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  #1  
Old 05-16-18, 03:32 PM
cal cal is offline
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Columbus Bishop Ready

I am not sure this is the right forum for this post since this is more about the future of the school. I am an outsider looking into the location of Bishop Ready. It is located in a completely residential section of the westside of Columbus but it seems to lag behind the other schools in terms of enrollment. I wonder if the school would be better off in the long term to consider moving to Grove City, Georgesville, or even somewhere near Hilliard-Rome and 70. My reasoning is the largest growth in the SW part of Franklin County and maybe the entire county is going to be in Grove City. With new families moving to Grove City and knowing SW schools are average at best I would think a private school in Grove City would do well. They would still get kids from the westside parishes and I think longterm they could start to be close to the other CCL schools in terms of enrollment. Maybe this is an old topic and again I do not know anything about the politics at Ready....just wanted to share my thoughts.
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Old 05-17-18, 06:40 AM
ColumbusCatholic ColumbusCatholic is offline
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Great idea but probably will never happen. Diocese of Columbus is extremely slow and reluctant to be forward thinking when it comes to the growth of their school system. Want proof? Look at the population explosion in Delaware County and NE Franklin County. How many new schools have they built or planned to follow that population? Zero.
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Old 05-17-18, 07:19 AM
270SC 270SC is offline
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I expect Bishop Ready to close in the next 10 years. Private school enrollment starting to dwindle and especially on the side of town...no one can afford it and it’s not really growing. DeSales and Watterson are shadows of their past as most kids in Dublin, Olentangy, and Northern Westerville where the growth is and near those schools can get as good if not better education and especially football programs than those two. The opportunity to take advantage of the growth and open an “elite” private school probably closed 10 years ago because now, it just wouldn’t work.
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Old 05-17-18, 07:25 AM
ReadyKnightsFan ReadyKnightsFan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 270SC View Post
I expect Bishop Ready to close in the next 10 years. Private school enrollment starting to dwindle and especially on the side of town...no one can afford it and it’s not really growing. DeSales and Watterson are shadows of their past as most kids in Dublin, Olentangy, and Northern Westerville where the growth is and near those schools can get as good if not better education and especially football programs than those two. The opportunity to take advantage of the growth and open an “elite” private school probably closed 10 years ago because now, it just wouldn’t work.
Ready's enrollment has remained the same for the last 10-15 years. This school is not even close to closing and has always been the little guy in terms of enrollment in Columbus. The feeder schools of OLPH, Cecilia, Magdalene, Brendan (to a lesser extent), etc have remained steady in enrollment over that same period of time and nearly all those kids feed into Bishop Ready and doesn't include the public school kids whose parents don't want them going to Westland, Heights, Briggs, etc or the London, West Jefferson kids who continually bring in a few kids each year as well.

The idea of moving Ready, to me, is a brilliant forward thinking idea. Ready is landlocked which doesn't allow for further growth. The inner workings of Ready will never allow this until a certain principal steps down though. Not to mention Grove City already has Grove City Christian.
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Old 05-17-18, 07:46 AM
ColumbusCatholic ColumbusCatholic is offline
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Exactly ReadyKnightsFan! A lot of people talk about how the Catholic high schools are doomed and say its due to enrollment. The stats are out there....enrollment has been steady overall for 10-15 years and growing at a couple of the high schools. And 10-15 years ago Dublin and Olentangy were still excellent schools.....not like that has changed drastically. In one of the fastest growing metros in the midwest the Columbus schools have to start thinking growth and not simply operating like they always have.
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Old 05-17-18, 09:41 AM
ReadyKnightsFan ReadyKnightsFan is offline
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Originally Posted by ColumbusCatholic View Post
Exactly ReadyKnightsFan! A lot of people talk about how the Catholic high schools are doomed and say its due to enrollment. The stats are out there....enrollment has been steady overall for 10-15 years and growing at a couple of the high schools. And 10-15 years ago Dublin and Olentangy were still excellent schools.....not like that has changed drastically. In one of the fastest growing metros in the midwest the Columbus schools have to start thinking growth and not simply operating like they always have.
If you want to look for forward thinking/progress I don't know that Catholics are where you should turn but that's a topic for another thread and another day
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Old 05-17-18, 09:49 AM
BuckeyeR/T BuckeyeR/T is offline
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Originally Posted by 270SC View Post
I expect Bishop Ready to close in the next 10 years. Private school enrollment starting to dwindle and especially on the side of town...no one can afford it and it’s not really growing. DeSales and Watterson are shadows of their past as most kids in Dublin, Olentangy, and Northern Westerville where the growth is and near those schools can get as good if not better education and especially football programs than those two. The opportunity to take advantage of the growth and open an “elite” private school probably closed 10 years ago because now, it just wouldn’t work.
This could not be more out of touch. Parents send kids to Watterson, Hartley, DeSales, and Ready not just for the outstanding academics but for a Catholic education as well. Sure it's not for everyone but dwindling and shadows of what they once were? Please.
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Old 05-17-18, 10:28 AM
The Dock The Dock is offline
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Originally Posted by BuckeyeR/T View Post
This could not be more out of touch. Parents send kids to Watterson, Hartley, DeSales, and Ready not just for the outstanding academics but for a Catholic education as well. Sure it's not for everyone but dwindling and shadows of what they once were? Please.
I don’t necessarily agree with everything the above poster said, but I believe you’re the one here who is out of touch.

