Central Catholic Elementary School
Grounded in Faith - Building our Future
WHAT IS GICC'S VISION FOR EDUCATION?
We seek to build upon our achievements at Central Catholic by adding grades pre-K through 5. We believe that forming students in these younger years will better prepare them for the academics, athletics and student life they will experience in grades 6 through 12 at GICC. The new elementary school will have at its heart letting children be children, with all the recess, art, music, P.E. and wholesome faith-filled curricula that entails. Especially at these younger years, our mission is to cultivate a sense of wonder in our students, partnering with parents to instill in our youngsters the good habits needed as they move into the older grades.
WHY IS GICC BUILDING A NEW ELEMENTARY SCHOOL NOW?
For the past 50 years, there has been a deep desire in Grand Island for a pre-K through 5th grade Catholic elementary school. In the fall of 2018, we began giving this serious consideration. Under the leadership of our Superintendent, Jordan Engle, our Foundation Director, Jolene Wojcik, then Fr. Jim Golka, and many others, our Elementary School exploration committees began working diligently to bring this goal to fruition. The emergence of the Covid pandemic in spring 2020 forced us to pause. However, we continued to hear from families at Central Catholic and within the Grand Island community of their desire for a Catholic elementary school. This attitude bolstered our drive and encouraged us to move forward with a planning study. The study reinforced what we believe has long been the case: Grand Island needs pre-K-12 Catholic education, and the time is now to make our long-awaited elementary school a reality.
DO WE NEED TO BE CATHOLIC TO ATTEND?
Central Catholic accepts people of all faiths. Our current enrollment is comprised of 84% Catholic students and 16% non-Catholic students. Catholic schools are different. The experience is designed to be transformational, to make a difference in the life of a student. From the first day at Central Catholic, your child learns in a disciplined environment, one that respects every individual, one that seeks to promote selflessness, self-control, and the pursuit of justice and faith in action.
WHEN WILL THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL OPEN ITS DOORS?
The active phase of our capital campaign will run through spring of 2023 with our hope to break ground that summer. During the 2023/2024 school year, we will construct the building, enroll students and hire teachers/staff in preparation of opening the doors to Central Catholic Elementary School in the fall of 2024.
What do you expect to charge for tuition?
Our goal is for tuition to be competitive with other private schools in the area. We will decide on the cost at an appropriate time during the 2023/2024 school year in anticipation of fall 2024.
How does gicc work to keep tuition affordable?
GICC strives to keep our tuition rates affordable for all families. We are grateful to receive subsidies from the four Catholic parishes in Grand Island, namely, St. Mary’s Cathedral, St. Leo’s Catholic Church, Blessed Sacrament Church and Resurrection Church. This arrangement is designed to fulfill these communities’ desire to have parish families attend Central Catholic at affordable tuition rates.
what is the plan to avoid rising tuition?
The Development Foundation will earmark a portion of the dollars raised in this campaign to establish the Bishop James Golka Legacy Fund. The intent is for it to be a true and lasting endowed fund that allows students from all walks of life and demographics to attend Central Catholic Elementary School. Creating this fund is an integral part of our capital campaign, and we believe it will serve the community well.
how will the elementary school benefit gicc as a whole?
Adding grades pre-K through 5 means Central Catholic will offer a full pre-K-12 education to Grand Island: Grounded in Faith - Building Our Future.
Not only does Central Catholic pride itself on faith formation, but GICC also offers a quality 6-12 education with superior academic results. The addition of elementary grades will allow us to lay the foundation of faith and academic rigor earlier in a student’s schooling. With this new foundation laid, we will be able to build our upper grades to even higher success both spiritually and academically.
Central Catholic has been blessed with a high-quality teaching staff for decades. We treat our teachers well by offering a competitive salary, health insurance, paid maternity leave, and access to our health facilities. We have not had any issues hiring or retaining high quality teachers, and we are constantly monitoring the job market to stay ahead of the curve in course offerings.
How will the elementary school benefit my parish?
The elementary school will add to the way Central Catholic currently benefits parish families by forming their youngest members to be virtuous, responsible and charitable young men and women. These students, having been encouraged to discern their vocation and to be good stewards of their parish, will be the future of the faithful in Grand Island.
How will the elementary school benefit grand island?
