Parents know all children are different, exhibiting their own unique needs, developmental path, talents and interests.

These are some points to ponder in the school selection process:

• Is the curriculum appropriate for my child’s talents and goals?

• Will the school be challenging without being overwhelming?

• Will my child be comfortable in the school’s environment? Will I?

• Are there opportunities for my child to pursue special interests?

• Look beyond the facilities – look at programs, teachers, services, the school’s leadership and vision.

• Does the environment reflect a Christ-centered approach to education – are there Catholic symbols, places for quiet prayer and gathering spaces for Mass; is the exercise of faith part of the everyday experience?

• Plan a visit – Study the options, check the website, tour the school and ask questions. Talk to administrators, teachers and current parents, and let your child experience a day in class.

Other factors to consider in a prospective Catholic high school:

Education and Values

• The school demonstrates a strong commitment to academic development and achievement, actively pursuing new ways to engage students and nurture their potential.

• A belief in Christ and a sense of Catholic identity should be reflected in the facilities, the curriculum, the faculty, the school’s mission and the daily activities. 

• Catholic schools emphasize morals, service and social justice.

A Choice for the Future

• Statistics show students in a Catholic school perform better academically, are much less likely to drop out and are much more likely to go on to college.

Disciplined Environment

• Catholic school students learn self-discipline, responsibility, and self-motivation in an environment both nurturing and structured.

• Control over admittance and expected behavior, lessons in courtesy and respect.

Not Lost in the Crowd

• Students and teachers share their faith during morning prayers and at special services.

• Trust develops when students feel free to discuss ideas and problems with their teachers. In a Catholic school, every teacher is an adviser.

• Catholic school provides a safe environment where children can explore ideas and feelings, and guidance that ensures they won’t get lost while exploring.

Committed Teachers

• Catholic schools attract teachers who view education as a vocation and are chosen for their abilities as role models, teaching skills and subject expertise.

• The majority of teachers are Catholic, committed to developing both spirit and  intellect.

Accountability

• Catholic schools are directly accountable to the families they serve; performance builds and maintains the school’s reputation.

Responsiveness

• Catholic schools respond to the changing needs of students and to the requirements of the “real” world. Look for services appropriate for your family and your circumstances.

Parental Participation

• Parent involvement is both welcome and key to the students’ success.

• Parents will be asked to participate in the social life of the school and help it advance.

• Special family liturgies for school community; special occasions may be marked with a special Mass.

Source: Independent School Management