LIPA CITY, Batangas—In an effort to achieve full implementation of its standards, the Philippine Catholic Schools Standards or PCSS conducted a training for the core groups of the four Canossa schools: Calamba, Lipa, San Pablo, and Sta. Rosa last May 15-17, 2019 at Canossa Academy of Lipa City.
The core group members composed of admin, faculty and staff members from the Canossa schools took time off their busy schedules in their respective posts to participate in the said event to be able to provide quality Catholic education in line with the PCSS standards. Able and competent facilitators, Dr. Amelia Ronquillo, Dr. Teresita Arcos-Surot, Br. Rey Mejias, FSC, and Sr. Luzviminda Mojica, FdCC, were invited to expedite the three-day training.
During day one, Sr. Luz gave an overview of the history of PCSS’ ties with Canossa. The PCSS started its collaboration with the Canossian schools when Canossa College was chosen by the Catholic Education Association of the Philippines or CEAP to pilot its implementation. The three Canossian schools followed pursuit. Upon this breakthrough, initial steps such as animation, orientation, and organization of core groups were taken and the documents being used and developed as of writing blossomed. In an effort to encourage the group to be inspired and ablaze with enthusiasm for the activity, Sr. Luz stressed St. Magdalene’s word to the group, “Someone who is not burning cannot set others on fire.”
With these, Dr. Amelia led the groups to understand the domains, standards, benchmarks and rubrics of the PCSS. The group also noted the defining characteristics of a Catholic school grounded on the Church documents such as Gavissimum Educationis. The facilitators, grouped by domains, immersed the participants in a guided process of rubric scoring. Each group took a tedious step to identifying key differences from the rubrics for the different levels of the benchmarks to identifying three sources of evidence as triangulation data were needed.
Dr. Teresita started the session for day two with a recall of the steps made in day one. The “no averaging rule’ was emphasized as it intensifies the endeavor to check what the school needs to improve or maintain to follow the PCSS standards. Executing the search process and writing the summaries of rules were also explained. Br. Rey commenced the afternoon session with a short narrative of his involvement with PCSS. After the witty introduction, the first framework of PCSS was recalled as it embodies the meaning of life by paving way to be closer to God. Previous sessions were strengthened by discussion of guide questions and eventually proceeded with explanations for the next steps that guided the groups to practice writin narratives in an attempt to explain that score they arrived at. Before day two ended, Dr. Teresita introduced the School Improvement Plan or SIP. PCSS based SIP forms were then distributed to the participants to be accomplished in the participants’ convenient time at home.
The participants were grouped by school on the third day to work with their core members to implement what they have gathered and learned during training to their institutions. Each school was spearheaded by their directress as members were given the opportunity to collate their plans and narratives to formulate a course of action to better implement the PCSS standards in the basic education being provided by their schools.
Training concluded with a short but meaningful reflection and prayer session led by Br. Rey. The participants also swore to better serve the institution in the image and example of Christ.
“For sure, St. Magdalene of Canossa was smiling at us, radiating happiness and exuding joy as she sees her sisters and lay collaborators committed to the mission of making Jesus known and loved.” Mrs. Conchita Alcala from Canossa School of Calamba reflected on the interactive and engaging training commenced