Welcome to The Cardinal Newman Society’s Self-Assessment and Reflection Tool

We know how challenging it can be to find resources suited to faithful Catholic education, attending to its mission across all aspects of a school’s teaching and activities. That’s why we created this Catholic School Self-Assessment and Reflection Tool!

The tool is designed to provide discussion points and help schools independently assess and improve their Catholic education and formation. It can be completed by an individual or group, and it can be used by an accreditation team focused on mission and identity. While the tool is directly relevant to formal school structures, much of it will be helpful to homeschool programs and homeschool parents, if they apply the questions creatively to the home learning environment.

This Self-Assessment and Reflection Tool is only a part of a comprehensive suite of resources provided by The Cardinal Newman Society to help Catholic schools improve and measure Catholic identity in their programs, operations, and policies. These resources include the following:

Structure of the Self-Assessment and Reflection Tool

The online survey includes more than 100 questions to gauge how well a Catholic school achieves its mission. Check-up questions are also included to help schools think about essential policies.

The questions are divided into five scored sections according to The Cardinal Newman Society’s Principles of Catholic Identity in Education, which are derived from the Catholic Church’s magisterial teachings. These sections are:

  • Principle I – Inspired by Divine Mission
  • Principle II – Models Christian Communion and Identity
  • Principle III – Encounters Christ in Prayer, Scripture & Sacraments
  • Principle IV – Integrally Forms the Human Person; and
  • Principle V – Imparts a Christian Understanding of the World

Each question is privately self-assessed on a scale of 1 to 4, with 1=poor, 2=average, 3=above average, and 4=excellent. A higher score means a higher self-assessment of the school’s Catholic identity.

Resources are provided for professional development after automatic scoring.

By setting up an account, multiple users can access the information for the same school once they are invited by the initial user. The tool will temporarily save incomplete assessments for 30 days if you get interrupted and are unable to complete the assessment. Once all questions are answered, you can come back as often as you like – even after a year! And, there is NO COST to use the Tool!

When everyone has finished the assessment, it is recommended that school administrators and faculty members come together to discuss each principle and the results of their independent assessments. The initial user for the group can also request compiled results. (No personal data is shared in the cumulative report. Only scores.)

Action items can then be created and assigned for ongoing improvement. With honest, targeted, and specific data, schools can celebrate success and direct efforts toward improving their Catholic identity.

Sample Questions and Feedback can be viewed here.

Copyright © 2024 The Cardinal Newman Society. Permission to reprint without modification to text and with attribution to The Cardinal Newman Society.