An introduction to the Catholic Schools Center of Excellence

A new era of success for Catholic elementary schools is imminent, despite several decades of enrollment challenges. As community leaders, Catholic school alumni, parents and enthusiastic supporters rally to reverse these trends, momentum is shifting.

Nearly a year ago, a new effort to strengthen Catholic schools began. The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation, created by Best Buy founder Richard M. “Dick” Schulze, offered to be a funder of an innovative and collaborative effort to enhance Catholic elementary education in the Twin Cities.

The GHR Foundation, the Catholic Community Foundation of Minnesota, and the Aim Higher Foundation joined the Schulze Family Foundation in this endeavor. Supported by this group of founding donors and the active encouragement of Bishop Andrew Cozzens, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, the Catholic Schools Center of Excellence (CSCOE) launched in March 2015.

Located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, CSCOE is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit independent of the Archdiocese. Our dual mission is to help the 79 Catholic elementary schools in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis achieve and maintain excellence while increasing student enrollment.

Already we’ve started to support schools by providing grants, hosting monthly educational “EdTalks” for principals and creating and distributing open house guides and materials. An initiative to improve the educational use of technology in schools is underway, and we’ve partnered with PreciouStatus to provide an innovative mobile platform for safe, real-time communication between parents and teachers.

CSCOE will continue to serve schools by sharing innovative ideas, sound business practices, proven strategies and financial resources to help meet each school’s specific business and academic needs. And because we believe that investing in the success of Catholic schools requires investing in their leaders, we are sending 20 Catholic grade school principals to the National Catholic Educational Association’s annual convention in San Diego this spring.

With renewed hope, energy and excitement, we move toward a bright future. We invite you to join us in continuing the tradition and expanding the reach of Catholic-school excellence.

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