The Archdiocese of New York and the Partnership for Inner-City Education have signed a historic agreement that grants the Partnership broad authority to offer educational, administrative and operational services to six inner-city, Pre-K through eighth grade Catholic schools in Harlem and the Bronx.
The Partnership will assume financial responsibility for all of the schools’ capital costs and operating expenses. The opportunity will enable the Partnership to develop a network of high-performing Catholic schools with raised academic achievement levels and strengthened operations and finances.
The Partnership network of schools will launch in September.
The new model is a natural extension of the organization’s $200 million investment over a 20-year period of working successfully with New York’s inner-city Catholic schools.
This is the first time that an independent organization has been given the opportunity to manage a set of schools in the Archdiocese of New York.
The six schools, located in Harlem and the Bronx, have enjoyed a long working relationship with the Partnership. The schools, which serve more than 2,000 students from pre-K through eighth grade, are:
• Mount Carmel-Holy Rosary – 371 Pleasant Ave., 10035
• Our Lady Queen of Angels – 229 East 112th St., 10029
• St. Mark the Evangelist – 55 West 138th St., 10037
• St. Athanasius – 830 Southern Blvd., 10459
• Immaculate Conception – 378 East 151st St., 10455
• Sacred Heart — 1248 Nelson Ave., 10452
Under the agreement, the Partnership will provide the six schools with educational, administrative, financial and operational services. Working together with school leadership, the Partnership will seek to improve academic achievement levels at the schools. As part of this effort, the Partnership will implement extended academic days at all network schools and provide additional professional development for faculty. The Partnership will also ensure that the schools offer a broad program including art, music, sports, technology, community service and after-school programming.
The Partnership will manage all school finances, budgets and operations.
The Partnership will honor the terms of the current Federation of Catholic Teachers’ Union contract. The Partnership has hired a chief academic officer and chief operating officer who will work with the six schools to ensure a smooth transition and ongoing management.
The Archdiocese of New York will retain governance oversight of the six schools and will continue to own the buildings in which they are located. The archdiocese will continue to supervise and implement all religious curriculum and programs.
“We need to try new administrative models to address the challenges faced by Catholic education today and to ensure that our schools thrive and stay strong for future generations,” Cardinal Dolan said.
“We can’t afford ‘business as usual.’ The Partnership’s model is creative and bold, and I am truly excited about it. We need to follow the exhortation of Jesus to ‘cast out to the deep,’ as we lead Catholic education with a sense of vigor and dare.”
Dr. Timothy McNiff, the superintendent of schools in the archdiocese, said, “The Partnership network will complement the Archdiocese of New York’s strategic plan, Pathways to Excellence, and the current regionalization process, which introduces regional boards as part of a new elementary school governance model. We share a common vision: support the long-term success of Catholic elementary schools, and their essential role in our inner-city communities.”
Russell L. Carson, chairman of the Partnership’s board of trustees, added, “The Partnership has always celebrated Catholic schools’ ability to educate the whole child and its long-standing legacy educating the city’s neediest children. We want to ensure that excellent Catholic schools remain a viable option for low-income families.”
“Our Partnership schools will provide students with the academic preparation, values, and life skills that they need to lead fulfilling and productive lives, and we look forward to working collaboratively with the Archdiocese on behalf of these students,” he said.
The Partnership, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, was formed in 2010 following the merger of two established organizations, The Endowment for Inner-City Education and the Patrons Program. The Partnership (http://www.partnershipnyc.org/) has more than 20 years combined experience of working with Catholic inner-city schools in New York City and has invested more than $200 million in four main areas: scholarships; academic and enrichment programming; an adopt-a-school program; and capital projects. The Partnership plans to share what it learns from this groundbreaking opportunity with other schools in the archdiocese and in other dioceses across the country.