January 17, 2016

Back in the day, picking a grade school was a pretty simple choice for most parents: Public or Catholic.  If public, you went to the school closest to your house.  If your parents chose the Catholic school route, you simply went to the school attached to your parish.

These days, selecting a school is far from simple. Certainly, if you chose the public route, your address dictates your school (thereby adding another criteria to your house hunting.)  If you opt for private or parochial schools, there are nearly a dozen grade schools in our immediate area.

Eight of those schools are Diocesan Catholic schools.  Four are in the Joliet city limits--St. Paul’s, St. Jude’s, St. Mary Nativity and us.  There are two in Lockport--St. Joseph and St. Dennis, plus Holy Family in Shorewood and St. Mary Immaculate in Plainfield.  That’s a lot of options for a parent to evaluate.

From the school side, all we want is the chance to have folks consider what we have to offer.  That means for the next six months, we will be taking an aggressive steps to recruit new families.

The first and biggest step is to make sure new families know we are here.  Gone is any hint of hubris in    thinking that “everyone” knows where St. Raymond School is.  We’ll be working hard to get our name out there and hopefully get families in our doors.

This is where you can help.

In the main hallway of the school, there is a quote from founding pastor Fr. Francis Scanlan over the doorway.  It says in part “We have no better ambassadors for our parish than the children of St. Raymond School.”

I would amend that to include parishioners, parents, past-parents, alumni and friends of St. Raymond School.

As registration opens for the 2016-2017 school year, we ask you to spread the word that St. Raymond School is looking for new families to join our community.  Tell folks to check out our new   snazzy school website at straymond.net/school.  There they’ll find great deal of information on the school and the enrollment process. 

Most importantly, encourage people to come see us. 

When families tour our school, they are impressed to see how organized and well run our building is.  We have nearly 500 students from age 3 to 14 using our facilities to their fullest.

On tours, our visitors are heartened to see that we have religion class every day, Mass every Wednesday, and our Catholic faith is woven into to our daily lessons.  For many, it just as it was when they went to Catholic school.

We love that our visitors are surprised at the range of technology in the school including Smart Boards in the classroom and a one-to-one laptop program in junior high.  Our kids go into high school with great technological savvy.

We also reassure our visitors that we have resources to accommodate students’ needs including an enrichment program, Wilson reading tutors and Response to Intervention.

So whenever you see an opportunity, please  encourage folks to give St. Raymond School a good look.    Whether it’s the neighbor, your friend’s kid, your own kid,  or the new guy at work, please let     parents know that St. Raymond School is well worth their consideration for their children.

Eileen Hooks Gutierrez
Director of Development                                           straysdevelopment@yahoo.com
815-722-6653, ext 242



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