Unified Green Bay Catholic school system under study
No decisions have been made
By Tony Staley
As part of the diocesan-wide study of Catholic schools, representatives of Green Bay area parishes are studying the possibility of a unified pre-K through 8th grade school system.
It would include primary school sites for pre-K through fifth grade and middle school sites for grades six through eight.
Both Bp. David Zubik and Lee Nagel, diocesan director of Education, stress that no decisions have been made. Before any decision is made, more study is needed and advice from several diocesan consultative bodies.
Bp. David Zubik commissioned the diocesan wide study last year to determine how accessible and affordable the schools are to Catholic families and parishes throughout the diocese.
The Green Bay area group is made up of 40-50 lay men and women, clergy and religious, who have been meeting two or three times a month since January. Each parish was invited to send three representatives and each school was invited to send two representatives to the committee.
The proposed Green Bay Regional Association of Catholic Education (GRACE) would include all parishes and schools in Green Bay, Allouez, east De Pere, Howard, Bay Settlement and Bellevue.
In a letter to Green Bay area Catholics inserted in parish bulletins, Bp. Zubik stressed that GRACE "is a recommendation that still has to go through the process of consultation with
the Diocesan Board of Education, the Presbyteral Council and the Diocesan Pastoral Council. It is a process that will be undertaken not only for this plan, but for all 22 plans that are submitted throughout the diocese regarding the area of Catholic day-school education."
In his letter, Bp. Zubik highlighted "three important aspects" of the GRACE proposal:
No definitive decisions have been made regarding any current parish schools or school sites.
While he is authorizing further study and work on how GRACE might be implemented, if adopted, those efforts are part of the consultative process and do not indicate any pre-approval of GRACE.
He plans to make no public comments until after the recommendations have been reviewed by diocesan consultative bodies.
The GRACE proposal calls for identifying "the Catholic school population in the Green Bay region in order to locate areas needing Catholic education."
Study participants also said they will "examine existing school buildings, their condition, and their ability to meet the faith and learning needs of our students."
The plan calls for a three-pronged financing structure of tuition, parish subsidy and third-source funding.
Nagel said the diocesan advisory team for school planning has asked to meet with the Green Bay group to establish a framework in which the work can proceed. Advisory team members in
addition to Nagel are Dcn. Tim Reilly, diocesan director of administration; Doris Vincent, assistant director of administration; and Mark Mogilka, director of Stewardship and Pastoral Services.