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Month: August 2018

Troubling News

Posted on August 14, 2018 in Uncategorized

Everyone knows that parochial school enrollment is declining. Does closing a school that is in decline make sense?

There is a highly influential group that believes that closing declining schools makes sense. Their justification is that the struggling school is a financial drain on everyone involved. Closing the Christian school will prevent further losses.

The logic is sound but is it reasonable?

In many cases, it is based on the point of view expressed by this quote from a New Jersey newspaper article

No easy answers to falling Catholic school numbers(

“The reasons for the decline, both nationally and locally, are numerous. Families are smaller, tuition is higher and public, charter, and magnet schools are more popular than ever.”

That point of view blames someone else for the problem. In your experience, is that reasonable? How often are you allowed to blame others for your troubles?

My grandfather was a blacksmith in the early 1900s. What if my grandfather had one day said to the family, “There is a decline in the use of horses, the cost of maintaining a horse is going up, people are turning to cars and trucks for transportation. I can’t make as much money or work as many hours as I use to. We have to put one of the children up for adoption.”

The number of people who would have supported his approach to family finances are few and far between. Most of us would have told him to get a second job, change careers, or improve the quality of his service so that he was the blacksmith of choice for the area. In other words, do something to increase his value to society so that he could make the money his family needed.

GM spent years with declining sales while other car companies had increasing sales (Toyota for example). Today, GM has increasing sales. They have managed to increase their sales during hard economic times when they were unable to increase sales during the best of times. With increasing sales, GM is increasing its sustainability. The secret to GM’s success is that today GM makes cars people want to buy.

A common adage in the teaching profession is, “If the student fails to learn the way you teach, teach the way the student learns.” Should the adage for the school administration and board be, “If the families fail to value what the school offers, offer what the families value”?

The common message in the three preceding examples is that the business model must change.

Hopefully, the preceding makes the case that closing a school is unreasonable and unnecessary. If that is true, what is the right thing to do when enrollment declines? The simple answer is change the business model, but what are the changes?

If we can believe what we read in the press, very few people are happy with public schools. Apparently, they send their children to public schools because it is the best value for the money, even though they are disappointed with the value.

That implies with careful analysis one can determine what value people are looking for but failing to find. If so, it should be easy to change the programming and attract more students. Of course, because there is tuition, it will be necessary to ensure the value of the changes justifies the tuition.

Making program changes sounds simple. In most cases, it means changing the business model. The programming changes will affect fundraising, staffing, policies, procedures, strategies, and operations. It may also involve a review of the mission statement and board changes. The objectivity, complexity, and speed with which changes must occur can be demanding. Often, this is the time to engage an outside expert like Mission Enablers.

Next Step:

  • Discuss with the board the need to think objectively about the reasons the school is struggling
  • Determine what programming changes will be necessary
  • Determine the impact the changes will have on internal systems (programming, staffing, administrative processes, fundraising, etc.)
  • Determine if outside expertise will reduce risk, costs, and effort
  • Create a plan and announce the changes before the 2011 enrollment push begins

There is nothing magical about the changes GM made. The changes could have been made anytime in the last 30 years. However, GM postponed making the changes for one reason or another. As a condition of the bailout, the leadership changed and with the change in leadership came the change in the business model. It is unfortunate that it was necessary to have a change in leadership in order to have a change in the business model.

The Federal Government was willing to bailout GM because of the value the change in the business model would have for the U.S. economy. Your funders are equally willing to fund a change in your business model because of the value it will have for the mission.

Are you going to be the leader who is known for significantly increasing the sustainability, enrollment, and viability of your school’s mission?

Excelling Arizona Schools Named for 2004-2005 School Year

Posted on August 8, 2018 in Uncategorized

As with many school systems across the United States, Arizona Schools have several measurement and accountability programs in place to improve student scholastic achievement. One accountability program for the Arizona schools is the AZ LEARNS achievement program. AZ LEARNS holds all Arizona schools accountable for the performance of their students and teachers, measuring performance over several years versus a snapshot one-year measurement. The AZ LEARNS evaluation is based upon four established measurements already required by the Arizona schools. They are:

o AIMS Scores — Measures reading, language arts and mathematics for elementary schools; and reading, writing and mathematics for high schools.

o MAP — Measure of Academic Progress for schools, where students scores for AIMS and SATs are compared to the state average.

o Graduation/Dropout Rates — Used for the high schools.

o AYP — Adequate Yearly Progress measures student proficiency in the state’s academic standards of reading and mathematics over time.

