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Dear Parent or Guardian:

Thank you for looking into the possibilities of sending your child to our Catholic school system. We hold the responsibility of the education of your most precious possession very seriously. MCC works to provide many opportunities for each student to flourish in a Christ-centered atmosphere. Our school is a way of life that seeks Christ’s presence in every class and every program we offer. Our success is built on the partnership between the families and the system, and together excellence is produced. Our size allows for opportunities for all to explore and be successful at the many aspects of our academic, fine arts, and athletic programs. Enclosed is some general information about our school system. I encourage you to schedule a time to meet with the building principal who can provide you with a tour of the school and answer any of your questions. In addition, please visit our website at www.muskegoncatholic.org for the most current information about all of our programs. Thank you again for taking the time to consider the Muskegon Catholic Central system. We trust your experience with the MCC family will positively impact you and your student forever.

Sincerely,

Robert Bridges Head of School


Tuition costs vary by grade level, parish membership, and number of students per family. Tuition can be paid in full in August or in quarterly or monthly payments. It is our hope that every student who wants to attend Muskegon Catholic Central will be able to do so. Thanks to the generosity of our Catholic community and our foundation, there are many opportunities for financial assistance:

Academic Leadership Scholarships Prospective students entering middle and high school with a 3.0 GPA or higher may apply for our Academic Leadership scholarships. Students in grades 6-8 will receive $1500 per year for three years, and students in grades 9-12 will receive $2000 per year for four years. Up to ten of these scholarships are awarded to new students in grades 6-12 who have demonstrated excellent academic performance, service to others, and outstanding character. Scholarship application forms can be found on our website at muskegoncatholic.org or may be obtained by calling the Business Office at 231-755-2201 X340.

Financial Aid Financial aid is distributed each year by our Scholarship Committee, which uses information supplied by PSAS (Private School Aid Service). The report generated by PSAS provides the committee with a calculated “need� per family by considering factors such as family size, income and expenses, and assets and liabilities. New families may also apply for financial aid and are encouraged to fill out the PSAS form as early as possible.

Crusader Cash Families are encouraged to participate in our Crusader Cash program to further reduce their tuition costs. Please check out the attached information regarding the program which helps with tuition assistance through Scrip, BoxTops, Upromise Credit Card, and eBay.


Muskegon Catholic Central Curriculum Muskegon Catholic Schools offers a curriculum that is both rigorous and meaningful. Using data analysis, educators at Muskegon Catholic Central are able to both monitor student progress and adjust instruction to meet the individual needs of students. Teachers are able to work together regularly in professional learning communities to discuss and develop research-based teaching strategies for implementation in the classroom. Because of the small size of the school and opportunities for collaboration amongst educators, Muskegon Catholic is able to make effective changes to meet both the needs of students and academic demands mandated by state standards. Though collaboration and data-driven instruction, Muskegon Catholic offers a curriculum that addresses the learning needs of all students and cultivates a source of faith that can help children to grow both academically and spiritually.

Common Core State Standards The Common Core State Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers. With American students fully prepared for the future, our communities will be best positioned to compete successfully in the global economy. Educational standards help teachers ensure their students have the skills and knowledge they need to be successful by providing clear goals for student learning. We need standards to ensure that all students, no matter where they live, are prepared for success in postsecondary education and the workforce. Common standards will help ensure that students are receiving a high quality education consistently, from school to school and state to state. Common standards will provide a greater opportunity to share experiences and best practices within and across states that will improve our ability to best serve the needs of students. Standards do not tell teachers how to teach, but they do help teachers figure out the knowledge and skills their students should have so that teachers can build the best lessons and environments for their classrooms. Standards also help students and parents by setting clear and realistic goals for success. Standards are a first step – a key building block – in providing our young people with a high-quality education that will prepare them for success in college and work. Of course, standards are not the only thing that is needed for our children’s success, but they provide an accessible roadmap for our teachers, parents, and students.

Curriculum and Instruction Teachers in all grade levels have identified the critical learning targets that students are expected to master in order to be academically successful in each content area. This focus on essential standards and concentrated instruction has provided clarity and purpose toward what is necessary for students to learn, the level or rigor expected, and the prior skills required for mastery. With clearly communicated expectations for learning, teachers can focus on the issue of addressing what to do when students do not learn or enriching those students needing additional challenge.


