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Happy Catholic Schools Week! — a message from the superintendent

February 01, 2016 | posted by Today's Catholic

Topics: Catholic Schools, Hope for the Future

Catholic Schools Week is a tradition recognized across the nation to celebrate Catholic schools and the power of integrating the faith throughout the curriculum in our schools. We are blessed to have wonderfully dedicated administrators, passionate teachers, tireless support staff, and, of course, parents who have a vested interest in their children’s education and spiritual formation. At a recent Catholic superintendent conference, David Coleman, president and CEO of the College Board, shared what he considers to be the strengths of faith-based schools.

Coleman said cultivating productive solitude is essential and often overlooked at other school institutions. Today’s culture of distractions interferes with the teaching discipline. Intentionally teaching children how to cultivate concentration prepares students for success in education. Stillness and productive solitude is better developed in faith-based schools.

Restful excellence is essential in fostering follow-through and sustained excellence. Students today operate in an unproductive frenzy participating in many activities, believing it necessary to demonstrate diversity and involvement. A student’s ability to demonstrate sustained excellence in a few activities is a desirable trait for success in college.

Reverent reading of shared things. Coleman elaborated, to read well is the ability to view literature as a work of art and deserves careful interpretation. Many teachers connect reading selections to students’ prior experiences, making it relevant. Writings such as the founding documents of our country, as well as the recent address by Pope Frances to the United States Congress, are opportunities to have meaningful discussions, while giving students a deeper awareness and appreciation of the values of our country.

Finally, recognizing and teaching the value of respecting our bodies cannot be underestimated in the formation of character.

I wanted to share a few of David Coleman’s comments as they affirm what Catholic schools do well in preparing our students for college and for life. Education inspired by faith to inspire success! During Catholic Schools Week, let’s celebrate the tradition with our school families and invite a friend, neighbor, relative and/or co-worker to see what they are missing!

God bless you,

marti west

Marti West
Superintendent of
Catholic Schools
Archdiocese of San Antonio

This message originally appeared in Jan. 22, 2016 edition of Today's Catholic.