Catholic Inner-city Schools Education
For more than 40 years we have served children in Cincinnati’s underserved neighborhoods. Founded in 1980 by three city leaders of different faiths, the CISE mission is to transform the lives of urban children living in poverty by providing access to a strong Catholic education. This is done where it is needed most, in ten Cincinnati neighborhood schools funded by CISE. Research substantiates that a quality education is the most effective way to eliminate poverty. Our unique family of CISE schools gives students, 90% facing poverty, access to a quality education. This caring and nurturing approach in an environment of respect, safety, and discipline will rewrite futures.
The first CISE campaign was instituted in 1982 by the Archbishop of Cincinnati Joseph Bernardin and businessmen Ralph Lazarus and Edward Harness. This triad of community leaders of three different faiths united with the mutual goal of utilizing these parish schools, providing Catholic school opportunities for challenged families, and leveraging the generosity of the broader community. This initial campaign raised $45,000 and was a revolutionary new source of funding for CISE.
CISE started as an effort to keep vulnerable inner-city elementary schools open, but it has evolved into a comprehensive solution aimed at alleviating poverty and fighting inequality through access to quality education. CISE accomplishes this through excellent academics, the formation of values for life, and a safe, structured, and supportive environment in which all are welcome.
Maintaining an inclusive and welcoming atmosphere is essential to CISE as 67% of CISE school students are non-Catholic and 89% are from a minority background. The competitive academic advantage of CISE produces results. Many CISE students are among the first in their families to attend college.
In addition to excellent academics, the formation of critical values such as responsibility, perseverance, respect, discipline, and cooperation extend far beyond the years of formal education provided in CISE schools. We are proud of these accomplishments and the life-changing impact made on the over 2,600 students served in CISE supported schools, but we also acknowledges that CISE’s work has just begun.
Board of Trustees
David Williams, Chair
Allison Kropp, Vice Chair
Matthew Fellerhoff, Secretary
Ryan Alleman, Treasurer
Phil McHugh, President
Don Mellott, Immediate Past Chair
Dr. Robert Flick
Dr. Jane Knudson
Lawrence Kyte, Jr.
Dr. William Shula
Deacon Royce Winters
Rev. James Bok, OFM
Robert Hodge, Posthumously