Category Archives: Catholic Schools Week

National Catholic Schools Week is January 31 – February 6, 2016!


National Catholic Schools Week is right around the corner!

This annual celebration of Catholic education in the United States. The theme for the National Catholic Schools Week 2016 is “Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service.” This week, schools across the country will observe the annual celebration week with Masses, open houses and other activities for students, families, parishioners and community members. Through these events, schools focus on the value Catholic education provides to young people and its contributions to our church, our communities and our nation.

How is your school celebrating from January 31 – February 6? Start with the following daily themes and celebrations in your (arch)diocese during Catholic Schools Week 2016.

  • Sunday – In Our Parish
  • Monday – In Our Community
  • Tuesday – In Our Students
  • Wednesday – In Our Nation (National Appreciation Day For Catholic Schools)
  • Thursday – In Our Vocations
  • Friday – In Our Faculty, Staff and Volunteers (Teacher & Principal Appreciation Day)
  • Saturday – In Our Families

Join us all week for special stories and guest posts about Catholic schools. Use the #CSW16 hashtag and join others celebrating Catholic Schools Week in conversations on Facebook and Twitter.

NCEA Monthly School Feature Video


Beginning Catholic School Week 2016,  NCEA would like to feature a deserving Catholic School each month on our Featured Video section on Facebook, as well as publish an article in NCEA Talk. This video will be displayed throughout the month for all members and fans of NCEA to view as a way to showcase your school, Catholic education and Catholic identity.

Submission Guidelines:

Video should be no longer than 3 minutes and contain your school’s name, state and why you think your school should be featured. What is going on in your school that makes it a great place to learn? Showcase your school’s pride and Catholic identity. Share your story with us and the rest of our community!

Please include the original file of the video when submitted (not a YouTube link).

Include a brief paragraph (300 words or less) including or expanding upon any of the aspects mentioned above. You may include events, parent, teacher or student testimonials, awards or distinctions the school has earned and anything else that differentiates your school from others. Also provide a picture to be placed on NCEA Talk. Preferable Dimensions: 692×514 pixels. If you do not have access to alter images, please provide the best quality picture you can.

All students in the video must have parental consent. You can ask their teacher and/or verify in the school main office to ensure that the family has allowed both the school and NCEA to use the video. If you need a video release form, please let us know.

Submissions are subject to review by NCEA staff.

Please send submissions by Monday, January 25, 2016 to Ryan Lombardozzi, Social Media Coordinator at NCEA via



Didn’t have the chance to check in with NCEA Talk each day? We’ve got you covered. Each Friday NCEA Talk will post a roundup of Catholic education news and resources from the week.

In case you missed it…

Pope Francis’s stop at Catholic U. will be third papal visit to the school in 36 years

Priests Go to School … as Teachers or Administrators

Five Omaha Catholic schools adopt team-leadership approach

Monday Morning Meeting: CSW Discussion Posts

On Mondays, NCEA Talk presents member submitted topic or question for discussion. Share your knowledge and resources with your Catholic school educators across the country by leaving your comments or emailing

This week’s question:
“What was your favorite Catholic Schools Week memory this year?” Share your feedback with us at You may see your contribution in a future blog post or a future issue of Momentum!

NCEA Talk Weekly Roundup – CSW

nceatalk_weeklyroundupDidn’t have the chance to check in with NCEA Talk each day? We’ve got you covered. Each Friday NCEA Talk will post a roundup of Catholic education news and resources from the week. 

Catholic Schools Week
Thank you for sharing your Catholic Schools Week celebrations with NCEA! We’ve loved seeing your photos and hearing your stories. View our #CSW15 Tweetwall and see what your friends in the Catholic school community are saying!

It was a busy week here at NCEA. Some highlights include:

– NCEA cohosted #CatholicEdChat on Twitter to kick off CSW. Tune in this afternoon for our Google Hangout to discuss Catholic education and 21st century learning.

– NCEA celebrated with the Catholic University of America and Dominican House of Studies for the annual Catholic Schools Week Mass in honor of St. Thomas Aquinas.

– NCEA joined School Choice Week on Capital Hill. Choose Catholic Schools!

– NCEA tuned into The Today Show to see Guardian Angel Catholic School celebrate on the plaza! They met Al Roker, a graduate of Xavier High School.

– In honor of Catholic Schools Week, NCEA staff visited schools across the country and Guam!
Where were we?

Let’s keep the spirit up! Share your favorite #CSW15 memories by email

Catholic Schools – Building Strong Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service

Second grade St. Jude

The following is an opinion piece by Diane Starkovich, Ph.D., Superintendent of Schools for the Archdiocese of Atlanta.