The Columbus metro area is effectively devoid of affordable private school options that offer ‘the full package.’ The CCL schools supply the (comparatively) low demand for said market. There is, and always will be, a certain percentage of enrolled families where the parental unit will never send their kids to public school because of distrust in either the public system or in the quality of student life & academia presented in the public school. Anyone and everyone, most particularly non-Catholic, who has the means to send their children to Columbus Academy or Wellington has already done so. For the balance of families, many of which are or aren’t Catholic, the decision to enroll into the Diocese of Columbus is based out of opportunity cost decisions (is it worth the $x,000? to enroll into private school when we already live in district Y) and the prestige of Catholic education in name and reputation.

The fact is, these “enroll in because you’re Catholic” families are dying in droves. It has become an almost generational decline. You’ll find more Catholic families enrolled into public systems than their local Catholic systems. Catholic schools, and the overall Catholic catechism with all facets of the school all-inclusive (teachers, faculty, coaches etc), stopped being about precisely “Catholic education” the moment that clergy and nuns were phased out in favor of the laymen that currently teach. Nothing against the non-clergy, but places like the high schools under the Diocese of Columbus oversight stopped being worth more than their public school counterpart, let alone thousands of dollars more, a long time ago... when the only distinguishing attribute became that one system
had mandatory Theology class, uniforms and monthly mass and the other didn’t.
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  #9  
Old 05-17-18, 11:59 AM
WJ-OSU-STEELERS WJ-OSU-STEELERS is online now
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For a family in the Olentangy, Dublin and UA public school districts I think it's financially difficult to justify paying $8,000+ in tuition for a DeSales or Watterson when they are already paying $8,000 to $15,000 or more in annual property taxes. The public school education, educational opportunities, resources and athletic opportunities in those districts is as good or better than DeSales or Watterson. The education is just as good in most of the Hilliard, Worthington and Westerville school districts with annual property taxes almost as high. The one thing that DeSales & Watterson offers that these public schools do not is obviously the religious experience, which is the #1 priority for some families.

There has been talk of Ready's enrollment demise for 20+ years. I think the #'s have been fairly steady but the demographics of the school's makeup has changed a bit, as has the west side in general. As long as the Southwestern School district (Westland, Grove City, GC Central Crossing & Franklin Hts) is a operational mess, I think Ready will continue to survive. Good people at Ready, I'm glad to see West Jefferson & Ready playing each other in week 2 this season. For a public vs private, I think WJ & Ready have more in common than differences.
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  #10  
Old 05-17-18, 03:04 PM
BuckeyeR/T BuckeyeR/T is offline
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Originally Posted by The Dock View Post
I don’t necessarily agree with everything the above poster said, but I believe you’re the one here who is out of touch.

The Columbus metro area is effectively devoid of affordable private school options that offer ‘the full package.’ The CCL schools supply the (comparatively) low demand for said market. There is, and always will be, a certain percentage of enrolled families where the parental unit will never send their kids to public school because of distrust in either the public system or in the quality of student life & academia presented in the public school. Anyone and everyone, most particularly non-Catholic, who has the means to send their children to Columbus Academy or Wellington has already done so. For the balance of families, many of which are or aren’t Catholic, the decision to enroll into the Diocese of Columbus is based out of opportunity cost decisions (is it worth the $x,000? to enroll into private school when we already live in district Y) and the prestige of Catholic education in name and reputation.

