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Two archdiocese schools to receive $1.3 million for blended learning

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Mary Ronan, superintendent of Cincinnati Public Schools, left, Patrick Herrel, CEO of Accelerate Great Schools, and Susan Gibbons, interim superintendent of Catholic Schools pose for a photo. (Courtesy Photo/Accelerate Great Schools)
Mary Ronan, superintendent of Cincinnati Public Schools, left, Patrick Herrel, CEO of Accelerate Great Schools, and Susan Gibbons, interim superintendent of Catholic Schools pose for a photo. (Courtesy Photo/Accelerate Great Schools)

Accelerate Great Schools, a nonprofit fund founded in 2015, has announced its first two grants will benefit St. Francis de Sales in Walnut Hills and St. Cecilia in Oakley.

See the full press release below:

Accelerate Great Schools is investing up to $128,000 to support  Cincinnati Public Schools’ (CPS) work with TNTP (formerly The New Teacher Project) on attracting, supporting and developing school principals and assistant principals, and Seton Education Partners will receive up to $1.3 million to transform two additional Archdiocese of Cincinnati schools into blended learning academies.

“Both of these grants align with our investment focus, which is to help create pipelines for exceptional talent and to kick start great schools,” said Patrick Herrel, CEO of Accelerate Great Schools. “We’re proud to help provide fuel to the great progress CPS and the Archdiocese are making toward our shared goal of academic excellence.”

TNTP began working with CPS last year to improve the district’s teacher recruitment efforts and support, which resulted in the doubling of CPS’s teacher applicant pool. The new grant will evaluate the district’s approach to recruiting, hiring and supporting school principals, the first step in developing a robust leadership development effort for school leaders.

“Our relationship with TNTP already has been successful, and expanding the partnership to enhance our principal pipeline will help us advance further,” said Mary Ronan, superintendent of Cincinnati Public Schools. “We know that leadership is an important component of school success, with students being the ultimate beneficiaries. We are extremely appreciative of the support of Accelerate Great Schools in expanding our capacity to attract and develop great school leaders.”

The $1.3 million Accelerate Great Schools grant to Seton Education Partners will allow Seton to transform and introduce a blended learning model at two additional Archdiocese of Cincinnati schools, St. Francis de Sales in Walnut Hills and St. Cecilia in Oakley. This model – which uses technology, creative problem-solving and nationwide collaboration to improve the academic performance of students and reduce school operating costs – has already been implemented by Seton at the Archdiocese’s St. Joseph Catholic School in the West End. During the 2014-15 school year, 80 percent of St. Joseph’s students made one or more years of progress in math while 74 percent made one or more years of progress in reading on the NWEA Measures of Academic Progress® (MAP®) test, outpacing the national average by 30% and 24% respectively.

“We have already seen great results at St. Joseph using Seton’s blended learning model, and we appreciate Accelerate Great Schools helping us expand the relationship to two additional schools,” said Susan Gibbons, interim superintendent of Catholic Schools. “The bottom line is more kids will benefit. That’s why we’re all here.”

“Accelerate Great School’s only objective is student success,” said Herrel. “We will invest in programs that foster that success. TNTP and Seton have proven track records, both here and across the United States, and CPS and the Archdiocese showed great leadership in engaging them. We’re glad to help build on these successful relationships.”

Accelerate Great Schools continues to accept grant applications from individuals and organizations with a desire to positively influence K-12 education in Cincinnati. More information is available at www.accelerategreatschools.org.

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About Accelerate Great Schools

Founded in 2015, Accelerate Great Schools is a nonprofit fund dedicated entirely to student success in Cincinnati. Accelerate Great Schools will invest in two areas: a high-performing talent pipeline for principals and teachers and kickstarting great schools. Accelerate Great Schools will partner with district, public-charter and parochial schools, as they are all critical to student success. Many of Accelerate Great Schools’ early efforts will prioritize low-income communities that rarely have access to excellent schools.

About Cincinnati Public Schools

Serving about 34,000 students in 55 schools spread across a 91-square-mile district in southwest Ohio, Cincinnati Public Schools is Greater Cincinnati’s largest school district and Ohio’s third largest. Cincinnati Public Schools is the top-performing urban district in Ohio and offers families high-quality school choices and academic programs.

About the Archdiocese of Cincinnati

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati is the 38th largest Catholic diocese in the country, with almost 500,000 Catholics, and has the sixth largest network of Catholic schools in terms of enrollment. The 19-county territory includes 211 parishes and 111 Catholic primary and secondary schools.

About TNTP

TNTP is a national nonprofit committed to ending the injustice of educational inequality. Founded by teachers in 1997, TNTP partners with schools, districts and states to provide excellent teachers to the students who need them most and advance policies and practices that ensure effective teaching in every classroom.

 About Seton Education Partners

Seton Education Partners is committed to reviving and expanding opportunities for disadvantaged children in America to receive an academically excellent and vibrantly Catholic education. Seton was born of the belief that a tremendous opportunity exists to revitalize urban Catholic schools in America and strengthen the education they provide. The challenges are significant, to be sure, but with an entrepreneurial and innovative spirit, much can and should be done, not only to preserve this national treasure, but also to build upon its foundation for the benefit of thousands of children in America’s poorest neighborhoods.

 

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