What will instruction in the classroom look like?

Instruction should be student-centered with a focus on developing students into 21st century learners, which means facilitating and coaching students in the following skills: creativity and innovation, critical thinking and problem solving, communication and collaboration, information literacy, media literacy, flexibility and adaptability, initiative and self-direction, leadership and responsibility, social and crosscultural skills, as well as productivity and accountability. Teachers must be prepared to address the diverse needs of all learners in this model.

Secondary Scheduling Model

We have moved to a 4x4 matrix schedule in grades 7-12 where the school year is divided into 2 semesters with 4 instructional periods. In the 1st semester, students meet daily in four courses that would have been spread out over a full school year in the traditional setting. In the 2nd semester, students meet daily in four new courses to complete an eight course yearly schedule. The new schedule will allow us to better serve the diverse needs of our students as well as answer the need for longer class periods to implement group cooperative/collaborative learning, hands-on activities, student projects, and integrated or interdisciplinary activities. Instruction in this model will become much more student-centered with a commitment to the mastery of critical learning targets. The focus will become developing students into 21st century learners, which means facilitating and coaching students in the following skills: creativity and innovation, critical thinking and problem solving, communication and collaboration, information literacy, etc.

Schacter Rubric and Best Teaching Practices

Data about school reform shows that the most influential determinant in student academic growth is effective teachers. By developing and rewarding superb teachers we can dramatically increase student learning. As a result, Muskegon Catholic Central is striving toward academic excellence by investing in its most important resource – teachers. Teachers are evaluated on a rubric that highlights several different teaching strategies that have been proven as successful in improving student learning. School leaders perform formal observations where teachers receive scores according to the effective teaching rubric. The observations are intended to provide teachers with feedback to direct them toward the best teaching practices and drive their continued improvement. With a combination of formal evaluations and walk-through observations, teachers are able to refine areas for improvement while reinforcing their strengths.

Response to Intervention Response to Intervention (RTI) includes a combination of high quality, responsive instruction; assessment; and evidence-based intervention. Comprehensive implementation will contribute to more meaningful identification of learning problems, improve instructional quality, and provide all students with the best opportunities to succeed in school. At the elementary level this means dedicated time each week for students to work in small flexible groups on targeted foundational or enrichment skills after analysis of achievement data. At the secondary level, we hope to accomplish this through a seminar period that includes: Advisory, Tutoring, and Back on Track. We have a moral obligation to ensure that all of our students learn at high levels and a responsibility to create a system in which we can support their success in school.

Educational Development Plans Educational development plans are designed for each student that are flexible, responsive, and tailored to individual student needs and plans for the future. We have a responsibility to create a systematic plan for all students of varying academic ability based upon our population and vision. Students, families, and faculty collaboratively design an educational development plan after reviewing grades, standardized test scores, and the results of career exploration for all students beginning in the 7th grade.


Advisory

Students are assigned to an advisor who advocates for them and ensures that they are on track for successfully completing the requirements of their educational development plan. This is also an opportunity for weekly course progress monitoring, standardized test score monitoring, introduction to 21st century skills, and other general homeroom responsibilities. Students are awarded .25 credits per semester for successful completion of their advisory course. Students meet with their advisor twice a week during the seminar period. Attendance and credit rules apply to advisory as it would to any other academic course.

Tutoring and Back on Track

Tutoring is reserved for those students that need additional time or instruction in order to master concepts. This would include those students that were absent and need teacher instruction on the concepts that they may have missed. Back on Track is reserved for students that are struggling due to incomplete course work and assignments. Tutoring referrals are determined either by teacher discretion or as a request from Academic Support. Back on Track referrals are given to any student that has either missed two consecutive days of school or has a grade less than 70% in their class. Tutoring and Back on Track will are held two days a week during the seminar period.

