Two Queens’ Catholic School Expansions Announced;Eight Additional Academies To Open in Brooklyn & Queens

Brooklyn, N.Y., Jan. 30, 2011 – Since 2008, the Diocese of Brooklyn has been involved in a strategic planning initiative for Catholic education, titled Preserving the Vision. Over the course of three years, seventeen new Catholic academies have been established.

Concurrent with this success, it was announced today that two of those already- established academies, Most Holy Redeemer in Flushing and Our Lady’s Catholic Academy in Ozone Park, will each expand on the achievement of their respective schools to include a second location for each.

In September 2012, Most Holy Redeemer will now be operating at two locations: Mary’s Nativity-St. Ann and St. Michael. Our Lady’s Catholic Academy expansion will be at the site of the current St. Teresa of Avila in S. Ozone Park.

“The parents received the news well concerning the conversion of our parish school into an academy,” said Maureen Rogone, principal of St. Michael’s. “They are hopeful for additional programs and activities to be developed as well as relieved that the security and trust they have had in our school will continue to be there. With the infusion of St. Michael’s Advisory Board and the existing Board of Directors at Most Holy Redeemer, I am confident their professional expertise will benefit our children.”

“The Catholic school community, including our teachers and parents, are very excited to open at a second site,” said Dr. Victor Lana, principal at Most Holy Redeemer. “It is a wonderful opportunity for our school to grow and share our diversity of programs and extracurricular activities.”

“The expansion of Our Lady’s Catholic Academy to include the school community of St. Teresa of Avila will create tremendous new opportunities for the students in our care, strengthening both schools when they come together as one,” said Kevin Coyne, principal, Our Lady’s Catholic Academy.

As Preserving the Vision focuses on strengthening Catholic schools, it also continues to foster and enhance the academy model regionally throughout Brooklyn and Queens.

At the same time that Most Holy Redeemer and Our Lady’s Catholic Academy are growing, eight new academies will also open in the diocese. In Brooklyn, the following schools will open their doors: St. Brigid, Wykoff Heights; St. Francis of Assisi, Prospect Lefferts Gardens; St. Frances Cabrini, Bushwick; St. Joseph the Worker, Windsor Terrace; St. Gregory the Great, Flatbush; and St. Savior, Park Slope. In Queens, St. Joseph’s, Long Island City, and Our Lady of Perpetual Help (OLPH), Ozone Park will also open as academies.

Current N-8 Enrollments for the 2011-2012 school year are:

St. Brigid 241 students

St. Francis of Assisi 351 students

St. Frances Cabrini 280 students

St. Gregory the Great 232 students

St. Saviour 401 students

St. Joseph-L.I.C. 381 students

OLPH-Ozone Park 644 students

  Preserving the Vision is currently moving all schools within the diocese to an academy model of governance. As of September 2012, there will be 25 Catholic academies. Over the next three years, the process to convert the remaining 72 Catholic parish schools will continue as the diocese works to fully implement Preserving the Vision.

It comes at a time when the diocese has done extensive studies regarding the demographic shifts throughout Brooklyn and Queens, and Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio has asked all parishes and schools to work towards evangelization and financial goals as well as the establishment of regional Catholic academies. Under this model, pastors of parishes aligned with an academy are members of the corporation with particular responsibility for the spiritual care of the faculty, students and families. A Board of Directors composed of lay leaders with specific competence is responsible for the fiscal oversight and governance of the new school.

“Through the leadership and the support of the pastors and principals, the academy conversion process has been successful,” said Dr. Thomas Chadzutko, Superintendent of Schools. “The identification and the development of the Boards of Directors for the Academies has allowed for an increase in enrollment, expansion of marketing efforts and the identification of new resources. Now as the academies begin their strategic planning process, we look to the next step in the further development of the academy model of governance.”