Meitler

Catholic Schools Week: A Look Back

Posted by Tom Heding in Blog Posts on
Catholic Schools Week:  A Look Back. By Tom Heding, President of Meitler Consulting Last week, we celebrated Catholic Schools Week throughout the nation.  Each Catholic school took time to share the special gifts of their ministry throughout their communities. There were various activities and Eucharistic liturgies throughout the week to proclaim the fact that “Catholic schools are schools you can believe in!” I can’t help but feel proud of the wonderful contributions our schools make to the Church and their local communities. I am also proud of the deep commitment of all who administrate, teach, and work in our schools and who truly put children fi

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The Hispanic Conundrum

Posted by Jean Bondy in Blog Posts, Enrollment, Market Research on
By Rick Pendergast, Senior Consultant CLICK HERE for pdf version of article Many Catholic schools are experiencing declining enrollment. What is surprising is that so many of them are ignoring the potential contained within the growing Hispanic population. There are numerous reasons why a school ignores the Hispanic community within its attendance area. They believe Hispanic parishioners can’t afford the tuition; they don’t speak English well; they need too much remedial assistance; they won’t fit in with the culture of the school, etc. While some of these excuses are valid, that is

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Integrating Strategic Planning and The New Catholic Standards and Benchmarks

Posted by Tom Heding in Blog Posts, Strategic Planning on
  A great deal of conversation and energy is spent these days on educational standards and, in particular, the Common Core State Standards Initiative. In the Catholic school world, the “National Standards and Benchmarks for Effective Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools” are becoming the yardstick of a common vision and foundation for quality Catholic education. While not a student-centered, grade specific set of achievement standards, these national standards, instead, are designed to describe a quality Catholic school from its Catholic identity to operational vitality. They answer the question, “What makes a good Catholic school?”

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What makes a good school?

Posted by Rick Pendergast in Blog Posts, Enrollment, Leadership, Strategic Planning on
I have long been a fan of Alan Borsuk, the Education reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and a senior fellow in law and public policy at Marquette University Law School.  His articles are balanced, thorough and always thought-provoking.  His most recent article dated August 10, 2013, You need to sense a school’s “muscle, music”, articulates what I and many of my educational colleagues have long promoted: determining a school’s quality using only quantitative measures is flawed and ignores the essence of education.  You can read the article here:  http

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Strategic Planning and Accreditation

Posted by Rick Pendergast in Blog Posts, Strategic Planning on
student Accreditation is an essential element in assessing quality education and helps to bring the best out of schools and the faculty.  However, it is a lot of work!  Administrators and teachers need to add tasks to their already full-time loads to gather data, attend meetings, analyze data, establish goals and create strategies to accomplish those goals.  No wonder schools start the accreditation process a year or two in advance. If you are considering creating a strategic plan, and if you need to prepare an accreditation report in the next thre

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Projecting Enrollment: Know the Trends

Posted by Tom Heding in Blog Posts, Enrollment on
Student enrollment is on everyone’s mind today, whether it is attracting more or sustaining what we have.  And in most schools where we develop an enrollment management plan or a comprehensive strategic plan, I find the emphasis is on marketing and recruitment resources, techniques, and timelines.  While essential in building enrollment, there is another aspect that is equally important and often overlooked – knowing child-age population trends.  Schools need to know who’s in the child pool, how many there are, and

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Catholic Higher Education Collaborative Conference

Posted by Tom Heding in Blog Posts, Governance on
WINGSWe at Meitler had the opportunity recently to participate in the Catholic Higher Education Collaborative’s (CHEC) conference focusing on how Catholic institutions of higher learning can “support dynamic and effective school organization and governance structures in PreK-12 schools.”  Hosted by the Greater Milwaukee Catholic Education Consortium (GMCEC) at Marquette University, various innovative structures were presented from around the country. Much is being said about the future viability of Catholic schools owned and operated in the

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When is a High School Too Small?

Posted by Rick Pendergast in Blog Posts, Strategic Planning on
school lockersIn my work with high schools throughout the United States, I am sometimes asked about the minimum size for a high school.  I frequently hear that at least 400 students are necessary for a high school to be viable.  While that number, or any number, seems to be a simple way to assess a school's viability, I believe it is actually too simplistic. Determining high school viability is much more complicated than doing so for an elementary school.  The primary indicator of viability is financial:  Can the high school bala

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