The fact is, these “enroll in because you’re Catholic” families are dying in droves. It has become an almost generational decline. You’ll find more Catholic families enrolled into public systems than their local Catholic systems. Catholic schools, and the overall Catholic catechism with all facets of the school all-inclusive (teachers, faculty, coaches etc), stopped being about precisely “Catholic education” the moment that clergy and nuns were phased out in favor of the laymen that currently teach. Nothing against the non-clergy, but places like the high schools under the Diocese of Columbus oversight stopped being worth more than their public school counterpart, let alone thousands of dollars more, a long time ago... when the only distinguishing attribute became that one system
had mandatory Theology class, uniforms and monthly mass and the other didn’t.
I'm right in the middle of it, how am I out of touch? 3 kids through Watterson. Our youngest son graduates in a few weeks. living in Grandview (phenomenal school system). I have had plenty of friends that have sent kids to Ready as well. Is it a sacrifice financially? You bet. Is it worth spending the money for a Catholic education? For all of us, we would say, absolutely. I'm am not looking to justify the money. I would always stand up and applaud the parent that makes the commitment to send one of their children to Watterson, Hartley, Ready, St Charles or even DeSales . I dont need you guys to get the intangible but to say its dead or dying? please
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Old 05-18-18, 06:23 AM
ReadyKnightsFan ReadyKnightsFan is offline
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All of this talk about Ready's decline... I would like some sort of proof that reflects that. The school actually spiked in enrollment a few years back and is larger than it was when I was there (mid 2000's).

As someone previously said, while SWCS is a flaming dumpster fire Ready will always be around. Not to mention there really isn't another suitable private school on this side of the county. Ready is doing just fine.
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  #12  
Old 05-18-18, 10:52 AM
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Ready's enrollment has remained the same for the last 10-15 years. This school is not even close to closing and has always been the little guy in terms of enrollment in Columbus. The feeder schools of OLPH, Cecilia, Magdalene, Brendan (to a lesser extent), etc have remained steady in enrollment over that same period of time and nearly all those kids feed into Bishop Ready and doesn't include the public school kids whose parents don't want them going to Westland, Heights, Briggs, etc or the London, West Jefferson kids who continually bring in a few kids each year as well.

The idea of moving Ready, to me, is a brilliant forward thinking idea. Ready is landlocked which doesn't allow for further growth. The inner workings of Ready will never allow this until a certain principal steps down though. Not to mention Grove City already has Grove City Christian.
I worry about the future of the Catholic high school vitality in Columbus moving forward. Ready as we said, probably could use a move and a move to Grove City or somewhere near 70/Hilliard Rome would give that school a boost. I find it admirable that the Church doesn't necessarily move at the first hint of a demographic change but when you look at it from a totality standpoint only St. Charles is in a real solid position.

Hartley and DeSales are in a neighborhood that aren't perceived as safe to some people in the Eastern burbs. Those schools seem to have room for expansion and keeping their kids athletics on their campus.

Watterson is in a great location but they are landlocked. The only sports that take place on campus is basketball, volleyball, and I believe baseball. Their softball team plays at an absolute joke of a field at a middle school. I wish Urban and Shelley tossed a few shekels towards the softball team (I know they were very generous with the cages...I am just whining a little).

I know when Pittsburgh North Catholic looked at their options they moved from Troy Hill in the city up to Cranberry where the growth was and enrollment went from 200-500 in those 5 years. It seems odd that a city like Columbus keeps their school in hard to get to places when you have a ton of growth in Delaware County, Northern Franklin county, and Grove City.

I am not saying all schools need to move at all but when it comes to Ready I wonder if a move wouldn't be best for the vitality of the school long term.
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Old 05-18-18, 11:13 AM
ColumbusCatholic ColumbusCatholic is offline
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I worry about the future of the Catholic high school vitality in Columbus moving forward. Ready as we said, probably could use a move and a move to Grove City or somewhere near 70/Hilliard Rome would give that school a boost. I find it admirable that the Church doesn't necessarily move at the first hint of a demographic change but when you look at it from a totality standpoint only St. Charles is in a real solid position.

