Archive for category Catholic Schools Commission

CSC June Update

From Commission Co-Chairs: John McMahon and Karen Rauenhorst

On June 20, 2011, the Catholic Schools Commission reviewed and voted on its final draft recommendations. The Commission’s final recommendations were delivered to the Archbishop on June 27, 2011.

The Commission co-chairs would like to thank everyone who has shared input, insights, and prayers during the Commission’s work. The input and efforts of many have enhanced the recommendations, and set the foundation for a collaborative approach going forward. In August, the Archbishop and inaugural members of the Archdiocesan Catholic Schools Advisory Council will lead a discussion outlining the strategy, initiatives and priorities for strengthening the Catholic schools of the Archdiocese. Catholic school principals and presidents as well as pastors and parish business administrators with schools have been invited to attend this August gathering. There remains much implementation work that will be the responsibility of the Archdiocesan Catholic Schools Advisory Council working collaboratively with leaders from Catholic schools from throughout the Archdiocese.

The Commission would like to offer its special thanks to everyone who participated in the web surveys this spring and summer. Results from three web surveys during April through mid-June were shared with Commission members. A total of 392 pastors, parish business administrators, principals/presidents and parish finance council members participated in the funding models/financial survey. A total of 66 principals/presidents and marketing directors/coordinators participated in the marketing leader survey. Nearly 2,500 parents (parents of school age children in Catholic and/or not in Catholic schools as well as parents of soon-to-be school age children) have participated in a parent survey which remains open.

Please visit archspm.org this fall for an update on outcomes of the work of the Catholic Schools Commission.

 

CSC May Update

From Commission Co-Chairs: John McMahon and Karen Rauenhorst

On May 16, 2011, the Catholic Schools Commission reviewed input from 3 of the Commission’s 4 committees. Below is a summary of discussion at this meeting.

I. COMMISSION OVERALL

Input:

  1. Web surveys—A web survey related to finance ran from April 29 to May 12. 392 pastors, elementary and secondary school principals/presidents, parish business administrators, and parish finance council members participated in this first survey. A web survey related to school marketing ran from May 12 through May 23. 66 elementary and secondary school principals/presidents, marketing directors and other marketing staff and volunteers participated in this survey. A parent survey aimed at perceptions of Catholic schools and school choice decision-making launched on May 25. The survey is intended for prospective school parents, current Catholic school parents, and parents of school age children not enrolled in Catholic school. As of May 31, nearly 700 parents have participated in the survey. We’ll continue to push for parent participation for the next several weeks during this busy time of year. The information being gathered is useful not only for the work of the Catholic Schools Commission but also the soon-to-be-named Archdiocesan Catholic Schools Advisory Council and the Archdiocese’s Office of Catholic Schools going forward.
  2. Information collected via comments made to cscommission@archspm.org. We have received many very insightful and useful comments and suggestions that we are incorporating into the Commission’s work. We encourage all school stakeholders to share their comments at cscommission@archspm.org before June 3.

II. ADVANCEMENT COMMITTEE

  1. Branding firm is working to develop an archetype around which a branding message will be built.
  2. The Advancement Committee will be the final committee to develop recommendations; branding initiative will continue into the 2011-2012 school year. The above-mentioned parent survey will provide additional insight as this work continues.

III. EDUCATIONAL EXCELLENCE COMMITTEE

  1. Commission approved a recommendation for establishing benchmarks for addressing school vitality and viability for all Catholic schools to support a culture of continuous improvement and ongoing renewal within the schools.
  2. Commission approved a recommendation regarding the enhancement, formalization and support of principal recruitment, selection, development and assessment.

IV. FUNDING MODELS COMMITTEE

  1. Commission approved 5 recommendations related to standardization of financial reporting, revisions to archdiocesan financial aid distribution, all parishes’ support of Catholic schools, enrollment guidelines related to financial viability and revenue enhancement and cost reduction opportunities.

V. GOVERNANCE COMMITTEE

  1. Commission approved a recommendation related to clarification of roles and responsibilities for the parties involved in the governance of consolidated schools in order to enhance the schools’ capabilities and long-term viability.

We continue to ask for input and participation in this important process. You may email your comments, concerns or questions before June 3 to cscommission@archspm.org.

 

CSC April Update

From Commission Co-Chairs: John McMahon and Karen Rauenhorst

On April 18, 2011, the Catholic Schools Commission reviewed input from the 8 focus group meetings which took place in February – April. Commission also reviewed and discussed draft recommendations from 3 of the Commission’s 4 committees. Below is a summary of discussion at this meeting.

I. COMMISSION OVERALL

Input:

  1. Focus groups –There were 8 focus groups, participated in by 24 school principals/presidents, 9 pastors, 6 business administrators as well as teachers, marketing directors/committee members, parish finance council members, school council members, school benefactors and parents. Overarching themes from the eight focus groups held between February and April:
    • There needs to be a clear message from the Archdiocese that Catholic schools are a priority.
    • Some central services or standards-making are acceptable and perhaps needed if local need/benefit is there and input opportunity is given.
    • We have to identify high-leverage support opportunities for the schools.
    • We need to fix the money problem or nothing else matters.
    • The current model of one parish/one school is not working in some places; we need to utilize a variety of different/complementary models.
  2. Web surveys—The first web survey went live on April 29. It will remain online until the end of the day on May 12th. This particular survey is focused on financial issues and relates to the work of the Funding Models Committee. Pastors, school principals/presidents, parish business administrators, and parish finance council members were invited via email to take part in this first survey. Several more surveys, each identified for certain groups of school leaders and stakeholders, will be carried out over the coming weeks.
  3. Information collected via comments made to cscommission@archspm.org. We have received many very insightful and useful comments and suggestions that we are incorporating into the Commission’s work. We encourage all school stakeholders to share their comments at cscommission@archspm.org. Committees are drafting recommendations now so now is a great time to provide input.

