Superintendent of Schools Michael J. Deegan with His Eminence Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan Visiting St. Anthony School in Nanuet with Principal Dr. Anna Adam and Regional Superintendent Cathleen Cassel
2020-2021 New York Archdiocese At a Glance
Superintendent of Schools Office
1011 First Avenue
New York, NY 10022
The mission of the Catholic Schools of the Archdiocese of New York is to ensure our schools are Christ-centered, academically excellent, and welcoming communities that teach students to be life-long learners and leaders energized by fidelity to Christ, the Church, and one another.
Catholic School Experience
Catholic education in the Archdiocese of New York began in 1800 in St. Peter’s Parish in lower Manhattan. Today, Catholic educators in the archdiocese serve more than 67,000 students from Pre-K to twelfth grade in rural, urban and suburban settings throughout the ten southern counties of New York State. Building on more than 200 years of inspiring students, our Catholic schools offer an excellent, nurturing, values-centered education in a structured environment that helps children of all backgrounds realize their fullest potential as human beings.
In Catholic schools today, a love of learning starts in Pre-K and continues through the years, with 99 percent of our high school seniors graduating and an overwhelming majority of those graduates going on to post-secondary education.
Our Catholic faith is central to what we do, and we proudly teach it. Gospel ideals permeate the substance and structure of our lessons. We share our faith through daily prayer and the regular celebration of Mass as a school community. We foster a spirit of Christian service as an expression of our concern for the needs of others. Character formation and personal spirituality are rooted in the study of Catholic teachings and tradition, as well as sacramental preparation.
Our academic programs grounded in basic skills meet the varied needs of each school community by incorporating technology, advanced math, hands-on science, and foreign language coupled with the various forms of art study. We offer a forward-focused curriculum, integrating technology into classroom instruction, preparing our students to compete in an increasingly complex world.
Our students are motivated to do their best. We help them understand their talents, find meaning in their lives and build on their strengths to achieve success in school and beyond graduation. We provide them with the skills and inspire the self-discipline and confidence needed for them to take their places as compassionate leaders in their communities and in society.
The Catholic school experience is an unparalleled opportunity to develop a child’s mind, heart and soul.
“We encourage our students to embrace the notion that they are part of something greater than themselves, in fact, greater than their school and even this archdiocese. They are part of a global community that includes our sisters and brothers of many faiths, as well as all of the families, personnel, and contributors who make Catholic education possible each day. Students realize that they are part of that greater universe.”
Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of New York number nearly 200 buildings in which 62,000 children come each day to be taught by several thousand educators in a tradition going back two hundred years. It is astounding that such a substantial sacred mission can be summed up in one sentence from the Bible: “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22:6). That is exactly what we do every day, and for the fifth consecutive year, we can say we do it as well as or better than our educational counterparts.
Once again our students, academically informed and spiritually nourished by a time-tested and future-focused curriculum, have outperformed New York State and city public schools and most charter schools in state English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics testing. Over the same period, children in grades three through eight have achieved a 91 percent passing rate in the archdiocesan religion final.
How does a non-profit archdiocese with our means enjoy such success in this ever more secular world? How are we academically superior to institutions with seemingly limitless funds and a footprint much greater than our own? The answer lies in our Catholic faith. We believe that each of us was created in the image of God, with our own unique complement of gifts and frailties, so our approach is to teach on an individual level, one student, one child of God, at a time.
When we succeed in our shared purpose to start children off on the correct path, we provide contributing members of society and future generations of leaders poised to make the world a better place based on the teachings of the greatest teacher of all, Jesus Christ.
We encourage our students to embrace the notion that they are part of something greater than themselves, in fact, greater than their school and even this archdiocese. They are part of a global community that includes our sisters and brothers of many faiths, as well as all of the families, personnel, and contributors who make Catholic education possible each day. Students realize that they are part of that greater universe.
In order to keep our mission of starting children toward success and a place next to God in the promised glory of Heaven, we strive to keep Catholic education universally affordable. Every student in our archdiocese is subsidized through the generosity of parishioners and other benefactors. It is our mission to ensure that every child who desires a Catholic education can receive one, and for the profound generosity of our friends, we will remain eternally grateful.
The Office of Enrollment and Financial Assistance is proud of our work assisting each family with enrolling in our schools by utilizing a personalized approach. We are proud to report that our schools received nearly 14,000 applications for the 2018-19 school year. Over 19,000 students are enrolled in Catholic elementary schools from Staten Island to Kingston in Dutchess county. Our schools also honored the Archdiocese’s commitment to keeping Catholic education accessible and affordable for all families, offering more than 6,000 various financial assistance awards and scholarships.
Mobile users now account for nearly half of all the sessions users had on our website and are our fastest-growing audience. We continue to optimize our entire website for mobile, as that is rapidly becoming the access vehicle of choice. Directors of Enrollment consistently follow up with families who express interest and request information, directing them towards schools and programs that meet their individual needs. This personal outreach enhances the one-student-at-a-time culture that is one of the hallmarks of our Catholic schools.
