The Better Together initiative within the Diocese of Cleveland is a new program, the goal of which is to ensure that all children have access to Catholic education in Northeast Ohio. Many of our Catholic schools lack the resources necessary to educate students who are exceptional learners. The benefits of including these students are far-reaching and impactful. Research shows that students who learn differently or face unique challenges thrive in an environment that
welcomes them, along with their spirits and gifts. An added and important benefit of including these students is that ALL students thrive and grow. Parent involvement and participation are enhanced, teachers and staff are more fully engaged, resources are shared more effectively, and greater opportunities for community engagement are created. The Better Together initiative will provide seed money that will allow the Diocesan Office of Education to acquire key resources to develop or enhance inclusion programs for an initial pilot group of 47 Catholic schools in Northeast Ohio.
Proceeds will provide start-up funding at both the diocesan and individual school levels. These funds will provide staffing, training and professional development, and operational support so that our learning community can better serve all God’s children. We’re building a foundation from which we can expand, ensuring our schools work toward meeting the needs of all children so they can benefit from all that a Catholic education offers.
Beginning in the 2016-2107 school year, the Diocese of Cleveland embarked on a diocesan-wide STREAM initiative. When the invitation was extended to all of our elementary and secondary schools, 26 responded that they were willing to enter into this journey with us. The Diocese made the decision to move in this direction because STREAM education incorporates the 21st century skills of creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and communication. Schools embracing this method of instruction are learning to consistently integrate technology and problem-based learning through the development of cross-curricular lessons. Research demonstrates that students who learn in this type of environment are better prepared for college and for their later role in the workforce.
Special Designations Earned
The following 13 Diocese of Cleveland schools and 141 of their teachers received the Governor’s Thomas Edison Awards for Excellence in STEM Education:
- Holy Trinity, Avon
- St. Raphael, Bay Village
- Academy of St. Adalbert, Berea
- St. Mary, Chardon
- Beaumont School, Cleveland Heights
- St. Jude, Elyria
- St. Hilary, Fairlawn
- St. Paschal Baylon, Highland Heights
- St. Michael, Independence
- St. Francis Xavier, Medina
- St. Peter, North Ridgeville
- Incarnate Word Academy, Parma Heights
- St. Rita, Solon
Eight schools have received the Ohio STEM Designation Equivalent in the past two years.
In 2016, St. Gabriel, Mentor, and St. Vincent de Paul, Akron, earned the designation. In 2017, these additional schools earned the designation:
- Mater Dei Academy, Wickliffe
- St. Ambrose, Brunswick
- St. Mary, Avon
- St. Mary, Chardon
- St. Sebastian, Akron
- St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, Akron
In partnership with Saint Edward High School, Lakewood Catholic Academy is authorized as an IB World School accredited to offer the Middle Years Program, which impacts teaching and learning for students in grades six through ten. LCA is the first and only Catholic school in Ohio to offer the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program.
The U.S. Department of Education announced that Lakewood Catholic Academy is among the 2017 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools award honorees. The aim of U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools is to inspire schools to strive for 21st century excellence by highlighting promising practices and resources that all can employ.
Step Up To Quality (SUTQ) is a five-star quality rating and improvement system administered by the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. SUTQ recognizes and promotes early learning and development programs t
hat meet quality program standards that exceed licensing health and safety regulations. The following Diocese of Cleveland preschools were highly rated in the past year while numerous other preschools are currently preparing to apply:
- Urban Community School, Cleveland, 5 Stars
- Holy Family, Parma, 5 Stars
- Ss. Robert and William, Euclid, 4 Stars
- St. Adalbert, Cleveland, 4 Stars
The Curriculum Office supports the mission of the Office of Catechetical Formation and Education by leading, assisting and supporting the principals and teachers though the development, implementation and evaluation of curriculum.
The curriculum for the Diocese of Cleveland flows from the philosophy and goals of Catholic education, infuses the Social Justice Teachings of the Church, the Rights of Children, Catholic Standards, Catholic faith and values, and are aligned with the Ohio Academic Content Standards and the Common Core State Standards.
The distinctive characteristic of the Diocesan Elementary and Secondary Curriculum is its attempt to generate a climate in the school that is permeated by the Gospel Spirit.