by Dr. Joseph D. Hollowell, 12 mos ago
Without a vision, the people perish. So we are told in the 29th chapter of the book of Proverbs. I have always taken this verse of scripture to heart and have tried to use the past 24 years to assure that such a vision is in place. I use every opportunity available to me to communicate the aspects of that vision to as many people as possible, in as many venues as possible and in as many ways as possible.
One of the best ways to communicate that vision is through a community wide dialogue that is facilitated by a process that we referred to as strategic planning. The discipline of strategic planning was brought to our Archdiocese by Archbishop Emeritus Daniel Buechlein, O.S.B. Archbishop Buechlein was deeply committed to this process and he instilled that commitment in all of us who worked under his charge. In the two decades that have followed his arrival to Indianapolis, Roncalli has born much fruit from the planning process he initiated.
Recently, our Board of Directors and the archdiocesan Office of Catholic Education approved our most recent strategic plan. The intent of this plan is to focus our collective energies on a set of priorities that were identified through a series of meetings, conversations and other opportunities for dialogue with parents, students, alumni, teachers, pastors and other leaders throughout the community. This plan is intended to serve as our template for action over the next three to five years.
My experience with using a written strategic plan to guide the school tells me that as the pace of change in our world accelerates, the validity of the original assumptions we made have to be tested more frequently against what is actually happening in the world. In other words, these plans no longer last as long as they once did. There is a constant need to refresh and evaluate the planned course of action.
With that as a prelude, I still feel that the goals that we have set truly indicate areas that will deserve our attention and focus over the next three to five years. Our Board of Directors and planning team were able to distill our conversations into six separate areas of school life that we collectively felt merited our attention. These areas were identified in the form of goal statements. These goal statements are as follows:
Goal 1: Provide greater financial accessibility for students and families who desire the Roncalli experience.
Goal 2: Recruit and retain talented faculty, staff and administrators who are committed to achieving Roncalli’s mission.
Goal 3: Honor each student’s career goals and ability levels as a comprehensive life prep Catholic high school.
Goal 4: Create an educational strategy to guide Roncalli’s use of technology.
Goal 5: Provide the necessary physical facilities to best meet the needs of students, faculty, staff and administration.
Goal 6: Secure the philanthropic resources required to fund these strategic initiatives.
In the short time that has passed since the approval of this plan by the archdiocese we have already taken aggressive steps in many of these areas.
The extension of the school voucher program is an opportunity to inform benefactors to direct their giving to tax credit scholarships, which has led to extraordinary success in the kick off of the 2013-14 Annual Fund. By any stretch of the imagination, this attempt to make Roncalli more affordable for more families has been wildly successful.
Through the diligent work of Chuck Weisenbach and Committee Chair Bill Fanelli, our Catholic Educator Advanced Program enters into a new phase. For the first time ever teachers are being paid based on their performance and professional mastery as opposed to their experience. This performance based system of compensation will be a wonderful blessing for our students as well as our teachers.
In the past year, we have invested over $500,000 in our technology infrastructure, networking capabilities, and classroom systems. A wireless network supporting over 1200 users simultaneously is now available.
Space does not allow for a detailed listing of all of the activity and energy that is being directed toward completion of this plan. Suffice it to say that our history suggests that we will continue to grow and improve in our abilities to serve our students and families. The strategic plan will serve as the framework around which that growth is expected.
May God bless you and your family in every good way!