National Catholic Schools Week Guide – Pages 7 & 8
5 REASONS A CATHOLIC SCHOOL EDUCATION COULD BE A GOOD FIT FOR YOUR FAMILY
More parents are finding themselves dissatisfied with different aspects of public education and are opting to enroll their children in private Catholic schools. With a 3.8% increase in enrollment during the 2021-2022 school year, more parents are looking harder at Catholic schools as a great choice for their children.
"There's a number of reasons why," says Principal Rosalind Navarro at Pasadena's Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary School. "Number one, we have smaller classrooms. Two, we're a very family-oriented community. Three, it's a very safe environment. Also, we have very structured academics and we're well-rounded. We're able to offer not only strong academics but extracurricular sports and language. We have a fine arts program as well. And so we're pretty well rounded." If you are on the fence about enrolling your children in a Catholic school, here are five reasons that could convince you to make that move.
Catholic schools are known to offer high-quality education. According to the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA), 99% of Catholic high school students graduate and 85% of the graduates go on to attend four-year colleges. Reports by the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) show that every year for the last 20 years, Catholic schools have outperformed public schools on NAEP tests. Nationally, Catholic schools also have a student-to-teacher ratio of 11.6:1. Research shows that lower ratios are correlated with greater academic achievement in students.
Emphasis is placed on educating the whole child - mind, body, and spirit. Catholic schools focus on rigorous academics, but at the same time provide students values that will help them develop a strong moral and religious foundation. Since Catholic school programs do not revolve around standardized testing, they are able to spend time teaching children that the way they treat and care for one another is a valuable quality necessary to navigate life in and outside the school.
Service to others is instilled in Catholic school students. An integral part of Catholic education is promoting community through charity work. Students are taught to be sensitive to the needs of those most in need. Immersion mission trips are common activities for middle and high school students. These provide opportunities for fellowship and friendship not only for the students but also for the community.
As private institutions, Catholic schools are safer compared to public schools. Private schools are less likely to report problems like physical altercations and possession of illegal drugs and weapons. This combined with a strong sense of community and the lower student-to-teacher ratio make for a safer learning environment.
While tuition is oftentimes a barrier for families wanting to provide private education for their kids, Catholic schools are relatively the most affordable among private schools. According to the NCEA, almost all Catholic schools and dioceses offer financial aid programs to qualified students. These programs are usually based on need or scholastic achievement.
Parents only want the best for their children. If you are looking to provide your kid a safe environment that provides the highest academic and spiritual standards, and most importantly you could see them thrive there, then a Catholic school may be the best fit for your family.