Academic Excellence

Catholic education provides a faith-centered and academically rigorous experience for students. Catholic schools are committed to providing the highest quality education possible. It’s widely known that students who attend a Catholic school will generally do better than public or charter school students on standardized tests.

A key measure of a Catholic school’s commitment to quality education is our association with Middle States Association’s Council on Elementary and Secondary Education. The Middle States is an international organization that “aspire to improve the quality of education in the United States and around the world by assisting schools to achieve excellence through the process of accreditation, by affirming to the public a member school’s trustworthiness and commitment to continuous improvement, by providing the network and resources for the promotion of proven practices.” (Middle States Mission Statement).

All Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia enjoy Middle States accreditation. Unlike many public schools and most charter schools, Catholic schools opt into this intensive process. Middle States evaluations are a rigorous process where a school community spends two years working internally and with an external team of school evaluators to set goals and measure school performance.

Our schools are rooted in the Catholic faith. As such, we provide a loving, child-centered environment for our students. We build a community of faith. The quality of our academic program is equally important which is why we invest time and money in the Middle States. To learn more about the accreditation process, visit the Middle States website by clicking here.


Archdiocesan School of Distinguished Instruction

Blessed Virgin Mary School in Darby, PA has been recognized as an Archdiocesan School of Distinguished Instruction. BVM Darby has been awarded this honor in 2022 and in 2018.

Each year the diocese recognizes a select number of schools who demonstrate outstanding academic performance. The School of Distinguished Instruction is awarded to schools who demonstrate growth and for exceeding potential.

Recognition for Growth was determined by comparing the Normal Curve Equivalent (NCE) score from this year’s testing to the NCE examinations taken by students in the previous academic year. These schools were found to have exceeded 90% or above in all content area with a rate of potential between 76 and 90%.

Recognition for Exceeding Potential was determined by analyzing the data from the ability testing (InView) and the achievement testing (Terra Nova) in which schools were found to have 90% of the classes meeting or exceeding their potential in all content areas at every level tested. In addition, 76-90% growth rate in all content areas at all grade levels.