Hartley and DeSales are in a neighborhood that aren't perceived as safe to some people in the Eastern burbs. Those schools seem to have room for expansion and keeping their kids athletics on their campus.

Watterson is in a great location but they are landlocked. The only sports that take place on campus is basketball, volleyball, and I believe baseball. Their softball team plays at an absolute joke of a field at a middle school. I wish Urban and Shelley tossed a few shekels towards the softball team (I know they were very generous with the cages...I am just whining a little).

I know when Pittsburgh North Catholic looked at their options they moved from Troy Hill in the city up to Cranberry where the growth was and enrollment went from 200-500 in those 5 years. It seems odd that a city like Columbus keeps their school in hard to get to places when you have a ton of growth in Delaware County, Northern Franklin county, and Grove City.

I am not saying all schools need to move at all but when it comes to Ready I wonder if a move wouldn't be best for the vitality of the school long term.

It definitely would! But as I said before...the Diocese hasn't even responded to growth in north Columbus by opening a new K-8 school in Delaware County even though there are huge parishes up there with no schools. It REALLY makes no sense.
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Old 05-18-18, 11:14 AM
BuckeyeR/T BuckeyeR/T is offline
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I worry about the future of the Catholic high school vitality in Columbus moving forward. Ready as we said, probably could use a move and a move to Grove City or somewhere near 70/Hilliard Rome would give that school a boost. I find it admirable that the Church doesn't necessarily move at the first hint of a demographic change but when you look at it from a totality standpoint only St. Charles is in a real solid position.

Hartley and DeSales are in a neighborhood that aren't perceived as safe to some people in the Eastern burbs. Those schools seem to have room for expansion and keeping their kids athletics on their campus.

Watterson is in a great location but they are landlocked. The only sports that take place on campus is basketball, volleyball, and I believe baseball. Their softball team plays at an absolute joke of a field at a middle school. I wish Urban and Shelley tossed a few shekels towards the softball team (I know they were very generous with the cages...I am just whining a little).

I know when Pittsburgh North Catholic looked at their options they moved from Troy Hill in the city up to Cranberry where the growth was and enrollment went from 200-500 in those 5 years. It seems odd that a city like Columbus keeps their school in hard to get to places when you have a ton of growth in Delaware County, Northern Franklin county, and Grove City.

I am not saying all schools need to move at all but when it comes to Ready I wonder if a move wouldn't be best for the vitality of the school long term.
Excuse my defensive tone but I beg to differ about Watterson's softball field. I have had 2 daughters play softball for Watterson, Both went on to play in college. One played at the D1 level and one currently playing D2. We have seen many fields over the years and Ridgeview's complex is hardly a joke. Watterson is also in the process of gathering funding to turf the current fields on campus to bring more sports home.
With regards to moving any of the schools, that is not the Catholic way. Never has been and never will be. They locate where they can serve the most.(opening in a new location to expand is a different story).
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Old 05-18-18, 02:18 PM
Summa Summa is offline
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It definitely would! But as I said before...the Diocese hasn't even responded to growth in north Columbus by opening a new K-8 school in Delaware County even though there are huge parishes up there with no schools. It REALLY makes no sense.
Is there a high school that serves the families of New Albany? Church of the Resurrection in New Albany is a very, very wealthy parish that does not have an elementary school. Their Jan-March offertory was $1,519,668.

Last edited by Summa; 05-18-18 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 05-18-18, 03:02 PM
BuckeyeR/T BuckeyeR/T is offline
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Is there a high schools that serves the families of New Albany? Church of the Resurrection in New Albany is a very, very wealthy parish that does not have an elementary school. Their Jan-March offertory was $1,519,668.
It would either be Hartley or DeSales and St Charles.
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Old 05-18-18, 05:04 PM
Hammerdrill Hammerdrill is offline
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Is there a high school that serves the families of New Albany? Church of the Resurrection in New Albany is a very, very wealthy parish that does not have an elementary school. Their Jan-March offertory was $1,519,668.
May I say it is odd that you would know their quarterly offerings, but not know where those kids might go to school?
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Old 05-18-18, 05:42 PM
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For a family in the Olentangy, Dublin and UA public school districts I think it's financially difficult to justify paying $8,000+ in tuition for a DeSales or Watterson when they are already paying $8,000 to $15,000 or more in annual property taxes. The public school education, educational opportunities, resources and athletic opportunities in those districts is as good or better than DeSales or Watterson. The education is just as good in most of the Hilliard, Worthington and Westerville school districts with annual property taxes almost as high. The one thing that DeSales & Watterson offers that these public schools do not is obviously the religious experience, which is the #1 priority for some families.

