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The Partnership’s Work in New York Concludes

by Partnership Staff
1 minute read

Last week, the Archdiocese of New York let us know that they will resume direct management of the seven schools the Partnership has been managing in New York at the expiration of our 11-year services agreement with the Archdiocese. Thus Partnership Schools’ work in New York will conclude June 30, 2024, even as our work in Cleveland continues full steam ahead.

Next Steps for the Seven New York Schools

In a message to families of the schools this week, Partnership Superintendent Kathleen Porter-Magee shared:

In terms of what this means for you and your children in the next year, we anticipate few day-to-day changes. For example, the tuition you are approved to pay for 2024-2025 will remain the same, and the school day will remain extended (ending at 4:00pm for most grades). In addition, the teachers and principals of your schools have always been Archdiocesan employees, so their 2024-2025 contracts will not be affected.

On behalf of the team at Partnership Schools, we have been honored to serve your children and your communities. We named our organization Partnership Schools, because we knew that our work was always meant to be a true partnership with the Archdiocese. Those of us at the network will take heart knowing that the strength of our work—and the engine that has fueled our results—lies in each of our communities. While the management structure of the schools may change, the strength of our school communities will not. And we look forward to continuing to watch your schools and children soar in the years ahead.

The schools that will experience this transition include:

Our Lady Queen of Angels, East Harlem                      Sacred Heart School, the Bronx

Mt. Carmel-Holy Rosary, East Harlem                          Immaculate Conception, the Bronx

St. Mark the Evangelist, Harlem                                        St. Athanasius, the Bronx

St. Charles Borromeo, Harlem                                                                         

Archdiocesan Superintendent Sr. Mary Grace Walsh, ASCJ, added, “On behalf of the Archdiocese, we look forward to closer collaboration with all seven schools in coming years.”

What’s Next for Partnership Schools

We will continue to run Cleveland’s four Partnership Schools—in fact, we are thrilled to double down on the work and explore expanding it to serve more Cleveland students and schools. 

Dr. Frank O’Linn, Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Cleveland and Partnership Trustee, shared with Executive Director Kristen Gengaro in an email this week that “Partnership Schools has been a valuable asset to the Diocese of Cleveland since the launch of our management agreement in 2020. The network’s impact has grown in this diocese, and we look forward to continuing our partnership to benefit the increasing number of students and families served by our Catholic schools in the heart of the city.” 

The Diocese of Cleveland’s current agreement with Partnership Schools to operate Metro Catholic, St. Francis, St. Thomas Aquinas, and Archbishop Lyke runs through 2028 and is renewable at that time. 

Additionally, we are eager to find the next city where we can leverage the power of Catholic schools in underserved communities, ambitious philanthropy, and educational expertise to transform outcomes for children and communities. The Partnership will begin that discernment process at the conclusion of the transition of our New York schools’ management back to the Archdiocese.  

Board Chair Russ Carson shared in a message with trustees this week, “Ending our management contract with the Archdiocese of New York is not the end of Partnership Schools, but rather the beginning of a journey to see if we can implement our programs on a more national basis.”

A Look Back at a Groundbreaking Eleven Years

Partnership Schools began in 2013 when an ambitious group of donors to New York’s Catholic schools, committed educators, and the Archdiocese worked out an agreement to launch a bold experiment: to stand up an organization that would take on management of schools while they remained owned by the diocese, with an eye toward turning around struggling Catholic elementary schools in underserved communities. 

That experiment’s success is reflected in many ways: thousands of children who have achieved deep, enduring learning gains and millions of dollars in scholarship support to attend top-tier high schools; a 28% enrollment increase since the start of the pandemic; and a model that is poised to make similar gains in Cleveland.