In collaboration with national experts, CUSP will provide guidance to the schools as they review curricular and instructional methods in an effort to incorporate outcome-driven best practices in educating lower-income communities. Recommendations will foster a learning community that embraces a growth mindset as we seek to nurture academic outcomes that effectively close the achievement gap between lower-income students and their more affluent peers.
After School Programs
After school programs have the following benefits:
Fewer school absences
Higher scores on standardized math and ELA tests
More community-minded feelings among students, and
Better behaved students who are more likely to think about their futures.
CUSP will support each school in creating and implementing after school programs including art, music, sports, and homework help/tutoring.
Anyone would be horrified to learn a school had no books. Today, access to quality technology is equivalent to the school room texts and chalkboard of a generation ago. In the fast changing world of technology, keeping up with infrastructure needed to support optimal network speed and learning capacity can be a challenge, particularly in lower-income communities. Working with experts in the field, CUSP is addressing this digital inequity to create the same infrastructure found at schools in more affluent communities.
CUSP staff and faculty have hundreds of years of combined experience making them a powerhouse force for educating children and changing lives. Yet everyone needs a little support now and then, even the most seasoned professionals. CUSP is building inter-school professional learning communities (PLCs) composed of teachers and principals who will work together on a regular basis in consultation with the Archdiocesan Schools Office and CUSP leadership. Through review, assessment, analysis, and refinement, PLCs will provide each faculty member with the support and encouragement she or he needs to implement the curriculum that will reach students to get the best results.
CUSP employs a full-time director of enrollment to ensure the schools continue to thrive. Each school has identified an on-site enrollment manager to field questions, schedule and conduct tours, and follow up with interested families while assisting current families with re-enrollment. Each school has also installed a sophisticated enrollment software system to support this process by allowing online applications and re-enrollment, thus streamlining the process and keeping all pertinent information in one secure place.
CUSP is working with each school to support its fundraising efforts and provide students without financial means access to a quality Catholic education. In this way, CUSP supports The Scholarship Fund for Inner-City Children (SFIC) which already generously supports many students in the nine CUSP schools with financial assistance such as partial-tuition scholarships. CUSP will also soon launch The CUSP Corps, a diverse network of people who volunteer their time, talent, and treasure to make a difference in the lives of CUSP students.
Marketing and Communications
Using digital advertising and social media, together with traditional advertising and public relations, CUSP will support enrollment and fundraising efforts to meet our goals. The director of communications will work with CUSP leadership and school principals to celebrate what the schools do well while sharing news about exciting changes and positive steps forward.
A New Model
As these nine schools achieve their goals, CUSP hopes to expand, share learnings, and support other schools in the Archdiocese of Newark.