The AZ LEARNS program for the Arizona schools categorizes schools on a graded scale as either:

o Failing to meet academic standards,

o Underperforming,

o Performing,

o Highly Performing, or

o Excelling.

The Arizona schools for the 2004-2005 school year that were named Excelling are (listed by district/charter and school):

Arizona schools’ Academy of Tucson, Inc. Academy of Tucson Middle School

Arizona schools’ Alhambra Elementary District Alhambra Traditional School

Arizona schools’ Allen-Cochran Enterprises, Inc. Center for Educational Excellence

Arizona schools’ Amphitheater Unified District Canyon Del Oro High School

Richard B. Wilson Jr. School

Winifred Harelson Elementary School

Arizona schools’ Arizona School for the Arts Arizona School for the Arts — both

elementary & high school

Arizona schools’ BASIS School, Inc. BASIS Tucson — both elementary &

high school

Arizona schools’ Basis School, Inc. — Scottsdale Basis Scottsdale

Arizona schools’ Benchmark School, Inc. Benchmark School

Arizona schools’ Benjamin Franklin Charter School Benjamin Franklin Charter School in

both Gilbert and Mesa

Arizona schools’ Bright Beginnings School, Inc. Bright Beginnings School #1

Arizona schools’ CASY Country Day School CASY Country Day School #1

Arizona schools’ Catalina Foothills Unified District Canyon View Elementary School

Catalina Foothills High School

Esperero Canyon Middle School

Manzanita School

Orange Grove Middle School

Sunrise Drive Elementary School

Ventana Vista Elementary School

Arizona schools’ Cave Creek Unified District Cactus Shadows High School/PSH

Desert Arroyo Middle School

Desert Sun Elementary School

Arizona schools’ Challenge School, Inc. Challenge Charter School

Arizona schools’ Chandler Unified District Anna Marie Jacobson Elementary


Basha Elementary

Basha High School

Chandler High School

Chandler Traditional Academy —

Liberty Campus

Hamilton High School

Jane D. Hull Elementary

John M. Andersen Elementary School

Robert and Danell Tarwater


Sanborn Elementary School

Santan K-8

Shumway Elementary School

Arizona schools’ Crane Elementary District Ronald Reagan Fundamental School

Arizona schools’ D.W. Higgins Institute D.W. Higgins Institute

Arizona schools’ Daisy Education Corporation Sonoran Science Academy — both elementary & high school

Arizona schools’ Deer Valley Unified District Arrowhead Elementary School

Cooper Creek Elementary

Desert Sage Elementary School

Greenbrier Elementary School

Hillcrest Middle School

Legend Springs Elementary

Mountain Ridge High School

Sierra Verde Elementary

Arizona schools’ East Valley Academy East Valley Academy

Arizona schools’ Edu-Prize, Inc. Edu-Prize

Arizona schools’ Flagstaff Junior Academy Flagstaff Junior Academy

Arizona schools’ Flagstaff Unified District Charles W. Sechrist Elementary School

Flagstaff Middle School

Manuel DeMiguel Elementary School

Thomas M. Knoles Elementary School

Arizona schools’ Foothills Academy Foothills Academy — both elementary & high school

Arizona schools’ Fort Huachuca Accommodation District Colonel Smith Middle School

Arizona schools’ Fountain Hills Unified District McDowell Mountain Elementary School

Arizona schools’ Franklin Phonetic Primary School, Inc. Franklin Phonetic Primary School

Arizona schools’ Gilbert Unified District Ashland Elementary

Carol Rae Ranch Elementary

Desert Ridge High

Finley Farms Elementary

Gilbert High School

GPS Traditional Academy

Greenfield Junior High School

Highland High School

Highland Junior High School

Islands Elementary School

Patterson Elementary School

Playa del Rey Elementary School

Sonoma Ranch Elementary School

Spectrum Elementary

Technology and Leadership Academy

Towne Meadows Elementary School

Val Vista Lakes Elementary School

Arizona schools’ Glendale Union High School District Sunnyslope High School

Arizona schools’ Heritage Academy, Inc. Heritage Academy — both elementary

& high school

Arizona schools’ Hermosa Montessori Center Hermosa Montessori Charter

Arizona schools’ Horizon Community Learning Center, Inc. Horizon Community Learning Center

