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NYSED’s Five-Year Award to Fordham GSE’s Center for Educational Partnerships Arrives at Opportune Time to Assist Schools with Distance Learning Platforms

In an initiative led by the Fordham University Graduate School of Education’s (GSE) Center for Educational Partnerships (CEP) – in collaboration with the GSE’s Center for Catholic School Leadership and Faith-Based Education – the GSE has been awarded the New York State Education Department’s (NYSED) contract to serve as the NYC Professional Development Resource Center (PDRC) for religious and independent schools. Read more about the award in the April 28 Bronx Times.
Associate Dean Anita Vazquez Batisti, Ph.D., directs the CEP and Gerald Cattaro, Ed.D, directs the Center for Catholic School Leadership and Faith-Based Education. The NYC-PDRC and its counterparts on Long Island (LI-PDRC) and in the rest of New York state (ROS-PDRC), are the result of the advocacy efforts of the religious and independent school communities at the state level. The five-year NYSED contract awarded to Fordham will support schools through Titles IIA and IV professional development funds.

“This contract comes at a very opportune time. The assistance we can provide with professional development in online learning is of great value at this moment, when teachers are having to navigate the new landscape of educating students using distance learning tools,” expressed Batisti. “We are excited to officially begin our work offering administrators, teachers, and the entire school community access to the many benefits of our PDRC’s in-person and virtual professional learning opportunities.”

One school already benefiting is Preston High School, an all-girls Catholic high school in the Bronx. “Our professional development during this challenging time has been greatly enhanced by the various virtual offerings available from the Fordham PDRC,” stated Dr. Christina Zeoli, Science Department Chairperson.

Fordham’s GSE, under the leadership of Dean Virginia Roach, has an extensive track record of preparing high-quality schoolteachers, psychologists, and leaders. It is through the CEP that Fordham provides quality professional development and technical assistance for practitioners in the field through various state and city contracts.

“The Fordham PDRC team is ready to utilize its combined experience, knowledge, and expertise to offer customized and differentiated professional development opportunities to the schools,” said Cattaro. “We are grateful to be able to offer this needed knowledge to the religious and independent school communities.”

The CEP is also excited to announce that Roser Salavert, Ph.D., was appointed director of the Fordham PDRC. Salavert is an extraordinary educational leader who has served in New York City schools as well as held state-level positions. Her experiences as a teacher, school psychologist, and superintendent of schools equip her with a deep understanding of the differing needs of religious and independent school communities and the ability to respond appropriately, most especially by working in literacy and technology integration.

“Michael Pizzingrillo, CEP Senior Project Associate and a former superintendent of parochial schools, also shares his expertise and strengths to contribute to this new initiative,” Batisti noted.

For more information on the Fordham Graduate School of Education’s Center for Educational Partnerships and how it can help schools, email


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