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Saint Richard Catholic School Blog

St Richard Students in Science Lab
 
A School For Everyone: Why Non-Catholics Choose Catholic Education
A good Catholic education is a high priority for most Catholic families, which is why schools like ours have seen generation follow generation through our halls and classrooms. But something unique about our school (and many other Catholic schools) is the number of non-Catholics who have chosen Saint Richard Catholic School for their children.
 
For someone unfamiliar with Catholic schools or looking in from the outside, this decision might be a little confusing, but there are quite a few reasons why Catholic schools have such a broad appeal.
 
Excellence in education is a top reason, of course. Catholic school students on average score significantly higher than the national averages on standardized testing. Our emphasis on homework and study helps students develop stronger work habits and writing skills, and our students have a greater chance of attending and finishing college.
 
“Catholic high schools have a remarkable record of graduating their students and preparing them well for post-secondary education,” said Marie A. Powell, executive director of the Secretariat of Catholic Education of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. “Their effectiveness in educating students, even from disadvantaged backgrounds, has been cited consistently in research published over the last 25 years. The Catholic community can be very proud of their support for such schools.”
 
There are many non-Catholic schools that can boast academic success, however. What makes us stand out is our dedication to the heart as well as the mind.
 
Catholic education strengthens faith even if your faith isn’t Catholic. That may sound contradictory, but it’s true! Many non-Catholics who attend Catholic schools find that the experience of studying another faith helps them not only be more tolerant and accepting of others, but it encourages students to dig deeper into their own faiths to better understand why they believe what they believe.
 
A community spirit is another benefit of Catholic education. “It is not the magnitude of our actions but the amount of love that is put into them that matters,” writes Mother Teresa, and we couldn’t agree more—which is why everything from our lessons to our fundraisers focuses on the importance of service to others. We teach our students to live for something beyond themselves and to act out of love for others in all we do.
 
We want everyone who attends Saint Richard to leave with the understanding that each and every person is unique, valuable, and worthy of our mutual respect. That’s an outlook that can appeal to everyone—Catholics and non-Catholics alike.
 
All are welcome at Saint Richard, as anyone who attends our school can agree. We don’t require that our students become Catholics, or they participate in Confession or take part in the Eucharist. We’re unapologetic in our Catholic faith—celebrating Mass once a week and offering religious courses as part of our curriculum—but our mission isn’t to convert non-Catholics. Rather, we want to provide the foundations and role models that help our students lead Godly lives, regardless of their own personal faith.
 
As the late Pope John Paul II himself oncesaid, “The greatest challenge to Catholic education in the United States today, and the greatest contribution that authentically Catholic education can make to American culture, is to restore to that culture the conviction that human beings can grasp the truth of things, and in grasping that truth can know their duties to God, to themselves, and their neighbors. In meeting that challenge, the Catholic educator will hear an echo of Christ’s words: ‘If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free’ (John 8:32).”
 
Whether you are a Catholic or a non-Catholic, we have much to offer here at Saint Richard Catholic School. Stop by for a visit sometime or explore during our next Open House. We’d love to have you with us.

Public vs Private vs Catholic: What’s The Big Difference?

St Richard students on Ash Wednesday
When it comes to public and private schools, there are a lot of similarities and a lot of differences… especially when that private school is a Catholic school. Some might think the only real differences are wearing uniforms and paying tuition—but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
 
So today, here are some of the major differences between public and private schools.
 
  • Class Size is typically a difference between the two school systems. Most public schools average 25 to 30 or more students per class, while most private schools average keep class sizes around a 10 to 15 student average. The teacher-to-student ratio is also higher in most private schools, which means more attention paid to each student.
 
  • Teacher Certification is required of public-school teachers, but that level of certification isn’t required of private school teachers. However, many private school teachers hold advanced degrees in their fields, and some private schools independently require their teachers to be certified.
 
  • Who Pays The Bills is another major difference between the schools. Private schools are funded by tuition, grants, and endowments, while public schools are funded by tax-dollars, allowing students to attend free of charge.
 
  • Independence in Curriculum is an advantage private schools hold over public schools. While public schools follow state-mandated curricula, private schools typically have more freedom in deciding what to teach, which allows for more specialized programs.
 
  • Unique Learning Environments can be chosen with a private school. For example, parents can choose to send their children to a school that will teach Catholic values and tradition, such as Saint Richard Catholic School.
 
These are five of the primary difference between public and private schools. But what if we dig deeper and look specifically at Catholic private schools?
 

Difference Between Private Schools and Catholic Private Schools

 
  • Religious Focus is the primary difference between Catholic schools and other private schools, specifically focus on the Catholic religion, values, catechism, and tradition. Prayer is a standard part of the day, and weekly masses are part of the curriculum. In no way are students required to be or become Catholic, and converting non-Catholics to Catholicism is never a goal, but all classes are taught within the Catholic framework.
 
  • A Higher Graduation Rate is another highlight of Catholic schools. Private schools in general boast a very high graduation rate (95%), but Catholic schools in particular take that average even higher (97%). And after graduation, Catholic school grads have higher college enrollment and higher college completion rates.
 
  • An Emphasis On Technology is a something unique to most Catholic schools, thanks to help from groups such as The Catholic Foundation and the Catholic United Fund. As technology becomes a bigger and bigger part of students’ lives, incorporating that technology into smart classrooms becomes even more important.
 
  • Church Assistance can be found in many religious schools, but it particularly stands out in parochial Catholic schools. The church (and diocese) offer help in tuition assistance, fundraising, religious instruction, and volunteer hours. And attending the same church with other student families allows for additional bonding and fellowship.
 
But no list can tell you exactly what school is best for your child. There are excellent public schools just as there are excellent private and Catholic schools, and the only people who can decide which is best are you and your future student.
 
If you're curious, we invite you to stop by our school for a tour to see if Saint Richard Catholic School might be that perfect fit for your family. We’d love to show you first hand what makes us different than any other school. One thing’s for certain… you won’t be disappointed!