II. ADVANCEMENT COMMITTEE

  1. Branding firm is reviewing data and identifying any additional necessary research to help develop messaging for Catholic schools.
  2. The Advancement Committee will be the final committee to develop recommendations; branding initiative will continue into the 2011-2012 school year.

III. EDUCATIONAL EXCELLENCE COMMITTEE

  1. Commission reviewed a draft recommendation for a viability rubric which identifies ten elements of successful Catholic schools which align with Strategic Plan criteria; MNSAA was consulted in the development of the rubric; the rubric is intended as a tool for school leaders.
  2. Commission discussed draft assessment principles recommendation from the committee. Recommendation is tabled until next Commission meeting. The committee continues to work toward developing a proposal to meet the needs of students, schools and the Archdiocese.

IV. FUNDING MODELS COMMITTEE

  1. Commission reviewed draft recommendations related to templates for financial planning and reporting and best practices related to planning, reporting and analysis of financials.
  2. Commission discussed a draft recommendation regarding tuition-setting best practices, with a particular focus on more uniform calculation of cost per student and communication with stakeholders regarding the cost of education.
  3. Commission discussed a draft recommendation regarding potential changes to method of distribution of financial aid which comes through the Archdiocese.

V. GOVERNANCE COMMITTEE

  1. Commission approved a recommendation related to the charter and membership profile for Archdiocesan Catholic Schools Advisory Council.
  2. Commission approved a recommendation related to best practices, roles, responsibilities and membership for individual school advisory boards.

We continue to ask for input and participation in this important process. You may email your comments, concerns or questions at any time to cscommission@archspm.org.

CSC March Update

From Commission Co-Chairs: John McMahon and Karen Rauenhorst

On March 21, 2011, the Catholic Schools Commission was addressed by Archbishop John C. Nienstedt who briefly outlined his vision for Catholic schools and his commitment to Catholic schools as central to the mission of this local Church. The entire Office of Catholic Schools staff were introduced and provided an overview of what they do. Commission members reviewed the progress that the working committees have made over the past month. Below is a summary of discussion at this meeting.

I. COMMISSION OVERALL

Input:

  1. Meetings/conversations with key stakeholders –
    • The Catholic Schools Commission has now met with school principals three times at monthly Catholic School Leadership Day meetings in January, February and March. We will continue to seek input and remain engaged with school principals throughout this process. The Commission is on the principals’ agenda for the final meeting of the program year in May.
    • An update on the work of the Catholic Schools Commission was included in the electronic Archdiocesan Update newsletter published in mid-March. This newsletter is read by clergy and business administrators. This update was posted to this website on March 1.
  2. Focus groups—The first round of focus group discussions took place in late February. Six more focus groups, targeted to particular committee deliverable areas, are scheduled for late March through mid-April.  These focus groups consist of 10-12 volunteers from urban, suburban, exurban and rural school communities across the Archdiocese. We have attempted as much as possible to ensure balance of participant composition of these groups.
  3. Web surveys—There will be web surveys beginning in mid-April targeted to stakeholder groups designed to provide feedback on specific issues under discussion by the committees of the Commission.
  4. Information collected via comments made to cscommission@archspm.org. We have received many very insightful and useful comments and suggestions that we are incorporating into the Commission’s work. We encourage all school stakeholders to share their comments at cscommission@archspm.org. Committees are drafting recommendations now so now is a great time to provide input.

II. ADVANCEMENT COMMITTEE

  1. Retained a nationally recognized branding firm to help develop messaging for Catholic schools.
  2. Reviewing input being collected during an oral history project aimed at distilling sentiment regarding the value of Catholic schools. This project is being carried out by an independent local communications firm retained for this purpose. Information gathered will be helpful in the development of the overall message about Catholic schools in this Archdiocese.

III. EDUCATIONAL EXCELLENCE COMMITTEE

  1. Identified ten elements of successful Catholic schools which align with Strategic Plan criteria.
  2. Committee recognizes need for Archdiocesan wide assessments in multiple grades that can be compared to public school assessments and is working toward developing a proposal to meet the needs of students, schools and the Archdiocese.

IV. FUNDING MODELS COMMITTEE

  1. Reviewing templates for financial planning and reporting and best practices related to planning, reporting and analysis of financials.
  2. Considering tuition-setting practices, taking into consideration potential changes to archdiocesan parish assessment formula.

V. GOVERNANCE COMMITTEE

  1. Charter and membership profile for Archdiocesan Schools Advisory Board – final review
  2. Best practices, roles, responsibilities and membership for individual and regional school advisory boards – 2nd draft reviews
  3. Framework and operating principles for Catholic schools’ relationship with parishes and Office of Catholic Schools – beginning review
  4. Office of Catholic Schools model – beginning review

We continue to ask for input and participation in this important process. You may email your comments, concerns or questions at any time to cscommission@archspm.org.