Governance: Catholic Elementary Academies and Schools

One key priority of Preserving the Vision, the strategic planning process for Catholic education in the Diocese of Brooklyn, is to transition all schools to academies by 2017. The main difference between a school and an academy is in the governance model. A Catholic school is governed by the parish, so the pastor is directly in charge. An academy is governed by a two-tiered board that is comprised of a Board of Directors and a Board of Members. The images below depict the models. You can also scroll down for parent information if your school is transitioning to an academy.

Brooklyn Catholic academy and school governance model


The Board of Members is comprised of pastors aligned to the academy, the bishop, and the superintendent. Together, they function as prime sponsors of the academy. They appoint the Directors and ensure the overall Catholic identity of the academy and its programs. In some cases the “Board of Members” oversee multiple academies.

The Board of Directors is composed of lay people who function as the governing body of the academy. They select the principal and serve as immediate supervising body. They are passionate about Catholic education and share their expertise in areas of: finance, facilities management, institutional advancement, marketing and public relations.

The principal is the instructional, educational, and spiritual leader of the academy, and chief educational operating officer. He or she also communicates directly with the Home/Academy Association.

The Home/Academy Association is comprised of parents who have children in the school. It serves to support and enrich the educational and formational endeavors of the academy, and works to promote a connection from home to academy.

The teachers and the staff members fulfill the mission of the academy. The teachers plan, guide, and evaluate the learning process of the students for whom the teachers are responsible within the framework of the academy’s philosophy, organization, and curriculum. The staff implements the mission through their assigned responsibilities.

Download the Academy Governance Model Schematic (PDF)

Parent Information

If your parish school is transitioning to an academy, you may receive these letters in the mail. They are designed to help you understand the governance model outlined above.
Your school will also have a parent meeting to answer any of your questions.

Newsletter 1 (PDF) *download the newsletter attachment
Newsletter 2 (PDF)
Newsletter 3 (PDF)
Newsletter 4 (PDF) *download the newsletter attachment
Newsletter 5 (PDF)