Quality Academics is a Priority

The Center for Governmental Research in Rochester (CGR) was asked to design, administer and analyze a survey that quantified perceptions of Catholic schools that shape families’ decisions about enrollment. The results are being used to better inform and focus school planning and communications/marketing efforts.

More than 5,000 surveys were sent out to three core groups of families: those who have children currently enrolled in a Catholic school; those who had children in a Catholic school but exited in the last two years; and those whose children are enrolled in faith formation classes at one of our parishes, but are not enrolled in a Catholic school. The confidential surveys asked about perceptions of quality, services and curriculum, including views on how our schools compare to their available public school option or other educational choices. More than 1,200 surveys were completed and returned.

Based on the survey, academics are the primary “product” that parents are looking for when choosing a school for their children. More than 80% of respondents who have children currently enrolled in a Catholic school are satisfied with their school’s academic program. In addition, 75% of enrolled parents believe that Catholic schools provide a better educational product than public schools. These numbers dip significantly among exited parents and the non-enrolled. A strong majority of all three respondent groups believe that Catholic schools do a better job instilling a sense of morals and values than public schools. 67% feel that the schools benefit from a stronger connection with the parish.

CGR recommends increased marketing of demonstrated achievement and engaging principals, teachers and parents in a sustained discussion about academic quality.