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25 Catholic Schools from New England Attend Regional LEI

Written by Manny Fernandez on Tuesday, 28 November 2017.

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This past October 2-4, in partnership with the Diocese of Providence, the Alliance for Catholic Education held an off-campus Latino Enrollment Institute (LEI) in Warwick, Rhode Island. The LEI welcomed 25 Catholic schools from eight different (arch)dioceses from around the New England region to the beautiful Aldrich Mansion, where 76 participants learned key strategies on how to recruit and serve Latino students in their Catholic schools.

In attendance at the New England LEI were representatives from individual schools, including principals, teachers, office administrators, enrollment directors, and pastors, as well as a number of diocesan Catholic Schools office representatives. Diocese of Providence superintendent, Dan Ferris, played a vital role in bringing the LEI to the New England region, as he recognized the dire need to make a Catholic education more accessible to the growing population of Latino families in the region.

Over the course of the two-and-a-half-day conference, LEI participants learned recruitment and marketing practices designed to help boost Latino enrollment, how to establish an environment that is culturally responsive to Latino families, and ways to set up an effective Madrinas program, among many other things. As the conference unfolded, Dan Ferris identified the importance of having a follow-up seminar in the spring to keep the momentum from the LEI going strong, so the Diocese of Providence and the LEI will be offering a follow-up workshop on April 30, 2018. All of the participants from the October LEI will reconvene to share any successes, challenges, areas that might need reinforcement, and continue their formation in welcoming more Latino families into their schools.     

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Now that the principals and their teams have returned to their schools to implement their action plans, the LEI team will continue to stay in touch with each of the schools and measure the impact of the LEI through both enrollment changes and anecdotal evidence of effective Latino outreach efforts.

We are deeply grateful to the Diocese of Providence and Dan Ferris for making this event possible and ensuring its success. With the successes of the first Regional LEIs in both Allentown and Providence, we look forward to bringing the LEI to more dioceses across the country. Our next Regional LEI will take place at Catholic University in Washington, DC, in partnership with the Archdiocese of Washington and the Crimsonbridge Foundation. For more information on how to bring the LEI to your diocese, please contact Manny Fernandez at or (574) 631-9434.

Furthermore, if you think your school would be an ideal candidate for the full Latino Enrollment Institute experience, which begins with a four-day summer conference at the University of Notre Dame in June 2018 and includes year-long coaching and formation, visit the LEI webpage to learn more and apply. Applications for the 2018 summer conference are due January 31.

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