FALL RIVER — According to the National Catholic Educational Association, there has been an unprecedented increase in Catholic school enrollment for the 2021-22 school year. Nationally, there are 3.8 percent more students in Catholic schools than there were in the previous year, representing the first enrollment increase in two decades as well as the largest increase in about 50 years.
Over the past two years, the pandemic has highlighted challenges facing educational systems which resulted in many families “rediscovering Catholic schools.” “Catholic schools’ dedication in safely opening classrooms and supporting their communities’ needs last year is demonstrated in the 3.8 percent increase in enrollment,” according to the NCEA statement.
Similarly, enrollment in the Diocese of Fall River Catholic elementary schools has increased nearly three percent compared to last school year, and most Catholic elementary schools have a wait-list. Thus, it is evident that many new families are discovering and embracing the unique qualities of Catholic education. The Rediscover Catholic Schools campaign embodies the continued invitation for more new families to join the Catholic school community.
Through video testimonials by parents, teachers, students, alumni, and coaches, the essence of what makes a Catholic school unique and different is articulated in their own words. “I could not be more grateful to OLOL!” exclaimed Kara Lawrence, vice principal of Our Lady of Lourdes School in Taunton, and parent of two students. “It has completely shaped my children into these wonderful little people. You will never regret sending your children to a Catholic school.” Liam Powell, a junior at St. John Paul II School in Hyannis said, “Catholic schools help families grow in their faith as their children bring it back to their household and help the family grow as a whole.”
Catholic schools are a close community of students, parents, teachers, and staff all working together to achieve the same goal of creating saints. To achieve this, Catholic schools naturally foster the development of character, faith, and academic skills required to be successful in a world longing for more good people. So how are Catholic schools uniquely able to do this?
Our focus on each child as a gift from God ensures that children get the personalized attention and care they need to thrive. Our Catholic schools educate the hearts and minds of students.
— Catholic schools continue to academically outperform public schools. The most recent national reading and mathematics assessment results show Catholic schools continue to stand out.[i]
— Our teachers and staff are called to a vocation. They love what they do, and, as lifelong educators, they believe it is their calling to help every student infuse the love of Christ within themselves and the lives of their families.
— We recognize that school is more than academics — it’s the whole experience. Athletics, the arts, and co-curricular activities build friendships and form a family bond. These experiences are an extension of the classroom and another way to teach virtue, respect, and accountability.
As Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., says, “The value of Catholic schools and what Catholic schools do for our young people no one else can do. We can offer not only a quality academic education, but we offer values and faith.”
Join the thousands of new families who have “rediscovered Catholic schools” by calling your nearest Catholic school and setting up a tour. Elementary school scholarships (K – grade 8) are available through the Foundation to Advance Catholic Education (FACE) and applications are currently being accepted. Awards are up to $2,000 per year based upon financial need and all financial concerns can be addressed directly with the schools’ principals.
Go to www.Rediscover CatholicSchools.org for more information.
The Catholic Schools Alliance comprises administrators, teachers, staff, parents, and clergy joined in partnership to educate the children of the diocese in Catholic faith and values. Our schools have a demanding educational culture that helps students reach their God-given potential across the academic spectrum. With an emphasis on service and respect for the dignity of every person, we prepare students to meet the challenges of today’s diverse world and become meaningful contributors to society.