racial Justice Through Art

In the Christian tradition, “sacramentality” is the belief that the created world is imbued with the intimacy and infinitude of God. This includes the creative work of art. Acknowledging the critical role educators play in facilitating difficult conversations about racial (in)justice, Marin Catholic High School art teacher Orin Carpenter will engage visual art as a way to lead students through challenging dialogue and emotions.

When: April 13, 14, 15, 7:30-9:00 p.m. EST (Virtual)

Cost: $50/person or $25 each if more than one person from a school registers.

Facilitators: Orin Carpenter, Visual and Performing Arts Director, Marin Catholic High School, Kentfield, CA; and Denise Morris, Assistant Director of Outreach, Roche Center for Catholic Education

Orin Carpenter

Creating Equitable Curriculum for Catholic Educators

Creating antiracist Catholic schools means adhering to Catholic social teachings that create and promote school cultures that value and support inclusive curriculum, pedagogy, and policies, while deeply understanding the systemic racism that shapes many of our current instructional practices. Recognizing the important role classroom teachers play in creating antiracist schools, this professional education course examines the foundational pedagogy and theory of antiracist classrooms, examines school and classroom practices that lead to equity, and challenges teachers to create an equitable curriculum they can implement in their classrooms. 

When: Thursdays, April 22, 29 and May 6, 13, 7:30-9:00 p.m. EST (Virtual)

Cost: $50/person or $25 each if more than one person from a school registers.

Orin Carpenter

Lenten Retreat for Catholic Educators: Come Away ... and Rest Awhile

This six-week virtual retreat provides the space to process the personal and professional experience of teaching during the pandemic. Using Jesus’ own time in the desert and themes of wilderness, temptation and sustenance, participants will reflect in small groups and community on how the pandemic has impacted their emotional well-being, their relationship with God, their faith, and their teaching.

When: Sundays: February 21, 28, and March 7, 14, 21, 28, 3:00-4:00 p.m. EST (Virtual)

Cost: Free

Facilitators: Roche Center staff

The Two-Way Immersion Network for Catholic Schools (TWIN-CS) is unique in its approach to dual language instruction. Building upon the long-successful tradition of language instruction in Catholic schools, the TWIN-CS (or ‘the Network’) is a national initiative to share research, ideas, techniques and resources to enable socially and economically challenged students to become bilingual and biliterate. This dynamic incorporation of 21 elementary schools from across the United States provides an innovative way to support teachers and schools in enhancing student achievement. Participation requires significant input from schools, while providing extensive support from university researchers and TWIN experts.


Gloria Ramos

Tools for the Times: Online Reading
Assessments for Dual Language Learners

In response to the reality of virtual and hybrid learning, this session will explore online resources for instruction and assessment, specifically as they relate to dual language learners. Teachers will leave with resources to immediately implement in their classrooms.

When: Virtual, Thursday, January 28, 2021, 7:00-8:00 p.m. EST

Cost: Free fro TWIN-CS Member Schools

Facilitator: Gloria Ramos Gonzalez, Ed.D., TWIN-CS leadership coach and educational consultant for the PDS team with the California Association for Bilingual Education

Orin Carpenter image 1

Backward Design in the Dual Language Classroom

The Understanding by Design® (UbD™) framework offers a planning process and structure to guide curriculum, assessment and instruction. The three key ideas are: 1. Focus on teaching and assessing for understanding and learning transfer; 2. Design curriculum “backward” from those ends; and 3. Consider essential questions and universal themes for learning. Teachers will be guided through an overview of the framework and how it can be used for planning in dual language classrooms.

When: Virtual, Thursday, February 25, 2021, 7:00-8:00 p.m. EST

Cost: Free for TWIN-CS Member Schools

Facilitator: Stephanie Margetts, TWIN-CS Program Director

Orin Carpenter image 1

Cultivating Academic Writing in TWI:
The Power of Text Deconstruction

Using an approach rooted in genre-based pedagogy, participants will explore how to engage students in deconstructing texts in English and Spanish in ways that attend to the purpose, organization, and language features of different school-based genres. Teachers will leave with ideas for how to implement this practice in their classrooms to bolster students’ academic writing development across languages.

When: Virtual, Thursday, March 25, 2021, 7:00-8:00 p.m. EST

Cost: Free for TWIN-CS Member Schools

Facilitator: Laura Hamman-Ortiz, Ph.D., TWIN-CS leadership coach and post-doctoral research associate with the BUENO Center for Multicultural Education and the Department of Educational Equity and Cultural Diversity (EECD), University of Colorado-Boulder

Orin Carpenter image 1

Restructuring the Middle School Years
in Dual Language Schools

Principal Carolina Brito of Rafeal Hernandez Middle School in Boston, MA, will discuss the process of implementing the Advanced Placement exam in 8th grade. She will address curriculum, hiring and admissions considerations, and what was necessary to obtain the Seal of Biliteracy.

When: Virtual, Thursday, April 29, 2020, 7:00-8:00 p.m. EST

Cost: Free for TWIN-CS Member Schools

Facilitator: Carolina Brito, principal of Rafael Hernandez School, Boston, MA

Global Researchers Advancing Catholic Education (G.R.A.C.E.) is an international research-based partnership between Mary Immaculate College in Ireland, Boston College in the United States, the University of Notre Dame in Australia, and now the International Office of Catholic Education (OIEC) in Rome. G.R.A.C.E. offers academics and everyone interested in a new, integrated and revitalized approach to Catholic education the opportunity to collaborate in the analysis of the challenges and opportunities facing Catholic schools. Activities include: (1) research and publications, including by doctoral students; (2) a series of lectures; (3) various forms of exchange through a community of practice.

The G.R.A.C.E. lecture series is a monthly webinar on a topic of interest to Catholic schools around the world. This webinar will be presented by a panel of academics and researchers, with each partnering rotating the organization of various talks. The overarching goal of the G.R.A.C.E. lecture series is to share scholarship and increase dialogue with international colleagues committed to Catholic education.