Uncovering the Need
Catholic schools are closing across the nation at an alarming rate, with hundreds shutting their doors forever in the past couple of years alone. While our schools do have challenges, we have a lot of good momentum in Dallas area Catholic education. Our Catholic school leaders have been strengthening faith identity and academic rigor to improve their culture of faith and excellence on each campus, and our broader community continues to be extremely generous, providing what is needed now and committed to the innovation that will bring results for years to come. Working together we believe we can avoid the pain so many other Catholic school systems are experiencing.
For our first challenge to come up with a fresh, innovative solution, we came alongside Catholic school leaders to increase awareness and enrollment among new families.
Research to assess the viability of the Diocesan school system showed that families who try a Dallas area Catholic school and stay for three years, rarely leave. Once they experience how valued they feel in the community, the academic excellence, and the deepening of faith, students and their families stay throughout their elementary education.
We found that young families were increasingly unaware of the value and values of a Catholic education. What is needed is a fresh approach, based on solid business practices, to attract new young families to our K-8 schools, replacing graduating students and reversing declining enrollment.
A new family recruiting pilot program was developed to attract families to one of five pilot schools. Called HALO 139, the program offered 50% off tuition for four semesters to any family not currently enrolled in a Catholic school.
What happens when more families enroll?
More evangelism – schools are attracting more families to church… it used to be the other way around
More opportunities for all the students at the schools – a growing community of families, teachers and kids means more for all
More tuition assistance the schools can provide (derived from the increase in tuition revenue from new students)
A more sustainable financial model for each school for years to come
Remarkable Results To Date:
139 students from 109 families new to Catholic education were enrolled
The pilot increased enrollment an average of 14% at each school
75% of newly enrolled children are in PK – 2nd grade
78% are Catholic and 22% are another Christian faith
Families came from a variety of backgrounds
The program reached many who did not know this education was available and possible for them
Helping Schools Thrive
Donors who believe in the value and values of Catholic education - and who want to see Dallas Catholic schools thrive - are investing in kids and schools through their gifts of a portion of tuition.
Donors recognize that their support is an investment with a good rate of return (3:1 and more) for schools that retain these families throughout their elementary education.
Donors see that gifts to HALO 139 are in alignment with their desire to give more hope, opportunity, and faith for families - and a better education for children.
Donate to HALO 139
These amounts reflect the average tuition price per semester across the five pilot schools. The cost to educate a student is approximately $9,100 a year, which compares favorably with what the state reimburses public schools. Tuition at the pilot schools range from $5,500 - $9,100 per year.
Fund a Student
We are thankful to all who have donated and to those who have made significant investments in HALO 139. If you would like information on making an investment in Dallas area Catholic schools, please contact Jane Koenecke at firstname.lastname@example.org or 972.669.9346.
Joe & Kathy Murphy