Arizona schools’ Humanities and Sciences Academy of the US, Inc. Humanities and Sciences High School

Arizona schools’ Ideabanc, Inc. AmeriSchools College Preparatory

Academy — Tucson

Arizona schools’ James Madison Preparatory School James Madison Preparatory School —

both elementary & high school

Arizona schools’ Joseph City Unified District Joseph City Junior/Senior High School

Arizona schools’ Keystone Montessori Charter School, Inc. Keystone Montessori Charter School

Arizona schools’ Khalsa Family Services Khalsa School

Arizona schools’ Khalsa Montessori Elementary Schools Khalsa Montessori Elementary School

— Phoenix

Arizona schools’ Kyrene Elementary District C. I. Waggoner School

Kyrene Akimel A-Al Middle School

Kyrene Altadena Middle School

Kyrene Aprende Middle School

Kyrene Centennial Middle School

Kyrene de la Colina School

Kyrene de la Esperanza School

Kyrene de la Estrella Elementary


Kyrene de la Mariposa School

Kyrene de la Mirada School

Kyrene de la Paloma School

Kyrene de la Sierra School

Kyrene de las Brisas School

Kyrene de las Manitas School

Kyrene de los Cerritos School

Kyrene del Cielo School

Kyrene del Pueblo Middle School

Kyrene Middle School

Kyrene Monte Vista School

Arizona schools’ Lifelong Learning Research Institute, Inc. Lifelong Learning Academy

Arizona schools’ Litchfield Elementary District Litchfield Elementary School

Palm Valley Elementary

Arizona schools’ Madison Elementary District Madison Heights School

Madison Meadows School

Madison Park School

Madison Richard Simis School

Arizona schools’ Marana Unified District Coyote Trail Elementary School

Quail Run Elementary School

Arizona schools’ Mary Ellen Halvorson Educational Foundation Tri-City Prep High School

Arizona schools’ Mesa Unified District Barbara Bush Elementary School

Entz Elementary School

Falcon Hill Elementary School

Franklin Elementary School

Franklin Northeast School

Franklin South

Franklin West Elementary

George Smith

Hale Elementary School

Hermosa Vista Elementary School

Ishikawa Elementary School

Las Sendas Elementary School

Mountain View High School

Poston Junior High School

Red Mountain High School

Sunridge Learning Center

Arizona schools’ Miami Unified District Las Lomas Elementary School

Arizona schools’ Mission Montessori Academy Mission Montessori Academy

Arizona schools’ Montessori Charter School of Flagstaff, Inc. Montessori Charter School of Flagstaff

— Campus

Arizona schools’ Montessori Schoolhouse of Tucson, Inc. Montessori Schoolhouse

Arizona schools’ Nogales Unified District Vasquez De Coronado Francisco


Arizona schools’ Northland Preparatory Academy Northland Preparatory Academy —

both elementary & high school

Arizona schools’ Palominas Elementary District Coronado Elementary School

Arizona schools’ Paradise Valley Unified District Boulder Creek Elementary School

Copper Canyon Elementary School

Desert Shadows Middle School

Desert Springs Elementary School

Desert Trails Elementary School

Grayhawk Elementary School

Horizon High School

Larkspur Elementary School

Liberty Elementary School

Mercury Mine Elementary School

Mountain Trail Middle School

North Ranch Elementary School

Pinnacle High School

Pinnacle Peak Elementary

Quail Run Elementary School

Sandpiper Elementary School

Sonoran Sky Elementary School

Sunrise Middle School

Arizona schools’ Peoria Unified School District Apache Elementary School

Canyon Elementary School

Centennial High School

Copperwood School

Ironwood High School

Oakwood Elementary School

Paseo Verde Elementary School

Sunrise Mountain High School

Arizona schools’ Prescott Unified District Abia Judd Elementary School
Pescott High School

Arizona schools’ Queen Creek Unified District Jack Barnes Elementary School

Arizona schools’ Scottsdale Unified District Anasazi Elementary

Arcadia High School

Aztec Elementary School

Chaparral High School

Cherokee Elementary School

Cheyenne Traditional Elementary


Cochise Elementary School

Cocopah Middle School

Copper Ridge Elementary School

Copper Ridge Middle School

Desert Canyon Elementary

Desert Canyon Middle School

Desert Mountain High School

Hopi Elementary School

Kiva Elementary School

Laguna Elementary School

Mountainside Middle School

Pima Elementary School

Saguaro High School

Sequoya Elementary School

Zuni Elementary School

Arizona schools’ Sedona-Oak Creek Joint Unified District Big Park Community School

