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Catholic School Advantage

ACE, Archdiocese of Chicago Launch Language Intensive Preschool Program

on Monday, 10 May 2021.

ACE Archdiocese of Chicago ECLIP

To set a solid foundation of language and culture while increasing preschool enrollment, the Alliance for Catholic Education at the University of Notre Dame and the Archdiocese of Chicago will launch Early Childhood Language Intensive Preschool (ECLIP), a pilot program that offers intensive daily instruction in core studies in Spanish, Polish or Chinese Mandarin to Pre-K students.

Mentor Spotlight: Getting to Know Patrick Jefferies

on Tuesday, 27 April 2021.

Mentor Spotlight: Getting to Know Patrick Jefferies

 

Mentor principals have played a critical role in the success of the Latino Enrollment Institute (LEI) since the program’s inception in 2012. The experience, accountability, and personal attention that these leaders provide has been a defining characteristic of the LEI, helping Catholic school principals—and their teams— institute lasting changes. 

After schools attend the LEI summer conference, mentor principals maintain regular contact with the 4-6 school leaders in their group through monthly video conference calls. These conversations, which focus on various themes related to Latino outreach, recruitment, and enrollment, are an opportunity for school leaders to learn from one another and receive real-time consultation and feedback from their mentor on some of the things that they’re doing in their school. 

The commitment of our LEI mentors, most of whom are still active Catholic school principals themselves, is truly the engine that drives the LEI. These Mentor Spotlight pieces are intended to be a fun way to help you get to know these incredible school leaders—both professionally and personally—who dedicate so much of their lives to this mission.

This month, we highlight Patrick Jefferies. Patrick originally attended the LEI in 2015 as a member of Cohort 4. At that time, he had just completed his first year as principal of St. Andrew School in Riverton, Utah. He arrived at St. Andrew a year earlier with a mandate and a plan to turn the school around, which had been experiencing a rather substantial and alarming decline in enrollment. By implementing a number of proven LEI strategies, committing to doing the little things right, and working to restore the trust of the Latino community, Patrick was able to significantly grow his school's enrollment, quickly drawing the attention of the LEI leadership team. Not long after, Patrick joined the LEI team of mentors and has helped guide other school leaders along this same path.

Read the full interview with Patrick Jefferies below.

 

Cultivating Community Contacts and Carrying Car-Line Conversations: Tapping into the Power of Madrinas

Written by Manny Fernandez, Katy Lichon, Ph.D., Steve McClure on Wednesday, 21 April 2021.

202104 MadrinasArticle BannerMadrinas at Holy Cross School in North Portland, OR. (Photo Credit: Holy Cross School) 

“Oh no, esta escuela católica no es para nosotros. Es para los ricos!” This is a line that many school leaders attending ACE’s Latino Enrollment Institute (LEI) have heard all too often from Latino parents - that their local Catholic school is not for them. It’s only for the rich.

LEI’s decade of work in increasing Latino enrollment has highlighted the unfortunate reality that many Latino families have too little information when it comes to Catholic schools in the United States. Since Catholic schools in Latin America typically serve only the elite members of society, many low and middle-income Latino families in the United States consider a Catholic education to be inaccessible, and they do not even consider it to be an educational option for their children. We regard this to be a missed opportunity for schools and a missed opportunity for families.

The National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) recently released sobering statistics of record-breaking drops in enrollment in Catholic schools across the country. Given that many of these drops came in urban areas in heavily populated Latino neighborhoods, schools with Latino children have been among the hardest hit. This has left many school and diocesan leaders wondering what they can do to ensure the fastest-growing group of Catholics in the United States continues to benefit from a Catholic education.

Mentor Spotlight: Getting to Know Lynn Cuffari

on Tuesday, 09 March 2021.

Mentor Spotlight-Lynn Cuffari

Mentor principals have played a critical role in the success of the Latino Enrollment Institute (LEI) since the program’s inception in 2012. The experience, accountability, and personal attention that these leaders provide has been a defining characteristic of the LEI, helping Catholic school principals—and their teams— institute lasting changes. 

After schools attend the LEI summer conference, mentor principals maintain regular contact with the 4-6 school leaders in their group through monthly video conference calls. These conversations, which focus on various themes related to Latino outreach, recruitment, and enrollment, are an opportunity for school leaders to learn from one another and receive real-time consultation and feedback from their mentor on some of the things that they’re doing in their school. 

The commitment of our LEI mentors, most of whom are still active Catholic school principals themselves, is truly the engine that drives the LEI. These Mentor Spotlight pieces are intended to be a fun way to help you get to know these incredible school leaders—both professionally and personally—who dedicate so much of their lives to this mission.

This month, we highlight Lynn Cuffari. Although one of the newest members of the LEI team, Lynn is far from new to Catholic school leadership and serving diverse communities. Lynn joined the LEI team of mentors in 2019, just after stepping down from her position as Principal of Saint Augustine Catholic High School in Tucson, Arizona, to make a cross-country move with her husband. She has been a welcome addition to the team, bringing a wealth of experience in Catholic secondary school leadership at a time when the number of high schools attending the LEI continues to grow each year. Now living in Washington, D.C., Lynn remains active in Catholic education, having joined the faculty of a brand new virtual school in the Diocese of Arlington last August. 

Read the full interview with Lynn Cuffari below.

Introducing Anchor Point and Grace Period, Spiritual Resources from ACE

on Wednesday, 17 February 2021.

Grace Period Anchor Point, Spiritual Resources from the Alliance for Catholic Education

As teachers and school leaders face these days of darkness, the Alliance for Catholic Education invites you to join us as we walk toward the light that our faith tells us lies ahead.

Each Monday, join us for Grace Period, a weekly series of audio reflections by Fr. Lou DelFra, CSC, designed to meet your busy schedule as teachers and educators and help you pause, listen for God’s voice in your life, and begin anew.

And each day, we invite you to pray Anchor Point, a daily prayer to proclaim God’s love to begin the day and proclaim God’s faithfulness as the day draws to a close.

We pray that each of you find grace in each day, and we thank you for all you do for Catholic schools.

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