14 JANUARY 19, 2017 RIDGEWOOD TIMES WWW.QNS.COM CATHOLIC SCHOOLS Academies: the future of Catholic education in Brooklyn and Queens Catholic i nstitutions are moving away from the traditional parish school structure and towards an academy governance structure involving both the church and community members. Traditional Catholic schools are governed by the parish and a pastor is directly in charge. A Catholic academy, on the other hand, is governed by a two-tiered board, comprised of a Board of Members and a Board of Directors. The Board of Members is composed of clergy and maintains the Catholic identity of the academy and its programs. They serve as the primary sponsors of the academy, appoint Directors, and in some cases oversee multiple academies. The Board of Directors is composed of lay people who work closely with the principal, acting as the governing body of the academy. They select the principal, serve as an immediate supervising body, and share their expertise on a variety of subjects from fi nance to marketing and public relations. This two-tiered model allows for greater involvement from lay persons in the governance of Catholic schooling institutions. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors, lay persons and parents can get involved in the Home/Academy Association, which serves as a connection from home to academy. Every school within the Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens will transition to the academy governance model by 2017 as a part of the Preserving the Vision plan, a strategic planning process initiated in 2008 to insure the future of Catholic education within the Diocese of Brooklyn. These Ridgewood students know their numbers Be an Angel to a Catholic school student through Futures in Education BY MCGEORGE SORENSEN For many families across Brooklyn and Queens, sending their children to a Catholic grammar school may be an impossible task because they have low incomes and cannot afford the yearly tuition, which runs into thousands of dollars annually. That’s where Futures in Education comes in. The nonprofi t organization operated by the Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens holds all kinds of fundraisers each year to help parents across the diocese aff ord a Catholic education for their children. Futures in Education also establishes partnership with private donors and organizations to enable schools to have updated curriculums and the proper tools needed to educate their students, and to assist teachers in refi ning their craft through training programs. There are a litany of ways private donors can contribute to Catholic education through the Futures in Education. One way is the “Be an Angel to a Student” Program, in which an individual can help cover the cost of a Catholic school student’s tuition every year starting at $1,500. Angels also get to know the students they are helping by exchanging notes, cards and drawings; all Angels receive progress reports on how they’re students are performing in class. Each Angel gets to meet their students at the Angel Reception, an annual celebration held by Futures in Education. The Angels are also invited to attend school plays, recitals and graduation ceremonies. During the 2014-15 school year, 756 students at Catholic schools in Brooklyn and Queens were helped through the Be an Angel program. “We continue to be hard at work ensuring that every deserving family requesting fi nancial tuition assistance receives it through our Be an Angel to a Student and other scholarship programs,” Msgr. Jamie Gigantiello, vicar for development for the Diocese of Brooklyn, said in a December 2016 letter. “However, it is not enough to look back on only the successes of the year. Instead, we must also focus on those students who we were unable to assist and fi nd additional donors willing to join us in support of this cause.” Futures in Education also works to connect Catholic grammar school alumni with their alma maters, and young executives to schools around the diocese, to further increase support for Catholic education. Individual donations of any amount, as always, are also accepted. To learn more about the Futures in Education program, or to contribute to the cause, visit www.futuresineducation. org. Aleksandra Pawlowska, a seventh grader at St. Matthias School, recently won the math bee held at the Ridgewood school, going 17 rounds in taking the top prize. She is pictured along with eighth-grader Natalie Bialczak, who won the third-place prize, and seventh-grader Colin Byrne, who fi nished in second.
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