There has been talk of Ready's enrollment demise for 20+ years. I think the #'s have been fairly steady but the demographics of the school's makeup has changed a bit, as has the west side in general. As long as the Southwestern School district (Westland, Grove City, GC Central Crossing & Franklin Hts) is a operational mess, I think Ready will continue to survive. Good people at Ready, I'm glad to see West Jefferson & Ready playing each other in week 2 this season. For a public vs private, I think WJ & Ready have more in common than differences.
I agree 100% with this post.
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Old 05-18-18, 05:42 PM
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I'm right in the middle of it, how am I out of touch? 3 kids through Watterson. Our youngest son graduates in a few weeks. living in Grandview (phenomenal school system). I have had plenty of friends that have sent kids to Ready as well. Is it a sacrifice financially? You bet. Is it worth spending the money for a Catholic education? For all of us, we would say, absolutely. I'm am not looking to justify the money. I would always stand up and applaud the parent that makes the commitment to send one of their children to Watterson, Hartley, Ready, St Charles or even DeSales . I dont need you guys to get the intangible but to say its dead or dying? please
"3 kids through Watterson" - okay, so nothing personal, but, if you're a Watterson parent then it's evident your viewpoint is a little myopic on this one. Of the four comprehensive, co-ed schools in Franklin County (and, for that matter, the nine co-ed high schools in the Diocese of Columbus), Watterson draws from the wealthiest parishes and the wealthiest zip codes. It's of no surprise to anyone that those who are sacrificing to send their children to Watterson are doing so largely out of religious reasons (because, obviously, districts like Grandview, UA, Dublin and Olentangy aren't rough places to be... so the difference between BW and their public school counterparts is the faith aspect.) With schools like Ready, Newark and Fisher Cath, and probably to certain extents DeSales and Hartley, though, you have families who are primarily enrolling their children in because those schools are seen as being more functional, safer and conducive to learning in ways superior to the public district (SWCS, Newark, Lancaster; Reynoldsburg and Westerville.)

The Catholic schools are hemorrhaging the Catholic families of this generation. Enrollment, nationwide, is continuing to decline. With regards to Central Ohio, the landscape is actually more dire than it appears. The comprehensive, co-ed schools of Franklin County are buoyed by the voucher system. The risky proposition of moving Bishop Ready outside of Columbus is the fact that such a move would entail an independence from the voucher system. The window to boost enrollment, and create more schools (k-8 or 9-12) closed about 15 years ago. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, of Pickerington, will always be a PSR parish, despite the fact it had the numbers to justify its own school (as 20-25 kids a class at St. Pius X are in PLSD.) The aforementioned Church of the Resurrection in New Albany will never develop its own grade school, despite the fact its a parish with the wherewithal to do so, because it is flanked by the two largest grade schools in the entire Diocese (St. Paul of Westerville, and St. Matthew of Gahanna). The Diocese has owned the same plot of land near Orange Road in southern Delaware County since about 1998, but hasn't done diddily with it. St. Mary of Delaware can only admit 45-50% of prospective students in a class because it has no literal room to grow, expand and cater to the demand.