A choice of school at the K-5 grade level will benefit Grand Island and the surrounding community by making our city more attractive to new and returning families, facilitating Grand Island businesses in their recruitment efforts, and responding to the material desire and ongoing need of our Grand Island community for a private school option.
what is the plan for long-term financial stability?
As part of our due diligence, we developed an operational cost analysis using comparable pre-k-12 Catholic schools in Nebraska. Our tripartite funding model - tuition, parish subsidies and fundraising - has allowed us to keep our tuition rates affordable while also maintaining teacher salaries and benefits at competitive levels.
The elementary school’s operating costs will benefit greatly by the synergy with the middle school and high school. From staffing and administration to facilities and custodial work, being on the same campus will allow the elementary school to operate at a sustainable budget.
In addition, we are establishing the Bishop James Golka Legacy Fund as part of this capital campaign. As we plan for the future, this fund will create a source of income for the elementary school going forward. Of further note during our planning study, we identified over 60 families who have remembered GICC in their estate planning.
Elementary School Building
The Bishop James Golka Legacy Fund
who will be asked to support the campaign?
We will reach out to our benefactors — alumni, current and past parents, friends of GICC, etc.— but because this project will benefit the city, we will expand our scope. We’ll also contact area businesses and families who haven’t connected with GICC in the past but have an interest in the project. We’ll also seek consideration from foundations.
when will i receive a request to make a pledge?
The preparation phase of our campaign is underway, and there’s much to accomplish before we start asking for financial support. We anticipate launching our silent phase in the fall of 2022 with the public phase beginning in January 2023.
When the time arrives, you will receive an appeal packet in the mail with a confidential request letter and a campaign case statement detailing the campaign goals. We ask that you please review the information and prayerfully discern how you can support the campaign.
how does the campaign fit with annual fundraising efforts?
We designed the campaign timeline aware of The Knight and other annual fundraising efforts. We recognize their importance in providing GICC annual support. We encourage the continued support of these important causes.
will gicc provide updates throughout the campaign?
Our commitment is to provide ongoing updates in the parish bulletins, school websites, social media and other avenues of communication.
is my pledge legally binding? will it be confidential?
A pledge is not legally binding, but rather a commitment made in good faith. We ask that you advise us of any financial changes that may impact your pledge. We will keep all gifts and pledges confidential with only the people responsible for maintaining campaign records having access to the commitments.
how do i know my gift will be used as intended?
The Development Foundation will designate every dollar donated to the campaign to a restricted account for use to fund the projects outlined in the case statement. GICC leadership is committed to full transparency and will provide frequent updates throughout the campaign regarding fundraising and expenditures.
are campaign gifts tax deductible?
Gifts made to Central Catholic Development Foundation for Central Catholic Elementary School are tax deductible.
how can i make a gift to the campaign?
The ways one may contribute to the capital campaign include:
how can i express my interest in volunteering for the campaign?
To accomplish our goal of breaking ground in the summer of 2023, we will need your help! If you are interested in volunteering for the campaign, please contact Jolene Wojcik at the Foundation office by email at email@example.com or by phone at
How can i express my interest in teaching at the school?
We support our teachers!
Teacher salary at GICC is about 90% of teacher salary at public schools, which is very high for a private school. In fact, outside of the Omaha area our teachers are the highest paid Catholic school teachers in Nebraska! GICC has the same health insurance as public school teachers and we distinguish ourselves by providing paid maternity leave, mental health leave, unlimited professional development leave, and unlimited bereavement leave. Our teacher retirement plan is competitive in the marketplace.
Beyond the above benefits, we focus on recruiting and forming faithful and joy-filled teachers to be role models for our students and the standard bearers of our classroom culture.
We have received a great deal of interest in teaching at the elementary school and we understand the excitement! With that said, we will announce our hiring needs at the appropriate time during the 2023-2024 school year. In the meantime, we encourage all who are interested in teaching to support the campaign.
IS THERE A WAITING LIST FOR THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL?
We understand that families are excited and wish to act as early as possible. We encourage families to first take part in the campaign to help us ensure we can stay on track to open the school in fall 2024. In addition, we will communicate enrollment logistics to families at the appropriate time in the 2023-2024 school year.
To ensure your family is contact when time comes for GICC to accept Elementary School registrations, click our GICC ELEMENTARY SCHOOL WAITLIST.