NORFOLK — After a period of transition at its top posts, Norfolk Catholic School is moving forward with goals to increase academic rigor and increase focus on Jesus.
The school is in the process of rolling out its new strategic plan spearheaded by school President Dr. Don Ridder, who started with Norfolk Catholic in July. It also heavily involves new High School Principal Amy Wattier who was hired two weeks ago.
Dr. Ridder says the strategic plan centers on the school’s mission of “walking with you to meet Jesus.”
“Making sure that everything we do at our school from the beginning of the day to the end of the day, whether it’s on our campus or on another person’s campus, that it’s connected somehow to what Jesus is about,” Dr. Ridder said.
He says the next aspect addressed by the strategic plan is increasing academic rigor. The school is offering more dual-credit classes and implementing best practices.
“When you look at the data and you change instruction based upon the data – that’s what it’s all about – teachers talking to each other about how to improve instruction,” Dr. Ridder said.
That’s where Wattier, the new principal, comes in. Dr. Ridder says she has a long background in instructional coaching.
“In other words, she’s done a lot of going into classrooms and teaching teachers how to adjust their instruction based up on the data,” Dr. Ridder said.
The strategic plan includes other factors like trying to raise enrollment by 25-30 students per year and upgrading facilities but Dr. Ridder says it all ties back to the two biggest tenets.
“With Jesus being number one and then excellence of everything else being right behind that,” Dr. Ridder said. “If we do those two things together we’re going to be pretty good.”
Dr. Ridder says the strategic plan was developed from conversations with faculty, parish staff, school board members and the community. He says the plan doesn’t have a projected end date because the school should always be trying to improve.