I don't think that Ready will necessarily close, but they're not in that great of a situation regardless of whether they would move or not. The Westgate neighborhood is changing toward a demographic that isn't conducive to private school enrollment, as it is largely becoming a neighborhood populated by "DINK" couples, yuppies, the gay community, and generally progressive people (who favor public school options over parochial ones.) Factor in the recently built and surging Cristo Rey (sp?) that is by the downtown library, and Ready is going to see less of the downtown urban student population coming their way. At the same time, moving to Grove City (are we talking inside 270, or outside 270?) would likely be ill-advised. As mentioned already, you lose the voucher safety net with a move. The other issue is a school like Ready, although maybe not Ready in particular, whether people want to admit it or not, are in "sink or swim" mode - they need to be able to diversify and sustain said diversity in their student portfolio: hey, the devout Catholic families are great, but what was once the group that made up the overwhelming majority of Cath. school student population is starting to instead become a plurality. They would need to really concentrate on getting more kids out of SWCS if they moved to Grove City; the problem is, right now, outside of the always-reliable Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Ready is losing in the private school market game in SW Franklin County to Grove City Christian (a school whose ascent in the past 10 years has made it the second-most prominent non-denominational Christian school in Franklin County, after Worthington Christian.) While I'm hesitant to suggest that this currently is of detriment of Ready, with consequent advantage to GCC, Ready is experiencing great periods of waxing and waning in their boys sports (except for football... which is generally the one solid program): soccer and baseball are down, and have been down for a short while now, and basketball is either really good or really bad (very little in between). GCC is also playing in what has become a very formidable and reputable small-school sports conference in the MSL-Cardinal, whereas Ready plays in a five-team conference that they usually find themselves toward the bottom of in several sports a year. Obviously, the CCL >>>> MSL-Cardinal in many ways... except winning and the recognition and pride that comes with consistent winning is going to largely supersede playing in the lion's den of sports and generally doing middle-of-the-pack or worse. The other thing that isn't helping Ready is Seaman's reluctance toward building a damn football field (seriously, being nomads to the extent that Ready football is forced to be frankly is a little... odd.) On Hoover Road, though, you get to play on a very nice football field.

I think Ready can weather the storm, but it's not unreasonable to say that their situation is a little bit tricky compared to the rest of the Franklin County "four."
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Old 05-18-18, 06:05 PM
Summa Summa is offline
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May I say it is odd that you would know their quarterly offerings, but not know where those kids might go to school?
Yes you may.
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Old 05-18-18, 07:17 PM
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May I say it is odd that you would know their quarterly offerings, but not know where those kids might go to school?
usually can find that collections info in church bulletins, and many churches post those bulletins online.
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Old 05-20-18, 09:01 AM
Hammerdrill Hammerdrill is offline
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usually can find that collections info in church bulletins, and many churches post those bulletins online.
Our current Catholic church doesn't post this info, our previous one did. But who looks up that sort of thing? If you attend mass at said church, you would likely know where those kids go to school, no?
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Old 05-20-18, 05:40 PM
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I don't know much about the politics of it all but I would hate to see Ready not field a football team. I played my first hs game against them as a freshman. We got beat 41-6. lol
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Old 05-20-18, 08:30 PM
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Our current Catholic church doesn't post this info, our previous one did. But who looks up that sort of thing? If you attend mass at said church, you would likely know where those kids go to school, no?
Summa is a Stark County person.
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Old 05-20-18, 09:39 PM
ReadyKnightsFan ReadyKnightsFan is offline
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Originally Posted by Jet19 View Post
I don't know much about the politics of it all but I would hate to see Ready not field a football team. I played my first hs game against them as a freshman. We got beat 41-6. lol
Why in the world would they not field a football team? That sport has excelled maybe as much as the softball program. Those teams tend to succeed on a yearly basis.
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  #26  
Old 05-20-18, 11:41 PM
The Dock The Dock is offline
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Originally Posted by ColumbusCatholic View Post
It definitely would! But as I said before...the Diocese hasn't even responded to growth in north Columbus by opening a new K-8 school in Delaware County even though there are huge parishes up there with no schools. It REALLY makes no sense.
Not sure how I missed this post, but because no one has addressed it, I will, now...