In addition, we conscientiously continued our Latino outreach efforts, visiting parishes and speaking at Masses in 35 parishes across the region. We internationalized these efforts as well, strengthening our relationships with the embassies of 18 countries. We expanded our Spanish-language Facebook page, while redoubling our efforts to keep regional Facebook pages exciting and up to date. Our Bilingual Parent Helpline continued its one-on-one outreach to families, fielding over 9,000 calls from current and prospective families, and making over 6,500 outbound calls as part of campaigns designed to bring families closer to enrollment.
Blended Learning & Technology-Enhanced Curricula
Blended learning and technological upgrades within our schools are paying real dividends for students preparing for the 21st century workplace, as is clearly evidenced in our year-over-year New York State math and ELA test score advancements. The introduction of Chromebooks, Google Classroom, and Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) in our classrooms are providing teachers with a powerful new set of tools to individualize student instruction. It is this individualized approach that puts into practice the maxim “one child at a time.” We continue to seek additional funds from foundations, benefactors, and donors as we pursue the best technology tools in the industry to support students in closing their individual learning gaps.
Consistent Growth in Academic Proficiency
For the fifth straight year, archdiocesan schools in every region have outperformed their previous year’s scores on New York State ELA and math exams. Our students are again outpacing New York State and New York City public school students in the percentage of students meeting or exceeding proficiency standards in both math and ELA. They have also outmatched New York State and City schools in proficiency growth for five years in a row.
Our high schools continue to enjoy nation-leading graduation rates. In 2018–19, 99 percent of our seniors graduated, compared with a national rate of 84 percent. Ninety-eight (98) percent of our graduates were accepted to college or post-secondary education.
Early Childhood Education
“Early Childhood Education is the key to the betterment of society.” — Maria Montessori
The Early Childhood classrooms of the Archdiocese of New York grew in number, quality, and resources during the 2018–19 school year, both in New York City and in the Regions to the north where the increase in students attending our prekindergarten programs was significant. Our schools continued to be committed to providing high quality early childhood programs that are balanced between attending to group needs and providing individualized attention. This one child at a time strategy fosters a joyful and affirming learning experience for children and families. Leaders and teachers worked diligently to provide a cohesive, intentional, standards-based program in these most important foundational years of learning because our programs focus on supporting the development of the whole child.
Central to all efforts was our intention to ensure continuity for our children as they moved from the pre-kindergarten programs into the school age classrooms in kindergarten and beyond. During the past year, in anticipation of the New York State learning standards, which were released in the summer of 2019, we refined and strengthened the alignment of our programs in grades pre-kindergarten and kindergarten. Collaboration among schools within the regions, as well as between early childhood grade levels within buildings, not only met but exceeded expectations.
Best practices were refined to meet the developmental and curricular goals of each grade level. As teams, school staff participated in high quality professional development and coaching opportunities provided by the Office of Early Childhood (OEC), Office of Teaching and Learning (OTL), Regional Instructional Coaches, and partner agencies. These trainings were focused on extending and elevating understandings and practices that build upon each child’s strengths and interests. This differentiated approach has proven to best support young children in the development of the critical concepts, skills, and approaches to learning that create a solid foundation for future academic and social/ emotional success. As in the past, the spiritual, social, and emotional support and focus of our schools as they worked with children and families, was unwavering.
Catholic Education Advancement
In 2018–19, the Office of Catholic Education Advancement (CEA) raised nearly $19 million for Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of New York, including $2.6 million for the nine Catholic school regions and other special programs. CEA strengthens outreach and increases funds through the coordination of fundraising efforts as they relate to the needs of the Department of Education, the Global Regional School System (GRSS), parish-based elementary schools and underserved students attending Catholic schools throughout the Archdiocese of New York. To that end, CEA administers two 501(c)(3) organizations, Inner-City Scholarship Fund and Champions for Quality Education, which raise funds to help archdiocesan schools and support scholarships for eligible students who attend them.
Inner-City Scholarship Fund offers families with financial needs the opportunity to provide their children with a quality, values-based K–12 education. In 2018–19, Inner City awarded over $13 million in need-based scholarship support for more than 11,000 Catholic school students, preparing them with the skills and values to succeed in college and beyond.
Champions for Quality Education partners with under-resourced archdiocesan elementary schools to meet the diverse needs of today’s students. In 2018–19, Champions awarded over $1.1 million to 121 elementary schools to implement new educational programs and complete critical facility improvements.
Our Legislative Priorities
We continue to work with our elected representatives to seek publicly funded support for our Catholic school families, students and schools. Our priority remains adopting a meaningful program to help parents pay tuition — just as lawmakers in 30 other states have done.
Some of our other public policy priorities include:
Safeguarding our schools against intrusive state and local government control, regulations, and unfunded mandates;
Seeking funding for critical facility upgrades, energy efficiency projects and transportation services;
Ensuring our schools receive maximum support for classroom technology under the state’s Smart Schools Bond Act and Computer Hardware / Software loan programs as well as the federal ERate program;
Ensure the federal, state, and local governments give our students and teachers their fair share of federally funded programs under Titles I, IIA, III and IVa of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA);
Seeking additional state funds for STEM and Academic Intervention Services; and
Advocating for continued expansion of the New York City security guard reimbursement program and New York State health, safety and security funds.