Contact: Kathleen Bagg
Jacksonville, Fla. – The Diocese of St. Augustine will celebrate National Catholic Schools Week, Jan. 27 to Feb. 2, 2013. During the week, schools and parishes focus on the value of Catholic education provides to young people and Catholic education’s contributions to our community and our nation. This year’s theme is “Catholic Schools Raise the Standards.”
Schools in the diocese will celebrate Catholic Schools Week with Masses, open houses and activities for students, families, parishioners and the community at large. And a diocesan tradition of Catholic Schools Week is the food drive for Catholic Charities. It is the largest food drive of the year stocking the food pantries at each regional office of Catholic Charities: Gainesville, Jacksonville, Lake City and St. Augustine.
Quick Facts about Catholic Education in the Diocese of St. Augustine:
- St. Joseph Catholic School in Jacksonville is the oldest elementary school, opened in 1867.
- St. Joseph Academy in St. Augustine, established in 1866, is the oldest Catholic high school in Florida.
- Our newest school, St. Francis Catholic High School, opened in 2004.
- Catholic school student enrollment for the current academic year is 10,454.
- The Diocese of St. Augustine has 29 Catholic schools: 4 secondary schools and 25 elementary schools, including one special education school.
- 24 elementary schools offer a pre-kindergarten program. The diocese has 3 early childhood centers.
- Nationwide, the per-pupil cost of educating a child in Catholic schools is $5,928, as compared to the average public school per-pupil cost of $11,282.
- Catholic elementary and secondary schools save the government and tax payers of our nation $21.3 billion dollars a year. Catholic schools in the diocese saved the state government and taxpayers $2.3 billion in 2011-2012.
Highlights of Academic Achievement:
- Diocesan elementary students rank in the top 25 percent in the nation in reading in grades 3-8; more than 50 percent of those students perform in the top 10 percent on the nationally standardized test, Iowa Test of Basic Skills.
- 99.4 percent of high school graduates placed in 2 and 4-year colleges & universities.
- SAT scores are 48 points higher than the national average and 85 points higher than Florida’s average in 2011.
- Cathedral Parish School, Palmer Catholic Academy, Christ the King Catholic School, St. Paul Catholic School (Jacksonville Beach), Holy Family and Queen of Peace Academy achieved the honor of being
named “Blue Ribbon Schools.”
Below are just a few activities planned for some of our schools for Catholic Schools Week:
Annunciation Interparish Catholic School
1610 Blanding Blvd., Middleburg
Principal: Susan Altieri
Each class selects a “Mother Teresa Service Project” annually. The first and second grade classes have chosen to support Catholic Charities Book Corner. Three large boxes of new and gently used books have been collected so far with hundreds more will be collected during Catholic Schools Week.
Thursday, Jan. 31 – Grandparents Day celebration at 8:15 a.m.
Sacred Heart Catholic School
5752 Blanding Blvd., Jacksonville
Principal: Marybeth O’Neill
Tuesday, Jan. 29 – Open House, classroom visits and Living History Museum presented by eighth graders from 9 to 10 a.m.
Friday, Feb. 1 – Grandparents Day Mass and breakfast and teacher vs. student volleyball game.
Resurrection Catholic School
5710 Jack Road, Jacksonville
Principal: Pat Donahue
Monday, Jan. 28 – Souper Bowl of Caring and food drive for Catholic Charities
Tuesday, Jan. 29 – Parent Appreciation Night
Friday, Feb. 1 – Pastor Appreciation Day
St. Joseph Catholic School
11600 Old St. Augustine Road, Jacksonville
Principal: Rhonda Rose
Monday, Jan. 28 – Students make Valentines for homeless ministry and residents of assisted living facilities nearby the school.
Friday, Feb. 1 – 1:15 p.m. Assembly in the gym. Guest speaker will be St. Joseph graduate, U.S. Army 1st LT Ryan Timoney, wounded in Afghanistan last year and a Purple Heart honoree. He will speak about his faith, the attack that left him severely wounded, serving our great country as well as thanking students for their cards, letters and prayers.
St. Paul Catholic School
2609 Park Street, Jacksonville
Principal: Kim Repper
Monday, Jan. 28 – Bishop Kenny High School Band performs at 9:30 a.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 30 – Parent Appreciation Day.
St. Paul Catholic School
428 Second Avenue N., Jacksonville Beach
Principal: Katherine Boice
Tuesday, Jan. 29 – Catholic Schools Week Bingo in individual classrooms, Going Yo-Yo Crazy on the Blacktop.
Wednesday, Jan. 30 – Middle School Volleyball vs. Staff and Priests in the gym.
Friday, Feb. 5 – Art Festival: New York theme
San Juan Del Rio Catholic School
1714 State Road 13, St. Johns
Principal: Lou Pereira
Monday, Jan. 28 – Opening Catholic Schools Week Ceremony and pancake breakfast
Tuesday, Jan. 29 – Christian Buddy service activity