Catholic Diocese of Rockford – All Saints Catholic Academy
In 2016, the Catholic Diocese of Rockford began sharing the results from its strategic plan, called Faith Forward: Building our Blueprint for Catholic Schools, to shape the future direction of its Catholic schools. Key findings highlighted a need for immediate action to address the most pressing concerns which included potential consolidations and realignment of resources to better compete in the educational marketplace well into the future.
The Diocese engaged Chartwell in sharing information throughout the Diocese, participating in community forums, drafting communications, and developing a marketing strategy for each region impacted. Change can be difficult and emotional, especially for families with long-standing school loyalties and traditions. The Diocese wanted to involve all stakeholders in a transparent, highly inclusive process that would ultimately generate enthusiasm, and enhance attendance for, the Catholic schools.
In Rockford, Elgin and Aurora, Illinois the Diocese of Rockford worked to support transitions in the Catholic schools. Chartwell actively participated in committees that discussed how and when schools should come together; whether to create a new school identity; positioning the new school for growth and student experience; and messaging up to and beyond the transition. Chartwell developed 12-month customized marketing plans for each region, providing the strategy and direction necessary to manage the transition positively and effectively. Chartwell developed messaging for each region and presented message training to key administrators and volunteers to ensure consistency in all formal and informal interactions.
Chartwell also supported each school’s rollout with press releases, letters to enrolled families, and information shared in official parish communications. In Rockford, Chartwell assisted the newly formed All Saints Catholic Academy with marketing materials – based on the school’s assets, colors, and photo direction – in both English and Spanish, allowing the school to present its story, unique features and standard of excellence with potential students and families.
In Aurora, IL, Pope St. John Paul II Catholic Academy was successfully launched in 2018 and All Saints Catholic Academy launched successfully in Rockford the following year. Both schools exceeded first-year enrollment projections and continue to thrive in their ability to serve their communities with a solid Catholic education.
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