The Catholic Spirit
Lorraine Ozar, the Loyola University professor who led the project that developed the new National Standards and Benchmarks for Effective Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools, described the nine “defining characteristics of Catholic schools” as “national, agreed-upon, and non-negotiable.”
Because they flow from church teachings, define deep Catholic identity, and serve as platform on which the national standards and benchmarks rest, Ozar said, “These are the things that need to be present to be called a Catholic school.”
The defining characteristics are:
- Centered in the person of Jesus Christ.
- Contributing to the evangelizing mission of the church.
- Distinguished by excellence.
- Committed to educate the whole child.
- Steeped in a Catholic worldview.
- Sustained by Gospel witness.
- Shaped by communion and community.
- Accessible to all students.
- Established by the expressed authority of the bishop.