1:1 Program The changes in our world brought on by technology have led to changes in how we prepare students for the world. Teaching with technology and teaching the skills needed to be a 21st century thinker are crucial for the success of our students. The way in which we access, process, and display information has dramatically changed. In order to adequately prepare students for their years in and beyond high school, we need to ensure that all students are equipped to effectively utilize technology. Students now have access to their own device. This is known as 1 to 1, meaning the ratio of internet enabled devices to students is one (one device per student). Secondary students at Muskegon Catholic Central all have access to their own device, an Acer Aspire netbook. In grades 9-12 students have the option to take their device home. In grades 7-8, students have designated devices that stay in the classroom. These are available to use during the school day and may be checked out in the event that a student needs to take one home.


Muskegon Catholic Central Assessment Student Assessment Results Muskegon Catholic Schools offers a variety of assessments to gauge student learning and provide teachers with the necessary data to inform their instruction. We are committed to the learning of all students and continually strive to assist students in their journey toward academic excellence within the Catholic tradition.

Professional Learning Communities Teachers are given time weekly to work within grade levels and/or departments in analyzing student performance data and collaborating in the development of research-based strategies for implementation in the classroom. Each group sets goals that are specific and measurable, facilitating a focus on product and progress. Teachers are able to support one another in the development of interventions, assessments, and strategies in an effort to significantly impact student achievement. Teachers also meet several times a year within a target group that includes selected teachers from grades K-12. The target area is determined using student data and indicating a need for improvement within a specific subject. The target group allows teachers in a specific subject area to collaborate in identifying and addressing any holes in the curriculum and to begin strengthening the program across all grade levels. It assists in the development of individual content areas with an emphasis on continuous growth and improvement.

STAR Reading and Math The STAR assessments (STAR Reading and STAR Math) are computer-adaptive tests that give our teachers access to data for standards benchmarking, screening, progress monitoring, skills reporting, and instructional planning. The assessments are aligned to state benchmarks and provide information about student mastery of those standards in grades K-6. Teachers use this information to target instruction, provide students with the most appropriate instructional materials, and intervene with struggling students.


Measure of Academic Progress MAP (Measure of Academic Progress) is a state-aligned computerized test that reflects the instructional level of each student and measures their growth over time. This test helps us to identify the skills and concepts that students have learned and to diagnose their instructional needs in the areas of math, science, reading, and language usage in grades K-10. There is not one final score that all students are expected to reach. Every student has an individualized growth target based on their ability. This test allows us to identify the unique learning needs of every student and target lessons toward individual strengths and weaknesses. This test adapts to the student’s ability and accurately measures what a child knows and needs to learn. It tracks their growth over time and gives our teachers data they can use in the classroom to meet all students’ needs.


Why does Muskegon Catholic Central use the MAP instead of the MEAP?   

The MAP test automatically adapts to each student so that we get a clear picture of each individual student’s level of knowledge in each of our curricular areas. MAP test results are available immediately rather than several months after the student takes the test, allowing our teachers to quickly adapt and adjust instruction. MAP testing can be given multiple times during the school year which allows teachers to test for understanding and growth throughout the year.

How are the MAP test results utilized?  

MAP test results are reviewed by each teacher so that an individual learning plan can be designed for each student. MAP test results are a component in our teacher performance pay bonus calculations. Teachers are rewarded if their students meet individual growth targets.

How can you compare the MAP test results to other schools? The NWEA (Northwest Evaluation Association) has data from over 24 million students over a course of 30 years. The MAP test results show how each student compares to the national average in each subject area. Muskegon Catholic Central students consistently score above the national average for all grade levels in all subject areas. The MAP test is also aligned to state standards and benchmarks, providing data about the percentage of our students that would reach proficiency on the state standardized test.

EXPLORE AND PLAN EXPLORE and PLAN are the first parts of a testing system that go on to include the ACT and contain four curriculum-based assessments: English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science. The assessments measure the skills and knowledge needed for college success and include a career exploration component that stimulates students' thinking about future plans and relates personal characteristics to career options. The EXPLORE program is designed to help eighth and ninth graders explore a broad range of options for their future while the PLAN program helps 10th graders build a solid foundation for future academic and career success. EXPLORE and PLAN scores can be used to predict how students are likely to perform when they take the ACT.


