Hi St. Laurence Families,
You may or may not have seen the article in today’s Daily Herald regarding potential school consolidation in the Diocese of Rockford, but I wanted to address this because I started this position being transparent with you and I have no intention of changing that now. I also know that rumors about our school and its future have plagued this community in the past and I don’t want false information out there.
First and foremost, the article was specifically about the meeting that was held in Aurora recently regarding their schools. A similar article was in the Observer. It does mention that meetings will take place in Rockford and Elgin and as soon as the specifics on that meeting are announced, I would like to invite all of you to attend. In a conversation that I had this morning with Mike Kagan, Superintendent of Schools in the Diocese, he stated that this meeting will include a presentation of the data that has been collected and an opportunity for those in attendance to discuss it. As I have shared with you, the data shows that enrollment is down Diocesan-wide over the past 5 years. It is no secret that our school has felt a drastic decline in that time-frame which I am guessing is the information that the Herald used in the caption that they attached to the picture of our school in that article. Mr. Kagan was just as surprised as we all are that the Herald chose to use a picture of our school in an article about Aurora.
I would like for you to know that not only is the information incorrect in that caption…our enrollment is increasing, but nothing has changed. No decisions have been made by the Diocese. They simply hired a consulting firm to look at the schools and their viability and the numbers are back. They are now including the families in the process and welcome your feedback. Also, nothing has changed here at St. Laurence…We still have work to do in getting our numbers up and I still need your help with that.
Another number that I have shared with you from that study is the percentage of the school-age market in this area that we are tapping. It is approximately 4% that we share with the other 3 Elgin Catholic schools. Instead of being discouraged by the decreasing enrollment in the Diocese, I share with you the desire to focus on creating solutions that are consistent with tapping the 96% in an effort to share the gift of St. Laurence with more students. Our efforts thus far have been working.
As I mentioned, as soon as I know the details of the meeting in Elgin, I will share those with you, but in the meantime please do not let press like the article in the Herald scare you. Nothing has changed from the Diocesan perspective. We need to continue doing what we are doing and enjoying the excitement that surrounds our school.