23 September 2020
Archdiocese of Detroit
12 State Street
Detroit, MI 48226-1823
Dear The Most Rev. Allen H Vigneron,
ST IGNATIUS CATHOLIC SCHOOL OF THE CAYMAN ISLANDS
We are the Parents’ Governance and Transparency Sub-Committee of the Home School Association ("HSA") of St Ignatius Catholic School of the Cayman Islands ("School") (the "Sub-Committee”) and write on behalf of the St Ignatius parents ("Parents") who have signed this letter.
On Monday, 14 September, more than 200 parents attended the HSA meeting in the Loyola Hall. During this meeting concerns were raised about the sudden resignation of the Head of School (some refer to this role as the School Principal) and it became clear that the governance structure of the School was inadequate and unacceptable for a School of our size. The lack of transparency, accountability and legitimacy of the governance structure is of the utmost concern to the Parents of the School and we believe that this requires immediate remediation.
Subsequent to more than two hours of discussion at the HSA meeting, the significant majority of parents in attendance unequivocally gave our support to the Head of School and teachers, and repeatedly expressed concerns about the lack of transparency and, what appears to be, questionable governance. This position is compounded given the School’s KYD$8 million budget and 699 students and its non-profit organization status; both elements demanding appropriate governance and transparency to all stakeholders, especially us, the Parents who account for more than 95% of the School's income and whose children's education will be tangibly impacted.
The meeting concluded with the Parents mandating the commission of an independent subcommittee of Parents to work towards finding a solution that would result in a sound governance structure that brings stability to the School and is in accordance with the rules and guidelines stipulated by the Archdiocese of Detroit and the laws, regulations and standards of the Cayman Islands. We, the Parents, are unwilling to remain with the status quo that has become problematic over the past number of years and culminated in the current situation. This has resulted in, and will continue to create, unwelcome instability for our students and a commensurate detrimental impact in their education standards.
As Parents, we have our children’s best interests at heart and respectfully demand:
1. Stability for the students and the School and we firmly believe that the retention of the Head of School is key to achieving this;
2. Transparency with regards to decisions being made, the governance structure in general and the financial position of the School;
3. Independent representation with the members representing the Parents on the School Advisory Committee being elected by the parents themselves for appointment by the Pastor;
4. Accountability from all those that represent us and that make decisions that impact our children's education; and
5. Proper Corporate Governance with appropriate controls to ensure our voices are heard and that decisions are made in a collaborative way without any one person able to act unilaterally and without being held accountable.
We recognize and accept the Catholic ethos in our School and trust the Archdiocese of Detroit will prioritize our children’s education and work together with us to achieve these goals.
Yours in faith,
The undersigned Parents
cc Father Naveen D’Souza, Parish Administrator, St. Ignatius Catholic Church
Bishop Arturo Cepeda, Auxiliary Bishop, Archdiocese of Detroit
Kevin Kijewski, Superintendent of Schools, Archdiocese of Detroit
Anthony Partridge, Chair, St. Ignatius School Advisory Committee
Martin Cooke, Chair, St. Ignatius Home School Association
Wil Pineau, Chair, St Ignatius Parish Pastoral Council