ACT The ACT is a curriculum-based assessment that evaluates 11th and 12th graders’ general learning outcomes and is the college readiness test used by most of the colleges that our graduates attend for admissions and scholarships. The multiple-choice tests cover four skill areas: English, mathematics, reading, and science. The Writing Test, which is optional, measures skill in planning and writing a short essay. ACT provides data-driven solutions that encourage academic readiness and inspire career exploration while preparing students for college and career success.


Michigan Merit Exam The Michigan Merit Exam is a state assessment used to measure all Michigan students in the same subjects, at the same time. The MME is comprised of the ACT Plus Writing college entrance exam, portions of the WorkKeys job skills assessment, and Michigan components developed to assess Michigan high school content standards. The tests provide valuable information to parents on their children’s academic progress. The MME also provides teachers with important information about how their students are doing and assists teachers in getting struggling students the academic support they need.


What is MAP? MAP stands for “Measures of Academic Progress”. A MAP test is a state-aligned computerized test that reflects the instructional level of each student and measures their growth over time. MAP helps us to identify the skills and concepts that students have learned and to diagnose their instructional needs in the areas of math, science, reading, and language usage in grades K-10. The test adapts to the student’s ability and accurately measures what a child knows and needs to learn.

Why does Muskegon Catholic Central use the MAP instead of the MEAP? We prefer the MAP test for several reasons:   

The MAP test automatically adapts to each student so that we get a clear picture of each individual student’s level of knowledge in each of our core curricular areas. MAP test results are available immediately rather than several months after the student takes the test, allowing our teachers to quickly adapt and adjust instruction. MAP testing can be given multiple times during the school year which allows teachers to test for understanding and growth throughout the year.

How do you utilize the MAP test results?  

MAP test results are reviewed by each teacher so that an individual learning plan can be designed for each student. MAP test results are also a component in our teacher performance pay bonus calculations. Teachers are rewarded if their students meet individual growth targets.

How can you compare the MAP test results to other schools? The NWEA (Northwest Evaluation Association) has data from over 24 million students over a course of 30 years. The MAP test results show how each student compares to the national average in each subject area (see separate MAP results page). Muskegon Catholic Central students consistently score above the national average for all grade levels in all subject areas. The MAP test is also aligned to state standards and benchmarks, providing data about the percentage of our students that would reach proficiency on the state standardized test.


Faith, tradition, teamwork, and integrity have been the foundation for the historic successes of MCC Athletics. We believe that many of the same lessons that are taught in the classroom, such as hard work, perseverance, and cooperation, can be reinforced on the playing field. Athletes at Muskegon Catholic practice hard, play hard, and enjoy the experience of coming together as a team to reach their highest potential. We ask our athletes to commit to a life of character, compassion, and commitment and we expect good sportsmanship, honesty, and teamwork in all of their endeavors. We encourage your child to participate in our athletic program. Because of our small size, most students have the opportunity to participate on a team. We offer a wide variety of sports at both the middle and high school level for both boys and girls. Our facilities are truly outstanding and accommodate the many teams that use them throughout the year. While winning is certainly the ultimate goal of any team, we believe that character development is equally important. Winning is not only defined by the score at the end of the game, but by whether our students used their God-given talents to the best of their ability.

Varsity Sports Offered Fall Football Cheer Boys Soccer Boys Tennis Girls Golf Girls Volleyball Girls Swim

Winter Boys Basketball Girls Basketball Hockey Boys Swim

Recent Success Football: State Champs in 2008, Semi-Finalist in 2009, 2012 Volleyball: District Champs in 2010 Girl's Basketball: District Champs in 2011 Boy's Basketball: District Champs and Regional Finalist in 2011, Regional Champs-Semi-Finalists 2012 Track: Regional Champs 2010 Boys Track: State Runner Up 2011 Baseball: District Champs and Regional Finalist in 2010

