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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How did you decide to send your children to a catholic school? how many did you visit befor you decided on that one? dd will be going next year as she misses the cut off by one week, which is fine by me. It seems that the ones i visit , the higher the tuition, the nicer it is. Like computors and new equiptment. computors don't impress me. so i've decided to apply to one that is in the mission, close to my job and only 240.00 per month. It is in an old building but I really liked it . i am a practicing catholic and believe that religion in school can't hurt. so , i know I'm rambling here but i guess my questions are:

1. why do your children attend a catholic school?

2. what made you decide on that school?

Premium Member
20,157 Posts
We're homeschooling, but two sets of my sibs send their kids to Catholic School. Their answers:

#1 DB (4th grade DD, 3rd grade DS, 1st grade DD):

1. why do your children attend a catholic school?
When DD#1 when to the public kindy, she was in a class with 29 other children the majority of whom spoke no english. She learned literally nothing the whole year.

2. what made you decide on that school?
Same school DB went to as a child.

#2 DB (4th grade DD, 1st grade DD, DD will go to kindy in 2 years):

1. why do your children attend a catholic school?
Better academics, smaller school, etc..

2. what made you decide on that school?
They get a ride with SIL#1. Closest catholic elementary school to them.

Good luck,

BTW. I totally agree about the computer thing. I would base a lot of my decision on the PTA and the requirements for involvement (I would want a 100% PTA, with lots of required involvement).

496 Posts
My dd isn't school aged yet, but I did teach in Catholic schools so I can provide a little insight if you odn't mind.

The reason I would choose a school is parent involvement. Meaning are parents allowed the oppt. to visit and be involved in the education. My last school there was a group of moms who taught some art apprectiation classes. Also, my co-teacher and I would invite parents to do reading circles w/ our students. They would the same book as our students and then come and "teach" small groups at a time. It freed me to move around and see everyone's thoughts and gave the parents some time w/ their children and many enjoyed discussing novels w/ their kids.

Do they support the teachers!? Meaning does the admin. and PTA do some special things for them. Catholic educators make ~$10K less in the Chicago area depending on what public district you compare them to. It was so nice at my last so to actually get a reimbursment of $250 for school stuff from the PTA. And that year the school Admin asked for Christmas donation to be spilt among us teachers in lieu of presents. We got $700 cash for Christmas which was a nice surprise
Not that teachers don't like gifts; it's just that you can only have so many pads of paper and coffee cups.

Is there a library? For me that is important! I love to read and want my children to have a place in their school where reading can be enjoyed and they can check out books. If there is one, is there a resident librarian? That makes a big difference too b/c if it's just parent volunteers, you can bet they don't put much into the library. At my last school, the library rocked compared to my previous school that got maybe 15 new books a year. And the reference section was poor so students really couldn't research. Also a resident librarian is trained in helping students w/ finding research answers and the books they want to read.

As for computers...well, I do want some computers. Today many kids get access at home, but I think a lab where they get typing instruction, software applications (word/power point/excel..etc) are important esp. in the middle grades. Also in the library it will gives the students access to research on line (another reason for a resident librarian who has cert. and training in research on line). My school started doing web based chats too which the students really liked that were centered around all the subjects.

I'd also like to know the schools approach on special needs. For instance, how do they handle and accomodate ADD kids? Are aids avail. for reading groups? Are upper grades homogenous groups or hetero. groups in math/reading? IMO, in math it's difficult for hetero. groups. In LA/reading they should be homogenous b/c you can then group up students based on different abilities.

Does the school offer multiple intelligence? How are teachers required to use them in their planning?

What about whole units? Do they incorporate all the subjects into at least 3 units a year? It's really neat for kids to see how all the subjects can meet each other.

How is the turnover? At my first school, 10 teachers left the year before I was hired. The second year, ~10 left again...along w/ me. The entire JR high teacher (but 2 left). One stayed b/c she's retiring in 5 years and another well, he had no motivation. The reason I mention this is b/c the teachers leaving says a lot about the school admin. My principal was horrible. He never supported us and never communicated anything that was truly important w/ us. Several occasions he would mention something to a parent like accomodations and never never say anything to us about this! Then the parent would get all on us. My next school the average was ~15years. Also many of these teachers had their masters which again says that they care enough to continue their education and still stay underpaid at a Catholic School.

