MCS to adopt national standards for Catholic schools

Galvin Deleon Guerrero, the newly appointed president of Mount Carmel School, disclosed yesterday that the institution will adopt the recently developed National Standards and Benchmarks for Effective Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools as part of the school’s efforts to improve the quality of education for its students.

School faculty and staff, he said, will work throughout the upcoming school year to integrate the standards and benchmarks into the school’s curriculum.

Saipan Tribune learned that the current curricula at MCS were developed a few years ago by the school’s faculty and staff using McREL standards and benchmarks. They cover every major subject area, including language arts, math, science, social studies, physical education, and theology.

“We are very excited to move forward with these standards,” said Deleon Guerrero.

Not only will these standards bring Mount Carmel in line with Catholic schools across the nation but they will raise the bar for student achievement, he said.

Developed after two years of broad collaboration among Catholic educators across the nation, the national standards contain nine “defining characteristics” of Catholic schools based on Church teachings, 13 standards, and 70 benchmarks.

Together, they describe what it means to be a Catholic school and cover four key areas: mission and Catholic identity; governance and leadership; academic excellence; and operational vitality. Work has also begun on developing resources and guidelines to link and align the standards and benchmarks with the recent Common Core State Standards.

Deleon Guerrero said that, according to Lorraine A. Ozar, PhD, the director for the Center for Catholic School Effectiveness at the School of Education at Loyala University Chicago, “With this framework, we can and must hold ourselves accountable for the excellence and rigor, faith and nurturance that have been the hallmark of Catholic education, and which we must now guarantee for future generations.”

By Moneth Deposa

Moneth G. Deposa | Reporter

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