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Glossary of Key Terms

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Term Definition
Catholic Intellectual Tradition

The product of a continuous dialogue between faith and cultures which reflects two essential characteristics of the Christian, and especially the Catholic, understanding of human experience: faith necessarily seeks understanding, and all intellectual inquiry leads eventually to questions of an ultimate nature that invite faith responses. For the Catholic, thinking is part of believing, and the Catholic view sees no conflict among faith, knowledge, and reason; it looks to how they illuminate one another.

Catholic Culture

The school’s “way of life” -- a school’s way of thinking and behaving -- rooted in Christ, a Gospel-based creed and code, and a Catholic vision that provides inspiration and identity, is shaped over time, and is passed from one generation to the next through devices that capture and stimulate the Catholic imagination such as symbols and traditions.

Catholic Identity

The particular expression of the Catholic heritage, the practices of the Catholic community, the living of the Gospel message, and the information and relationships that sustain the school’s activities.

Christian Service Programs

The distinguishing feature of Christian service programs in Catholic schools is that they are rooted in the Gospel mandate to serve as Jesus served and intentionally are tied to the mission of the school and the academic programs of the school. Concepts of Catholic social teaching (CST) are woven into the instructional components and then integrated into the reflection process as the CST are given shape through the service encounters.

Co-Curricular Activity

School sponsored activities aligned with the curriculum intended to enhance students’ creative, aesthetic, social/emotional, physical and spiritual capabilities.

Coherent Curriculum

Curriculum intentionally designed to result in student learning that shows a clear progression and integration of knowledge, skills, and dispositions from year to year through graduation, leading to readiness for college, career, and life.

Common Formative Assessment

An assessment created collaboratively by a team of teachers for the same grade level or course. Common formative assessments are used to identify individual students needs, most effective teaching strategies, program concerns, and shared improvement goals for individual teachers and the team. (DuFour, 2006)

Community-Wide Communication

Critical information communicated to all members and stakeholders of a school community.


Compensation is the total amount of the monetary and non-monetary pay provided to an employee by an employer in return for work performed as required.

Constitution and Bylaws

Founding document of an organization that establishes and defines mission structure, and process. (rules)

Consultative Board

A body that participates in the policy-making/decision-making process by formulating, adapting, and recommending policy to the person with authority to enact it. The person with authority is required to consult the board before making decisions in the designated areas, but is not bound by the board’s advice.

Cost Per Child

Cost per child is a measurement that represents the total cost to educate one child per year, based on all the expenditures required to provide the education. Usually it is determined by dividing the total costs (all expenditures) by the total number of children enrolled. This measurement is used to assess cost effectiveness and profitability.

Creative Thinking

Cognitive process of generating something new or unique that has value in a situation or context.

Critical Thinking

Mental process of analyzing or evaluating information; a process of reflecting upon the meaning of statements, examining the offered evidence and reasoning, and forming judgments about the facts. Intellectual values associated with critical thinking include clarity, accuracy, precision, evidence, thoroughness and fairness.


The agreed upon set of decisions about what students will learn (content), how they will demonstrate their learning (assessments), and key strategies, activities, and resources teachers will use to coach students to demonstrate the specified learning.