Click here to view "Archdiocese of New Orleans Planning Study for Catholic Schools Final Report" Presented June 2012 by John J. Convey, Ph.D., and Leonard DeFiore, Ed.D. with the Center for the Advancement of Catholic Education at The Catholic University of America.
Catholic schools to implement uniform grade level struture by 2015-16 school year
January 15, 2014
"I want to offer my profound thanks and gratitude to the hundreds of people who have worked throughout this process and for the strong levels of cooperation we have received. All of our schools will be making some sacrifices as part of this plan for the good of Catholic education in New Orleans."
- Archbishop Gregory Aymond
Following several months of deliberation, Archbishop Gregory Aymond and Catholic Schools Superintendent Dr. Jan Lancaster have announced that the Catholic schools of the Archdiocese of New Orleans will move forward with the uniform grade-level structure recommended by the 2013 Strategic Plan. This announcement means that by the 2015-16 school year, all Catholic elementary schools will be Pre-K through 7th grade and all Catholic high schools will be 8th grade through 12th grade.
"I want to offer my profound thanks and gratitude to the hundreds of people who have worked throughout this process and for the strong levels of cooperation we have received," said Archbishop Aymond. "All of our schools will be making some sacrifices as part of this plan for the good of Catholic education in New Orleans."
"Throughout this process, we have worked to ensure that the student experience would be uniform across the archdiocese," said Dr. Lancaster. "Our ultimate goal is to foster in all of our schools a safe and Catholic-centric environment in which all of our students have the opportunity to grow spiritually, academically and socially by providing the best experience and resources possible."
Schools that applied for exemptions to the uniform structure were informed last week that the only exemptions to be granted as part of the plan were for elementary schools not able to include Pre-K levels on campus. Dr. Lancaster and the staff of the Office of Catholic Schools are now working with school leadership on implementation plans, which are expected to be finalized by April 30. While all schools will be scheduled to be in compliance with the uniform structure by the start of the 2015-16 school year, those schools having to add or remove more than one grade level will have the option to take a year for each affected grade level.
"If a school chooses not to comply with the archdiocesan grade level structure, it will indicate their choice to no longer be part of our family of Catholic schools," said Archbishop Aymond. "While this would be regrettable and they would be missed in our family, we would respect their desire for autonomy."
Strategic Plan for Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of New Orleans
May 6, 2013
Dear Catholic School Family,
First of all, thank you for your commitment to the ministry of Catholic education.
As you are aware, under the direction of Archbishop Gregory Aymond, we have embarked upon a strategic planning process for our family of Catholic schools. The recommendations of that plan, which focuses on Catholic identity, academics and viability of our schools, were released in September of last year for school and community input.
On Monday, May 6, the archbishop, the associate superintendents and I unveiled the implementation planof the study. While there is strong consensus in the community in regard to Catholic identity and academics, the issue of grade-level structure has been more challenging.
Over the last two years, there have been many opportunities for school leaders, families and other members of the community to discuss this challenge. Following much prayer and review of data, the archdiocese, under the direction of the Office of Catholic Schools, has decided to implement the recommendation from Catholic University and the planning committee to establish a consistent grade-level structure for all schools in the Archdiocese of New Orleans. Our elementary schools will consist of pre-kindergarten through seventh grades, and our high schools will consist of eighth through twelfth grades with the opportunity for schools to apply for an exception on a limited basis. While these changes may be difficult, studies and data support this plan for the long term viability of Catholic education in our region.
I prayerfully request that you support this plan for the greater good of Catholic education in our archdiocese. Also, please watch Our Schools, Our Future each Tuesday at 8:00 PM on WLAE where Mrs. Sarah McDonald, Director of Communications for the Archdiocese of New Orleans, and I will discuss the plan at greater length. This weekend there will be an article about the implementation plan in the Clarion Herald. Once again, we appreciate the service of the many people dedicated to the Catholic formation of our young people throughout the years.
In gratitude for your commitment to Catholic education, I am
Yours in Christ,
Dr. Jan Daniel Lancaster