Lives Are More Important Than Numbers!

I like numbers because they aren’t subjective. It’s amazing how many times we use anecdotal evidence or isolated incidences to make decisions that really don’t reflect what the numbers may be teaching us. Sometimes the answer to the question regarding budgets, enrollment or academic performance has little to do with anecdotal or isolated incidences.  There are times when the numbers simply reflect what’s going on with the numbers in the world around us. Enrollment may have more to do with smaller families and changing local demographics. Budgets could simply reflect an increase in basic costs.  But the answers to the most important questions are much more difficult to measure. Our numbers are good this year. Our enrollment has stabilized, and most families had minimal enrollment increases.

There are more important things than numbers. The real question is, “are we doing everything in our power to deliver an outstanding Catholic product that maximizes our student’s potential with their minds, hearts and spirit?” Do our students, faculty, staff, teams, clubs and organizations represent these principles?  We have our fair share of humanity in the Catholic School System. I’ve certainly made my fair share of mistakes, but numbers don’t tell the entire story. Behind the myriad of spread sheets and data points, are people working very hard, together, to bring our children an outstanding education. People are going the extra mile and every effort is being made to invest our time and energy into the most important priorities. I do believe that’s true in every building. Most of our parents are doing the same thing. They’re making significant sacrifices because they want the very best for their child’s future.  And we are doing our best to deliver. The outcomes we try to produce are hard to measure. But we know that people with a strong faith are the ones who have the best quality of life and happiness.

As we move forward on several capital and academic initiatives, I thought it might be good to look back over the last 12 months of the school year to review some of the organizational achievements. As I looked through the list, I could see the sheer volume of time and energy spent by the faculty, administrative assistants, principals, volunteer boards and committees, parents and all of the people who comprise the Catholic school community. The list below doesn’t begin to describe all of the organizational efforts or how the accomplishments impacted the numbers, but it does reflect a community that’s working together on a common mission to improve on what we do each and every year.

 

Valiant Efforts and Hard Work Produced Many Great Results

  • Replaced 5 positions in central office.  New employees were required to implement new bookkeeping system and learn non-integrated software packages (INOW, FACTS, Parish Soft and PowerSchool for administration, Results Plus for Advancement, PayCor for payroll)
  • In the summer of 2018 caught up registration process three months behind the normal schedule
  • Analyzed billing and moved back billing to family level instead of child level alleviating timely data entry
  • Implemented better controls on tuition assistance and tuition billing
  • Higher collection rates on past due billing
  • Implemented tighter internal financial controls in every building
  • Consolidated financial accounts and moved all check writing to central office
  • Consolidated accounts and created investment portfolio and investment guidelines for sitting cash flow
  • Established first budget in two years (18-19)
  • Standardized Accounting practices and moved software and practices to GAAP from cash basis.
  • Created better customer service responses to parents and staff requiring services
  • Gains in overall fundraising efforts
  • Increased advancement visits by 150%
  • Significantly increased corporate visitation schedule
  • Established a plan for implementing an alumni association
  • Consolidated all fundraising activities
  • Increased diversity population
  • Increased participation by central office staff at school Masses and events
  • Initiated significant admission efforts. Over 200 packets delivered to local preschools, daycares and kindergarten classes
  • Created a single point of contact for ALL admissions.
  • Significantly simplified the on-line registration process
  • 95% of returning students registered three months in advance of previous year
  • Increased level of communication between constituencies
  • Updated the phone app and website
  • Developed a marketing video
  • Streamlined social media and website calendars with all campuses and implemented our first Facebook social media campaign
  • Eliminated mandatory Scrip and installed credit card payment system for Scrip and Registration
  • Made aesthetic improvements in every building, including central office
  • Developed Fact Sheets and marketing materials PER SITE
  • Upgraded the SAN server (high profile server system that runs 14 servers for OCS.  It controls many IT activities such as computer programs, internet access, server access, antivirus, security cameras, backups, fire alarms, phones, etc.)
  • Increased the number of security cameras in two schools, installed security doors at Central office and OCMS, and mounted projectors in all K-3 school classrooms
  • Expanded Dual Credit Program at the high school
  • Began a system wide math initiative to increase test scores
  • Capital Construction Prep for OCHS began
  • New onboarding process implemented for 30 new employees (March –July)
  • Revised professional contracts for ALL 250 employees
  • Made significant efficiencies in reconciled bank accounts, 2018-19 tuition statements, and insurance in payrolls
  • Streamlined safe environment certifications to central office and archived 300+ users that no longer are volunteers or employees of OCS
  • Currently added Paycor module to convert paper filing to digital and allow goal tracking.
  • Created stronger and more transparent communication with Pastor’s, parents and boards.
  • Two-day June retreat at St. Meinrad with OCS Principals and Religion Teachers.