Ascension Catholic Academy
Academy is Our Largest Ministry
Ascension Catholic Academy, a ministry of Ascension parish, is a consortium of schools with centralized leadership and governance to deliver academic excellence and coordinate efforts to serve the whole child. It was formed in 2016 in partnership with GHR Foundation. Three schools are currently in the consortium: St. Peter Claver, St. John Paul II and Ascension Catholic School. Each of these schools primarily serves scholars who come from diverse backgrounds, with a large majority in need of additional academic and social support.
Why this Approach
The bold vision of the Academy is to ensure that Catholic schools are a key part of the solution to the Achievement Gap that is entrenched in the urban cores of St. Paul and Minneapolis. The Academy offers a rigorous academic program of value to scholars, families, schools, parishes and the Twin Cities community. Our ultimate aim is that every scholar will realize a future full of hope through the opportunity that education and faith can bring forth.
GHR Foundation and Ascension are partners in this endeavor. GHR support has allowed Ascension to fully investigate the feasibility of the Ascension Catholic Academy and make strategic plans for its success.
The Academy combines the best elements of each of the schools and create value in four key ways:
1. Improved centralized leadership and governance. This structure is highly effective and efficient, and it will generate cross learning in which the Academy schools share, refine and grow together.
2. Increased neighborhood stability as the Academy schools continue to grow as a financially viable and vital partner of the inner city neighborhoods that each school serves.
3. Support for local schools that serve the unique needs of each neighborhood and maintain a unique identify, culture, and community connection.
4. Increased affordability for families seeking faith-based schools with rigorous academics that support the development of the whole child.
Who we serve
The Academy served a total of 525 scholars in the 2019-20 School Year.
• Free/Reduced Lunch: 66%
• Students of Color: 95%
• ELL Students: 19%
• Catholic: 46%
The Academy approaches school excellence in a comprehensive way. It is focused on six key pillars, each of which contributes to an excellent Catholic school:
• Academic excellence
• Holistic scholar support
• Catholic identity
• Financial sustainability
• Academic staff advancement and talent management
• Marketing and enrollment
The vision of the Academy is to significantly expand upon Ascension’s success ─ in continually expanding the quality of academics, providing holistic scholar supports, recruiting scholars, and building a base of financial support from the broad community ─ to grow this same quality and impact in challenged Catholic schools serving inner city neighborhoods. The Academy is committed to ensuring academic growth so that every scholar is prepared to graduate from high school and go on to postsecondary education.
We believe the success of the Academy will also have a trickledown effect on other schools in the Archdiocese.
Get to Know Our Schools
St. John Paul II, Ascension and St. Peter Claver each have their own culture and traditions.Learn More
Partner With Us
Ascension Catholic Academy is deeply committed to the idea that no child should be denied a quality education on the basis of his or her family’s financial situation. Our most significant source of revenue comes from individuals and private foundations.Give Now