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The incredible journey of a new school year

The following story appeared in the August 25 Idaho Catholic Register.

First day of school at Sacred Heart Catholic School, 4th grade. (ICR photos/Vero Gutiérrez)

By Tammy Emerich,

Superintendent of Schools

Every school year brings with it a renewed sense of purpose, excitement and opportunity as we set out on the journey of a new school year. The slate is wiped clean, fresh notebooks are opened, and each classroom holds the potential for countless moments of discovery. It’s the perfect time for all of us, students and educators alike, to set our intentions, embrace new challenges, and affirm our commitment to excellence in faith and education. I am so grateful to see each of our Catholic schools welcome their students and families to the 2023-2024 school year. While many areas of the country have seen Catholic school closures, our sixteen Catholic schools in Idaho are

flourishing through God’s grace and mercy!

As we immerse ourselves into this new school year, it is essential that we focus on our Catholic mission. While our Catholic schools serve as centers of academic excellence, our first priority is to form our students to be disciples of Christ. Our mission statement proclaims, “The Diocese of Boise Catholic Schools embrace our Catholic identity which is centered on the Eucharist and the Gospel.” Our Catholic schools are committed to faith formation, academic excellence and service.

The focus of the Diocese of Boise Office of Catholic Schools this year is the formation of our principal-leaders and the diligent teaching staff who work in our Catholic schools. Their hard work, passion and dedication shape the spirits and minds of our students. We want to provide the formation and resources to empower them in their vocation as Catholic school educators. In addition, all of our Catholic schools will begin utilizing the framework of the National Standards and Benchmarks for Effective Catholic Schools. This framework will guide us as we look at our Catholic schools through these domains:

● Mission and Catholic Identity

● Governance and Leadership

● Academic Excellence

● Operational Vitality

This also provides the outline for our school accreditation process through the Western Catholic Education Association. Lastly, we will be reviewing and adopting curriculum in religion and core subject areas with the emphasis on infusing Catholic identity and scripture across the curriculum.

I feel very blessed to serve as the Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Boise. I am beginning my second year in this role and have traveled to each of our sixteen Catholic schools. What a wonderful opportunity to see the amazing things going on in all of our schools - from Bishop Kelly High School, our largest Catholic school in the state, to Sts. Peter and Paul, our smallest, and all the schools in between. Each school brings its own unique strengths, challenges and opportunities. Staying true to our mission is key to ongoing success.

May God be our guiding light and at the center of all we do as we embark on this journey of the 2023-2024 school year.

“. . . Jesus called them to him, saying, ‘Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God’” (Luke 18:16).

First day of school at Sacred Heart Catholic School,1st grade.

(ICR photos/Vero Gutiérrez)

If you enjoyed this story and would like to read more like it, please consider buying a subscription to the Idaho Catholic Register. Your $20 yearly subscription also supports the work of the Diocese of Boise Communications Department, which includes not only the newspaper, but this website, social media posts and videos. You can subscribe here, or through your parish, or send a check to 1501 S. Federal Way, Boise, ID, 83705: or call 208-350-7554 to leave a credit card payment. Thank you, and God bless you.

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Diocesan Pastoral Center

FAX: (208) 342-0224

1501 S. FEDERAL WAY, SUITE 400, BOISE, ID 83705

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