By: Joe Ruff of The Catholic Spirit
It is called the Drexel Mission Schools Initiative, named after the American patroness of Catholic schools, St. Katherine Drexel.
It means nine Catholic elementary schools serving low-income families in seven cities in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis can expect a renewed commitment of support from organizations that can help, said Jason Slattery, the archdiocese’s director of Catholic education.
In a May 13 memo to Catholic school leaders, Slattery said the initiative rose out of the Roadmap for Excellence in Catholic Education announced last year.
The Roadmap detailed five areas of concentration: talent management, particularly leadership development; curriculum and assessments; access and sustainability; mission schools; and governance.
The latest initiative helps meet the desire to assist mission schools, which the Roadmap team defines as having 50% or more of students eligible for free or reduced lunch, 50% or more of students being children of color, and the schools meeting a threshold for total enrollment.
GHR Foundation, Aim Higher Foundation and the Catholic Community Foundation of Minnesota “are among the main foundations and community partners that have stepped forward to provide renewed support for these schools based on their eligibility for this Roadmap initiative,” Slattery said.
“These foundations have a particular mission and real heart for helping families and students in great need in an effort to close the opportunity and achievement gap, and we thank them for their commitment of support,” he said.