Christmas is here: a time of hope and joy as we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus born in Bethlehem. After teachers and students take a well-deserved break to rest, have fun and enjoy the company of family, school will resume in a new year. With 2023 fast approaching, it would be worthwhile to look at a few things Catholic high schools and elementary schools in Philadelphia have to be grateful for and why there’s every reason to be hopeful in pursuing a Catholic education for your child.
- Christ-centered classrooms
We can’t have Catholic schools without Christ. After many students have had the joy of singing carols and hymns in their recent Christmas concerts across the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the centrality of the presence of Jesus has been celebrated and lived. Private education has the great benefit of offering our classrooms with the religious freedom necessary to bring Christ to our students and, through them, to our world.
- Academic Excellence
A Peoria Magazine article found that “Catholic school students consistently score higher on advanced achievement tests, and by eighth grade, they outscore their public school counterparts in mathematics by a full 13 points.” This is one example of many which underline how a Catholic secondary education is continually being proven to give students an high quality academic edge over their peers who haven’t had the benefit of private education. What is the reason for this academic edge? I believe the answer is, to a large extent, to point #3.
- Strong Moral Values
Great grades are nice but every parent, I’m sure, would certainly rank a strong moral character as a higher priority. After all, education is about forming youth not about churning out test scores.
The commitment to instilling moral values lies at the cornerstone of any Catholic education. This mission is what brings our teacher to work every day and is what continues to solidify the position Catholic schools hold in the eyes of parents. The same article mentioned earlier cites a study from the University of Pennsylvania which found that “success is not the number-one priority for most parents. We’re much more concerned about our children becoming kind, compassionate and helpful.”
As any working adult can attest, a person’s GPA in high school is not what bosses are looking for: bosses look the person in front of them, their communication skills, their character, how they treat others around them. And with good reason! At each and every Catholic school in Philadelphia we are happy to know that the moral values our students are receiving are preparing them for whatever the future has in store.
We give thanks in this Christmas season for these and so many more reasons. We give thanks for our heroic and committed educators who have made it their life’s mission to prepare future generations to be Christ-filled men and women. We give thanks to our dedicated parent volunteers who so generously give of their time, talent and treasure to make BVM Darby one of the leading private schools in the Philadelphia area.
A very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and your families!