This entire week, Catholic schools in the diocese of Grand Rapids and across the nation have been celebrating Catholic Schools Week, in conjunction with the National Catholic Educational Association. We celebrate because Catholic education offers students daily opportunities to grow in faith and grace, achieve more in school and life, develop creativity and character, and feel welcomed and cherished for their unique gifts.
Grow in faith and grace
Our students have specific opportunities to be in God's presence throughout the week, beyond Sunday. Incorporated into their educational experience are opportunities for weekday Mass, adoration, praise and worship, rosary reflections, service projects, and more. By prioritizing the Catholic faith, our students develop lifelong habits that help form their identity far beyond the classroom. In fact, the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate has found that millennials who attended Catholic schools at 7x-8x more likely to attend Sunday Mass as adults.
As our students learn core subject matter concepts, they are encouraged to marvel in the fascinating realities of our world, giving praise to Jesus Christ for the beauty that surrounds us each day. As they serve in their local communities, they develop a desire to give more than to receive. And when they choose kindness in the midst of a difficult loss or a hardfought win, they demonstrate grace.
God is at the center of everything we do in our schools, allowing students to see how faith is integral to the fabric of everyday life.
Achieve more in school and life
Our Catholic schools provide a personalized learning experience which is known to boost students' academics -- and their experiences beyond.
Research indicates that students who attend Catholic schools demonstrate higher test scores and are more likely to graduate high school, earn scholarships and attend college compared to peers in other types of schools. For the past several years in the Diocese of Grand Rapids, graduation rates have been at or above 99%. Our Catholic schools give students a solid foundation for future success. For example, research has shown that Catholic school alumni, on average, earn 13.6% more than their public school counterparts (source: Owyang, Michael T. & E. Katarina Vermann, October 2012).
Develop creativity and character
In the Diocese of Grand Rapids, our Catholic schools enrich and extend the classroom experience through diverse activities that encourage exploration, creativity, and the pursuit of personal potential. These dynamic opportunities, such as athletics, robotics, and the arts, connect students with different interests and strengths and provide inspiration. Because God created all of us with unique gifts, students have opportunities to cultivate their talents, giving glory to Him through it all.
Feel welcomed and cherished
Jesus Christ inspires our mission, calling us to value and love all people. In the Diocese of Grand Rapids, across our alliance of 31 Catholic schools, we welcome families of many faiths and cultures who find a unique sense of purpose in our schools. Not to mention, our stewardship and scholarship programs assist families of all financial means in order to make Catholic education affordable and attractive for all who seek it.
During the ongoing implementation of our “Catholic Schools: Bridging Faith and Future” strategic plan, we’ve been particularly focused on serving students of wide-ranging abilities, and on adopting methods of culturally-responsive teaching. Students in our Catholic schools know they belong and that their gifts enrich our communities.
The personalized learning experiences within our schools open new opportunities for everyone's future, no matter their background.
The gift of Catholic education
During this Catholic Schools Week and every day, we are grateful to every family who chooses Catholic education for their children. To families who haven't yet chosen Catholic education, we invite you to contact our admissions team today!
Catholic schools in the Diocese of Grand Rapids are an alliance of 31 vibrant learning communities (26 elementary and five high schools) serving more than 6,340 preschool through 12th grade students throughout West Michigan. Our schools inspire young people to grow in Catholic faith and grace, achieve more in school and life, develop creativity and character, and feel welcomed and cherished for their unique gifts. We partner with parents to awaken the whole child to a world of light and life — that grows better and brighter when children reach their potential.