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Catholic Education Councils: Limits and Latitude:. Exploring the possibilities of models of school governance. What we will cover today:. Collegiality in the Church The Catholicity of the Council How the Council functions What the Council does Some further considerations. Why Councils?.

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catholic education councils limits and latitude

Catholic Education Councils: Limits and Latitude:

Exploring the possibilities of models of school governance

what we will cover today
What we will cover today:
  • Collegiality in the Church
  • The Catholicity of the Council
  • How the Council functions
  • What the Council does
  • Some further considerations
why councils
Why Councils?
  • Vatican II documents
  • Concept of lay ministry
  • Ownership/stability
  • Financial advice
  • Develop/defend policy
  • PR
  • Assist administrator
  • Authority from Bishop
  • Philosophy from Gospels
  • Ministry in parish, diocese
  • Consensus, dialogue, charity
  • Formal/informal prayer
  • Vision of the faithful
nature of councils
Nature of Councils
  • Juridic: non-parish, legal person
  • Limited jurisdiction: usually private,non-legal entity, limited by canonical authority
  • Consultative:non-legal, give advice, non-binding, must be consulted
impermissible areas
Impermissible Areas
  • Grievances
  • Hiring/firing/supervision
  • Curriculum development
  • Approval of materials
  • Regulation
  • Discipline
public vs catholic









No hiring/firing

No curriculum

No instr.mat.

No grievances

No discipline

Public vs. Catholic
internal functions
Internal Functions

LEADERSHIP: Willingness to stand out from the crowd

MEMBERSHIP: Representative, Selected, Length of term,size,

expectations, who may NOT serve

DECISION-MAKING: consensus, not vote

AGENDA: make-up, distribution, moving it, place of prayer, inclusion of items

MINUTES: taking them, distributing them, importance, other records

COMMITTEES: importance, types, committee work

  • Standing: finance, bldgs/grnds, student life, development, membership
  • Ad hoc: as needed
  • Make-up
  • Working
what does the council do
What does the Council do?
  • Strategic planning, including budget
  • Policy
  • Development
  • Evaluation
strategic planning
Strategic Planning
  • Annual goals, objectives, activities, projects
  • Long-range goals, objectives, activities
  • Monitoring of the plan, goals
  • Avoidance of Crises
managing the budget
Managing the Budget
  • Finance committee plans the budget
  • Submits it for approval
  • Monitors throughout the school year
  • Works in conjunction with parish council, finance committee
policy a guide for discretionary action
Policy: a Guide for Discretionary Action
  • Comes from the Council
  • Gives direction to the administrator
  • Sets a tone
  • Translates vision into action
  • Avoids crises
policy cannot
Policy cannot:
  • Control or supervise administrator
  • Resolve problems after the fact
  • Address isolated or petty items
  • Substitute for programs
policy a guide for discretionary action1
Policy: a guide for discretionary action

1. Faculty meetings are to be held regularly

2. Parents are expected to be involved in their children’s education.

3. All field trips are to be of an educational nature.

4. Students will not be allowed to do door-to-door solicitation

during school fundraisers.

regulation mandates procedure
Regulation: mandates procedure
  • Comes from the administrator
  • Outlines implementation of policy
  • More specific than policy
  • Meets the goal of the policy
regulation mandates procedure1
Regulation: mandates procedure

1. Faculty meetings will be held the 3rd Wednesday of each month.

2. Parents will attend all parent-teacher conferences.

3. The principal will approve all field trips.

4. School personnel will send home notification of the ban on door-

to-door solicitation at the beginning of each school fundraising


origins of policy
Origins of Policy
  • Persons
  • Opportunities
  • Problems
  • Conformity to state, municipal statutes, diocesan directives
  • Planning
  • The council is responsible for the development program
  • Some councils recommend the hiring of a development director
  • The council’s involvement is direction, not the activity itself.
  • Public relations
  • Locating sources of non-tuition income: bequests, annual fund, capital campaign, endowment
  • Recruitment of students
  • Promotion of the school
  • Annual retreat
  • Evaluation of internal functions
  • Evaluation of external functions
  • Evaluation of the council relationships
  • Pastor
  • Administrator
  • Parents’ organization
  • Other parish organizations
the pastor
The pastor
  • Canonical representative
  • Promulgates all policies
  • Is present for meetings
  • Is ex-officio member of the board
the principal
The Principal
  • Is ex-officio member of the council;
  • May serve on a committee(s);
  • Sole conduit to the faculty;
  • Writes regulation;
  • Provides timely information;
  • Expects mutual support.
the parents group

The parents’ group

Concretizes the vision of the Council

the council and the hsa
Plans programs

Dev/app. Budget

Forms policy

Evaluates rel. to administrator

Insures quality Catholic ed

Plans/supports programs


Helps in regs

Cooperates w/administrator

Enriches/supplements Cath. ed

The Council and the HSA
effective meetings
Effective Meetings
  • Start on time
  • Be prepared
  • Chair directive
  • Follow the agenda
  • Set a time limit for discussion
  • Make decisions
  • End on time
effective meetings1
Effective Meetings
  • Work toward consensus
  • Everyone contributes
  • Avoid “parking lot meetings”
  • Use small groups
  • Write things down
  • Make conflict “win-win”
some further thoughts
Some further thoughts...
  • Councils should avoid micromangement;
  • Councils need to remember their boundaries;
  • Councils need to be serious about responsibilities;
  • Councils need to be aware of their potential.