Spring Girls Soccer Boys Golf Girls Tennis Softball Baseball Track


Muskegon Catholic Central offers a variety of curricular and extra-curricular arts programs including Symphonic Band, Choir, Musical Theatre, and Art. The MCC Symphonic Band is both a performing and a learning group. Students are taught the fundamentals of performance etiquette and proper instrumental technique while learning music from a variety of genres. During the year, the students participate in four concerts, Solo and Ensemble Festival, District and State Band festivals, and many community events. Students are able to take Band in 6th through 12th grade. The MCC Choirs consist of 6th grade Choir, Middle School Choir, and High School Chorale. Emphasis is placed on proper vocal technique, sight-reading, music theory, and performance. Performances include fall, Christmas, winter, and Pops concerts, as well as the MSVMA District Choral Festival. The choirs also perform for local community and charity events. Our middle school choir has performed with the West Shore Symphony Orchestra. Our high school choir has performed in New York City and Chicago and had the great honor of singing for the Pope on a trip to the Vatican. The MCC Theatre Department is known for its amazing annual spring musical. The show involves over eighty-five middle and high school students both on stage and behind the scenes. Recent shows have included Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Guys & Dolls, Cinderella, Annie Get Your Gun, and All Shook Up. The MCC Art Department offers a wide variety of classes including Drawing, Painting, Ceramics, Sculpture, Printmaking, and Commercial Art. Our MCC art students have been recognized throughout the state and country for their talents by winning numerous awards and scholarships.


Academic Guidance Muskegon Catholic Central works with every student to create an Educational Development Plan for their years ahead at MCC. Using the MAP testing data, we develop a class schedule for each student with an emphasis on challenging each child to grow to his or her highest potential. Students have the opportunity to place into our honors and AP track in Mathematics, English, History/Government and Science.

College Guidance 98% of Muskegon Catholic Central graduates continue on to college. Students are given the opportunity to take the EXPLORE, PLAN, PSAT, ACT, and SAT tests during their high school years. Our guidance counselor works closely with students as they go through the college application and selection process.

Counseling Our guidance counselor, along with our Campus Minister, are both educated and trained to help each child reach his or her potential both academically and spiritually. At MCC, we also have the opportunity to pray with our students and teach them about God’s incredible love for each of them as they grow through their teenage years.


Catholic Education has been a strong tradition in Muskegon for over a century. The mission of offering a Christ-centered education for children began in 1871 when three members of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Order established the first parochial school at St. Mary’s Parish. Their shared vision with the Muskegon community thrives more than 130 years later as Muskegon Catholic Central continues to educate young men and women with Christ as the focus and role model. After its inception in 1871, Catholic education flourished in the area over the next century with the opening of six additional parish elementary schools and three high schools. By the middle of the 20th century, as times and standards changed, many Muskegon area Catholics and their pastors began to dream of a central Catholic high school. At the beginning of the 1953-54 school year, after countless planning sessions and fund raising efforts, Muskegon Catholic Central became a reality. The school represented the first step in developing a comprehensive consolidated Catholic school system to meet the needs of area families. Through the years there have been several expansions and updates and eventually all Catholic schools joined the consolidation. Today the Muskegon area parishes work in union to support Muskegon Catholic Central. We offer a comprehensive educational program providing a curriculum for preschool through twelfth grade. We are blessed with the opportunity to continue the great heritage of Catholic education that was forged by so many over the years.


From day one, students at Muskegon Catholic Central learn about God’s love for each of them. The Gospel values of love, respect and compassion are taught and practiced in every classroom. Morning prayer, weekly Masses, celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and a monthly Rosary offer our students the opportunity to spend time with Jesus. By the time they reach adolescence, the children have a firm foundation in the Catholic-Christian faith, and are filled with the knowledge of God’s special friendship with each of them. As they mature, our students learn about the richness of their faith and are given opportunities to put that faith into action through prayer and service. The students of MCC are able to advance God's kingdom among each other, and throughout the Muskegon community, from weekly Mass, opportunities for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and the Sacrament of Reconciliation, retreats, nursing home visits, and working food trucks. High school students are also given the opportunity to participate in WINGS, a peer ministry program at MCC. WINGS students have the opportunity to plan and serve on retreats, become Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, Lector at Mass, and work with the Campus minister to help foster the Catholic culture at MCC. In addition, many of our students participate in the Pro-Life Club, the Volunteer Club, and the annual Spring Break Mission trip.


Muskegon Catholic Central Informational Packet