St. Stephen the Martyr Board of Education Minutes February 15, 2011

St. Stephen the Martyr Board of Education Minutes February 15, 2011

St. Stephen the Martyr

Board of Education Minutes

February 15, 2011

Attendance: Sandra Jameson, Jeanne Meyer, Joyce Snowden, Nicole Neesen, Greg Youell, Jaime Bizal,

Chris Shouse, Mary Maguire, Dr. Dave Peters, Fr. Jim Tiegs, Tom Jorgensen.

I. Opening Prayer: The meeting was called to order with prayer led by Sandra Jameson. Birthday wishes

were extended to Fr. Tiegs.

II. Approval of the December 14, 2010 Minutes: The minutes were presented for approval and discussion

followed. After discussion, it was moved and seconded to approve the minutes as corrected. The motion


III. Religious Education Report: Mary Maguire

A. Calendar items were shared. Parish commitment services for candidates for Confirmation will

soon be held at weekend Masses.

B. Registration for the 2011-12 year begins March 1 for volunteers and catechists and March 10 for

participants. Tuition and fees have been set by the Finance Board at $110 for Sunday School and

$125 for K-8.

C. A draft of the Religious Education calendar for 2011-12 was shared.

D. Religious education classes will be held as a large group meeting in the worship space on Feb

14/15 when the 5-day school has conferences.

E. Vacation Bible School plans for Pandamania are underway for June 6-10 and June 13-17.

Approximately 200 participants and 100 volunteers are expected per session. Our VBS program

is a Catholic version, published by Our Sunday Visitor (

and therefore different than those offered at protestant churches even though the program names

may be similar. As a Catholic version, the saints and Marian theology are discussed each day.

F. Youth Ministry has had calls from other parishes looking at our youth programs. Life Teen

youth will participate this summer in the Steubenville trip with youth from neighboring parishes

including St. Vincent de Paul, St. Wenceslaus, St Charles Borromeo, and St. Patrick in Elkhorn.

The Archdiocese of Omaha has put all activities at the Archdiocesan Youth Camp on hold and is

refunding registrations due to financial considerations.

IV. School Report: Dr. Dave Peters

A. Calendar items were shared.

B. The Nebraska Dept of Education made a site visit to St. Stephen the Martyr on January 21, 2011

to verify compliance with the accreditation requirements of Rule 10: Regulations and Procedures

for the Accreditation of Schools. The Dept of Education followed up with a letter reporting that

they found St. Stephen the Martyr to be in compliance with the requirements of Rule 10, and they

commended the efforts of our school to provide meaningful, relevant and spiritual curriculum as

well as efforts made to address the special resource needs of struggling students and efforts to

provided accelerated programs for gifted students. Dr. Peters reported that 33 different areas

were reviewed. Another site visit by the Nebraska Dept of Education is not expected for another

five years.

C. Information was provided regarding the upcoming Education Freedom Rally at the state capitol

in Lincoln on March 22, 2011. This rally is an effort to support a private school choice program

in Nebraska and to encourage the state legislators to continue the textbook loan program. The

rally is being carried out by the Nebraska Federation of Catholic School Parents and has approval

of the Nebraska bishops and the governing board of the Nebraska Catholic Conference. Board of

Education members, and school parents are encouraged to attend.

D. Registration for the 2011-12 school year will be held during the month of March and will include

the new High 5 Pre-K program. Tuition amounts to be charged for all students are currently

being finalized by the Finance Board. An 11 month tuition payment plan will be implemented

for the 2011-12 school year.

E. Teacher contracts for the 2011-12 school year are due out by March 15, 2011 and must be

returned by teachers by the April 15, 2011 deadline.

F. The enrollment history of the school from inception was shared.

G. Dr. Peters shared a report from the Duke TIP program where St Stephen the Martyr was

recognized for having the highest qualifying participation in the Duke TIP program in the state of

Nebraska based on scores of current 4 th and 5 th grade students on standardized tests.

H. Scholarship winners from St. Stephen the Martyr to area Catholic high schools were reported.

V. Pastor’s Report:

A. Fr. Tiegs shared information regarding the new Mass translations. There will be bulletin inserts

plus specific preaching in conjunction with all parishes in the archdiocese on eight Sundays

starting in October. The implementation will begin on Sunday, November 27, 2011.

B. Due to the scheduled preaching related to the new Mass translations, the schedule for stewardship

appeals has been adjusted to the month of September.

C. The parish festival is scheduled for August 26/27 th .

D. A modified mission with three evenings of prayer and teaching will be scheduled in October.

E. Fr. Tiegs discussed a recent Our Sunday Visitor editorial encouraging cooperation between parish

Catholic school and the Religious Education programs. A both/and approach is necessary for our

Church to thrive in the 21 st Century. Fr. Tiegs commented that he believes St. Stephen the Martyr

does a good job in this regard.

F. Fr. Tiegs reported that the Finance Council is working very hard to set the final tuition rates and

to be able to give a raise to teachers and staff.

VI. Old Business

A. A motion was made and seconded to approve the 2011-12 calendar for St. Stephen the Martyr

School. The motion was approved.

B. A motion was made and seconded to approve the 2011-12 calendar for St. Stephen the Martyr

Religious Education Program. The motion was approved.

C. An expression of thanks was shared from Ron Meier for the Board of Education contribution to

the Parish Festival.

D. Tom Jorgensen is currently gathering information regarding the Total Board of Education. A

hold has been put on the discussion of the Total Board of Education which would include 5 day

school, Kidzone, religious education, youth ministry as well as adult formation until the new

members of the Board of Education are elected in the upcoming election.

E. Drafts of the survey questions for the annual Board of Education surveys will be reviewed

following the adjournment of the BOE meeting.

VIII. New Business

A. The parish elections have been scheduled for April 9 th and 10 th . BOE members are encouraged

to help recruit parishioners to run for Board of Education or Pastoral Council positions.

B. The next town hall meeting to discuss parish goals and objectives has been scheduled for

Thursday, April 7 th .

C. A discussion was held regarding the recent shooting at Millard South High School and the

security/response by St. Stephen the Martyr. Parish Staff including Fr. Tiegs, Tom Jorgensen,

Dr. Peters, Mary Maguire, and Juli Han met to discuss the response by St Stephen the Martyr

including what we did and what could be improved. A question was asked about a possible

parent alert system. A review of the costs of these systems will be made, though the cost when

previously reviewed was prohibitive for our parish.

D. Tom Jorgensen provided an updated constitution based on current practices of the parish as a

starting point for discussion. Board members were asked to review the Board of Education

constitution compared to the previous document. A subcommittee meeting will be held to

discuss any concerns prior to the full Board meeting in March. Future candidates for BOE

positions will be provided a copy of the Board of Education constitution at the time they submit

their application to run for a Board of Education position.

E. Tom Jorgensen recognized the Home & School organization for their work in sponsoring the

teacher appreciation luncheon as part of Catholic Schools Week. Tom reported that the luncheon

was enthusiastically received by our teachers.

IX. Adjournment and Prayer

After a motion and second, the meeting was adjourned followed by a closing prayer.

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