Sacred Heart School takes part in strategic planning

By: 
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     Sacred Heart Catholic School in Monticello is one of 30 schools in the Archdiocese of Dubuque that is currently taking part in a four-year, onsite strategic planning initiative.

     The program is provided by Catholic School Management (CSM), a division of Christian Brothers.

     This initiative is designed to help schools “to position themselves for long-term viability and vitality through improving the effectiveness of school boards, enhancing school image and communications, raising money, managing enrollment, and marketing themselves more effectively.”

     The team members chosen to work throughout the program include: Principal Laura Herbers, Jeff Hoeger, Jim Zimmerman, Secretary JoEllen Schlarmann, Kelly Wilson, Kristofer Lyons, Monica Lyons, and Lucas Gobeli.

     “It's always a wise idea to have a plan put into place reflecting on current status, setting goals, and creating a map to get us where we are striving to be,” said Herbers. “Creating a strategic plan is something we knew needed to be done.”

     The strategic planning team members have been analyzing the school’s current data, using that information now and into the future to create goals for the school.

     Over the next four years, the Sacred Heart School community can expect to see:

     • Clear promotion of the mission, Catholic identity, and academic excellence for Sacred Heart School

     • Increased school board and committee operations

     • Creation and implementation of a strategic plan

     • Growth in fundraising capabilities

     • Enhancements to student recruitment, admissions, and student retention programs

     • Expanding marketing and communications efforts

     • Evidence of being a sustainable institution for years to come

     In the planning team’s school year 2019-20 report, it noted that Sacred Heart is comprised of 98 families, 136 students in 3-year-old preschool through sixth grade.

     The schools mission statement: “It is our mission to provide for preschool through sixth grade children of Sacred Heart School, Monticello, an exemplary Catholic school that is Christ centered; is a joyful, educational faith community in which students, faculty, staff, and leadership integrate religion, truth, and Catholic values with the rest of life; uses research based and innovative educational programs that meet the needs of each student; and has the support of Sacred Heart Parish as well as a partnership with parents and the community.”

     Sacred Heart students graduate from sixth grade into middle school. At the time graduation, students should be able to achieve several academic, social, spiritual, and service-led goals:

     • Perform at each student’s individual maximum potential

     • Demonstrate a strong work ethic through organizational skills, study, habits, and effective time management

     • Interact successfully with others

     • Show respect and appreciation for cultural, religious, and economic diversity

     • Accept responsibility for their actions

     • Act with compassion and kindness towards all God’s creatures

     • Use their gifts, talents, and blessings to be of service to others

     • Acknowledge religions and display an appropriate respect for their beliefs

     • Discover the need of service and experience the personal satisfaction of helping others

     Sacred Heart students in grades 3-6 all take part in the ISASP (Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress). They “provide a snapshot of a student’s performance on a specific test on a certain day.”

     The spring 2019 results show that students at Sacred Heart are performing quite well.

     They were at or above the state average in English Language Arts and Math. They were above the state average in Science (fifth grade assessment only).

     The report was released to parents and the church parish in last January. The team compiled the data with help from teachers and the Board of Education.

     “This report serves as a way for us to inform the community of what is going on at Scared Heart School,” said Herbers.

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