Accelerate Great Schools makes $1.42 million in grants

CPS superintendent Mary Ronan, Accelerate Great Schools CEO Patrick Herrel, and Susan Gibbons, interim superintendent of Catholic Schools

CPS superintendent Mary Ronan, Accelerate Great Schools CEO Patrick Herrel, and Susan Gibbons, interim superintendent of Catholic Schools

Accelerate Great Schools, a nonprofit fund founded in 2015 to ensure that every student in every neighborhood of Cincinnati has access to a great school, has announced its first two grants.

The organization is investing up to $128,000 to support Cincinnati Public Schools’ work with TNTP (formerly The New Teacher Project) to attract, support and develop school principals and assistant principals.

Also, Seton Education Partners will receive up to $1.3 million to transform two additional Archdiocese of Cincinnati schools into blended learning academies.

“Both of these grants align with our investment focus, which is to help create pipelines for exceptional talent and to kickstart great schools,” said Patrick Herrel, CEO of Accelerate Great Schools.

TNTP began working with CPS last year to improve the district’s teacher recruitment efforts and support, which resulted in the doubling of its teacher applicant pool. The new grant will evaluate the district’s approach to recruiting, hiring and supporting school principals.

“Our relationship with TNTP already has been successful, and expanding the partnership to enhance our principal pipeline will help us advance further,” said Mary Ronan, superintendent of CPS.

The $1.3 million grant to Seton Education Partners will allow Seton to introduce a blended learning model at St. Francis de Sales in Walnut Hills and St. Cecilia in Oakley.

This model – which uses technology, creative problem-solving and nationwide collaboration to improve the academic performance of students and reduce school operating costs – has already been implemented by Seton at St. Joseph Catholic School in the West End.

During the 2014-15 school year, 80 percent of St. Joseph’s students made one or more years of progress in math, while 74 percent made one or more years of progress in reading on the NWEA Measures of Academic Progress test, outpacing the national average by 30 percent and 24 percent, respectively.

“We have already seen great results at St. Joseph using Seton’s blended learning model, and we appreciate Accelerate Great Schools helping us expand the relationship to two additional schools,” said Susan Gibbons, interim superintendent of Catholic Schools. “The bottom line is more kids will benefit. That’s why we’re all here.”

Accelerate Great Schools continues to accept grant applications from individuals and organizations with the goal to improve K-12 education in Cincinnati.

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