Why a Catholic School?
- Uniforms are a good thing. You don’t need to worry about whether the Patagonia shirt is clean or the favorite blue jeans are still “in.” Uniforms are a time saver, and they make it clear that it’s time to focus on learning. Adults in all types of professions have a dress code they need to abide by, so why not our kids and why not now? Besides, is there anything better than seeing your students in their proper uniform taking off for school?
- If you’re going to say it, mean it. How many times have you heard, “we’re praying for you” as a result of a death or tragedy around the world? Or, when Grandma or Grandpa gets cancer? Or following a car accident? A lot lately, if you ask us. It’s not a matter of if these things will happen, but when. If you want your child to be in an atmosphere where they will be prayed for, cared for, and loved in their time of need, they should be in a Catholic school community. When tragedy occurs, we hope your children will turn to God. And when they find success, we hope they will thank God as well.
- If you value education, so will they. Paying for a Catholic school education can be a strain on the family. But we always seem to find money for the things that are most important. If your car runs out of gas or the refrigerator is empty, you find a way to fill those things back up. If the roof blows off your house, how do you pay the deductible on your insurance claim? We find the money. If education is really important in your home, prioritize it. It’s okay for your child to see sacrifice for it to happen.
- Service matters. Maybe they tutor a struggling 7th grader, pick up trash in the arroyo, give blood at the blood drive, or contribute time and energy to a jacket drive for the homeless. Whatever they do, our students know that we serve not because of some vague notion of giving back and gratitude to some nameless entity, but because we follow the One who showed us how to give and serve because it’s right, not popular. He calls us to do the same.
- When the Bible is referenced, they should know. Whether it’s the books of the bible, biblical undertones in literature, understanding the causes of war, knowing the importance of fast and abstain, or realizing the universal nature of our Church—our students should know and understand the how the Bible and their faith reach into the farthest depths of our world in ways they never imagined. Whether you’re Catholic or not, the smell of incense means something, as does the importance of a genuflect when entering a church. A well-educated person knows these details. How can these not be a part of their everyday education?
- It’s a journey. Religious diversity is critical for a thriving community. To have friends with a variety of beliefs and to share the ways of practicing those beliefs makes for an irreplaceable education. Your student should be grateful for, and enriched by, each of those friendships. But as they grow in their faith into adulthood, it’s especially important them to have friends who share their journey. Your student should be able to contribute to the conversation, not hide from it.
- Educating the head is important—almost as important as the heart. Theology classes equip your student to talk about God in a confident, educated way. Making those connections contributes to values like gratitude, grace, and empathy. If your student went to a school where that conversation wasn't acceptable, they would be very confused, and their education incomplete.
- Academics are very good, but they’re not everything. Academically, it’s a given that Catholic schools are considered some of the best in the country. But beyond the foreign language offerings, the chess team, the college matriculation stats, or the dance lessons, what else is there? Aside from pushing your student to be a success academically, we are very concerned about your student becoming a good, kind, selfless person who makes their community a better place, regardless of what kind of job they end up in.
- Holidays come from somewhere, and mean something. Whatever your religious background, it’s important to know the when and why behind religious holidays. It’s much more than “winter break.” Easter will be about His Resurrection. Lent will be a time of penance. Advent will be a time of preparation. Holy days of obligation will involve going to Mass. Our school Christmas card will say “Merry Christmas.”
- You don’t have to do it alone. Parents often hope their children will grow in their faith, be involved with a community, and have a deeper sense of meaning as they become adults. But let’s be real; it’s not a given. St. Michael’s is an extension of your home, and a chance for your kids to learn from others who are not their parents. In today’s world, we can all use the help we can get. You can turn to your Catholic schools. You can turn to St. Michael’s.
This list is an adaptation of an article in Catholic Review – The Archdiocese of Baltimore: 10 reasons we’re choosing Catholic Schools for our children by Rita Buettner – 1/30/2013