NEW CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL FEASIBILITY STUDY FOR THE WILMINGTON REGION, DIOCESE OF RALEIGH
Catholic schools are a gift of our Church to local communities throughout our diocese. Our Catholic
schools are blessed with committed parents and families, visionary leadership, and the prayerful
support of many friends and benefactors. The future of our Church lies with our youth and it is vital
that we stay true to the mission of forming and educating them in faith, spirit, mind and body.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in their recent statement, Renewing Our
Commitment to Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools in the Third Millennium, emphasize
their continuing support of Catholic schools and said, “…the time has come to revisit and reaffirm our
commitment to Catholic elementary and secondary schools as invaluable instruments in proclaiming the Good News
from one generation to the next…We are convinced that Catholic schools continue to be ‘the most effective means
available to the Church for the education of children and young people’ who are the future of the Church (To Teach
As Jesus Did, no. 118).”
WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?
To continue the response to this call, we are looking at the need for and level of interest in a new
Catholic high school in the Wilmington region of the Diocese. Aware that this type of study has
been conducted in the past, the potential for a Catholic high school continues to be of interest to
families. So, to better serve this area of the Diocese with Catholic school education, a new high
school warrants consideration.
WHAT IS INVOLVED IN STUDYING THIS NEED?
Before we can seriously consider undertaking the planning and opening of a new school, we need to
objectively measure the level of interest among our parish families to determine the enrollment
To effectively study the need for a new school, a feasibility and market research study has been
commissioned Bishop Zarama and will be directed through the diocesan Office of Catholic Schools.
Meitler, a nationally recognized Catholic school strategic planning firm, is partnering with our
diocese to conduct this study.
In addition to data research and analysis, a market research survey will be available online or mailed
to all parish religious education program and Catholic school families to assess parents’ willingness
to enroll their children at a new Catholic high school. The survey process will take place during
January of the new year with a final presentation of findings in early spring. Initial information
gathering meetings have been conducted with the deanery pastors, principals of St. Mary and St.
Mark Catholic Schools, and invited parents of the two schools.
WHAT COULD THE NEW CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL BE LIKE?
It is our vision that the proposed new high school will create its own unique traditions and culture to
provide a high-quality, Catholic college preparatory education for its students. Strong Catholic
identity with high quality, competitive academics and co-curricular activities will be a hallmark of
the proposed school. Academic instruction will be grounded in the daily living and learning of our
Wilmington Region New High School Study – Newsletter #1 2
Catholic faith and provide innovative learning opportunities for the students led by qualified teachers
WHEN WOULD THE NEW SCHOOL OPEN?
No decisions have been made at this time. The feasibility study and market research survey will help
us determine if there is sufficient interest and enrollment to undertake the next steps in planning.
WHAT WOULD BE THE NEXT STEPS IN PLANNING A NEW SCHOOL?
If the data and market research study show that opening a new Catholic high school is possible with
sufficient enrollment potential to provide sustainability, the next steps would involve conducting a
financial feasibility study and funding plan, developing facility plans and cost estimates, and
establishing a timeline for action.