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Rochester Catholic Schools considers 'reconfiguration'

Rochester Catholic Schools is considering a broad reconfiguration called Vision 2020 that aims to address academic and operational issues.

The RCS Board of Trustees will convene multiple focus-group sessions next week to receive feedback from local stakeholders before determining the next steps in the process, according to a flyer recently distributed by RCS.

The potential outcomes could do each of the following: open a middle school for grades 6-8 at St. John the Evangelist School; promote preschool growth while offering full-day child care; expand Lourdes High School enrollment; and offer classes from preschool to Grade 5 at Holy Spirit Catholic School, St. Francis of Assisi School and St. Pius X School.

Laura Smith, communications director for RCS, declined the Post Bulletin’s request to speak with officials at the Catholic school, but the school has set up an information page that answers frequently asked questions by the public.

The Reid Group, a national Catholic consulting firm, has been hired to "help the RCS Board facilitate stakeholder input on the most effective configuration of the Pre-K to 12 programming," according to the flyer. The focus groups will be held at various times and locations between April 9-12.


"The goal of this vision is to grow Rochester Catholic Schools, to welcome more families through enhanced summer and full-day child care offerings, to increase space available for expanded preschool offerings while optimizing middle school options, to improve enrollment and greater retention in kindergarten through high school and to market the new options with focused enrollment efforts," the RCS Board wrote on its two-page note addressed to the Rochester Catholic Community.

Lourdes was founded in 1941 and has high school enrollment of 434 in grades 9-12, according to the Minnesota State High School League. The recent letter to parents has set the K-12 enrollment goal at 2,000.

Rochester Catholic Schools opened a new high school in Northwest Rochester for the 2013-14 school year. It cost $26 million and has a student capacity of 525.

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