by Sr. Joanne Callahan, OSU
Superintendent of Schools

Catholic schools around the nation will begin the annual celebration of Catholic Schools Week on January 27, 2013. What do we celebrate and why do we celebrate? We celebrate the many students who have attended our schools in the past and who currently are attending our schools for what they do for our Church and for society. We celebrate the Catholic elementary and high schools in the Diocese of Rockville Centre where faith is taught and lived out, where academic excellence is expected of all, and where a commitment to serving others is experienced daily.

Catholic education has been a vital part of our nations’ educational options since the first Catholic school opened in New Orleans in 1727. Catholic schools have played an integral part in the development of young people in New York since 1800, actually pre-dating public schools in New York State. Students educated in Catholic schools are taught to be compassionate individuals as well as critical and creative thinkers who go on to do much good for our Church, our country and around the world. The vast majority of Catholic elementary students in our diocese go on to Catholic high schools, where 100% of those attending the three diocesan high schools earn Regents Diplomas and 99% of all Catholic high school students go on to two and four year colleges.

The theme for this year is “Catholic Schools Raise the Standards.” This theme is particularly appropriate for the schools in our diocese this year as we continue to implement the new Common Core Standards adopted by New York State. Our focus is on offering staff development opportunities and integrating technology into the curriculum to meet the needs of 21st century learners. We remain committed to teaching students the standards of our faith and in this Year of Faith we are conscious of teaching the tenets of our faith, the call we each have to give service to others, and to help all students to know they are loved by our God always.

I invite all of you to visit your local parish/regional Catholic elementary school during Catholic Schools Week, January 27 – February 1, 2013. You will be amazed at the work being done by the children, and the creative and exciting ways that we are meeting the needs of our students. Please come and see all that our students are eager to show you!

To find a Catholic elementary school near you, visit our website at Many schools will be hosting open houses and other special events during this week.