The Philosophy Behind Our Pathways to Excellence

Welcome back to school! Let me share with you my latest column from Catholic New York.

Here is an excerpt:

Our Jewish neighbors might have it right: their “new year,” as you know, begins in the fall.

In reality, it does for us as well, because it’s back to normal! Our parishes begin humming again as the grade school opens and religious education programs (I’ll write of those next column) commence.

So, this is a good time to welcome our students back, and to thank our parents (and, in many cases, grandparents), for sacrificing to send their children to our Catholic elementary and high schools.
That gratitude goes as well to our parish priests and their parishioners, our consecrated women and men religious, our devoted principals and teachers, the generous benefactors of our renowned schools, and the archdiocesan school office, led by Dr. Timothy McNiff, who serve our acclaimed system of Catholic schools.

This academic year will be a pivotal one for our schools, as our promising Pathways to Excellence begins to kick in. As you know, the crux of this plan is an energetic move to more intense collaboration among our schools, resulting in regionalization. Yes, some schools will merge and consolidate, meaning some sites will close. This delicate process will be quarterbacked by regional boards of pastors, educators, parents, and community leaders. Because we want to do this judiciously, we are starting with three pilot regional boards: Staten Island, Rockland County, and Northwest/South Bronx. Thanks to these courageous pioneers!

You can read my whole column here.

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One Response to “The Philosophy Behind Our Pathways to Excellence”

  1. Irene says:

    Dr Timothy McNiff, Superintendent of Schools, was quoted in Catholic New York (10/19/2011) as saying “regionalization does not mean merger of schools, it does not mean families will be told what schools to go to.”

    My children’s school is in one of the regional pilots and it was pitched all along to us as a way to strengthen the schools; we were repeatedly assured that that it was not any kind of back door way of closing them.

    But above, the Cardinal says “Yes, some schools will merge and consolidate, meaning some sites will close.”

    The Cardinal’s statement sounds like a reversal of earlier statements and I’m a little concerned that we heard one message before launching regionalization and now we might be hearing a different one immediately after it’s been implementation.