Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington



From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302


Survey results offer positive perceptions about Catholic schools

by Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor, Inland Register

(From the Sept. 11, 2008 edition of the Inland Register)

A recent survey brought significantly encouraging news to the Catholic schools of Eastern Washington.

Earlier this year, a survey developed by the schools’ Development Committee was sent to parishes for distribution through Sunday bulletins. The survey also was included in the June 12, 2008 edition of the Inland Register, and was posted on the diocese’s web site.

Responses from 886 surveys now have been tabulated.

The effort came from the diocesan strategic plan, said Dr. Duane Schafer, Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the diocese. The survey looked for “attitudinal pieces” about the marketing of Catholic schools – “What are people’s current perceptions regarding schools?” he said. “Are there areas we need to look at more closely?”

The responses themselves didn’t contain many surprises, he said. What was actually surprising was the demographic of those responding: by far the majority of surveys were returned by individuals age 55 and older.

A few facts from the survey results:

• Catholic schools in the Diocese of Spokane have a positive influence on the Catholic Church in Eastern Washington: 89.9 percent agreed or strongly agreed.
• Catholic schools have a positive influence on parish life: 91 percent agreed or strongly agreed.
• Catholic schools in the Diocese of Spokane portray a strong Catholic identity: 84.7 percent agreed or strongly agreed.
• The need for Catholic schools is at least as great today as it was in the past: 90.4 percent agreed or strongly agreed.

Although he stresses that this was not a scientific survey, “I’m pleased with the results,” said Dr. Schafer. “That’s how we perceive our schools.”


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