This article describes the Notre Dame ACE Academies initiative, a university-school partnership program that provides comprehensive support to schools through a unique governance structure. The authors describe how the university’s experience of an earlier partnership initiative informed the development of the Notre Dame ACE Academies model and the rationale for establishing of a new governance model for the program. ACE developed a framework for partnership and collaboration designed to create and sustain a strong Catholic school culture with high academic standards. The program provides resources and formation to support principal and teacher efforts to enhance academic achievement, and the program ensures the schools’ long-term viability through responsible stewardship and strategic advancement efforts focused on maximizing parental choice scholarship opportunities. The key lever to enact these transformations is a new Catholic school governance structure, in which pastors and bishops formally share certain critical responsibilities with the university and other community stakeholders through the establishment of a board of specified jurisdiction. By taking responsibility for the areas of financial oversight and support and evaluation of the principal, the board ensures growth in academic achievement and school sustainability.
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Dallavis, C., & Cisneros, A. (2013). "A New Model of Sponsorship and Collaboration": The University of Notre Dame ACE Academies. Journal of Catholic Education, 17 (1). http://dx.doi.org/10.15365/joce.1701082013