Catholic Schools Week Celebrates Hallmarks of Catholic School Education

Faith. Excellence. Service. The themes of Catholic Schools Week reverberate throughout the community of Catholic schools across the nation.

Arlington, VA – The National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) joins nearly 6,000 Catholic schools around the country to commemorate the longstanding tradition of the excellence of Catholic school education and dedication to the growth of the whole person – mind, body and spirit. This is the 47th year of National Catholic Schools Week, January 31 through February 6.

"Celebrating Catholic Schools Week this year is very important," said Kathy Mears, NCEA Interim President/CEO. "The challenges of the last nine months have revealed the resilience of as many as 80 percent of our schools offering in-person instruction, as well as the fragility of others for whom the financial strain has been too great. However, we always are grateful to the Catholic school educators committed to academic excellence and forming good citizens on earth and saints in Heaven. Every day they model a remarkable ministry for their students and for each other."

Kiss the Goat, penny wars, "souper" bowls, dress down days, special Masses, social media blitzes, whacky socks days, friendly faculty-student game competitions, community service, special prayers and much, much more illustrate the weeklong celebration in parishes and dioceses around the nation. But the heart of this special week of observance is to recognize the excellence in education and the important place Catholic schools have in society.

For centuries, Catholic schools have provided a well-rounded education to disadvantaged families, new arrivals to America and to all who seek a seat in Catholic schools. Catholic schools accommodate families of all backgrounds while maintaining Catholic principles and teaching in a spirit of charity.

Catholic schools are successful! 99 percent of our students graduate from high school; 86 percent attend college; 83.9 percent graduate from college and Catholic school students’ proficiency on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is nearly double their public school counterparts and trends higher than other private religious and non-sectarian schools. The choice of a Catholic school is working for millions of families.

The theme and logo this year are new and will be used until 2024. This new theme, "Catholic Schools: Faith. Excellence. Service." calls attention to the purpose of Catholic schools – to form disciples, to grow the whole person and to encourage students to be witnesses to Catholic social teaching.

Catholic Schools Week incorporates daily themes focusing on Catholic school families, educators, religious, parishes and the nation. A complete Catholic Schools Week Marketing Kit (www.NCEA.org/csw) is available for schools with tried-and-true marketing ideas, planning tools and communication templates to help schools make the most of the weeklong celebration and to use throughout the year.

For more information, visit www.NCEA.org and connect with NCEA on YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, #CSW21.

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In service of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, NCEA strengthens Catholic school communities by providing professional development, formation, leadership and advocacy.