Greetings St. Francis School Parents and Guardians,
I would like to share a personal reflection before getting back to the discussion I began a few weeks ago about our SFA Facilities Master Plan and fundraising campaign. I was apprehensive about attending the ICSC Conference that I wrote about last week. As expected, a lot of great information was shared by knowledgeable and experienced speakers about Catholic education, parish advancement and school strategic planning. With limited experience working on the development side of education, I feared being overwhelmed. I was, but I was also inspired. In addition to obtaining
helpful information, my most important takeaway from the conference was meeting people who instilled confidence to overcome challenges, face fears and push forward.
And so, it has highlighted for me that our founders and benefactors, along with dedicated educators, have already laid the foundation for our success. If we are to continue to offer an exceptional Catholic school experience and prepare our students for high school, college, and 21st century careers, we at St. Francis School need to evolve and grow to meet the needs of an ever changing world.
In the spring of 2017, we examined our challenges and asked our school community what we need to prepare our students to be academically and personally prepared, as well as spiritually grounded in Gospel values. The feedback received from St. Francis School parents, faculty and staff helped prioritize our goals and lead to the creation of an ambitious plan that will transform our school to meet the needs of current and future students. The architects developed a phased preliminary Facilities Master Plan that includes the following elements:
: Add two new kindergarten classrooms to expand the preschool/pre-K program from three to five classrooms and renovate the existing preschool/pre-K classrooms and playground area. By doing so, we can meet the demand of those wanting a Catholic education for their families. Currently, we are turning away 35+ students per year which also affects long-term sustainability.
: Build a multipurpose building/gymnasium that includes performance and rehearsal space for the performing arts, practice and competition space for athletics and physical education, a new covered eating area, and flexible space for large events, classes, and faculty meeting room. With a facility as such, we can be competitive with the other public and private schools in the area. We are one of the few Diocesan schools without a building for sports, fine arts, and extra-curricular activities.
Phase 3: Connect the Fr. Seamus Glynn Center and administrative building to provide additional and re-purposed meeting space, offices, and flexible areas for extended care. In addition, this phase will address current and future programming needs such as K - 5 science lab, counselor, and dedicated space for tutoring, parent meetings, and adoration.
Given the significance of these goals and the importance of the school's future, the Planning Committee retained a professional fundraising company in April 2017 to conduct a feasibility and planning study to test the readiness and capacity of St. Francis of Assisi School to conduct a capital campaign in order to fund the facility needs identified in the Facilities Master Plan.
I will discuss the results of the feasibility study.
Please contact me if you have any questions or if you would like to learn more about the project,