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Resilience and Excellence: Partnership Schools’ Annual Report

Last Friday was the 100th day of school—a traditional day of celebration for Kindergarteners in particular, where students often mark the speedy passage of time by dressing up like old people, like this young man from St. Charles Borromeo:

Someday, this young lady from SCB might even make a great educator, with the over-the-glasses look she’s already perfected:

Friday was also the day when Partnership Schools released our annual report. And while the unprecedented challenges of the 2020-21 school year may go down in history for making lots of educators feel old before their time, when we look back at the cumulative results of what our schools accomplished last year, we cannot help but have our energy renewed.

Just a few highlights:

  • By offering full-time, in-person learning from day one of the school year—months before better-resourced systems did so—we took a crucial step on behalf of our students that resulted in other impactful outcomes, including…
  • Beating pre-pandemic national achievement averages on the NWEA MAP test in both reading and math, and
  • Laying the foundation for the largest year-over-year enrollment increase in our network’s history.
  • We added two schools in Cleveland—and those schools achieved an astounding enrollment increase of almost forty percent.
  • And our supporters invested over $13 million in our students over the course of this momentous year.

We celebrate far more than milestones accomplished; we take a moment to spotlight the people behind the numbers—like Regis High School sophomore Nicholas Marronaro, who explains that the teachers at the Partnership’s Our Lady Queen of Angels School gave him a crucial “I can do this” feeling essential for him to take on the rigors of a school like Regis.

St. Charles principal Natalia Rodrigo speaks for all our heroic school leaders when she explains, “I keep hearing this time being referred to as the new normal. For us it is not new; it is normal…we have always given selflessly of ourselves to help.”

And Mitzi Freidheim, speaking on behalf of her whole family, who are actively engaged in supporting and advancing Partnership Schools, shares the faith that buoys us: “We invest in Partnership Schools because we are true believers.”

Both the simple pleasures of the 100th day of school and the substance of our annual report reinforce one truth of Partnership Schools this winter: we don’t have to look far for reasons to celebrate.

You can read the entire report here: