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NYC's Partnership Schools to Take Over Two Catholic Schools in Cleveland

a photo of St. Thomas Aquinas School
St. Thomas Aquinas in Cleveland is one of two Catholic schools that, beginning nex month, will be operated by Partnership Schools.

Two Cleveland Catholic elementary schools are being saved from closure by a management organization that has successfully operated seven similar schools in New York City. Partnership Schools will take over operation of the two schools next month. 

Partnership Schools assistant superintendent Christian Dallavais says Archbishop Lyke and St. Thomas Aquinas, both K-8 schools, fit their mission.

“There’s a lot of opportunity to show what’s possible when we provide the best possible curriculum that’s available and top notch professional development for instruction.”

Cleveland Diocesan schools superintendent Frank O’Linn says this arrangement is part of their effort to find innovation that works.

“This will be one of a number of innovations and new models that will help us pave the way for stronger Catholic education throughout the diocese.”

The schools will open this fall with precautions due to COVID-19. O’Linn says that has not deterred enrollment, which is already higher than last year. 

Partnership Superintendent Kathleen Porter-Magee says they will focus on updating these schools’ curriculum, as well as the facilities themselves.

Partnership Superintendent Kathleen Porter-Magee discusses the changes they plan to make at Archbishop Lyke and Thomas Aquinas schools.

“One of the challenges that I think a lot of urban Catholic schools face is because they’ve been under resourced for so long, they don’t necessarily have the curriculum resources, materials, and the professional development that the teachers need to serve the students well.”

Partnership Schools has already started working in the Cleveland area to kick start enrollment. 

Abigail Bottar covers Akron, Canton, Kent and the surrounding areas for Ideastream Public Media. A Northeast Ohio native and lifelong listener of public radio, Abigail started in public radio as a news intern at WKSU. She graduated in 2022 with a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Kent State University.