In the Diocese of Columbus, the grade schools are entirely supported by the sponsoring parish. An example would be St. Michael(‘s, of Worthington); they’re supported by St. Michael Parish. The Diocese’s oversight is only in accreditation and general operations. Since the year 2000, zero Catholic schools have been built while several have closed (e.g. the schools that consolidated to form All Saints Academy on Livingston Avenue, by Bishop Hartley - Christ the King, St. Phillip, and St. Thomas???). Point simply being, the grade schools do not operate on supply/demand relationships - rather, they rely on the parishes’ willingness to sponsor a grade school, which explains the weird situation that happened a few years ago at St. Mary of German Village and how places like Newark, Lancaster and even Perry County each have two Catholic grade schools to serve their respective parish populations (despite decreasing enrollment into their corresponding Catholic high schools.) For what it’s worth, I don’t foresee Delaware County adding a second Catholic grade school. The demographics, and aforementioned academic and all-inclusive “full package” appeal, of OLSD don’t suggest that such a move would be wise; neither, too, is the fact that the northerly Catholic grade schools of Franklin County (St. Paul, St. Michael, and St. Brigid of Kildare) already have served the southern Delaware County Catholics ever since the days of Olentangy High School being the only high school.
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Old 05-21-18, 06:54 AM
ColumbusCatholic ColumbusCatholic is offline
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Originally Posted by The Dock View Post
"3 kids through Watterson" - okay, so nothing personal, but, if you're a Watterson parent then it's evident your viewpoint is a little myopic on this one. Of the four comprehensive, co-ed schools in Franklin County (and, for that matter, the nine co-ed high schools in the Diocese of Columbus), Watterson draws from the wealthiest parishes and the wealthiest zip codes. It's of no surprise to anyone that those who are sacrificing to send their children to Watterson are doing so largely out of religious reasons (because, obviously, districts like Grandview, UA, Dublin and Olentangy aren't rough places to be... so the difference between BW and their public school counterparts is the faith aspect.) With schools like Ready, Newark and Fisher Cath, and probably to certain extents DeSales and Hartley, though, you have families who are primarily enrolling their children in because those schools are seen as being more functional, safer and conducive to learning in ways superior to the public district (SWCS, Newark, Lancaster; Reynoldsburg and Westerville.)

The Catholic schools are hemorrhaging the Catholic families of this generation. Enrollment, nationwide, is continuing to decline. With regards to Central Ohio, the landscape is actually more dire than it appears. The comprehensive, co-ed schools of Franklin County are buoyed by the voucher system. The risky proposition of moving Bishop Ready outside of Columbus is the fact that such a move would entail an independence from the voucher system. The window to boost enrollment, and create more schools (k-8 or 9-12) closed about 15 years ago. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, of Pickerington, will always be a PSR parish, despite the fact it had the numbers to justify its own school (as 20-25 kids a class at St. Pius X are in PLSD.) The aforementioned Church of the Resurrection in New Albany will never develop its own grade school, despite the fact its a parish with the wherewithal to do so, because it is flanked by the two largest grade schools in the entire Diocese (St. Paul of Westerville, and St. Matthew of Gahanna). The Diocese has owned the same plot of land near Orange Road in southern Delaware County since about 1998, but hasn't done diddily with it. St. Mary of Delaware can only admit 45-50% of prospective students in a class because it has no literal room to grow, expand and cater to the demand.

I don't think that Ready will necessarily close, but they're not in that great of a situation regardless of whether they would move or not. The Westgate neighborhood is changing toward a demographic that isn't conducive to private school enrollment, as it is largely becoming a neighborhood populated by "DINK" couples, yuppies, the gay community, and generally progressive people (who favor public school options over parochial ones.) Factor in the recently built and surging Cristo Rey (sp?) that is by the downtown library, and Ready is going to see less of the downtown urban student population coming their way. At the same time, moving to Grove City (are we talking inside 270, or outside 270?) would likely be ill-advised. As mentioned already, you lose the voucher safety net with a move. The other issue is a school like Ready, although maybe not Ready in particular, whether people want to admit it or not, are in "sink or swim" mode - they need to be able to diversify and sustain said diversity in their student portfolio: hey, the devout Catholic families are great, but what was once the group that made up the overwhelming majority of Cath. school student population is starting to instead become a plurality. They would need to really concentrate on getting more kids out of SWCS if they moved to Grove City; the problem is, right now, outside of the always-reliable Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Ready is losing in the private school market game in SW Franklin County to Grove City Christian (a school whose ascent in the past 10 years has made it the second-most prominent non-denominational Christian school in Franklin County, after Worthington Christian.) While I'm hesitant to suggest that this currently is of detriment of Ready, with consequent advantage to GCC, Ready is experiencing great periods of waxing and waning in their boys sports (except for football... which is generally the one solid program): soccer and baseball are down, and have been down for a short while now, and basketball is either really good or really bad (very little in between). GCC is also playing in what has become a very formidable and reputable small-school sports conference in the MSL-Cardinal, whereas Ready plays in a five-team conference that they usually find themselves toward the bottom of in several sports a year. Obviously, the CCL >>>> MSL-Cardinal in many ways... except winning and the recognition and pride that comes with consistent winning is going to largely supersede playing in the lion's den of sports and generally doing middle-of-the-pack or worse. The other thing that isn't helping Ready is Seaman's reluctance toward building a damn football field (seriously, being nomads to the extent that Ready football is forced to be frankly is a little... odd.) On Hoover Road, though, you get to play on a very nice football field.

