Proven strategies and tools for engaging and enrolling Latino families in your community.




What is a Latino Enrollment Institute (LEI)?
The University of Notre Dame’s Catholic School Advantage program founded the Latino Enrollment Institute (LEI) in 2012. Traditionally held on the Notre Dame campus each summer, the LEI identifies and assists Catholic schools with substantial unmet capacity (open seats), favorable demographic potential—namely, a growing number of Latino families in the surrounding area—and motivated principals by offering a framework to transform schools in order to attract and serve Latino families.

What is the Twin Cities LEI?
The Twin Cities LEI is just like the LEI offered at Notre Dame, but it’s held in the Twin Cities. The same experts present the same material, but in your own backyard!

When and where is the Twin Cities LEI?

Tuesday, April 28 and Wednesday, April 29, 2020
7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. each day
University of St. Thomas, Opus Hall, second floor, downtown Minneapolis (pdf map)
Complimentary parking in the Hennepin & 10th Ramp: 935 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403

Is there a cost to attend the Twin Cities LEI?
There is no cost to attend the Twin Cities LEI. It is the mission of the Catholic Community Foundation of Minnesota to support the educational, social and spiritual needs of our community. Ensuring strong Catholic schools that are welcoming to all children and families is a timeless and timely opportunity for CCF and its donors to fully live out this mission.

What will I gain from attending the Twin Cities LEI?
The Twin Cities LEI will offer presentations and lectures from Catholic school leaders with demonstrated success in implementing innovative Latino outreach strategies. The presenters, most of whom are either current or retired Catholic school principals, have years of experience serving culturally and linguistically diverse student populations, and provide authentic witness to the notion that a Catholic school’s success is not dependent on the abundance of resources that it brings to bear, but rather on the authenticity and vigor with which it develops fresh and imaginative ways to carry out its mission.

Some of the benefits to attending schools and school leaders include:

  • Enrollment growth: schools experience, on average, a 33% increase in Latino enrollment after just one year
  • Access to a support network—LEI coaches—of Catholic school leaders with first-hand experience transforming their schools through intentional Latino outreach
  • Connections with local schools and school leaders who are engaged in the same mission

What’s the agenda for the Twin Cities LEI?
The agenda for the Twin Cities LEI is currently being developed. The topics below are some of the most commonly addressed during an LEI:

  • Developing a deeper understanding of Latino cultures and traditions and the gift that they bring to the Church and our schools
  • Understanding cultural influences in children’s lives and how to create culturally sustaining classrooms and schools
  • How to enlist faculty, staff, and parents to reach out to Latino families and invite them to Catholic schools
  • Rethinking fundraising: strategies for cultivating and maintaining private and corporate donors
  • Ensuring that English learners thrive in Catholic schools
  • Community engagement: building relationships outside the parish-school

Which schools can attend the Twin Cities LEI?
The Twin Cities LEI is open to a select number of elementary schools in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. Two primary factors influenced the development of the Twin Cities LEI invitation list:

  • a school’s composite number when scored on ten geographic, economic, and demographic criteria
  • consultation with local leaders in the Catholic school community of our Archdiocese

Who can attend the Twin Cities LEI?
Invited schools are encouraged to bring a team of three to the Twin Cities LEI:

  1. the principal (required)
  2. the pastor
  3. a key staff member/volunteer, such as
    • Secretary / Front Office Manager
    • Enrollment or Marketing Coordinator
    • Business Manager
    • School Board Member
    • Teacher
    • Parent Volunteer / madrina

The LEI was predicated on the idea that the principal is the single most important lever for change in a school, whether it be in establishing an environment that is culturally responsive to Latino families, implementing strategic marketing and recruitment efforts to boost Latino enrollment, or simply assembling the right team capable of carrying out these efforts. The principal’s efforts, however, are accentuated by the support of the pastor and key members of his/her staff and faculty. Experience shows that schools with collaborative principals and pastors who are equally engaged in this mission to welcome and serve Latino families are more effective, and dramatic gains can ensue. 

How do I tell my pastor about the Twin Cities LEI?
All pastors of parishes that have an elementary school in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis will be invited to the Twin Cities LEI. CCF will formally invite these pastors in the coming months. In the meantime, if your pastor has questions about the Twin Cities LEI, he may contact Sara Harwood, program coordinator, via email.

My school was not selected to attend the 2020 Twin Cities LEI. Am I out of luck?
CCF is keeping a waiting list of interested schools that are not part of the initial invitation process. Schools on the waiting list will be contacted beginning in December. Please contact Sara Harwood, Twin Cities LEI program coordinator, via email, to be added to the list.

Additionally, based on the success of and interest in the 2020 Twin Cities LEI, CCF will consider hosting a subsequent LEI. Please contact Sara Harwood if you would like to learn more. 

How do I register for the Twin Cities LEI?
All registrations are made online, via the Twin Cities LEI webpage. Click HERE to register.

What’s the registration deadline?

  • Please register your full team by December 1, 2019.
  • Space is limited. Early registration is strongly recommended.
  • Principals are encouraged to sign up now, and return to the registration page to add team members as they are determined.
  • After December 1, additional schools will be invited to the Twin Cities LEI as space allows.


I have additional questions about the Twin Cities LEI. What do I do?
To learn more about the LEI in general, visit the Alliance for Catholic Education’s LEI webpage.
With questions about the Twin Cities LEI, please reach out to Sara Harwood, Twin Cities LEI program coordinator, via email.

Since attending the LEI, our enrollment has increased by nineteen percent, and sixty-eight percent of our new students identify as Hispanic.

Bridget Kramer

Principal, Community of Saints Regional Catholic School


Program Coordinator
For more information about the Twin Cities LEI, email Sara Harwood, program coordinator.