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Southwest MN Christian High School. Challenging Students to Grow in Knowing, Loving, and Serving God and Others. Purpose. School Improvement: Improve what we do Transform God’s world, cultural mandate Christian Grade School Visits: Communication Feedback Information Improve what we do.

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southwest mn christian high school

Southwest MN Christian High School

Challenging Students to Grow in Knowing, Loving, and Serving God and Others.

  • School Improvement:
    • Improve what we do
    • Transform God’s world, cultural mandate
  • Christian Grade School Visits:
    • Communication
    • Feedback
    • Information
    • Improve what we do
five dangerous trends effecting southwest and why we should pay attention
Five Dangerous Trends Effecting Southwestand Why We Should Pay Attention:
  • Declining enrollment: we are close to reaching the “tipping point” causing staff and therefore program/course offering reduction
  • Increasing tuition costs demanding other financial resources; budget deficit years; prohibitive tuition cost increases making Christian education unaffordable for some families
  • Board and staff working hard to improve the school, have maintained organizational status quo; however, no enrollment increase or more affordable tuition
  • Aging yet competent and effective academic model: the majority of high schools across the United States use the factory model; however, this is a 200 year old model. Christian high schools can join the push for change, and we should be part of that as we pursue excellence in education.
  • Concerns with Community Passion for Southwest and Christian Education:
    • church and school relations have decreased
    • family independence has increased
    • school mission perspectives and decisions have offended some causing reduced support, but only minimal increased support.
the leading response
The Leading Response

1. To renew and improve the direction, commitment, and passion for Christian education in general, Christian grade schools, and Southwest Christian

2. To change the way we do some things, from the inside out; “retool in recession,” “if we were to start a Christian high school in Edgerton, we would…”

3. Consider All Things:

a. Mission, Philosophy: staying committed to the present mission and purpose of the school

b. Finances

c. Staffing

d. Education, students – post-high school prep

e. Community input: parents, supporters

f. Co-curriculars: athletics, music, drama

g. Other areas?

the leading response1
The Leading Response

4. How:

  • We have formed an expanded executive committee with mandates from the board. The committee is made up of our board officers, an at-large member, our former board president, and two new members with experience in advertising, finance, and business.
  • This committee is doing the strategic planning for the board and this change. The committee will be involved in the following:

i. Visiting other model schools

ii. Visiting with study groups – parents, students, college professors, alumni, potential parents, church leaders, staff, others

iv. Considering the three components of the needed change:

- increasing enrollment

- financial stability

- improved academic model; student focused

the leading response2
The Leading Response

The Specific Solutions to Facilitate Change:

Staff Restructuring:

1. Darrel Ulferts’ Vice-principal job expanded to most student needs and supervision

2. Paul Bootsma’s principal job description changed

A. Vision and Planning

B. Fundraising/Finances

C. Recruiting students

D. Contacting 4 supporting elementary schools and churches

E. Reporting to the board

F. Supervising staff

3. Denise DeKam’s Office/Business Manager change

A. School Finances – similar to present situation

B. Fundraising information database, record keeping

C. Recruiting information

D. Event planning: Pumpkin Festival, Donation Sale, etc

the leading response3
The Leading Response

Three Improvement Efforts

  • Education: School visits, research, family surveys, information gathering, grade schools, student and staff input
  • Finances: alumni, donors, grants, farming
  • Enrollment: potential families, pastors/churches, United Christian Schools
long term work
Long Term Work

Asking questions, seeking direction, keeping the vision, following the mission

  • Parents
  • Christian Grade Schools
  • Alumni
  • Colleges
  • Pastors and Churches
  • Model school study, research
  • Academic Excellence
  • Community Relations
the goals of this change
The Goals of this Change

1. Maintain core mission, focus, philosophy

2. Pursue financial stability allowing for affordable tuition for families in the area

3. Increase enrollment through work with Christian grade schools, area community promotions, and church relations

4. Reinvigorate the organization

5. Improved excellent, Christ-centered education

6. Improve Community Support causing a renewed excitement/passion/commitment for Christian education

discussion response ideas
Discussion, Response, Ideas

What advice do you have?





What can Southwest do better?

What can we do together?

What’s next?