June 22, 2018
Dear Members of the Family of the Sacred Heart,
Last year, the Board of Trustees approved a new strategic plan for the Academy that would guide our collective efforts toward goals to be attained by the academic year 2020-2021. Five priorities were identified, and Sr. Glavin shared those with the community. To recap, they are:
- Embark on a curriculum update that better positions the school as a leader in education and faith formation.
- To launch a new marketing and enrollment strategy that leverages our unique positioning, with a desired outcome of attracting students from areas east and west of Saint Charles.
- Build a stronger earned revenue stream, consistent with our mission, that adds significantly to our budget.
- Invest in our faculty and staff so as to attract, maintain and develop top-tier team members.
- Engage stakeholders (including Alums) to sustain a vibrant school community and leverage our collective talents.
This year, with the efforts of the faculty, staff and leadership team we made great progress toward these goals. To offer a few highlights:
- French was reintroduced into the Lower School curriculum and was very well received by our families. In the coming year, we are looking at the possibility of including French in the Middle School course offerings as eligible students reach those grades.
- The study of science at the Academy was given a great boost with the addition of a lab and a teacher dedicated solely to science education. We are happy to expand this unique learning environment to Primary students next school year.
- We launched our Little Acorns program for three-year-olds. This is a popular option among local families, and next year we will be offering three-day, five-day, half-day, and full-day options with stay and play.
- Middle School students engaged in assemblies that focused on issues facing them at their developmental stage. Guest speakers for parents helped support the partnership between home and school as these lessons were offered.
- There was a complete redesign of the Academy website that resulted in a much more mobile-friendly digital portal to the school.
- Marketing of the school was supported by print advertisements, parish bulletins, billboards, radio spots, and social media. That said, word-of-mouth referrals remain the best form of marketing.
- In appreciation for word-of-mouth referrals, we instituted a referral program with a tuition credit. This credit was initially for parents and has now been expanded to our faculty and staff. As we review our referral program, be on the lookout for new alumni opportunities.
- Our enrollment process was modified to what is called “continuous enrollment.” With this approach, we adopted a mindset of “every Academy student is an Academy graduate.”
- This year, we hosted a cultural exchange program with students from China joining our Fifth and Seventh classes. This was a great opportunity for our students, our guests, and the entire school to build a desired exchange (and possibly boarding) program.
- Revenue was added to the school from the cultural exchange program as well as the new practice of renting our gymnasium during non-school hours.
- The summer programs offered at the Academy were brought under a single registration process through the Business Office. Plans are underway for the summer of 2019 to offer summer camps in support of our families as well as those in the larger community.
- This year, we implemented a 1:1 laptop program for every student, with Seventh and Eighth classes having the privilege of taking their laptop home.
As we look to the upcoming school year, we are excited about the creation of a new entrance to the school. With the generous support of our community and especially the alumni, we will build a new door, office suite, nurse’s office and admissions office. There will also be a terrace to be used for gatherings, big and small. This week, we received the approval of plans from the City of Saint Charles Landmarks Board. Now on to permitting!
Summer work is well underway in Regis Hall as we prepare it to be the new home of the Seventh and Eighth classes. Our friends and family from the Network of Sacred Heart Schools are on campus this week for the annual Roots that Give Us Wings Conference. Samantha Weiss and John Laracuente are representing our faculty at this conference, which gathers faculty and staff from across the 24 Network Schools to focus on our shared history and the mission of Sacred Heart Education.
I hope everyone is enjoying the break so far, and I wish you a happy and safe Fourth of July holiday.
Dr. Susan Dempf, Head of School