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Notre Dame ACE Academies Network Expands to Indianapolis and Palm Beach

on Wednesday, 20 April 2016.

ACE Academies Expand to Indianapolis and Palm Beach

April 20, 2016—The University of Notre Dame will establish six new Notre Dame ACE Academies in partnerships with the Archdiocese of Indianapolis and the Diocese of Palm Beach beginning in the 2016-2017 school year. The Notre Dame ACE Academies are a network of academically excellent, financially sustainable, and distinctively Catholic K-8 schools that operate through Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE). 

Network of Archdiocese of Indianapolis’ Inner-City Schools Partners with Notre Dame ACE Academies

on Monday, 11 April 2016.

Notre Dame ACE Academies Indianapolis Partnership

The University of Notre Dame announced today it will establish five new Notre Dame ACE Academies in a partnership with the Archdiocese of Indianapolis beginning in the 2016-2017 school year. The Notre Dame ACE Academies are a network of academically excellent, financially sustainable, and distinctively Catholic K-8 schools that operate through the University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE).

ACE Teacher to Study Historical Memory through Prestigious Mitchell Scholarship

Written by Eric Prister on Thursday, 10 December 2015.

Current ACE Teacher Peter Prindiville was recently selected as one of only twelve recipients of this year’s George J. Mitchell Scholarship from the US-Ireland Alliance, an annual fellowship given to up to twelve candidates interested in spending a year pursuing graduate studies in Ireland.

“I would not have been at a place intellectually to be able to apply for a fellowship like this without ACE,” Prindiville said. “My research interests are very related to what I’ve seen in the classroom, what I’ve studied in the M.Ed. I’m taking my undergraduate training in history, but I’m approaching it very much through the lens of education. That wouldn’t have been something I would have been capable of doing without ACE.”

After graduating in 2014 from Georgetown University with a B.S. in Foreign Serivce and International History, Prindiville was accepted into the ACE Teaching Fellows program and was placed as a high school teacher at St. Patrick’s High School in Biloxi, Mississippi.

“From his outstanding work as a classroom teacher to his singular contributions as a graduate student, Peter has made an extraordinary impact on the ACE community,” said John Schoenig, Senior Director of Teacher Formation and Education Policy for ACE. “This is a well-deserved honor for a young man who has no doubt just begun to forge systemic solutions to many of the challenges faced by schoolchildren on the margins of society.”

Prindiville said that his research in Ireland will focus on how students in Ireland, Northern Ireland, and the United Kingdom learn about the Troubles.

“I want to study how societies talk and think about the past—not necessarily studying the past itself, but studying how people remember it,” he said. “I think there’s a lot of value in studying how schools mediate and assimilate traumatic memories from the past, as a component of national identity or regional identity. And this is very much coming out of my time teaching in Mississippi, teaching traumatic history, and coming to terms with how there is a remembrance of traumatic history that exists.

“Even outside of the four walls of the classroom, students learn about cultural memory from plaques, from their grandmother, from the name of streets, and a whole host of ways we memorialize the past. It’s a broad project, but it finds its home inside the classroom.”

Prindiville said that his time in ACE prepared him well to pursue further graduate studies, keeping his mind working intellectually throughout his two years teaching at St. Patrick’s.

“I feel so blessed to be a part of ACE because the academic part is so intrinsically linked to the practical component of teaching that the entire two years is intellectual exercise, even in the midst of teaching,” he said. “That thought of constantly approaching my teaching from an academic standpoint sparked me to think about this research question.”

Though not completely certain of his plans after his time in Ireland, Prindiville said he believes that working in education will be a life-long pursuit.

 “I’ve lost the ability to not care, because once you’ve seen schools, and you’ve been inside them, it’s hard to just walk away,” he said. “I can’t imagine doing something that didn’t involve education.” 



Lost Classroom, Lost Community

on Friday, 20 June 2014.

Catholic Schools’ Importance in Urban America

In an important new book, Notre Dame scholars Nicole Stelle Garnett and Margaret Brinig demonstrate that Catholic schools are profoundly important not only for the children who receive a proven, high-quality education, but also for the security and stability of the entire urban community with a Catholic school in its midst. Professors Brinig and Garnett find that Catholic school closures trigger increased crime and disorder and decreased social cohesion in the urban neighborhoods where they are located. They will discuss their groundbreaking findings on June 26 at a book launch event at 5 p.m. at the University Club of Chicago: "A Crisis of Community: Catholic School Closures and Urban Neighborhoods."

