2018 National Catholic Schools Week
is on Sunday, January 28 to Saturday, February 3, 2018
“Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge, and Service”
National Catholic Schools Week is an annual celebration of Catholic education in the United States. The observance starts the last Sunday in January and runs all week, which in 2018 will be January 28 to February 3. Catholic schools all across America typically celebrate Catholic Schools Week with special Masses, Open Houses, and other fun activities for students, families, parishioners, and the community at large. This celebration week was established in 1974 to recognize Catholic education as a great gift to the Church and the nation.
The theme for 2018, “Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge, and Service", encompasses several concepts that are at the heart of a Catholic education. First, schools are communities -- small families in their own right, but also members of the larger community of home, church, city, and nation. Faith, knowledge, and service are three measures by which any Catholic school can and should be judged. These priorities are what make Catholic schools stand out from other education institutions.
“Historically, Catholic schools are known for their high level of academic achievement, moral values, and high graduation rates”, said Karen Ristau, of the National Catholic Educational Association. “What may not be as widely recognized are the outstanding successes recorded by students of low income families and students from inner cities. That’s certainly a plus for many portions of the American population”, she noted.
The executive director of the Secretariat of Catholic Education at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has also noted that “nearly 30 percent of the nation’s 2.1 million Catholic school students come from minority populations. Enrollment of students who are not Catholic has increased to over 14 percent, an indication that many diverse families seek the benefits of a quality education with moral underpinnings.” The 7,094 Catholic elementary and secondary schools make up over 44 percent of all private schools in the United States.
Catholic Schools Week is a joint project of the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA) and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. To learn more about Catholic Schools Week, you may visit the NCEA web site at: www.ncea.org/news/CatholicSchoolsWeek.asp.