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Bold and Faithful –

State of the School Address and Strategic Improvement Plan 2015-2025

STRONG AND GROWING!

In the seven years that I’ve been here at Corpus Christi, I’ve never seen anything like this!  Thank you so much for a wonderful evening!  You really show what a Catholic School is all about — how universal is our faith!  From the prayers, to the songs, to the dances, to the food, what a great expression of the talents poured out by the Holy Spirit on the Corpus Christi family!  The State of our School is obviously very STRONG and GROWING!

BOLD AND FAITHFUL!

I see our school as BOLD and FAITHFUL:  BOLD to keep growing our student population and FAITHFUL to Jesus Christ, His Church, and to those already part of the Corpus Christi family.  Efforts to silence our faith are well known across our country.  This makes the presence of our Catholic School more vital than ever.  My role is to recruit the talent, convene the talent, and facilitate the talent.  Thanks to the Students, Principal, Faculty, School Advisory Council, Development Team, Home-School Association, and you ALL — parents, benefactors, and friends, for doing the hard work!

IOWA ASSESSMENT SCORES

One example of your hard work is the outstanding scores of our students on the Iowa Assessments.  The assessment was taken at the beginning of March.  Our scores indicate that our students as a group are performing above grade level in ALL areas of the assessment!  The English Language Arts Scores are above the 70th percentile; our Math scores are at or above the 64th percentile; and the composite scores of the entire test are at or above the 70th percentile.  This means that our students are performing better than 70 percent of their peers across the nation!

As we track the growth of each class over the past several years, we are seeing strong and steady growth for ALL grades!  As the students advance from grade to grade, their grade level equivalent scores INCREASE to an even higher level above their actual grade level.  For example, when our current 8th graders were in 3rd grade, their scores were approximately ONE year above grade level, their scores as 8th graders are now THREE to FIVE years above grade level!

ALWAYS FORWARD!

From the outstanding evaluation by the Advanced-Ed Accreditation Team last year to all the input gathered from you this year, I want to match our dreams with dream-makers.  All of us have great dreams for our school.  We need to find the dream-makers to make them happen!  We simply cannot stay stagnant or go backwards but must keep growing and going forwards.  When Pope Francis visits the United States this year, he will canonize the first Hispanic Saint for the United States:  Father Junipero Serra.  Father Serra was a great missionary, and his motto was:  “Siempre Adelante!” which means “Always Forward!”

MISSIONARY DISCIPLES

Pope Francis is calling all of us to be “missionary disciples.”  A disciple is simply a student, a life-long student of Jesus Christ.  A missionary simply makes other disciples, other life-long students of Jesus Christ.  So let’s brag about what we’re doing!  Let’s be proud to be part of Corpus Christi, the very Body of Christ!  We are changing lives in Colorado Springs!  Our graduates are changing lives across the country and around the world!  No charter school or public school can compete with us in our Catholic faith!

STRATEGIC IMPROVEMENTS

Over the past year, I shared with you our Philosophy, Mission, Vision, and Core Values.  They were all composed thanks to you — your input, your reflection, your hopes and dreams for your children — and your children’s children.  Now, I’d like to share with you the strategic improvements we will make in our school over the next 10 years based on your input, your reflection, and your hopes and dreams.

Under the Core Value of FAITH:

“We will provide superior spiritual learning.”

1)            Catechesis of the Good Shepherd will be implemented in all grades
2)            Yearly retreats will be offered to all students
3)            Continuing formation of teachers to be missionary disciples, both spiritually and academically, will be introduced
4)            The presence of priests and consecrated religious working in our school will be increased

Under the Core Value of KNOWLEDGE:

“We will provide superior academic learning.”

1)            Our entire curriculum will be posted on-line
2)            Our art, music, and foreign language offerings will be enhanced by greater collaboration with the resources available in the Historic Old North End Neighborhood
3)            Pervasive wireless technology will be updated throughout the school along with the addition of new computers and tablets in every classroom and in the library.
4)            Ongoing education for our faculty in differentiated learning and English as a Second Language will be increased.

Under the Core Value of SERVICE:

“We will serve, not be served” (Matthew 20:28)

1)            A service project liaison between our school and parish will be established in order to coordinate all efforts for social gatherings, as well as community service projects.
2)            Our partnerships with Penrose-St. Francis Hospital, Springs Village Nursing Center, Catholic Charities, and the Marian House Soup Kitchen will be broadened and deepened.

Under the Core Value of LEADERSHIP:

“We will be Catholic leaders.”

1)            Ongoing research into best practices of Catholic Schools across the country will be expanded.
2)            Our teacher pay-scale will be enhanced in order to attract and retain the best teachers in the city
3)            Our student government involvement will be increased in order to implement all aspects of the strategic improvement plan

Under the Core Value of COMMUNITY:

“We will be a community that reaches out to the peripheries inviting all to come to know and love Jesus Christ as we do.”

1)            A comprehensive communication and marketing plan, both internally and externally, will be introduced in order to better share the accomplishments of our students and our work toward the success of this strategic improvement plan.
2)            Partnership with our parish in prayer and dialogue will be increased so that students and parishioners are better connected and aware of all that is happening.
3)            A database of all alumni will be created so that class reunions may be held to celebrate the living legacy of our school.

Lastly, our strategic improvement plan needs to address our BUILDING AND GROUNDS:

1)            New carpeting, painting, and air-conditioning throughout the school
2)            New exterior landscaping and re-sealing driveways and parking areas
3)            New Capital Reserve Fund to address unforeseen needs

CONCLUSION

I’m very excited about the State of our School in 2015.  As we approach our 100th Anniversary in 2021, being BOLD and FAITHFUL is the only approach we will take.  BOLD to keep growing our student population and FAITHFUL to Jesus Christ, His Church, and to those already part of the Corpus Christi family.

Thank you, again, for this wonderful evening and all you have already done for our students.  The State of our School is obviously very STRONG and GROWING.  May God bless you for your love and dedication to our Corpus Christi Catholic School!

 

Keep Close to Corpus Christi!

Rev. Mark Zacker