In a routine check last night for “Catholic” news, the headline caught my attention: A waiting list? Catholic schools shout hallelujah. Curiosity piqued, I clicked through to read the good news about Mother Teresa Catholic Elementary School in Liberty Township, OH — a Catholic elementary school with a waiting list.
I’m interested in this particular topic for a few reasons. I’m a product of lifelong Catholic education and my own boys attended Catholic elementary school before moving along to a charter high school. In addition, I’m blessed to be involved on a volunteer basis with our diocesan Catholic schools. This has given me a front row seat for some of the enrollment goals and shortfalls plaguing many Catholic schools. So when I hear good news about numbers at our schools, I pay attention.
The article mentioned above doesn’t really do much to answer my question: “What the answer for Catholic schools?”. That’s likely because there’s no one single formula for success and stability. Our issues are complex, regional, and shifting. What works in suburban California is not likely the formula for success in urban Philadelphia. But in praying over this issue, I also realize that here at CatholicMom.com we have a pretty amazing “think tank” of readers. I would love to begin an ongoing conversation on what’s working in our schools, how we go about increasing enrollment, and what makes our Catholic schools such amazing learning and service environments. This will hopefully include profiling wonderful Catholic schools and spreading the word about our success stories.
Let’s start the dialogue today by asking our readers to share the name and location of your Catholic school and to list one positive attribute of your school. This can be an excellent teacher or principal, a unique program, a special religion curriculum, or even a fantastic facility report. To prime the conversation, I will be offering one signed copy of my second book, A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms, as a prize for one of our commenters. To be entered to win, simply leave a comment below about your favorite Catholic school by midnight Pacific time on Saturday, January 5th. One commenter will be randomly selected to win the book, but I hope this will more importantly prompt a helpful start to our conversation on Catholic schools.
Copyright 2012 Lisa M. Hendey