All across the country this week, Catholic Schools are gearing up to celebrate Catholic Schools Week from January 27 through February 2.
The theme for Catholic Schools Week is "Catholic Schools Raise the Standards." This theme refers to the National Standards and Benchmarks for Effective Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools, which was recently put in place to promote high standards in Catholic schools.
There are many reasons to choose a Catholic school education for your children. For many parents, the number one reason is that God is a part of each school day, incorporated into every subject.
Students begin their day in prayer at Catholic schools and many Catholic schools hold daily or weekly Mass during the school day.
At Mass on Sunday at St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Lynchburg, Virginia, Monsignor Michael McCarron asked students from Holy Cross Regional Catholic School to stand.
Monsignor McCarron asked students to share what they liked the best about Holy Cross. Responses included the great teachers, the small classroom sizes, the wonderful principal, and the celebration of Mass.
As a cradle Catholic who attended Catholic schools for nearly half of my school years, I agree that these are all good reasons for a Catholic school education.
Students in Catholic schools often enjoy a closer relationship with their teachers and priests since the class sizes are smaller than many public schools.
Graduation and college acceptance rates are often much higher in Catholic schools than in public schools. Holy Cross has a 100% college acceptance rate each year, like many other Catholic schools around the country.
Catholic school students learn to give back to their community and the world through service projects and are encouraged on their faith journey.
Like many Catholic schools, Holy Cross offers AP classes and dual enrollment opportunities for high school students, who can graduate with enough college credits to enter college as second year freshmen.
Music and the arts are also part of a Catholic school education and there are many team sports to allow athletes to compete on the field or the court for the glory of God.
Most Catholic schools will hold special activities that the community can join this week. Special activities include Masses, open houses and athletic events.
Here are some of the activities scheduled this week at Holy Cross. The Catholic Schools Week Liturgy will be celebrated on Monday, Jan. 28 at 1 p.m.
There will be a winter open house on Tuesday, Jan. 29 at 5 p.m. Prospective students and their parents are invited to tour the school, meet the faculty, talk with current students and learn more about the opportunities offered by Holy Cross.
On Wednesday, Jan. 30, members of the community are invited to join Holy Cross students, teachers and staff for "Rally Around the Pole" at 7:50 a.m.
On Thursday, Jan. 31, "K-Day" will be held for prospective Pre-K and kindergarten families. This is a great opportunity for parents to explore the possibility of a Catholic education for preschool-aged children who will soon start school.
Parents should register in advance for the winter open house and "K-Day" by Monday, Jan. 28. Applications for Pre-K and kindergarten are now being accepted with a Feb. 1 deadline to be considered in the first round of applicants.
There are boys and girls middle school, JV and varsity basketball games this week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Some are home games and some are away. You can find the complete schedules at the Holy Cross website.
Helping students learn more about and live their faith is what Catholic schools are all about. Catholic Schools Week is an opportunity for parents to learn more about the many reasons to choose a Catholic education for their children.
Contact your local Catholic school for more information about enrollment opportunities and special events being held this week.