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  • RECongressIn late March, CCSTA President Marino Gazzola was one of about 30,000 people that came together in Los Angeles, California to connect, learn, and celebrate Catholic education around the world. The Los Angeles Religious Education Congress (RECongress) is an annual event that “offers in-service education and spiritual formation to those in catechetical and related ministries,” says Jan Pedroza, Religious Education Congress Program Coordinator. Hosted by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the congress is a Catholic-focused congress that has grown to include people from a wide variety of different vocations and faiths. It was Mr. Gazzola’s first time attending the event, and he says it was an amazing experience.

    “It was certainly the best conference or congress I’ve ever been at,” he says. “It was unreal. The experience of being at a Mass with almost 10,000 people was just out of this world.”

    Mr. Gazzola says they had heard such glowing reviews about the congress from Catholic educators in western Canada that the CCSTA felt they had to send a representative. He was there for the whole event, from Thursday to Sunday.

  • FUTURE GRAD PHOTO 1The St. Clair Catholic District School Board has always made it a priority to consult with their wider community when developing strategic plans. So, when Director of Education Deb Crawford learned about an online tool that could make community engagement more accessible, inclusive, and far reaching, she was interested immediately.

    “We were looking for ways to expand our strategic planning process,” says Mrs. Crawford. “We wanted to hear from a wide variety of voices, so that the people in our community would see themselves in our strategic plan.”

    That’s where the online tool Thoughtexchange comes in. It’s a platform that allowed community members to give their thoughts on how they believed Catholic schools could better prepare students for the future. They were also able to see what others had posted and give those thoughts a rating. This simple process of providing your own thoughts and rating the thoughts of others has resulted in some incredibly valuable insight into their community’s priorities, says Mrs. Crawford.

  • FUTURE GRAD PHOTO 1Le St. Clair Catholic District School Board a toujours préconisé la consultation publique pour développer ses plans de stratégie. Deb Crawford, Directrice de l’éducation, a été interpellée par un outil électronique accessible, inclusif et de grande portée qui facilite l’implication de la communauté.

    « Nous cherchions une façon d’élargir notre processus de planification stratégique, dit Mme Crawford. Nous voulions être à l’écoute de toutes les voix pour que les membres de notre communauté se reconnaissent dans notre plan de stratégie. »

    Voilà justement ce que le logiciel Thoughtexchange propose. C’est la plateforme qui a permis aux usagers de donner leur opinion sur la façon dont l’école catholique pourrait mieux préparer les élèves pour l’avenir. Chacun pouvait voir ce que les autres avaient proposé et évaluer leurs commentaires. Ce simple fait de pouvoir fournir ses idées et évaluer celles des autres nous a permis de mieux cerner les priorités de la communauté, dit Mme Crawford.