Our first investments

Superintendent of Cincinnati Public Schools Mary Ronan, Accelerate Great Schools CEO Patrick Herrel and Interim Superintendent Susan Gibbons

Superintendent of Cincinnati Public Schools Mary Ronan, Accelerate Great Schools CEO Patrick Herrel and Interim Superintendent Susan Gibbons

Grants totaling $1.42 million will expand existing, successful efforts in Cincinnati Public Schools and Archdiocese of Cincinnati schools

 Accelerate Great Schools, a nonprofit fund founded in 2015 to ensure every student in every neighborhood of Cincinnati has access to a great school, has announced its first two grants. Accelerate Great Schools is investing up to $128,000 to support  Cincinnati Public Schools’ (CPS) work with TNTP (formerly The New Teacher Project) on attracting, supporting and developing school principals and assistant principals, and 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 kick start great schools,” said Patrick Herrel, CEO of Accelerate Great Schools. “We’re proud to help provide fuel to the great progress CPS and the Archdiocese are making toward our shared goal of academic excellence.”

TNTP began working with CPS last year to improve the district’s teacher recruitment efforts and support, which resulted in the doubling of CPS’s teacher applicant pool. The new grant will evaluate the district’s approach to recruiting, hiring and supporting school principals, the first step in developing a robust leadership development effort for school leaders.

“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 Cincinnati Public Schools. “We know that leadership is an important component of school success, with students being the ultimate beneficiaries. We are extremely appreciative of the support of Accelerate Great Schools in expanding our capacity to attract and develop great school leaders.”

The $1.3 million Accelerate Great Schools grant to Seton Education Partners will allow Seton to transform and introduce a blended learning model at two additional Archdiocese of Cincinnati schools, 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 the Archdiocese’s 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® (MAP®) test, outpacing the national average by 30% and 24% 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 School’s only objective is student success,” said Herrel. “We will invest in programs that foster that success. TNTP and Seton have proven track records, both here and across the United States, and CPS and the Archdiocese showed great leadership in engaging them. We’re glad to help build on these successful relationships.” 

Accelerate Great Schools continues to accept grant applications from individuals and organizations with a desire to positively influence K-12 education in Cincinnati. More information is available here.