- General Questions
- School Operations
- Parish Investment in System/Parish Finances
- School Choice
- Fund Raising in Schools
- Participation by Other Nearby Parishes
- Future Operations/Need for Good Stewardship
- St. Catherine’s and the Racine Dominicans
- Impacts on School Employees
- Need for Parish Support to the System
We heard the new system is a growth model and enrollment is expected to grow. On what assumptions are these expectations based?
First and foremost, we believe parents seek a quality education with Catholic values. These two elements together differentiate our Catholic schools from other options. We also have confidence based on recent history
Second, recent trends support our assumed growth rate of enrollment of the elementary schools and St. Catherine’s. In 2012/13 total enrollment was approximately 1,400 students. For 2016/17 the number of students enrolled was 1,600. This is a compound growth rate of about 3% that is equivalent to the assumed future growth rate.
Finally, we believe families will continue to access School Choice at significant levels. As middle-income families have accessed Choice funding overall enrollment has increased in those elementary schools.
We heard you visited other Catholic school systems to learn about their experiences. Where did you visit and how long have they been operating as a system?
We visited leadership at the following school systems. The year the full system begin operating is also listed although some commenced collaboration much earlier.
- Kenosha St. Joseph Academy – 2010
- Fond du Lac St. Mary Springs Academy – 2008
- Oshkosh Lourdes Academy – 2012
- GRACE (Green Bay Area Catholic Education) Schools – 2008
- Francis Xavier Catholic School Systems Appleton – 2001
- Seton Catholic Schools – Milwaukee - 2016
What are the differences between the other systems benchmarked and the situation we are facing today in Racine?
There are a number of differences as each system is unique:
· Most of the other systems were organized in multiple phases. For example, the elementary schools in Appleton, Oshkosh and Fond du Lac initially formed elementary school systems in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Later the high schools became part of a K-12 system. We are forming the K-12 system including the high school in a single effort.
· The available funding from School Choice is higher in Racine than in the other communities as the upper limit income qualification can be 300% of the federal poverty level in Racine ($70K+) for a family of four while in the other communities the upper limit qualification is 180% of the federal poverty level.
· Two of the systems (Seton Catholic Schools and GRACE Schools) are only elementary school systems. Fond du Lac St. Mary Springs has centralized all facilities on a single campus. Xavier Catholic Schools in Appleton operates four campuses: two elementary schools, a middle school and high school.
How will implementation of the system impact the responsibilities of our priests?
We believe the system will allow our pastors/priests to concentrate on sacramental duties, evangelization and teaching in our schools whereas today they are spending time on administrative duties. We are hopeful this will allow them to focus on the responsibilities called for in Synod 2014.
Our priests will serve as the Board of Trustees for the system along with representatives of the Racine Dominicans and the Archdiocese.
We are concerned that ten parishes may be too many for the Racine community. Will the additional revenue request from the School system hasten the consolidation of parishes?
There are no plans for further consolidation of parishes. The practice of good stewardship calls for a regular evaluation of sustainability—across all Church activity.