Exceeding standards: Catholic Schools Week begins Sunday
By Wendy Foster For The Sun January 23, 2013 6:42PM
The 615 members of the Saints Peter and Paul School student body pose in the form of a Blue Ribbon following a school assembly recognizing their school for its academic excellence.
Updated: February 26, 2013 6:19AM
The theme of Catholic Schools Week, which begins Sunday, is Catholic Schools Raise the Standards, which reflects the high quality of Catholic education.
Frank Glowaty, principal of Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic School in Naperville, said that it’s a celebration anticipated almost as eagerly as birthdays and Christmas.
“It makes people feel good to be part of Catholic education,” he said.
The national event commemorates the academic and spiritual excellence of Catholic schools. Area Catholic schools will feature a week of activities for present and prospective students and their families.
Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic School has even more to celebrate, having been named a Blue Ribbon School in 2012. According to Glowaty, this is a symbol of academic excellence, especially impressive for grades kindergarten through eighth grade.
“We had to be very strong throughout the system to earn this,” he said.
Patty Bajeck, director of student services for All Saints Catholic Academy in Naperville, says their school exceeds standards, too.
“We not only meet the common core standards in Illinois, but we exceed them with our curriculum,” Bajeck said.
Academic excellence is a hallmark of all of the area Catholic schools.
“Statistics for success follow Catholic school students as they progress through high school, college and into their careers,” she said.
The moral and spiritual components of Catholic education are also highly esteemed.
“We are a faith-based school. Parents choose us because they want their children to have the Catholic/Christian dimension. We talk about Jesus and right and wrong and values and morals,” Glowaty said. “That’s certainly a very important part of what we do.”
Catholic Schools Week celebrates that tradition. Some of the schools will promote service projects.
Bajeck said that All Saints Academy will hold a drive to raise funds for an orphanage in Mexico.
“We encourage the students to dig deep through their pockets and in seat cushions to bring in their change. There’s a contest to collect pennies, nickels and dimes,” she said.
The students are likely to raise $2,000 to $3,000 to send to the orphanage.
“For us, this is a huge component of the week,” Bajeck said.
Benet Academy in Lisle will collect money for St. Gertrude’s, a convent, orphanage and school in Tanzania during Catholic Schools Week.
Catholic Schools Week also will feature themed school days, special assemblies, games, contests, talent shows, and family events as well as open houses for prospective students. “It’s a week of fun,” Bajeck said.
“Someone once said ‘you only get one opportunity to make a masterpiece so proceed carefully.’ That’s what we like to think our parents are doing when they provide a Catholic education for their child,” Bajeck said.