I wouldn't really care about testing scores (you know the standardized) b/c I just don't believe enough in them. So many factors determine the outcome of them.

Do they have a foreing language instruction? For me it's important as I love foreign lang. and when they enter middle school/high school many schools we expect some instruction. It's becoming more and more common for schools to start for. lang. earlier and earlier. The best time is well early! but for a school the best would be 3rd garde. Some probably won't start unitl 5th but I think it's important.

As for why I would send them to Catholic school....
B/c I want them to be free to discuss their Catholic faith and celebrate it openly w/ peers and other adults. Where I was, both public and Catholic offered pretty muc the same educaiton (well my first was much more b/c we all spoke English!)..

98 Posts
My daughters go to a very small very old school.
I love the catholic school we go to.
It's very old, run down.
They don't spend money on things that they don't have to.
All their papers are used on both sides etc.
I love it, I think it shows my girls valuable lessons.
They know the teachers don't make as much money as the public schools and they've seen them their at 8pm at night.
My daughter knows the teachers are their because they care and not because it's a job.
I know it would be nice to have pretty white new hallways and nice desks but I kinda like the old look..
I love that my kids learn catholic/christian values at school.
My daughter went to a public kindergarden and although it had it's positives I really disliked it.
I was excited this year to learn that they were having lessons on other cultures holiday celebrations, hanika (i can't spell), kwanza etc.
Ok well I guess you can tell how I feel.
I hope you enjoy whichever school you choose.

758 Posts
My son is at a Catholic school now for preschool and I'm not sure what we are doing next year. My husband and I both went to Catholic schools for grade school and high school (and my husband for college). I always assumed that I would send my children to Catholic schools, but now I'm not sure.

I like the parish school where we are, but I'm not crazy about our parish as a church. So, I'm REALLY conflicted about this!

On one hand, I do like the idea of a Catholic education for my kids and here is why:

* Smaller class size/ better learning environment
* Smaller school - the school secretary knows every kid and the parents - I think that is awesome!
* Smaller community makes it easier for me as a parent to know my children's friends and their parents
* It would make us more invested in our parish (I have been church hopping and I find things I don't like at every parish. Maybe it's time to just settle for where we live...)
* I think there is less "teaching to the test" and less emphasis on test scores. The public schools by us are VERY focused on tests.
* I like the fact that kids wear uniforms. Even as I kid, I liked having a uniform - it made being a dork less noticeable.
* The Catholic schools have before and after-school care on-site. I expect that I will go back to work at some point and this is a HUGE bonus.
* I LOVE my son's preschool teacher - she teaches the 3 year olds and the 4 year olds and it has been a lovely early childhood education program, but I do hesitate...

Here is why I hestitate about Catholic schools:

* I believe in strong public education. If I don't send my kids to public school and advocate for excellent schools for EVERY child, then have I dropped the ball in this area of civic involvement?
* I live ACROSS the street from a public school. I would LOVE to be able to open my door and send my kids to school.
* Public schools have more resources. Better libraries, couselors, special ed and gifted programs, teachers with high salaries...
* At public schools I wouldn't be forced to do fund raising.
* I have already paid for public schools thru my taxes. How would we afford Catholic schools for grade school AND high school for our kids? Would I have to go back to work sooner? Is that good for our family?
* I believe in prayer, but prayer before the school board meeting is sort of weird. Also, I noticed that the school board meetings are not as "open" at the Catholic school as at the public school. I have been attending both to see what I think...
* I am pretty ambivalent about the Church and it's role in our lives. I'm not sure that I want my kids to be steeped in Church doctrine. Last year my 3 year old told me that "God is a man" - because that is the impression that he got at Sunday school. The Church patriarchy makes me mad. I think I might prefer to have more control over how my children understand God.

All that said, this is my year to make a decision. The Catholic school has all day kindergarden (wow, that seems like alot for my son), and the public school across the street from us has 1/2 day kindergarden. That actually makes my decision harder!

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