Since 1974 the nation's Catholic Schools have celebrated Catholic Schools Week beginning the last Sunday of January. This year Catholic Schools Week is scheduled for January 28 – February 3, 2007. An activity of the National Marketing Campaign for Catholic Schools (since 1992), Catholic Schools Week is a joint undertaking of the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
Each year a theme is chosen and this year’s theme is "Catholic Schools: the Good News in Education." Reasons for selecting this theme were because of the great appeal to Catholic Schools and the strong message it sends to parents and those who support Catholic Schools.
A priest of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales and interim secretary for education at the USCCB, Father William Davis is quoted in a press release on the NCEA website as saying, "High achievement rates, high retention rates, high moral values and high student and parent satisfaction are the distinctive marks of a Catholic school. That’s the good news and we want to share it."
Wednesday, January 31st, is National Appreciation Day for Catholic Schools. National Appreciation Day for Catholic Schools is observed to encourage supporters to highlight the contributions and accomplishments of Catholic Schools. This year a group of over 150 Catholic teachers, students and parents in Washington will visit Capitol Hill and promote Catholic schools to congressional leaders. They plan to hand deliver letters from Catholic educational leaders to their representatives. Schools around the country are also encouraged to spread their message of good news to local and state leaders.
Many Catholic Schools have special activities planned during Catholic Schools Week, like open houses, prayer services, volunteer appreciation events, parent/student luncheons, and special Masses.
Did You Know?
- There are nearly 8,000 Catholic schools, elementary/middle and secondary, across the nation.
- The number of students in Catholic education at all levels of study (schools, colleges, universities, religious educations programs and seminaries) is 7.6 million.
- 99% of all Catholic secondary school students graduate, while 97% continue their education and attend college.
- Some famous people who graduated from Catholic schools include Regis Philbin, Ray Romano, and animator Joseph Barbera (The Flintstones and Scooby Doo are among the work of the Hanna-Barbera team).
- In 5.1% of Catholic schools enrollment exceeds 750.
- 34.6% of Catholic schools are located in suburban areas, while 32.5 % are in urban areas, 21.3% rural and 11.7% inner-city.
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Peace in Christ,