Pope Francis to Visit a Partnership School

July 1, 2015

The Partnership is thrilled to announce that Pope Francis will visit Our Lady Queen of Angels School on September 25th at 4:00pm during his visit to the US.

As Executive Director of the Partnership Schools Jill Kafka noted, “We appreciate how little time His Holiness has in the States, which makes the papal visit to one of our six Partnership schools even more remarkable. We are so honored that our school was selected.”

The Partnership is a pioneering school management organization that is shaping the next generation of urban Catholic education. Granted operational management in 2013 of six long-standing Pre-K to 8th grade schools in the South Bronx and Harlem, the Partnership is committed to providing students in historically underserved neighborhoods with the academic preparation, values, and skills they need to excel.

The population served specifically at OLQA is one the Pope has made a focus of his visit – the often voiceless in the immigrant community. OLQA students identify as 70% Hispanic and 22% African American of which 22% are English language learners and 69% qualify for need-based scholarships.

The historic success of urban Catholic schools stems not only from a rigorous tradition of academic excellence, but also from an emphasis on developing self-worth, moral character, a love of learning, and a sense of civic responsibility—all part of our long-standing commitment to educating the whole child. The Partnership is unique in knitting this tradition together with lessons from high-achieving public, charter, and independent schools, in the service of our students.

For more than twenty years, the Partnership has raised and invested over $200 million in urban Catholic schools. Today, as a School Management Organization (SMO), the Partnership is intensifying its efforts to break the cycle of poverty and close the achievement gap across its network schools.

  • The Partnership currently serves over 2,100 students across the network · 99.4% of the students are minority
  • 65% of the students are Catholic
  • 33% speak English as a second language

As Kafka added, “Our principal, Joanne Walsh, has led OLQA for 11 years and is the exemplar of the Partnership’s “can do” spirit. Working closely with the Partnership, her Partnership school board members and parent community, Joanne rallied the troops to stave off a possible school closure back in 2006. Joanne has made it her personal mission to develop outreach to the neighborhood’s immigrant population and it is reflected in the robust student and family community that is Our Lady Queen of Angels.”

To learn more about the Partnership's current operations click here.

To learn more about the Partnership's historic agreement click here

For more details on the the papal visit click here and for ongoing papal coverage click here.

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