Why a Catholic school is right for your elementary student

Students gather in the hallway.

The elementary years are some of the most formative in our children’s lives. It’s when students receive the sacraments of reconciliation and holy Communion for the first time, make important friendships, and build on critical thinking skills that will last a lifetime.

In a Catholic school, we want students to grow and play in the most joyful way possible. We want them to know they are loved and cared for, and we want them to be challenged to achieve their best. Our memories of tender teachers, invigorating recess times, and after-school playdates will soon be theirs, and we want to make sure they get the most out of this exciting stage in life. Catholic schools do all of these things in the light of Christ.

Many parents choose Catholic education for its reputation for academic excellence. Students are trained to be critical thinkers, detailed writers, and close listeners from a young age. For instance, the Nation’s Report Card shows Catholic school students across the country outperform their peers in core subjects like math, science, reading, and technology and engineering literacy. We see in our students’ standardized assessment results that this outperformance difference grows the longer a student is in Catholic school. Moreover, Catholic school students exhibit more self-control and self-discipline than those in other private schools or public schools (source).

This translates into greater lifelong achievement, as well. Catholic school graduates are 20% more likely to earn a bachelor’s degree, and on average earn 13.6% more than their public school counterparts (source).

Most importantly, Catholic education nurtures students’ lifelong faith. Research shows millennials who attended Catholic schools are 7-8 times more likely to attend Sunday Mass as adults. In the elementary years, when children are preparing to receive the sacraments of reconciliation and Holy Communion, this faith-focused education is all the more critical.

Because we believe this formation and education are so essential, we strive to offer affordable tuition. According to the National Catholic Educational Association, Catholic elementary schools cost less than half the average tuition of private schools nationally. We also offer scholarships to further help families give their children a Catholic education. We believe in the excellence of what we do, and so we seek to make it available for every family who desires it.

In our alliance of Catholic schools, we prize education that is suited to each individual’s needs. Our schools have been recognized for serving children with wide-ranging learning needs. Additionally, with a 15:1 student-to-teacher ratio across the Diocese of Grand Rapids, our instructors are able to provide students with individualized attention.

It cannot be overstated that the heart of what Catholic education does is beyond preparing students for college and careers. The most important thing our schools do is build on the faith formation children receive at home, so that they continue to live their relationship with Jesus Christ and His Church.

Our world needs students whose hearts and minds have been formed in faith and academic excellence. This is what our Catholic schools do. Contact us here to learn more about enrolling your child.

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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 6,000 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.

Pictured: A spring 2019 file photo from Muskegon Catholic Central.