Since 1974, Catholic schools across this country have celebrated National Catholic Schools Week during the last week in January. This year, our 18 archdiocesan and seven independent Catholic schools will join the National Catholic Educational Association and the 6,500 other Catholic Schools across this country as we highlight achievements in Faith, Knowledge and Service.

Serving 11,800 students throughout North Georgia, our Catholic schools continue a long-standing tradition of providing strong academics in a faith-based environment. Catholic schools in our archdiocese remain a vital component of the teaching mission of the local Church – spiritual formation of the entire school community remains an essential dimension of the mission of Catholic schools.  Consequently, our educators expose students to ongoing social development which is aimed at forming men and women who will be ready to take their place in society, preparing them to work for the improvement of social structures which align with our Gospel principles.  Our schools have formed thousands of students – Catholics and those from other faith dimensions – to become productive, successful and active citizens whose impact has been felt beyond the local communities in which they were formed.

The traditional fruits of a Catholic education remain outstanding faith formation and academic preparation second to none. In our archdiocesan schools, academic excellence remains a hallmark of a continuous model of on-going improvement. Our educators proudly continue a legacy of academic achievement – 75 percent of our grade schools have been recognized as U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence. Results of our annual administration of Iowa Assessments place our grade school students in the top national percentages of academic achievement. In addition, our archdiocesan high schools have been named to the College Board’s AP Honor Roll for three of the five years this award has existed.  Our 620 graduates in the class of 2014 posted a 100% graduation rate; over $50 million dollars of college scholarship offers (exclusive of the Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship) and, thousands of hours of service to local, state and international agencies.  21st Century Teaching and Learning remain key components of our course of study and STREAM (Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Art and Math) initiatives continue to expand in our schools.

From our youngest kindergarten children to our graduating seniors, all students in Catholic schools perform works of service for others. Whether serving meals in a homeless shelter, collecting winter coats for the needy, building Habitat Homes for qualifying families, or serving on a mission trip to a third-world country during a school’s spring break, students provide living witness to this basic tenet of our faith – service to others.

Enrollments in most of our Catholic schools remain strong despite on-going increases to tuition.  We continue to make gains in maintaining enrollment open to students from culturally diverse and economically varied backgrounds. With the generous financial support of pastors and parishioners, our Catholic schools continue to provide the highest quality educational experience for our students  Additionally, school choice initiatives, such as the formation of student scholarship organizations, have assisted in providing a Catholic education for families demonstrating financial need Formed as a joint effort between the Archdiocese of Atlanta and the Diocese of Savannah, GRACE Scholars, Inc. continues to provide scholarship assistance to families in Catholic schools throughout Georgia regardless of their religious affiliation.

Through the efforts of our teachers, administrators and support staff, and in partnership with the families we are privileged to serve, the future of Catholic education in the Archdiocese of Atlanta remains promising.

With over 25 years of experience in Catholic Education, Dr. Starkovich holds a Ph.D. in Catholic Education Leadership and Policy Studies from The Catholic University of America. Since May of 2006, she has served as the Superintendent of Schools for the Archdiocese of Atlanta.  She may be contacted at or 404-920-7700.

Innovative Marketing and Fundraising Efforts Boost Catholic School Enrollment


The following post is an excerpt from “New Movements in School Finance” by John S. Welsh, a feature article in the upcoming February/March issue of Momentum.  The full article will be printed in Momentum, available to NCEA Members and for single-issue purchase in February 2015.

“Rising costs of education, shifting demographics and competition from charter schools are among a litany of factors that have put Catholic education in a difficult place. But this is not the end of the story. Across the country, pockets of hope are forming, where just as Catholic schools have adapted in other areas to best meet the needs of the times, they are finding new ways to keep themselves financially afloat. In the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and the neighboring Diocese of Columbus, people are working on a number of levels to bring innovative financial practices to these two important Ohio dioceses…

… In August 2012, after two years of research, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati released a strategic plan titled Lighting the Way: A Vision for Catholic School Education. This document addresses six categories identified as predictors of overall school vitality. The financial vitality metric delivers consistent, centralized evaluation while allowing a good amount of freedom and individuality among schools. Centralized data collection allows the archdiocese to evaluate the effectiveness of each school’s financial practices, to investigate possibilities for improvement, and to gather information about what is working particularly well.

Cristo Rey Columbus High School is part of the Cristo Rey Network, a national network of schools dedicated to the education of economically disadvantaged students in a Catholic, academically rigorous, college preparatory environment. Each school is independent in governance and operation, but adopts the mission and model of the network… What makes Cristo Rey Network schools both sustainable and affordable is their work-study program. In this program, Cristo Rey partners with local businesses to arrange employment for each of its students. Students work one or two days per week at hospitals, corporate offices, law firms and other places of business. Their paychecks go to the school and are used to offset tuition.

