The Catholic Schools Effectiveness Survey was launched during Catholic Schools Week 2018. It was directed toward staff, parents, students and community members related to St. Isaac Jogues Catholic School. Each party was asked to consider St. Isaac's effectiveness in the areas of Mission and Vision, Academic Excellence, Leadership and Governance, and Operational Vitality.
We had an amazing response, with all staff and virtually all students in grades 5-8 participating in the survey. In addition, we heard from approximately 140 current parents, 5 parents of alumni and about 15 parishioners. We are so grateful to the many community members who took this survey seriously and provided us with feedback. It will play a key role in helping us build our plan for the future.
In general, our community recognized that Mission & Catholic Identity and Academic Excellence are the most important standards for a Catholic school. Many agreed that St. Isaac's has a mission with a clear Catholic identity, and provides several quality programs that align with this vision. An area where we can grow is in providing opportunities for adults to engage in faith formation and service activities. In the area of academics, we recognize a need for increased professional development for the staff in regards to technology and differentiation in the classroom to meet the needs of diverse groups of learners. This has been an ongoing conversation with the staff and will play a role in our Strategic Plan as well.
In the area of Leadership and Governance and Operational Vitality, our community is looking for a positive, safe learning environment with quality staff. There are concerns regarding transparency and collaboration, which have also been focal topics at the Strategic Planning meetings. There is general agreement that transparency will play a crucial role in this planning process.
For more details regarding the summary of the survey, as well as the details of the complete survey, please see the attachment below.
A SWOT Analysis is intended to serve as a basic 'situational audit.' The team members discussed the current Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats that impact or could impact St. Isaac Jogues. Many of the strengths and weaknesses were gleaned from the survey results. The opportunities and threats were comprised of external factors that could support or compromise the future success of St. Isaac's. This data, too, will contribute to the final Strategic Plan.
Standards and Benchmarks Study
As is stated on their website, catholicschoolstandards.org1, "The National Standards and Benchmarks for Effective Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools is intended to describe how the most mission-driven, program effective, well managed, and responsibly governed Catholic schools operate. They are offered as school effectiveness standards rather than curriculum content standards, although they support curriculum development consistent with national standards and the Common Core State Standards. They provide benchmarks to determine how well a school is fulfilling its obligation to those who benefit from its services (e.g. students, parents/guardians and families, faculty and staff), to donors and contributors, to the Church, and to civil society."
These standards set the ideal for our Catholic schools and serve as our accrediting benchmarks. The SPT conducted an in depth study of the benchmarks to assess additional means of growth in the areas of Mission and Catholic Identity, Academic Excellence, Leadership and Governance, and Operational Vitality. This research gave further support to our findings from the survey and the SWOT analysis.