Arizona schools’ Self Development Charter School Self Development Charter School

Arizona schools’ Show Low Unified District Linden Elementary School

Arizona schools’ Skyview School, Inc. Skyview School

Arizona schools’ Sonoita Elementary District Elgin Elementary School

Arizona schools’ Tanque Verde Unified District Agua Caliente School

Emily Gray Junior High School

Tanque Verde Elementary School

Arizona schools’ Tempe Elementary District Rover Elementary School

Arizona schools’ Tempe Preparatory Academy Tempe Preparatory Academy — both

elementary & high school

Arizona schools’ Tempe Union High School District Corona Del Sol High School

Desert Vista High School

Mountain Pointe High School

Arizona schools’ Tucson Unified District Fruchthendler Elementary School

Gale Elementary School

Ida Flood Dodge Traditional Middle

Magnet School

Miles-Exploratory Learning Center

Sabino High School

Sahuaro High School

University High School

Arizona schools’ Vail Unified District Cottonwood Elementary School

Desert Sky Middle School

Desert Willow Elementary School

Mesquite Elementary School

Arizona schools’ Valley Academy, Inc. Valley Academy

Arizona schools’ Veritas Preparatory Academy Veritas Preparatory Academy — both

elementary & high school

Arizona schools’ Washington Elementary District Abraham Lincoln Traditional School

Lookout Mountain School

Arizona schools’ West Gilbert Charter Elementary School, Inc. West Gilbert Charter Elementary


Arizona schools’ Young Elementary District Young Teaching High School

In addition to the Excelling schools, Arizona schools named 255 schools across the state as Highly Performing schools.

This information on Arizona schools is brought to you by

Trends in Education

Posted on August 2, 2018 in Uncategorized

It would appear that parents and policymakers around the United States are not happy with with public education. This is why by the year 2005 there were approximately 3,400 charter schools in the United States serving about 800,000 students. Parents want choices. Source: Educational Trends Shaping School Planning and Design 2007 by Kenneth R. Stevenson, Department of Educational Leadership and Policies, College of Education, at the University of South Carolina

It also appears as if classrooms may be getting smaller. Research indicates that over the next 25 years we may see elementary schools housing an average of 200 students, middle schools with no more than 400 to 500 students, and high schools with 500 to 750 students. Supporters argue that small schools are particularly good at improving the academic achievement for students who have not done well in traditional settings.They believe small schools have higher graduation rates and improved behavior among students.

There has been significant research indicating that smaller classroom benefits include enhanced academic performance and also improved student behavior and teacher morale. A few studies further suggest that such classes particularly benefit at risk students.

One program that has been particularly successful comes from Brooklyn, New York, and is called Create Success. The after school and summer programs from Children of the City (COC) have proven to enhance each student’s academic success. 95 percent of the students tested over the last three years improved in several DRA levels; 20 percent increased by one grade level; and all of the participating students said they felt more comfortable reading, and more confident in their math skills. All of the students had a positive outlook towards their success. This data was from evaluations of student performance using NYC Department of Education assessment tools.

The COC program is fast becoming a model that is being sought after by other agencies for their own after school program sites. High priority is placed on each student’s academic success with intense tutoring and daily help with homework. This opens the door to advocacy within the social systems (school and court), age-appropriate group and individual mentoring, family mediation, performing arts, and sports and recreation.

Create Success program goals include: Closing the academic skills gap; displacing the poverty mentality; and providing the support and resources needed to help each child enter the workplace after completing their education.

Technology in education is another big trend. School districts will need to develop effective methods to control costs caused by more-numerous neighborhood schools, lower teacher-pupil ratios, higher energy costs, and reduced tax revenues. One solution would be by means of virtual education via closed circuit television or through Internet e-learning.

In the future, in order to enhance scores on state or national tests, students may be required to sign up for a second course in math instead of taking electives like art. Plus the students who are already doing well in math or science may be encouraged to take more of the advanced math and science courses, all of which raises the school’s academic profile.

As schools increase the focus on traditional academic subjects, demand for music, art, and vocational courses may diminish. And one more reason why programs like COC’s programs enlist volunteers and staff to reach the children at home, at school, on the streets and playgrounds.