ACCU newsletter features article by Greeley Center Director

The newly released Update, the newsletter of the American Catholic Colleges and Universities, features an article by Greeley Center director, Michael J. Boyle.  The article suggests ways in which Catholic colleges and universities could collaborate with preK-12 Catholic schools to better serve students with disabilities.  (ACCU Fall 2017)

The full newsletter is available here:

Journal of Catholic Education features articles from the Greeley Team

The recently released issue of the Journal of Catholic Education contains several articles from Greeley Center for Catholic Education.  The focus section, guest edited by Center director, Michael J. Boyle, Ph.D., highlights leadership development for Catholic school leaders.  The articles that comprise this focus edition examine the intersection between the increasing emphasis on leadership standards and the need to develop the on-the-ground knowledge and skills required to prepare effective Catholic school principals.

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Michael J. Boyle, Ph.D.
Andrew M. Greeley Center for Catholic Education
School of Education
Loyola University Chicago

Pamela R. Benards, Ed.D.
Director for Professional Development
National Catholic Education Association

Catholic educators from the Philippines partner with CCSE

This past June, CCSE hosted a delegation of Catholic Educators from the Philippines here at Loyola University Chicago. This meeting marks the beginning of a partnership that will focus on the development of a set of national standards for the management of effective Catholic schools in the Philippines. Modeled after the process used in the development of the National Standards and Benchmarks for Effective Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools in the United States, CCSE will provide on-going technical assistance and support as the delegation develops National standards, which are expected to be unveiled in July 2015.


Loyola University Chicago is pleased to announce the formation of a LBS 1 endorsement cohort. This cohort will lead to eligibility to apply for the LBS 1 endorsement within the State of Illinois.  In order to support the mission of Catholic education, the School of Education is offering a 50% tuition discount to Catholic Educators. 


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Opening the Doors to All: Applying a response to intervention framework to Urban Catholic schools

Meeting the needs of children with learning or behavioral issues in Catholic school settings has always been a challenge. In the absence of IDEA services, Catholic school staffs have used various strategies to accommodate students with disabilities. Response to Intervention (RtI) can serve as a powerful framework to look at the needs of all students, not only those who are "deemed worthy" to receive special education services. RtI compels schools to re-examine their educational program using prevention as the lens.

The Opening the Door to All (ODTA) is a coordinated partnership between The Big Shoulders Fund, The Center for Catholic School Effectiveness, Loyola University Chicago and several schools in the Archdiocese of Chicago. ODTA was designed to provide targeted professional development and ongoing support to implement various aspects of Response to Intervention (RtI) within the reality of an urban Catholic school setting. When RtI is applied to decisions in general, remedial and special education, it creates a well-integrated system of instruction and intervention that is guided by student outcome data.  Funded by a generous grant from The Big Shoulders Fund in Chicago, the goal of ODTA is to increase the capacity of Chicago Catholic schools to serve a wider continuum of students by building each school's capacity to provide high-quality instruction and instruction to match the needs of all students.

Focus on Partnerships: Holy Family Catholic School—Bensenville, IL

Although Holy Family Catholic School in Bensenville and the Andrew M. Greeley Center for Catholic Education are not next door neighbors, there is a close relationship between the two. For the past several years, the CCSE has been providing professional development support to Holy Family Catholic School. "Holy Family Catholic School has been blessed to partner with Loyola University's Center for Catholic School Effectiveness in so many ways. The CCSE has held our hands as we have grown from 136 students in 2009 to 206 students this current school year," states Holy Family Catholic School Principal, Corie Alimento. Using a continuous improvement framework based on Response to Intervention developed by Dr. Michael Boyle, CCSE Assistant Director, Holy Family School has worked to strengthen their Tier One program by focusing on curriculum, instructional strategies, assessment and positive behavior management.

Under the leadership of CCSE's Dr. Michelle Lia, Holy Family is working to align the curriculum to the Common Core State Standards. The goal of this approach is written curricula in English language arts and math aligned to the Common Core and vertically aligned from grades preK-8 that is transparent to all stakeholders. In addition to direct skill- building sessions, Dr. Lia provides on-going coaching and support to classroom teachers around classroom instruction and curriculum-based assessments. Corie Alimento offers, "We are a diverse school. We serve students and parents with different cultural backgrounds. Because of this, it was important for us to team with the CCSE to make sure our curriculum was not only aligned with the new Common Core State Standards and National Standards and Benchmarks for Effective Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools, but to guarantee that our instruction meets the needs of the population we serve."

LU CHOICE graduates are making a difference in Catholic Education

This year, as the LU CHOICE (Loyola University Chicago Opportunities in Catholic Education) Program recruits its 11th class, the program will be celebrating 10 years of service to Catholic Education in the Chicago area. LU CHOICE is a two-year service, scholarship, and training program for college graduates. The mission of LU-CHOICE is to develop and sustain Catholic education. Program director Lee Hubbell describes the LU CHOICE candidates as "the lay religious of our time." He states further that "they come to education with a sense of passion, mission and spirituality that infuses our partner schools with spirit and energy. The experience creates in them a sense of purpose and mission that encourages them to stay in Catholic Schools." Described by some former participants as "a spiritual boot-camp," LU-CHOICE provides a unique opportunity to live out the Jesuit ideals. As women and men for others, LU-CHOICE teachers find great joy in knowing they are serving others. They are able to put their faith into action in both the classrooms in which they teach and the faith-based community in which they live. LU CHOICE graduates are making a difference in Catholic Education. Over the last 10 years of the program, 89% of the LU CHOICE graduates are still in the field of education, and 52% are still serving Catholic schools!

