To PROCLAIM and TEACH — September 2021 Update

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September 8, 2021

The diocesan strategic growth plan for Catholic schools, “To PROCLAIM and TEACH,” is moving forward into Phase 2 of the process. The initial phase of planning focused on data research and analysis, taking a deep dive into community demographics for all eight counties of the diocese, looking at parish demographics, Catholic school enrollment trends, staffing and financial data. Phase 1 data also included information received from onsite school visits which included meetings with principals, school board and advisory council members, diocesan leaders and others. This information provided a common foundation and understanding of the current experience of the schools and the unique challenges and opportunities they face looking forward.

A preliminary data key findings report was drafted and presented to diocesan and school leaders in August. An opportunity for participants to share their insights and respond to the shared data was provided to better understand how the data impacts planning for schools throughout the diocese. A similar data presentation for school and parish communities will be provided in each of the four geographic school areas (Altoona, Johnstown, Northern, Prince Galliztin). More information regarding these presentations and an invitation to attend will be made in the next week or so.

The next step in the planning process, Phase 2, is the actual development of the strategic growth plan. Through monthly meetings with the Steering Committee and the Planning Task Force, a draft of the goals and the action steps to achieve those goals will be prepared and discussed. As Phase 2 progresses, these preliminary goals and action steps will be shared in consultation sessions at the local level in each geographic area to gather a broader perspective and feedback. Phase 2 begins this month, September, and will continue through April of 2022. Strategic growth plan development focuses on the four pillars of the National Standards and Benchmarks of Effective Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools that address all aspects of school life. The four pillars include Catholic mission and identity, academic excellence, governance and leadership, and operational vitality. Academic excellence centers on the quality and depth of the academic programs, staffing, and student activities. Operational vitality addresses enrollment management, fiscal responsibility, advancement, and facilities. To learn more about the national standards and benchmarks, click here to access the link.

We ask for your prayers so the strategic growth plan achieves its ultimate goal of bringing our Catholic faith alive for each student, every day, and providing them with an education that allows them to realize their God-given talents and succeed in their life.

We remind you to stay in touch with the “To PROCLAIM and TEACH” planning process each month. Information and updates about the schools’ strategic growth planning process will be available on the diocesan website and through other media as the process progresses.