In the coming 18 months Cathedral School will leverage its momentum to grow in three distinct and necessary ways. Before detailing, I want to give you options:
- See the below chart for a condensed look at the work in front of us.
- Read below the chart for a full “drill-down”.
- Do both!
OK, so here’s the plan. The good news is that it’s two parts information and only one part “ask”.
Eagle Science Center
Fundraising Goal: $55,000
Completion Target: August of 2018
CRC now tests at 65th percentile in science nationally, a jump of nearly 10% in just two years, using almost no resources and science equipment that is outdated and limiting.
By funding this much needed renovation, students in all grade levels will have the opportunity to increase their STEM experience and understanding. Our teachers have done their part to prepare Eagles for the world of STEM – now it’s our turn.
Fundraising Goal: $350K-$450K (TBD)
Completion Target: August of 2019
The Alumni Way involves cutting edge security measures that exceed all standards while creating necessary space for our burgeoning Dyslexia, Special Education and volunteer tutoring programs (serving 35% of our Eagle students). Finally, we honor our alumni with this construction while giving Cathedral a physical presence that matches its status.
Wonders Language Arts Curriculum
Fundraising Goal: COMPLETE!
Implementation Target: August of 2018
Doug Lemov and other nationally recognized educators know what our teachers know: If you teach just one skill it should be reading as it is the gateway to all learning. Due to the work of our amazing Eagle teachers CRC boasts a student body in the 70th percentile nationally with 45% of Eagles ranking in the nation’s top quartile. But we will not rest on our laurels.
Wonders allows us to continue our mission of early intervention, solidify who we are as a Language Arts school, and keep the art of teaching where it belongs – in the hands of teachers.
How will we get these three massive ventures done simultaneously?
The same way we have grown our population, unearthed our community, formed our exploding Eaglet Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom, updated 75% of our building, seen our standardized test scores rise to new heights (more on this last item in a coming blog), re-established our role as leaders, and further developed the spiritual development of our students.
The answer: TOGETHER.
That word – TOGETHER – is the link of our mantra. That word connects the mission with the how: Soaring to new heights together with the Risen Christ.
It continues to guide us. So here’s the plan:
Eagle Science Center – A Hands-On Approach to Learning
What: This new science center, which awaits full naming rights by a generous donor, can be completed for $55,000. If we can exceed our goal and collect $65,000 we can actually hit Year Two goals for resources inside of Year One. Up for the challenge?
Why: Our new science curriculum has lifted over 45% of Cathedral students into the top quartile of the country in the most recent ITBS testing (a jump of 15% in two years) while simultaneously cutting the number of low scoring Eagle students in half. Next, consider that our school now tests at 65th percentile in science nationally, a jump of nearly 10% in just two years, using almost no resources and science equipment that is outdated at best, limiting at worst. By funding this much needed renovation, students in all grade levels will have the opportunity to increase their STEM experience and understanding. Our teachers have done their part to prepare Eagles for the world of STEM – now it’s our turn.
How: You may ask why we don't fund the entire project with auction funds. The answer is two fold. First, the bill for the Wonders Reading Series was an immediate cost. Secondly, research told us that fundraising for a Science Lab was much more conducive to community involvement.
The second point has certainly been evident: Under the leadership of Mrs. Dawn Kjeldgaard, our new Cathedral Parish & School Director of Development, we have incredible momentum already! We are rolling out a strategic campaign for Give to Lincoln Day on May 31. We need you to donate (which you can do early…now!), share the campaign with loved ones, and be educated on how your funds multiply through incredible matching opportunities from the Lincoln Community Foundation.
We envision this lab open for our Eagles with their goggles on, lab coats fastened, and hands on materials by August of 2018.
The Alumni Way – The Infrastructure Needed
What: An entirely new front entryway, front office, and resource center for Cathedral School.
Why: School safety is obviously something we take seriously. Sadly, the need for this approach is verified often. The Alumni Way involves cutting edge security measures that exceed all standards while creating necessary space for our burgeoning Dyslexia, Special Education and volunteer tutoring programs (serving 35% of our Eagle students). Finally, we honor our alumni with this construction while giving Cathedral a physical presence that matches its status.
How: With $158,000 raised since November and geo-technical surveys complete, the goal is to land two or three more large donations before rolling out the opportunity for families and individuals to purchase engraved legacy stones. In the coming weeks a Construction Manager will be named, a final price-point announced, and a goal of final construction completed for August of 2019 fully in place.
Wonders Language Arts: The Curriculum Needed to Stay On Top
What: Cathedral is traditionally one of the most accomplished Language Arts Schools in the area, boasting a student body in the 70th percentile nationally with 45% of Eagles ranking in the nation’s top quartile. The new Cathedral writing curriculum has raised writing scores to the 75th percentile nationally while simultaneously elevating the scores of lower scoring students substantially for the first time in five years. But we will never rest on our laurels: the time is right to upgrade.
Why: While the large majority of our students are excelling under the guidance of teachers working as artists in their classrooms, the WINGS SpEd team and tutoring program has positioned us to focus on early intervention. The goal of linking our Eaglet Nature Explore preschool with grades K-5 takes time, but an essential step is the gathering of data on young students. We now have dozens of sets of data, and Wonders can be implemented in grades Kindergarten through 5th in the manner and to the degree each teacher sees fit (just as we do with our current, but now outdated, program). In short, we will collect data, intervene early, solidify who we are as a Language Arts School, and keep the art of teaching where it belongs – in the hands of teachers.
How: You already did it! Your contributions at this year’s auction will fund the cost of this program, while Title IIA Federal funds will provide $8000 in instructional professional development for our teachers. Plan on Wonders hitting Cathedral in August of 2018!
As I reach conclusion, there are just two questions left to answer: First, why all these projects at the same time? The truth is that each has been on a separate timetable: The Language Arts portion of this plan has been part of our Strategic Plan for Curriculum since the summer of 2015; The Alumni Way plans began in earnest in winter of 2015; the Science Lab discussions started in late 2016. However, it was evident from the start that the spring and summer of 2018 would be a convergence. And that, my fellow Eagles, is where we come to the second question: Now that the groundwork has been laid, we need you - how will you help?