E. Material Stewardship
Rosary Academy’s advancement, business, and facilities departments strive to advance the mission of the school through effective efforts made in enrollment, fundraising, marketing and communications, campus beautification, infrastructure enhancements, and business operations.
In regards to enrollment, the Rosary Academy student body significantly decreased from a total population of 452 in 2015-2016 to 368 in 2017-2018. However, we saw ninth grade enrollment increase from 82 in fall 2015 to 93 in fall 2017, and we attributed this increase to improved relationships with local elementary and junior high schools. According to parents and students surveyed, 60% agreed that Rosary Academy effectively collaborates with partner schools through shadow days, high school information nights, and school visits. We continue to boost enrollment efforts by evaluating admissions events through participant surveys, and we intend to build upon this success with even more outreach.
Rosary Academy’s current fundraising efforts include three fundraising events, annual fund solicitations, grant proposals, and major gift solicitations. Over the last ten years, the advancement department has undergone administrative changes, which have negatively impacted our consistency in building relationships, finding new potential donors, developing a planned giving program, and properly acknowledging current and past donors. According to the parent survey, over 50% suggest Rosary Academy has not found new donors, communicated updates on the school’s finances, and maintained strong relationships with existing donors. We are absolutely committed to rectifying this situation. In order to do so, we recently (Fall 2017) launched the first school magazine, The Regium, which highlighted the school’s finances and acknowledged donors from 2014-2017. We also revamped the annual fund and participated in the nationwide Giving Tuesday for the first time in November 2017.
In 2015, Rosary High School was rebranded as Rosary Academy and a new marketing campaign ensued. Part of this campaign included creating new marketing materials to illustrate the school’s 7 benefits. Survey results indicate over 53% of all stakeholders agree the school’s promotional items aligned with the school’s mission and philosophy. However, Rosary Academy needs to improve communication efforts, such as emails and school updates to faculty, staff, students, and current parents. Approximately 37% of parents disagree that the school communicates effectively and timely. To amend this, we recently developed a plan to communicate with stakeholders. Current leadership, in conjunction with stakeholders including the consultative board, also has plans to develop a clear strategic plan to address communication and enrollment goals.
In regards to campus beautification and infrastructure enhancements, parents, faculty, and staff agree the grounds are well maintained and attractive. For instance, over 88% of parents agree the campus is attractive. However, the student surveys indicated a discrepancy. For example, over 40% of students feel changes can be made to improve the lunch table areas and overall campus maintenance. Along with the school’s leadership, the advancement and facilities departments have engaged in preliminary discussions about beautifying the campus through updates and small remodels.
The final area in Material Stewardship includes business operations. Approximately 56% of faculty and staff suggest they do not have adequate involvement in establishing budgets for their area of responsibility. In addition, 42% do not believe administration is involved in establishing budgets appropriately and strategically. The business office has begun the process of improving these perceptions through establishing specific budgets and communicating more clearly with department chairs about available resources for professional development and classroom resources.