March 7 -- A diocesan Blue Ribbon Task Force unveiled a strategic plan for Catholic schools in the Diocese of Des Moines. In addition, a separate plan, called A New Approach For A Stronger Future, envisions stronger collaboration among the 11 Des Moines metro-area Catholic schools following a yearlong strategic planning process. Work now begins on implementing the vision of the strategic plan. 


March 1 -- Diocese of Des Moines launches a strategic planning process for all 17 schools throughout the 23 counties of central and southwest Iowa with Milwaukee-based Meitler Group, which has conducted such research and planning across the country. Prayer card, agenda, kickoff handout, column by Dr. Tracy Bonday outlining the need & process.

  • Video 1 -- Bishop Richard Pates thanks those who established Catholic schools
  • Video 2 -- Bishop: We can't stay with the status quo, must work toward excellence
  • Video 3 -- Bishop: Why do strategic planning now?
  • Video 4 -- Consultant Alan Meitler lays what we seek with a strategic plan

March/April -- Interviews and visits to all 17 Catholic schools.

July 21 -- Key findings released. Consultants have visited with all school administrators, schoolnull boards, pastors of schools, and the Blue Ribbon Task Force, plus gathered demographic information and national data to put local information in the context of what's happening across the country in Catholic education. Meitler examined strengths and opportunities for improvement. The next phase is to determine a strategy that helps the diocese's 17 schools reach their full potential. The goal is to determine what the best Catholic schools in our diocese will look like and map out a strategy to reach those goals.

September -- As a result of findings for the diocesan-wide strategic planning, it was decided thatnull St. Albert Catholic Schools in Council Bluffs would undertake its own strategic planning process using Meitler. St. Patrick Parish in Perry is also doing some strategic planning and launched a parish/school capital campaign.

For more information, contact diocesan Schools Superintendent, Donna Bishop, 515-237-5013.