After a year and a half of research and study, the Diocese of Fall River Task Force on Catholic Education has released its final report which was presented by Bishop Edgar da Cunha Friday at Holy Trinity School in Fall River.

The report made several recommendations on how to improve Catholic education across the diocese with a focus on academics, centralization, fundraising and enrollment. The report is intended to serve as a starting point of a multi-year comprehensive initiative and does not recommend the merger or closure of any schools.

"We must rally around a bold vision and embrace the changes that are necessary as essential to the future of our schools," da Cunha said.

An Implementation Team has been established with the goal of working toward achieving the key recommendations. The team's first task is to organize a Central School Board that would create uniform academic and professional policy for all schools within the diocese.

"We need to share a collective responsibility for our schools that we'll promote collaboration as one mission, one effort, one system," said da Cunha.

Assisting the early changes is a $1 million donation from the Carney Family Charitable Foundation, which was fully matched by the diocesan Foundation for the Advancement of Catholic Education, or FACE.

Da Cunha said those funds will help establish scholarships for families in need that want their children to receive a Catholic education and help combat recent declines in enrollment.

The report also included many positives about diocesan schools, including dedication of teachers and staff, a "deep culture of Catholicity," and overall strong academic achievement.

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