Dr. Tim's Blog

by Dr. Tim Uhl

2022-2023 School Year

November 8: summiting

 

This Thursday, we're gathering at Niagara University (one of only three Vincentian Catholic universities in the US) for our first-ever Diocesan Education Summit. We're beginning with Mass celebrated by Bishop Fisher and 30 con-celebrants and that's important. After all, we are a Catholic community and the Eucharist is the source and summit of all we do.

When we begin our sessions, I am sharing a lot of information. I thought I might share some interesting data here to preview the kinds of information that will be shared:

  • Our enrollment for Diocesan elementary schools is down 5% from last year, partly as a result of the closure of one school.
  • Our average salary for teachers fell. We retained only 70% of our teachers for a second year in a row and our average salary of 32k is only 40% of the public school average.
  • Our Kinder enrollments are off this year to the tune of -5 per school compared to the rolling 10-year average. Our 5-year enrollment trend is negative as well with the average school losing 31 students.

It's not all bad news, however. Simply the fact that close to 200 people will be attending is a sign of the importance of Catholic schools and the strong desire to get things turned around. Based on the four domains of the National Standards & Benchmarks, I offer four very simple suggestions for improvement:

  1. Connect the school to the parish more explicitly
  2. Give the Board a stronger role in the school
  3. Develop a stronger understanding of the use of the STAR assessment
  4. Offer more needs-based tuition assistance and move to a cost-based tuition model.

But those are only my suggestions. We'll see what bubbles up in the room where it will happen.

Two other tidbits. This is a link to an interactive Google map that shows the location of elementary & high schools in 1965 and today. It's a visual history of the impact of Catholic schools on the development of Buffalo.

Here's a link to the Top 15 Catholic Elementary Schools in terms of enrollment in 1965:

  1. St. Amelia (1553 students)
  2. St. John the Baptist--Kenmore (1422)
  3. Holy Family (1350)*
  4. St. Teresa's (1200)*
  5. St. Mary's of the Assumption (1120)
  6. St. Benedict (1108)
  7. Blessed Sacrament (1030)*
  8. Ss. Peter & Paul, Hamburg (1001)
  9. St. Francis of Assisi (989)*
  10. St. Aloysius Gonzaga (936)*
  11. Infant of Prague (910)*
  12. Queen of Heaven (900)
  13. Cathedral (896)
  14. St. Thomas Aquinas (895)*
  15. St. Josaphat's (860)*

*indicates a closed school

Without giving the individual enrollment, the seven schools above which are still open only average 259 students K8. The 15 above averaged 1,078 pupils in 1965. The world has changed!

As a matter of preparation, I recommend two articles. We won’t necessarily be discussing the articles in the presentations, but they will serve to spur your thoughts and give you some background information. The first article is from America magazine in 2019, “The Era of the Parochial School is Over” and presents some innovative new models for Catholic education. The second article is more recent and discusses education in general after the pandemic. Here is the link to that article. Again, this is not required, it is simply there to provoke your thinking.

Special thanks to FACTS for sponsoring lunch, Ink Labs for sponsoring the breakfast & coffee, and Renaissance for also providing major underwriting & swag.

november 1: Good News for catholic schools

october 25

october 18 health scorecards

October 10 Devotion & sportsmanship

october 4 strategic updates

september 27th: Cloud of witnesses

september 20th: learning platform

september 13th: diocesan education summit

September 6th: Welcoming the Virtues

August 30th: Bowling Together 

August 22nd: Strategic Planning

 

2021-2022 School Year