NEWBURGH – Nora Cronin Presentation Academy opened its doors as a private middle school for undeserved girls in the Newburgh Enlarged City School District on Sept. 6, 2006. Founded by the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Academy’s objective was to significantly intervene in the education of young girls, providing small classes, values centered programs, and role modeling to open options for an often socially isolated population. At that time Newburgh was considered to be a city with one of the worst violent crime rates in the state. The school district reported extreme rates of teen pregnancy and a consequently high dropout rate.
NCPA is part of the national NativityMiguel Community of Schools – one of the few all girls schools in the program. It began with 13 girls in 5th grade and added a class each year through 8th grade. There will never be more than 60 children in the academy. Even though the school has a NY State Dept. of Education Charter and administers all state required curriculum, it is not a proverbial Charter School. It is an English Language emersion school. The cost of education per student is $7,000. Private donations and extensive community fundraising fund the educational program. Parents contribute all routine maintenance, and make a nominal financial contribution. The school district administers certain mandated national and state student aid projects including health, safety, breakfast and lunch, busing and textbooks.
The faculty includes four NYS certified master teachers and a certified administrator. Over the past 10 years there have been 170 academic and tutorial volunteers, many of whom are retired special subject teachers and college students in teacher training. Community agencies have also strengthened the core of the Academy, including: Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson, Catholic Charities Community Services Girls Circle, YWCA-TECHGirls, Mount St. Mary College, Marist College Upward Bound, USMA at West Point, Hudson Highland Nature Museum, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, Fox Hill Community, Orange County Youth Bureau, United Way, Orange County Chamber of Commerce, Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan Counties, among others.
NCPA’s motto is Not Words but Deeds. It has met this expectation. Graduates have attended NFA, Our Lady Of Lourdes Catholic HS, John S. Burke Catholic HS and John F. Kennedy Catholic HS. The original class is now in 3rd year of college or the military. They continue to be present to their alma mater in many ways. On to the next 10 year in celebration and gratitude!