Reinventing the EdD capstone project

Dr. David Ensminger and Dr. Ann Marie Ryan from the School of Education-Loyola University, along with the CCSE staff are presenting a paper at the the Action Research Network of the Americas conference in San Francisco, CA. This paper, Collaborative Action Research: Reinventing the EdD Capstone Project, will describe the efforts to develop an alternative capstone project for the Doctorate of Education in Curriculum and Instruction for a cohort of Catholic school leaders. Using the real-world problems facing Catholic school leaders as the starting point, this group of doctoral candidates are working in teams and using an action research method as the foundation of the capstone project. With a focus on Loyola University Chicago's mission, the capstone projects address the elements and values of social justice and works to further the continuous improvement efforts of the schools.

Catholic school Principal Prep Program selected for grant

Funded by a grant from the McCormick Foundation, the Catholic Cohort Principal Preparation program at Loyola University Chicago has been chosen to participate in the Principal Preparation Program Evaluation Capacity Building Project housed at the Center for the Study of Education Policy at Illinois State University. One of six programs in the project, the Loyola program is the only program specifically targeted at developing leaders for Catholic schools. The newly approved Loyola principal program is unique because it provides a three year coaching model with coaches that have a proven track record within Catholic schools. The aim of this project is to capitalize on the early implementation of the newly approved Principal Preparation programs in the state of Illinois and to provide assistance in tracking the quality and effectiveness of the new principal preparation programs with a comprehensive continuous improvement process that could eventually serve as a local and national model.

Focus on Partnerships: St. Angela School—Chicago, IL

With the motto of "Dream. Prepare. Achieve.", St. Angela School is a beacon in the Austin community of Chicago. Though it originated as a parish school, St. Angela Parish is now non-existent. St. Angela School has partnered with CCSE in the The Opening the Door to All (ODTA) program which is generously funded by The Big Shoulders Fund. The overarching goal of the ODTA initiative, developed by CCSE's assistant director, Michael Boyle, is to build the capacity of schools and classroom teachers to address the varied needs of all learners, including those with learning disabilities, language obstacles or other challenges to learning. Mrs. Geralyn Lawler, St. Angela principal, suggests "this program has positively altered our school climate, allowing us to work on both the academic and behavioral needs of our students." She continues, "This project has allowed us to become more collaborative as a faculty and to be able to work together for the common good of our students."

CCSE connects Catholic schools to Loyola School of Nursing

Partnering with the Center for Catholic School of Effectiveness, a team from the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing at Loyola University Chicago implemented the ICAN (I Can Control Asthma and Nutrition Now) program in two urban Catholic high schools. The ICAN program is an innovative school-based program composed of (1) nutrition and weight management education, (2) asthma education, and (3) monthly reinforcement visits. Over the course of this program, significant increases in asthma knowledge, asthma self-efficacy, asthma quality of life, asthma self-care, nutrition knowledge, nutrition self-efficacy, and asthma control were observed. Because most Catholic schools do not have the resources to provide comprehensive wellness programs, university partnerships like this can be an important source of support.

2017 Department Chair Conference



2017 Department Chair Conference



Monday, June 5, 2017



8:45a - 9:15a

Keynote: Service Leadership in Catholic High Schools

9:15a - 9:45a


9:45a - 9:55a


10:00a - 11:30a

Backward Design Curriculum Planning

11:30a - 12:15p


12:15p - 1:45p

Authentic Assessment and Quality Rubric Design

1:45p - 2:00p


2:00p - 3:30p

Essential Practices in Instruction/Student Engagement

3:30p - 3:45p

Wrap Up


Happy Hour - wine, beer, and cheese

Tuesday, June 6, 2017



8:40a - 10:20a

Instructional Coaching and Peer Observation and Instructional Coaching

10:20a - 10:35a


10:35a - 11:30a

Professional Learning Communities (PLCs)

11:30a - 12:15p


12:15p - 1:00p

More PLCs

1:00p - 1:15p


1:15p - 2:45p

Using Data to Drive the Work of PLCs

2:45p -3:00p

Introduce Wednesday’s tasks

Wednesday, June 7, 2017 



8:40a - 9:30a

Keynote: Navigating Change

9:30a - 10:50a

Action planning - what work do I need to be doing?

10:50a – 11:00a

Introduce Problem Solving

11:00a - 12:00p

Problem Solving with a Resident Expert


Wrap up and adjourn


Call for Proposals

The Mustard Seed Project: Inclusive Practices in Catholic Schools will once again be held on the campus of Loyola University Chicago on October 9-10, 2017.

We are pleased to announce the CALL FOR PRESENTATIONS.   The proposal form is located here:‚Äč


Proposals will be accepted until June 15 and notifications will be sent by June 30th.

If the presentation is accepted, the Andrew M. Greeley Center for Catholic Education can offer complimentary registration to the main presenter and one co-presenter.  Any additional presenter will need to pay for registration.  All presenters must be registered for the conference. 

Topics can include (but are not limited to):

  • Inclusion in Catholic schools
  • Response to Intervention/Multi-Tiered Systems of Support
  • Strategies for intervening with students with learning needs
  • Social Emotional Supports
  • Innovative systems to deliver interventions
  • Assessing student progress
  • Meeting the social emotional needs of students
  • Creative partnerships
  • Identifying and securing financial support
  • Tier II and Tier III academic and/or behavioral interventions
  • Supporting English Language Learners
  • Practitioners’ Showcase – Highlighting Inclusion Programs and Practices from Catholic Elementary and High Schools
  • Case Management in Catholic Schools
  • Understanding Legal Implications of Special Education for Catholic Schools

We are interested in soliciting proposals for both elementary and secondary Catholic school audiences. 

If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Michael Boyle ( or Dr. Sandria Morten (