Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown announces new strategic plan for Catholic schools

Joshua Byers, The Tribune-Democrat, Johnstown, Pa.
·2 min read

Apr. 13—The Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown has announced the new "To Proclaim and Teach" strategic plan for local Catholic schools to address the "vitality and sustainability" of parochial instruction.

"This initiative originated with the Independent Catholic Foundation and its concern for the fiscal viability and long-term sustainability of Catholic education in the diocese," a release from the organization said.

The diocese has worked with the Office of Education to implement the plan and partnered with the national Catholic school planning firm Meitler for this undertaking.

That group has assisted faith-based institutions in more than 125 dioceses across the country with similar projects.

Throughout the next 12 months, input from all Catholic school communities in the diocese will be sought.

That includes 12 elementary institutions and four independent high schools.

"The consulting team will review and build upon the foundation and successes of planning initiatives conducted with the schools over the last several years," the release said.

"The current process will result in a plan that provides a comprehensive path for action focusing on four primary areas of school life — Catholic mission and identity, academic excellence, strong governance and leadership and operational vitality, identified as key domains of 'The National Standards and Benchmarks for Effective Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools.' "

Funding for the initiative is being provided by the Independent Catholic Foundation and a number of donors.

Data gathering and analysis, part of the plan's first phase, began in March and will continue through May.

Additionally, from now through June, there will be kick-off events, interviews and site visits, all culminating in a presentation of key findings.

The second phase will take place from June through April 2022 and include planning meetings, local engagement, the Catholic Schools Summit next spring and a final plan announcement.

"This will require hard work, especially among the many challenges facing us today, to ensure that Catholic education remains available, accessible and affordable for those who desire what our schools have to offer them," the release said.

More information about the "To Proclaim and Teach" plan will be available on the diocese's website, www.dioceseaj.org, and other platforms as the process continues.