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 plan of 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