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Diocese to begin review of Catholic education

By Eileen Buckley


Buffalo, NY – Some Catholic elementary schools could merge or even close under a brand new strategic plan being launched by the Diocese of Buffalo. It's called "Faith in Tomorrow".

But this new plan is designed to fully examine all catholic elementary schools in the eight counties of Western New York.

WBFO'S Eileen Buckley sat down with Carol Kostyniak, Secretary of Catholic Education for the Diocese of Buffalo. She explains this new vision.

Bishop Edward U. Kmiec said "Faith in Tomorrow" represents the new vision for Catholic elementary schools in the Diocese of Buffalo as well as my unwavering commitment to the education of our children, which I believe is among the most important missions of the Catholic Church and diocese today," said Bishop Kmiec.

"Faith in Tomorrow" begins today with the firm belief that we are poised to sustain and grow our schools, which are centered in Christ and date back more than 150 years," said Bishop Kmiec. "It is a covenant that will result in stronger schools, better educational opportunities and will make our Catholic schools even more appealing to parents, students and educators."

Here are the key areas of the strategic:

*Catholic Identity

*Organizational Structure and Leadership


*Academic Excellence

*Marketing and Communications

*Facilities and Transportation

*Health and Human Services

Among the strategies that will be implemented:

*Each school will engage in a process of comprehensive self-evaluation and action to discern and strengthen the lived experience of Catholic identity for their entire faith community.

*An educational consortium of 10 to 15 urban, suburban and rural elementary schools will be established to develop and pilot an innovative organizational structure for Catholic elementary schools to reduce competition, increase accountability and provide an economic benefit among participating schools. Available funds for tuition assistance will be expanded.

*Community partnerships that enrich health and human services for all school communities will be researched and expanded.

Educational partnerships will be established among elementary, secondary, college, university and seminary leaders, to develop new programs and initiatives to strengthen and expand curricular and instructional programs.