I think Ready can weather the storm, but it's not unreasonable to say that their situation is a little bit tricky compared to the rest of the Franklin County "four."
I'm assuming you know a LOT more about the operations of the Diocese than I do but in your post earlier you said that St. Mary Delaware only admits 45-50% of their prospective students b/c they have no room for growth. Combine that with the growth of St. John Neumann and the population as a whole...wouldn't it make some sense to open a new school in that situation if kids are already getting turned away from a nearby school?
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  #28  
Old 05-21-18, 09:03 AM
The Dock The Dock is offline
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I think it’s made sense to build a new school in the area you’re describing. But the time to strike would be now, or was a year or so ago, with interest rates being low.

I think the Great Recession, though, still haunts some people across the Diocese. When I say that, I’m referring to student populations dwindling in several outlying places because of the dire economic impact it brought. If another one of those happened (it very well could), could a new school withstand the impact?
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  #29  
Old 05-21-18, 10:28 AM
FootballFan1795 FootballFan1795 is offline
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Dock - Agree with everything you're saying in regards to generational decline. The situation here, at the northernmost schools in the Diocese of Columbus, is dire. My prediction is that the only Catholic high school in Tuscarawas County - Tuscarawas Central Catholic Jr./Sr. High School in New Philadelphia - will close in the next 2-5 years. This closure will be predicated by the closing of one of its two feeder schools, Immaculate Conception Elementary School in Dennison, which is rumored to be closing in the next 1-2 years. The only school that has any chance of survival might be Central's other feeder school, Tuscarawas Central Catholic Elementary School in Dover (formerly St. Joseph Elementary School).

Over the years, enrollment has dropped dramatically at all three schools, despite decent locations and growth in New Phila's and Dover's populations. Even though NP's and Dover's school districts have always boasted good academic and sports reputations, and the majority of the private school folks hail from these districts, the Catholic schools were still always able to draw a respectable number of students - until more recently.

Over time, the student profile has definitely changed. No longer are the majority of students Catholic or even wealthy. Now, it seems most students are non-Catholic, have trouble acclimating in a public school, or are Hispanic. Only students from Immaculate Conception might qualify for vouchers, based on the results of the state report card of the school district from which these students come (mainly Claymont City Schools in the Dennison/Uhrichsville area).

Now, every Saturday, my large family gathers for a conclave in which we try to solve all of the world's problems in an afternoon. This 'state of the Catholic schools' issue has been on our agenda many a time, and it has been discussed that many of the devoutly-Catholic Hispanic families are sponsored by their local parishes (Dover St. Joe's or New Phila's Sacred Heart) or by a generous private benefactor, with a stipulation in place that each family must contribute at least $1,000 of their children's tuition themselves.

One suggested solution for our area's problem (which popped up at the conclave) was to find a way to convince the Hispanic families (that mostly live in the Dover/NP area) to move to the poorer Claymont and Newcomerstown school districts (a 20-minute drive from Dover/NP) so that their children can receive vouchers to attend the Catholic schools in Dover and NP. They, in turn, wouldn't be required to contribute the $1,000 of tuition.

Fill the schools with devout Catholic Hispanic families with vouchers, forget football (which is in the dumps, anyways), and watch the soccer program take off! Heck, Dover's St. Joseph Church had to add a special Sunday mass (in Spanish) in order to accommodate the area's Hispanics' work and soccer schedules! If the school could offer an elite soccer program, perhaps enrollment would increase.
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  #30  
Old 05-21-18, 10:40 AM
FootballFan1795 FootballFan1795 is offline
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I might add that Tuscarawas Central Catholic HS does not currently have a soccer program in place.
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