July 10, 2020
Dear Friends in Christ,
Despite COVID-19’s unexpected disruption, the Strategic Planning Committee continues to develop a sustainable plan for our future. The plan, submitted to the Diocese of Toledo in November of 2019, transitioned from words into action over the past school year, and many positive changes have blossomed from this work that will support our mission for years to come.
Educational programs were assessed from academic, financial, and community perspectives. Though difficult decisions (such as the closure of San Damiano Hall) were made, promising opportunities such as a full-day Montessori Preschool option developed. Additional financial developments include the drafting of a three-year, forward-looking budget prioritizing our COVID-19 response, the hiring of key personnel, and capital investments in facilities.
Development and Marketing Committees, comprised of community members with expertise in these fields, formed to support these vital functions. Working with our Development and Marketing Directors, both groups assessed current strategies and helped develop innovative means of supporting and promoting our school—such as the St. Peter’s PourFest and The Little Buckeye Children’s Museum partnership. Both groups continue to strengthen St. Peter’s presence in the community and craft 3-year plans to guide our marketing and development efforts.
Also, much work has been dedicated to improving communication. Through the weekly Spartan Scoop, increased school features in parish bulletins, events such as curriculum night in the Elementary, improved use of Alma (which is our student information system) and Spartan Alerts, and surveys on school and faculty performance, we sought to keep parents, students, and parishioners engaged and gather feedback to inform our best practices moving forward. We recognize improved two-way communication is vital as we explore ways to safely reopen our campus.
Ultimately, the Strategic Plan culminates in hiring a Head of School and appointing a Governing Board. Shortly after receiving the Catholic Schools Office’s permission to proceed with this plan, however, our school and parish closed due to COVID-19. Because of this considerable, unanticipated roadblock, the hiring of the Head of School is postponed. The Committee, however, continues to explore ways to strengthen leadership within the confines of our current public health context.
Currently, the Strategic Planning Committee, administration, and Education Commission are developing a comprehensive, safe plan to re-open our school for in-person instruction five days a week with a flexible remote learning option for all grades. The forthcoming Restart Smart plan includes investments in safety and technology to allow for the uninterrupted education of our students and will emphasize St. Peter’s dedication to our faith and mission. We are confident that we can not only meet the required health mandates, but also abide by all of Ohio Department of Health’s recommendations to provide our students with the safest campus environment.
Please continue to hold our parish and school in your prayers as we navigate these difficult and unprecedented times and move from planning to implementing the reopening of our campus and the transformative change to sustain it.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Very Rev. Gregory R. Hite, V.F.