Catholic schools are academically excellent, where all students learn and are supported to reach their fullest potential. This has long been the case for Catholic education, but we cannot rest on our laurels. The schools of the diocese are currently working with an international consortium to enrich each of the eight elementary and three high schools. That globally sensitive program targets curriculum development and teaching methodology. It incorporates project-based and cooperative learning that is grounded in 21st century skills. That current globally-sensitive professional development is aimed to have each student: think critically; work collaboratively and creatively; and communicate with the requisite literacies of information, media, and technology. This diocesan-wide training is ongoing, yet its implementations will be brought to bear in the coming year.
We will be accessible to all, where we are open to all in keeping with the charism of each school. We are inclusive, whose inclusivity is based in our catholicity and its linguistic root, meaning “universal” and “all-embracing.” This is the evangelical nature of enrollment, which is to share what is so dear to us, a life and love of learning and the desire for Christ, the Great Teacher.
We are sustainable for the future, where we are proactive and forward directed, not only in curriculum and instruction, but also in management, advancement, and development. As a civic gift to the community, it will be my task to invite as many as possible to have the privilege of collaborating in our mission by sharing in their time, talent, and treasure.
Within these four themes, it will be my task to assure that we share the Good News of Catholic education and formation—that is, to share the good news that Catholic-school education is spirit filled, welcoming, inclusive, safe, available, and excellent. Moreover, research sustains the advantages of our work.
Some recent studies reported that:
- Catholic-school graduates are seven times more likely to be active in their faith.
- Students of color who have attended Catholic schools are 2.4 times more likely to earn a college degree than their counterparts attending other schools.
- Catholic school graduates earn on average 14% more money in their chosen careers than attendees of non-Catholic schools.
- There is a high correlation between Catholic school attendance and vocations to the church and to those aimed at healing a fractured world.
And lastly , Superintendent Hollis's own research found that Catholic education to be an equalizer to the great deficit found in US education--that is, there exists an academic achievement gap between students from different groups. Dr. Hollis's research found academic equality among students in Catholic schools--that student did not differ in their academic achievement based on race, ethnicity, wealth, family education, or family composition of two-parent households, which is common in US educational research. This equality was especially poignant among the higher achievement among Hispanic students.