… In Dublin, Ohio, Saint Brigid of Kildare Elementary School is leading the way in what members of the school community hope will be a new movement in Catholic education funding… With these things in mind, Monsignor Hendricks and the committee came up with a bold solution: create an endowment large enough to freeze, lower, and eventually end tuition costs, to allow for future additions to the school, and to fund programming – in short, to fund all of the school’s operational costs indefinitely. About two years into the effort, the school has raised around $4 million – a small, but significant chunk of the eventual goal of approximately $50 million.

…Each situation within schools and dioceses requires unique answers. While schools maintain a common identity in Catholicism, each one has its own population, charisms, and challenges. It remains, then, for the local schools and dioceses themselves to seek solutions that are sustainable, prudent and in line with Catholic social teaching… Innovative solutions are being found to the financial woes afflicting America’s Catholic elementary and secondary schools. With a little creativity and determination, more and more are waiting to be found.”

Jack Welsh is currently a senior at the University of Dayton studying Secondary Catholic Religious Education. He recently worked as a research intern for UD’s Center for Catholic Education exploring creative financial models being utilized by Catholic schools in different situations in the Diocese of Columbus and the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

Academic Excellence in Catholic Schools Provide Bright Future for Alumni

Guest post written by NCEA Seton Scholar, Katherine Barrett.

“What makes Catholic schools so incredibly special is the fact that they educate the whole person – mind, body, and spirit. Everyone who makes up a Catholic school is there for one reason – to help the students grow in their faith. All you have to do is observe a classroom in a Catholic school for one day and you will see this. From beginning and ending each day with prayer, administering the sacraments weekly, constant opportunities to reach out and serve others, to the silent witness of faith from the teachers; every where you turn you will see the face of Christ.

I am blessed to have attended a Catholic school since the first grade and with confidence I acknowledge that my Catholic education has made me who I am today. Success in this life can be measured in many different ways: wealth, popularity, happiness – the list goes on and on. However, I believe we are the most successful when using our gifts and talents to serve others. I learned this from my time in Catholic schools. It is through my Catholic education that I built a strong faith foundation that will remain with me for the rest of my life. Catholic schooling provides students with the most important thing in this life – a relationship with Christ. Thank God for Catholic Schools, for they are truly building up His kingdom each and every day.”


Katherine Barrett, a secondary education and biology major with a faith-based studies concentration, will graduate summa cum laude in May 2015 from Marian University. In addition to serving as a Marian University Student Ambassador and a senator for Kappa Delta Pi education fraternity, Katie is also a San Damiano Scholar. As such, she maintains a high level of academic achievement and takes additional faith-based courses while actively engaging in service activities with the Cathedral Soup Kitchen, the O’Connor House, and College Mentors for Kids. She also served in a 10-day summer service immersion at an orphanage in Guatemala. The oldest of five children, Katie sees her relationship with her family an extension of her relationship with God. She is excited to join the teachers who have guided her through school by becoming an educator herself. She is currently student teaching at St. Mark Catholic School in Indianapolis. 

(Photo: Katherine and her parents with Indiana Governor Mike Pence and First Lady of Indiana, Karen Pence at the NCEA Seton Awards Gala in October 2014.)

Enter the CSW15 Daily Photo Contest!


NCEA is hosting a photo contest each day this week.  Schools and parish communities are encouraged to share your photos that represent the Catholic Schools Week daily themes. Tag your photos with #CSW15 on Facebook or Twitter and you may see your school in a future NCEA publication!

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Here are the daily themes:

Sunday 1/25: Faith, Knowledge and Service: In Our Parish
Monday 1/26: Faith, Knowledge and Service: In Our Community
Tuesday 1/27: Faith, Knowledge and Service: In Our Students
Wednesday 1/28: Faith, Knowledge and Service: In Our Nation (National Appreciation Day For Catholic Schools)
Thursday 1/29: Faith, Knowledge and Service: In Our Vocations
Friday 1/30: Faith, Knowledge and Service: In Our Faculty, Staff and Volunteers (Teacher Appreciation Day)
Saturday 1/31: Faith, Knowledge and Service: In Our Families

It’s National Catholic Schools Week!


National Catholic Schools Week is the annual celebration of Catholic education in the United States. The theme for the National Catholic Schools Week 2015 is “Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service.” This week, schools across the country will observe the annual celebration week with Masses, open houses and other activities for students, families, parishioners and community members. Through these events, schools focus on the value Catholic education provides to young people and its contributions to our church, our communities and our nation.

Join us all week for special stories and guest posts about Catholic schools. Use the #CSW15 hashtag and join others celebrating Catholic Schools Week in conversations on Facebook and Twitter. Share your own resources with videos on YouTube or pinning on Pinterest.