My Dear Friends,
Our schools have been meeting great success so far this year. I am happy to report that our diocese has obtained licensing to implement the Cyber Awareness Safety Education Curriculum for Catholic Schools, which is a nationally known curriculum geared toward grade school and middle school students. The curriculum of this course is for students to develop a deeper understanding of the dangers of the Internet and inappropriate online behavior, therefore making a connection between actions and consequences. The students will engage in active learning techniques to personalize topics covered and take the next step in real life potential applications. What I like most about the program is that
it may be integrated through an interdisciplinary approach with Religion and Technology. Reverend John Belmonte, the Superintendent of Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Joliet, Illinois has stated that “CASE for Catholic Schools blends the importance of cyber safety with an emphasis on faith and values.” This proven successful curriculum meets my two criteria for successful programming: research based and proven effective.
I am also happy to announce that in a few short weeks, we will be celebrating the new Catholic Schools Week for our New England Dioceses. The motto is “Discover Today’s Catholic Schools in New England” which takes place the week of November 4-10. Although we will still be holding Open Houses and honoring the traditional National Catholic Schools Week in late January, our diocese has shifted most of the activities to the Fall. Collectively, the New England Superintendents of Catholic schools have found that many activities scheduled in January in our part of the country have traditionally been cancelled or postponed due to the inclement weather and hazardous parking situations due to ice. We decided that the Fall would be a much better choice for activities and celebration of what our Catholic schools are all about.
We also have collectively contributed to some pretty impressive statistics regarding our Catholic schools in New England. In our New England Catholic schools (as of the 2017-2018 school year):
• We have 97,458 students, 374 schools, 8,329 teachers and 1,864 staff members
• Our average class size is 17
• Our average daily attendance rate is 96%
• Our average Math SAT score is 562, compared to the national average of 527
• Our average Reading/Writing SAT score is 641, compared to the national average of 533
• The percentage of our high school graduates who attend a four-year college is 94%
• Our high school graduation rate is 99.5%
Whether one looks at the advantages of a Catholic education on the national, regional, or diocesan level, it is clearly evident that we provide a solid academic education. Statistics also show that the percentage of practicing Catholics attending church amongst millennials is far greater when educated in a Catholic school. Thank you for supporting our faith-based, academically enriching schools.
My prayer this month is that Our Lady of the Rosary, Whom we celebrate in our schools this month, keep your families always under Her protective mantle.
Henry Fiore Jr.
Superintendent of Schools Diocese of Norwich