It has been a productive and positive year for the Campaign for Catholic Schools (CCS) and its Academies. Thank you for the role you have played in our success. Since 2007, Campaign for Catholic Schools leadership has assisted 20 struggling parish schools in Dorchester, Mattapan, Brockton, Lowell, Lawrence, Quincy, and South Boston. Today, those schools have become six vibrant regional Catholic elementary level academies on ten urban campuses.
The largest of these projects, and where our resources are focused currently, are Saint John Paul II Catholic Academy (Dorchester) and Trinity Catholic Academy (Brockton) which educate 1,435 students in five attractive renovated buildings each school day. With enhanced academics, expert lay leadership, and investments in teacher support, these Academies provide an excellent values based education to children, most of whom live in underserved communities. As co-sponsor of these Academies (with the Archdiocese of Boston), CCS works with local Academy boards, providing leadership on school improvement and financial planning, in addition to philanthropic funding.
We are pleased to share this year’s highlights below.
Rising Student Enrollment
- Overall enrollment is up 19% in the past two years. Opening for in-person learning in the fall of 2020 attracted new Academy families whose children have remained enrolled at the schools. We are now serving 1,435 students with waiting lists for some grades due to demand.
- 511 children aged 2-5 are enrolled in Early Childhood Programs. Research shows that excellent early childhood education remains a critical factor in student success. The Lynch Foundation continues to be a valued partner in the development of our early education programs which serves 36% of our student population.
- Our Academies reflect the fabric of their communities. We serve 1,150 families in Greater Boston. Forty-five percent of students are not Catholic and 29% speak a language other than English at home.
Academic and Wellness Investment
During the past year, we have added new academic, health, and enrichment programs and reinstated pre-pandemic programs, including:
- A new mental and physical health curriculum
- Expansion of high school preparation classes for middle school students
- Expansion of the successful Bridges to Math curriculum to both Academies
- Additional offerings in after-school sports and fitness programs
- A new early-education playground at Trinity Catholic Academy
- Invigorated campus ministry programs, with in-person retreats and service projects
- Reestablished summer camps, before- and after-school enrichment programs, and in-person tutoring at all grade levels to help with pandemic-related learning gaps.
Innovative Teacher Programs Show Promise
Research shows that teachers who reach six years of teaching are more likely to remain in the education field. Nationally, 44% of teachers leave the profession by year five. Of the more than 100 teachers at our Academies, 33% are in their first to fifth year of teaching. To retain young and talented teachers, we are making financial and career development investments to support them, including:
- Pay for Performance: provides higher compensation for the top 20% of teachers
- Yawkey Teaching Excellence Awards: a one-time financial award of $2,500-$5,000 for five top performing teachers annually, established in 2009 in gratitude to the Yawkey Foundation
- College Loan Debt Reduction: $200 monthly principal payments to reduce loan terms for teachers; retirement and financial counseling offered to all staff
- Career Path/Leadership Development: staff positions and mentoring to develop teachers interested in Catholic school leadership roles
- Teacher Retention “Flight Risk” Fund: new funding to respond quickly to retain teachers, outside of the annual salary review period
- We are also actively exploring a new master’s degree program for interested teachers.
In 2022, we realized positive retention results with an 8% increase in the number of teachers in the six- to ten-year bracket (now 23% of teachers), reflecting the retention of newer teachers. As well, overall teacher retention as of January 2023 was 82%, up from 60% three years ago.
Student Testing Shows Growth
In 2022, Saint John Paul II Catholic Academy and Trinity Catholic Academy met or exceeded the MAP (Measures of Progress) annual testing goal of 5% growth (5% growth represents one year of learning) in all testing categories, with classes showing 6-7% growth in most subjects.
Administered three times per year, the MAP test provides real-time results on student performance so that teachers can tailor their teaching accordingly.
Outstanding Graduate Success
100% of eighth-grade students graduate, with 92% of 2022 Academy graduates attending a Catholic high school. Greater Boston Catholic high schools graduate 97% of students, with 96% of graduates attending post-secondary education. After fifteen years, we are beginning to see graduates of our Academies joining the workforce and contributing to fields such as science, business, non-profit work, and education.
Welcome New Board Leaders
In 2022, the Campaign for Catholic Schools Board of Trustees welcomed to its board business leader, Travis Rhodes, President of Abrams Capital, and urban educator and community development leader Ingrid Tucker, Deputy Director of Madison Park Development Corporation. The Academies added seven new board members with expertise in business, education, insurance, facilities, law, and non-profit leadership:
New SJPIICA Board members:
Robert Lane — Vice President, Building Industry Partners
Eileen McLaughlin — Leadership Coach, Lynch Leadership Academy, Boston College
Laurence Naughton — Member and Co-Chair, International Practice, Mintz
David Williams — Senior Vice President, Multinational Chief Underwriting Officer, Liberty Mutual Insurance
New TCA Board members:
Joseph Craven — Founder, Sapere Aude Consortium, Inc.
Paul Ferreira — Managing Partner, Blue Hawk Investments
Jacqui Miller — Director of Admissions and Advancement, St. Agatha School (Milton)
Fund for the Future Phase II Announced
With the early completion of the $25 million Fund for the Future in November 2021, the CCS board approved a Phase II effort to raise an additional $25 million for academics, teacher support, operations, and endowment. Since December 2021, the Phase II effort has raised $8 million, including an extraordinary $2.5 million pledge for teacher Pay for Performance programs and the expansion of STEM curriculum for all students.
We are grateful to be partnering with you on this important mission to strengthen urban Catholic education for the benefit of the families we serve. As we continue to measure the effectiveness of our efforts, we welcome your ideas and advice, and look forward to keeping you updated on our progress. Thank you for your leadership, friendship, and support.