Dear Cougar Families,
Two months ago, we launched our strategic planning process with a community, school and staff survey that was created to gain valuable feedback from the whole Nativity Catholic School family. We also hosted three cougar coffee meetings to hear that feedback in person.
The goals of this research were to gather data on:
- the level of satisfaction of our community with Nativity Catholic School.
- the top priorities of our community.
- what areas we could target to increase overall satisfaction.
Today, we would like to announce that the research process has been a great success. Thank you to the whole Cougar community for your support, engagement and ideas! Over 500 surveys were completed in full and 60 people attended our Cougar Coffees. This level of involvement shows how committed we all are to Nativity Catholic School’s current and future success.
As we finish out the 2017 calendar year, I would like to share a few research highlights with you and invite you to attend our Home and School meeting January 10th, 2018. At the meeting, we will discuss in more detail the research and the strategic planning process for the 2018 – 2019 school year.
First, I want to share the results of our 3 research goals:
- Our average satisfaction score was an 80 out of 100 or 8 out of 10. This score shows the overall satisfaction of Nativity Catholic School with an opportunity for improvement. Our objective, just like we express to our students, is to move this “B” to an “A” with hard work and commitment.
- The top 3 priorities of our school community are:
a. Academic Excellence
b. Religious Education
c. Safe Environment
- The top requested wish for our school is smaller class sizes, followed by the creation of a high school.
While the high school request is a diocesan decision, we are so proud to know the commitment our community has to Catholic Education and have let the Superintendent of Schools know of your request.
As for smaller class sizes, I would like you to know that an effective student/teacher ratio is something the entire administrative team would like to see implemented as well. In fact, this want is exactly why we are embarking on this strategic planning process. There are many ideas and options to evaluate, as you can imagine, and this request remains our top priority. Our timeline is to complete and communicate a plan for implementing an effective teacher/student ratio by the end of the current school year. To show our commitment to this priority, effective immediately, we will be capping classes at 30. Most of our classes are currently at 30 or less, if your student is in one of the five classes with more than 30 students, we will attain the new standards through natural attrition.
We have already implemented some of the other great ideas that poured in during the research process and will continue to work on your ideas through the school year. To keep the conversation going and the ideas flowing, we have created a suggestion email address. Please send additional ideas and concerns to SuggestionBox@NativityCatholicSchool.org.
Here is a list of your ideas that have already been implemented:
- Suggestion Email Box
- Uniform Policy Change, leggings allowed
- Piloting of an academic program that will improve teacher/student ratios (W.I.N. time)
- Middle school is collaborating via a community calendar to list quizzes and tests to ensure that assessments and homework are better distributed.
- Better data collection and tracking of student progress to ensure more authentic placement in academic programs such as enrichment, resource etc.
- Communication is enhanced through a School Advisory Committee and Teacher Advisory Board 7
- Published calendar and homework time for extended day
- Other immediate family members will be allowed to assist families with volunteer hours
The following projects are currently underway, based on your suggestions: 1)
- Online Enrollment, look for phase 1 of the online enrollment process to launch early 2018
- School Hours Commitments, a full review of hours and rules for next school year is underway
- Indoor Dismissal Days, your School Advisory Committee members are currently polling parents
- Additional participation in Catholic Schools Week, look for new and fun activities during Grandparents and Parents Day
- Nativity Summer Camp and Summer VPK program, check the Eblast for exciting announcements for nativity students this summer
- A schoolwide positive behavior plan is the subject of a new focus group, expect more information and launch in spring
- Data collection results will be shared with parents after the 2nd round of MAP testing. This will help the parents to see how their child is progressing and will help the school to see how the entire school, grade levels, homerooms and individual children are progressing
- Incentives to help teachers with continuing education courses especially in the area of gifted education to better serve the needs of all students in the classroom 9) More teacher training in areas that will enhance and improve instruction
Thank you again for your wonderful feedback and ideas. My door is always open to hear from you. I look forward to building the future of Nativity Catholic School with each of you.
Merry Christmas to you and your families,