By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger
Progress toward a regionalized school model for Scott County Catholic schools continues and Bishop Thomas Zinkula formally recognized the organization by signing a decree this fall.
Lynne Devaney, diocesan superintendent of Catholic schools, said leadership from the diocese and trustees of Scott County Catholic Schools (SCCS) collaborate with SCCS leaders monthly to review work on the immediate steps to establish policies and practices for governance, finances and human resources. “Work also continues to make sure that the relationship with each parish is established and continues to grow,” she said.
The participating schools are Assumption High School, All Saints Catholic School, John F. Kennedy Catholic School and St. Paul the Apostle Catholic School, all in Davenport, and Lourdes Catholic School in Bettendorf. Assumption President Andy Craig, who co-chairs the SCCS, said the decree is a formal step, which acknowledges, “This is really happening. We are moving forward.” The decree ensures that SCCS follows canon law.
Craig said the concept of a regionalized system has been in the works for about five years. This is not a merger. It’s about “sharing resources and services and getting rid of some redundancy.” To date, SCCS has set a salary scale with implementation beginning in the 2023-24 school year, along with standardized tuition for the schools. Like other diocesan entities, each school now uses Paylocity for payroll management and participates in the new 401k plan with Mutual of America. SCCS leaders are finalizing the development of a human resources plan for each school and fringe benefits, such as unified K-12 paid time off.
SCCS leaders continue to work at sharing resources and services to eliminate redundancy in business/management, marketing and fundraising. “How can we better utilize in a shared manner some of these topics vs. doing them on our own,” Craig said. Lease agreements between the schools and parishes are in the works and a handbook has been drafted.
Tentative implementation of several SCCS goals is July 1, 2023, Craig said. Each year SCCS will review the work completed and consider how to make the system “even better and expand,” he said. “SCCS is taking the steps necessary for the long-term viability of an academically rigorous Catholic education as part of the Diocese of Davenport,” Devaney said. This is what a regional system can do, she added.