Lost Classroom, Lost Community: Catholic Schools' Importance in Urban America, has important implications for education reform, urban development efforts, and future of urban Catholic schools. Published in April by University of Chicago Press, the book concludes that Catholic elementary and secondary schools promote "social capital" for their neighborhoods—that is, a network of social bonds and mutual trust. Loss of that network makes a community "more disorderly and, ultimately, more dangerous." Charter schools attempting to fill the void left by Catholic school closures "may not be, at least not yet, replicating Catholic schools' benefits as community institutions," according to the authors.

"Our findings about the importance of Catholic schools in urban neighborhoods builds upon—and is consistent with—decades of previous research attributing Catholic schools' remarkable success as educational institutions to their ability to generate social capital," said Garnett. "Previous research has documented high levels of social capital within the members of a Catholic schools community. We find that these schools apparently generate social capital in their surrounding neighborhoods as well. In other words, Catholic schools are more than important educational institutions. They also are critical community institutions. Our research provides new support for parental choice programs and public policies to enable parents of modest means to select faith-based schools for their children."

The June 26 event is sponsored by the Lumen Christi Institute, the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE), the Notre Dame Law School, and the Archdiocese of Chicago's Catholic Schools Office. Rev. Timothy Scully, C.S.C., the Hackett Family Director of the Notre Dame Institute for Educational Initiatives, will moderate the discussion. Brinig and Garnett are both Professors of Law and fellows of the Institute for Educational Initiative at the University of Notre Dame.

"We have known anecdotally for decades that Catholic schools provide important civic benefits for the students they serve and the communities that surround them," said Father Scully, who founded the Alliance for Catholic Education 20 years ago. "This research brings to light indisputable, empirical evidence of just how integral those benefits are to the fabric of our civil society. With Lost Classroom, Lost Community, Nicole and Peg have raised signs of both caution and hope, reminding us that the civic benefits of Catholic schools must be considered earnestly in today's pressing conversations about the future of our children, our cities, and our society."

For more information:

  • See the University of Chicago Press's digital home for Lost Classroom, Lost Community to learn more about the book, to see excerpts from reviews in First Things, National Catholic Reporter and others, and to purchase a copy.
  • Contact Nicholas Lilly with media inquiries and review-copy requests for the Press.
  • Obtain more information about the book-debut event from the Lumen Christi Institute.
  • Media with questions about the University of Notre Dame's focus on Catholic education and the Alliance for Catholic Education, or requests to connect with faculty experts for interviews, please contact Theo Helm at .

Notre Dame National Bus Tour Highlights Stockton Catholic Schools

on Wednesday, 07 May 2014.


Contact: Bill Schmitt, Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) /

The University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) visits the Diocese of Stockton on Monday, May 12, 2014, to celebrate the vital role Catholic schools play in educating children from immigrant families and impoverished communities.

Visiting more than 50 cities during the 2013-14 academic year, Notre Dame’s Fighting for Our Children’s Future National Bus Tour will visit Our Lady of Fatima School in Modesto, CA, to celebrate the students, teachers, leaders, and achievements of the school and parish. Representatives of Notre Dame, including ACE founder Rev. Timothy Scully, C.S.C., will also honor local education champions who have come together in a partnership to build a better future for all the schools and children of the Stockton Diocese.

"We want to draw greater attention to the amazing legacy and bright future of these schools that form engaged citizens and advance the common good," said Fr. Scully.

The partnership between the Diocese of Stockton and Notre Dame in 2013 began with an in-depth strategic assessment of 11 diocesan schools. The assessments conducted at the request of the Most Rev. Stephen E. Blaire, bishop of the diocese, included an analysis the schools’ Catholic identity, academic excellence, institutional governance and advancement, enrollment and demographics, and financial considerations.

“The Catholic schools in our diocese are an important resource, as their continued success can help our community break the cycles of poverty, violence, and social injustice,” said Bishop Blaire in announcing the assessment initiative in late 2012. “ACE Consulting will help us discern how to enroll more students in better schools—schools that can offer both a values-based and a rigorous academic education.”

The University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) sustains, strengthens, and transforms under-resourced Catholic schools through leadership formation, research, and broad support to ensure that all children, especially those from low-income families, have the opportunity to experience the gift of an excellent Catholic education. ACE is marking its 20th Anniversary with the Fighting for Our Children’s Future National Bus Tour.