The code of canon law establishes that, first and foremost, a Catholic school is characterized by excellence (Canon 806). As indicated in the National Standards and Benchmarks for Effective Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools, a 2012 publication from the Center for School Effectiveness at Loyola University Chicago in partnership with the Roche Center for Catholic Education at Boston College, a Catholic school “has a clearly articulated rigorous curriculum aligned with relevant standards, 21st Century skills and Gospel values” (Standard 7). Students should be exposed to the great wealth of the Catholic intellectual tradition. The teachings of the Church are to be presented with the same rigor and academic expectations accorded to other subjects in the curriculum. While the religion course must be the central component of the curriculum of a Catholic school, equally important is the integration of Catholic teachings in all aspects of the curriculum. The content of a Catholic school is a “synthesis of culture and faith and a synthesis of faith and life” (Congregation for Catholic Education, 1977, #37) and all academic subjects can contribute to the development of a mature Christian (Congregation for Catholic Education, 1977, #40).