GOSPEL in mosaic tile

Institute for Catholic Schools


of Catholic school students graduate


attend 4-year colleges

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The Institute for Catholic Schools was established in 2009 when, consistent with its Mission to serve the local Church, St. John’s University’s Office of the President and The School of Education collaborated and gave birth to The Institute.  It is marked by the distinguishing quality of actually going into the schools and continually soliciting their needs from principals and superintendents themselves. We meet regularly with the superintendents of our three local dioceses: Brooklyn, Rockville Centre, and the Archdiocese of New York, as well as with the principals, listen to their needs and then create conferences, meetings, programs, and in-school workshops that meet those specific needs.  The Institute is an active member and participant in Catholic Higher Education Supporting Catholic Schools (CHESCS) under the auspices of the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA). 

picture of Margaret Moss, P.D.

Margaret Moss, P.D., Director, Institute for Catholic Studies
[email protected] 


Catholic elementary and secondary education in New York and across the nation has long made great contributions to society and to the Church.  While this continues to be the case, Catholic education is also facing unprecedented challenges today.  At this critical time, St. John’s University-consistent with its mission to serve the local Church-establishes this Institute in a desire to serve as a valuable resource in collaborating with local dioceses to support and enhance Catholic primary and secondary education. 


The overarching purpose of the Institute is to foster the long-term sustainability, growth, and excellence of Catholic education by assisting the local dioceses in enhancing the administrative and academic infrastructure of schools.  This would consist of improving communication and collaboration between elementary and high schools in order to facilitate creation of a seamless, integrated K-12 Catholic education system for students. 

ICS Success with Catholic Schools


staff collaborated to meet common core series


Leaders were provided support to ensure academic success


teachers and principals were assisted with CCLS

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Additional Information

To date, Institute for Catholic Schools programs have included:

St. Vincent de Paul Program

This program is a partnership between the Diocese of Brooklyn and St. John’s Institute for Catholic Schools.  A two-year in-service program for principals, board chairs and board directors in the Diocese of Brooklyn focusing on the roll-out of the new governance structure for its elementary schools. Schools with this new governance model are called "Academies." An annual all-day symposium is planned for the "graduates" as well as current participants in the program. The Institute also partners with the Diocese of Brooklyn’s semi-annual convocation.  To date, we have provided in-service for the boards and principals of 57 academies.  Cohort VI which commenced in September 2015 includes 19 academies.  The curriculum has been revised to mirror the National Standards and Benchmarks for Effective Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools.  2014 marked the deepening of the partnership when the University began participating in fall and spring convocations coordinated by the Diocese, as well as coordination of the spring convocation.     

Project TIE: Training Innovative Educators (English Language Arts and Mathematics)

A comprehensive three-year intense, sustained professional development program designed to improve teacher effectiveness and student achievement in ELA and Math from grades Pre-K through eighth grade. The program includes on-site classroom demonstrations, teacher mentoring, teacher focus groups, team-teaching, student-to-University classes, and parent workshops. Since 2002 Project TIE has serviced 27 Catholic Schools, approximately 7090 students and 27 principals. Under the sponsorship of the Institute since 2010, has served 104 teachers from 6 schools serving 1700 students.  About 5,500 students from 37 schools have benefitted from this program.   

Curriculum Leadership Teams: CLT's

A year-long 10-session interactive program that creates and supports Curriculum Teams in elementary schools in the Archdiocese of New York  and in the Dioceses of Brooklyn and Rockville Centre. These teams have been prepared to roll out the new Common Core State Initiative and all of its components. This effort is in pursuit of higher academic standards and includes integrating Catholic identity as part of the daily curriculum.  In May 2014 16 principals and 66 teachers were awarded certificates for the successful completion of the full-year program. The 2015-2016 cohort (Cohort V) includes teams from 14 schools.  605 teachers and principals from 121 schools in three dioceses serving over 12,000 students have participated.

Management Seminars for Catholic School Leaders 

This two-fold program is a collaborative venture between the Vincentian Center for Church and Society and the Peter J. Tobin College of Business, both at St. John’s University. It provides a three-day seminar in the key aspects of running a Catholic school effectively including Catholic Identity and Servant Leadership; mission, vision and values; marketing and development; budgeting; time management; recruitment and retention; and strategic planning.  121 educators from three dioceses have participated.  An intensive one-day symposium in Marketing the Mission was developed at the request of Management Seminar participants, and subsequently completed by fifty-seven individuals.  As of this year, 426 schools from the three dioceses have completed the Management Seminar, including four Catholic high schools. 

Secondary School Common Core Program

A one-day, intense, comprehensive overview of the Common Core Initiative prepared for teachers and administrators in our Tri-Diocesan Catholic High Schools. 100 teachers from 35 high schools serving approximately 3000 students have participated.