Like most Catholic schools in Philadelphia, St. Martin de Porres in North Philadelphia faced years of declining enrollments and rising costs. So in 2010, the Board of Directors of the Friends of St. Martin de Porres proposed a novel solution: Take over responsibility for the school from the Archdiocese. On August 30, 2010,they signed a historic agreement to do just that.
The key: Partnerships with local businesses that have provided funding, technology and other support to modernize the school and set its students up for success.
“The only way schools like ourselves are going to survive is if we’re able to form partnerships,” says Sister Nancy Fitzgerald, principal of St. Martin. “Prior to partnerships we had no financial aid. Now anyone who wants to can walk into the doors of St. Martin de Porres Catholic School and be enrolled.”
Watch the video from documentary filmmaker Lauren Flick to learn more about the school and how partnerships have kept it growing.
This video originally appeared on Open Education last year.