GREEN BAY, Wis. (Jan. 29, 2019) – Bishop David L. Ricken provided an update today on the Strategic and Mission Plan for Catholic Schools at Sacred Heart Catholic School in Shawano. At this time last year, he announced the plan after an 18-month study concerning Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Green Bay, facilitated by Meitler Consulting.
“We continue to commit the resources and educational leadership needed to build strong Catholic schools for the future; Catholic Schools that meet the needs of our changing families and communities; Catholic Schools that build moral character through faith formation and academic excellence; Catholic Schools that lead people to become disciples alive with the love of Jesus,” said Bishop Ricken.
The update highlighted progress made in each of the five key steps to vibrant Catholic Schools. These include:
Our Students - Our schools will be schools of student discipleship.
For the first time in more than two decades we have seen enrollment grow across all six regions of our diocese, accounting for a 2% increase diocesan-wide.
In the past year, our schools have benefitted from over $650,000 in safety grants; these funds are being used to install security cameras, door locks and other safety proofing items to best protect our students and staff.
In just a few days, we will also introduce training to strengthen our dedication to safe environments within our schools. Pastoral leaders, spiritual caregivers and school staffs will be trained in the Trauma Model of Dr. Colin Ross to help care for individuals who have suffered sexual or other types of abuse in childhood.
Our Staff - We will support great school leaders and staff and help realize their plans.
In August 2018, all Catholic School faculty and staff attended the Discipleship I seminar to invite them to discover Jesus more deeply. The strategic plan calls for expanded opportunities for spiritual formation as we move forward. Becoming stronger disciples of Jesus, helps us all understand, model and personally live lives of missionary discipleship which we then share with students.
New Administrator Workshops are conducted on a monthly basis to foster professional growth. This peer-to-peer support system helps new leaders reach out beyond the school and parish walls and into the greater community with innovative educational offerings.
We continue our dialogue with CatholicLink in Green Bay and St. Norbert College, as they finalize the Catholic School Leadership Development Program for principals, aspiring principals, and teacher leaders.Silver Lake College in Manitowoc continues to investigate future locations for their master’s degree programs to better serve our Catholic School personnel.
Our Education - We will enhance our academic excellence at all schools.
Summits on World Languages, Art and Music Curriculums were held for teachers in these disciplines over the last several months. The purpose of each summit was to enhance and revitalize the educational offerings within our schools.
A small distance learning pilot program was recently completed, with another to begin. Students at a rural school were able to take an Algebra class taught by a teacher from an urban school. The pilot proved successful and is now being expanded to foreign languages.
The WINGS Blended Learning model, which allows students to learn at their own pace, regardless of grade level, was conducted as a pilot project for K-6 grade in the St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School System in Marinette. With this method, students are always at their “just right for them” learning ability. The WINGS program expanded to grades 7 and 8 this year. St. John–Sacred Heart Catholic School, Sherwood, has also implemented this learning model for grades K-8 this school year.
Our Operations -We will showcase professional excellence in all our operations.
To better serve financial and marketing needs, the Office of Catholic Schools added two new positions this school year.
Lori Paul joins us as the Advancement Director for Catholic Schools. She is working closely with the Office of Communications to develop a Marketing and Communications Plan to empower our Catholic Schools to tell their stories.
Dean Gerondale joins the office as Financial Planning Director for Catholic Schools. He is working in the field with various schools on operational needs, as well as helping schools bolster their financial viability.
Our Funding - We will fund our schools to be great.
Our Catholic Schools are a key component of the diocesan capital campaign “one by One.” You will hear more about this in parishes and schools over the weeks to come, and Bishop Ricken will continue to report out on this as we move forward.
To learn more about the Strategic and Mission Plan for Catholic Schools and to watch Bishop Ricken’s initial announcement on January 25, 2018, please visit www.gbdioc.org/catholicschools.
Who we are: As friends and followers of Jesus, the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay is devoted to fostering households and communities of discipleship through the mission and ministry of the Catholic Church. We are missionary disciples striving to lead all people to the Kingdom of God. Established in 1868, the diocese is composed of 324,000 Catholics in 16 counties: Brown, Calumet, Door, Florence, Forest, Kewaunee, Langlade, Manitowoc, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto, Outagamie, Shawano, Waupaca, Waushara and Winnebago.