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A belief in the faith-based

Nicole Griffith, left, and Mikayla Whiteley, both 11, discuss a lesson while studying the Titanic using iPads in Nan Hong’s social studies class at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School in Dunedin.

DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times (2011)

Nicole Griffith, left, and Mikayla Whiteley, both 11, discuss a lesson while studying the Titanic using iPads in Nan Hong’s social studies class at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School in Dunedin.

As with other private schools in the nation, Catholic schools are seeing a decline in enrollment. Hoping to reverse that trend, the Diocese of St. Petersburg is in the midst of drawing up a strategic plan for its schools in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Citrus, Hernando and Pasco counties.

The strategic plan is looking at five areas: Catholic identity, finances, leadership, reimagining and academic excellence. A draft of the plan still is being reviewed.

"The Bishop of the Diocese of St. Petersburg realized the need to look at a new way of Catholic education in the diocese," wrote superintendent Alberto Vazquez-Matos in an executive summary about the effort.

In 2010, the diocese hired Vazquez-Matos — the youngest superintendent ever — to help boost enrollment, reach out to Hispanic students and strengthen the overall system.

He launched an initiative to study enrollment and demographic trends of students in the diocese's schools and proposed drawing up a five-year strategic plan to either revamp or replace the diocese's parochial schools model.

"There is a need to vitalize and strengthen our schools throughout the diocese, as well as to make sure there is accessibility to Catholic education in every area of the diocese," Vazquez-Matos wrote in his summary. "Catholic education has been challenged over the years. … Overcoming these challenges calls for transformational and entrepreneurial thinking."

Blessed Sacrament Catholic School

11501 66th Ave. N, Seminole; K-8; phone: (727) 391-4060;

Clearwater Central Catholic High School

2750 Haines Bayshore Road; 9-12; phone: (727) 531-1449;

Espiritu Santo Catholic School

2405A Philippe Parkway, Safety Harbor; preK-8; phone: (727) 812-4650;

Guardian Angels Catholic School

2270 Evans Road, Clearwater; K-8; phone: (727) 799-6724;

Holy Family Catholic School

250 78th Ave. NE, St. Petersburg; ECC2,3,4(VPK)-8; phone: (727) 526-8194;

morning star catholic School

4661 80th Ave. N, Pinellas Park; Special Education; phone: (727) 544-6036;

Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School

730 San Salvador Drive, Dunedin; preK-8; phone: (727) 733-3776;

Sacred Heart Interparochial School

7951 46th Way N, Pinellas Park;

preK-8; phone: (727) 544-1106;

St. Cecelia Interparochial School

1350 Court St., Clearwater; preK-8; phone: (727) 461-1200;

St. John Vianney Catholic School

500 84th Ave., St. Pete Beach;

preK-8; phone: (727) 360-1113;

St. Jude Cathedral School

600 58th St. N, St. Petersburg; early childhood 3 and 4, K-8; phone: (727) 347-8622;

St. Patrick Catholic School

1501 Trotter Road, Largo; preK-8; phone: (727) 581-4865;

St. Paul Catholic School

1900 12th St. N, St. Petersburg;

preK-8; phone: (727) 823-6144;

St. Petersburg Catholic High School

6333 Ninth Ave. N, St. Petersburg;

9-12; phone: (727) 344-4065;

St. Raphael Catholic School

1376 Snell Isle Blvd. NE; preK-8; phone: (727) 821-9663; straphael

A belief in the faith-based 01/14/12 [Last modified: Saturday, January 14, 2012 1:39pm]
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