Costa's Compliance and Looking Ahead
Happy Spring Weather and Happy Friday the 13th to all of You!
Counting today, there are only 25 more student attendance days for this school year. May 18th is the last day of student attendance, with dismissal at 11:15 AM. Eighth graders last day will be May 16th with their graduation on May 17th. I plan on sending the tentative 2018-2019 Costa Calendar out in next Friday’s Costa Chronicles for your early planning purposes.
It has been an extremely intense year for me as the new Principal of Costa Catholic Academy, but one that has put Costa Catholic Academy back into a very positive light with all stakeholders in all areas. I am truly proud of Costa Catholic Academy right now, and I would enroll my own children or grandchildren at Costa Catholic Academy from Preschool through 8th grade. Right now, it is my opinion that Costa Catholic Academy is the best elementary school in the Galesburg area and we will be continuing to improve it next year, and it is my goal for Costa Catholic Academy to be the premier school in the Galesburg area for many years to come! I invite all of you to help me make that happen!
This past Wednesday, April 11, 2018 was a big day for Costa Catholic Academy. In the morning, we had an Illinois State Board of Education Nonpublic School Evaluation. This is a required assessment that we get approximately every 3 years. I am proud and honored to say that we were in total compliance on every single item that was on the evaluation instrument. In the 19 page, 72 item instrument that applied to Costa Catholic Academy, all 72 items were marked YES, in Compliance! That is OUTSTANDING and doesn’t happen very often. GREAT JOB COSTA!!!!!
The 4 visiting team members outside of Costa staff, gave the following noteworthy items in the form of commendations:
- The school has a very active parent group from the perspective of direction of the school. Parental and community support and involvement are actively sought. Parents are invested in the school.
- All teachers have participated and taken ownership in schoolwide programs and across curriculum projects. (STREAM and STEM projects.)
- Costa has a strong fine arts (strings, band, and choral) and visual arts programs.
- Costa shares resources and facilities with community groups. (soccer, spelling competition, theater, religious retreats)
- The Costa school facilities are outstanding.
- Students perform above average on all diocese required testing. Two years the seventh grade science (Iowa Test of Basic Skills) held the highest scores in the Diocese.
- Students from Costa compete and have received high honors in local and state writing contests.
- Costa Catholic Academy has developed short-term and long-term plans to maintain and increase enrollment and ensure financial sustainability.
- Graduates from Costa have consistently continued their academic and extracurricular successes in high school.
- The school embraces its partnership and the support of the local school districts and the Regional Office of Education.
The 4 visiting team members offered some items in the form of advice, concerns, suggestions, or recommendations which are:
- Continue to enhance the endowment funds of the school to ensure the growth and existence of the school.
- Continue the growth of the school through marketing and recruitment efforts.
- Efforts should be made to meet diocese expectations in the salary and compensation of incoming teachers and to improve the salary and compensation of experienced and long-term staff.
The 4 visiting team members notes below deficiencies that must be corrected in order for the school to achieve full recognition status:
- No deficiencies were identified.
On that same April 11, 2018 in the afternoon, we had a big meeting in Peoria with the Office of Catholic Schools Peoria Diocese. This meeting was a required meeting by the Diocese in which we were asked to discuss the finances and sustainability of Costa Catholic Academy. The required discussion topics included strategic planning, the current and future marketing plan, giving an update on budgeting and finances, and enrollment projections. I added to that required list and discussed the outstanding school culture, the learning environment, the staff, the positive community identity and support, and the partnerships that were renewed and made stronger with all stakeholders of Costa Catholic Academy since August 1, 2017. The almost two-and-a-half-hour meeting was outstanding in every way. The leaders of the Peoria Diocese Office of Catholic Schools had nothing but praise and respect for Costa Catholic Academy for this year throughout the meeting.
Once again, thank you all who believed in Costa, did what was asked this year, and believed in my leadership this year at Costa Catholic Academy. We are in a great place right now, with more growth coming in the upcoming year!
Speaking of the 2018-2019 school year, my next big project is what I am calling “30 students in 40 days!” I am honored to say that our retention rate from this year to next year is over 90%, which is outstanding. I do want to have 2 Preschool rooms, 2 PreK rooms, and 2 Kindergarten rooms next year if enrollment allows. I will also be giving a one year only new student discount for students entering 3rd through 8th grade as well as to any and all students and families who left Costa Catholic Academy during the 2016-2017 school year that were in good standing at the time they left. The discount that I am giving to this group of people is 50% off the Affiliated rate tuition only for the 2018-2019 school year. This 50% discount to this group of people will expire on Thursday, May 24, 2018 at 12:00 PM. Please share this with anybody you know who would have any kind of interest in sending their child(ren) to Costa Catholic Academy. Registration materials can be found and printed from the Costa Catholic Academy website at www.costa-galesburg.net also.
One of the variables for Costa Catholic Academy to be extremely successful is consistent high-quality leadership. Principal turnover has been an issue here at Costa. I’m asking you all to trust me here again. I, Mr. Buresh, am committed to Costa Catholic Academy. If we can get those 30 new students in the next 40 days, I am committing to be the Principal through the 2021-2022 school year providing I am in good health and continued positive working conditions with all Costa Catholic Academy stakeholders.
Let’s go out and do this together! Remember that you also can earn a $500 discount on your tuition for every new family you refer to Costa Catholic Academy that does enroll for the 2018-2019 school year. Working together we can become the premier elementary school in the Galesburg area and offer our students a faith-based education with high academic standards in a safe educational setting.
Principal Costa Catholic Academy