Tag: Catholic education
Five years ago, enrollment at Immaculate Conception School in the first-ring suburb of Columbia Heights was at a record low, and its future was unclear. Veteran educator and Immaculate Conception Catholic Church parishioner Jane Bona joined a committee to help evaluate the viability of the school and walked away with a new title – principal.
It was my first morning in Minnesota. I gathered with the priests of the Archdiocese to listen to our convocation speaker, Archbishop Michael Miller, discuss the hallmarks of a truly Catholic school. The presentation was superb, but what really impressed me was the attentiveness of my brother priests and the depth of their questions. It was clear to me from the start that Pope Francis had sent me to work in an archdiocese with a deep appreciation for Catholic schools.
In education-minded Northfield, Minnesota, the Catholic grade school competes with small class sizes and a focus on student progress throughout the year, not just at report card time.
A new project slated to begin in July at St. Catherine University in St. Paul seeks to bring together high school sophomore and junior girls from diverse backgrounds for theological education and spiritual formation to help them become leaders in their communities.
Small class sizes — 14, for example, in the combined seventh and eighth grade — are one attraction for families whose children attend St. Timothy in Maple Lake. They allow for flexibility in individualizing education to meet either the enrichment or remedial needs of each student, said the school’s principal.
Thanks to growth through development of the area and a devout community’s desire for Catholic influence in the daily lives of their children, the biggest need at St. Michael School in the northwestern corner of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is for more space.
It’s like a scene from a futuristic movie.
In a grade-school classroom, students work at “pods,” odd-shaped work stations that take on the look of islands, each with three peninsulas. Each peninsula hosts a large, glistening computer monitor, and pods share some of the newest technology available.
At Most Holy Reedemer in Montgomery, a higher percentage of students come from farm families than at most Catholic schools in the archdiocese.
“Kids will have a debate [about tractors],” said Mindy Reeder, at the time Most Holy Redeemer’s principal. “Are you a John Deere family or an International family?”
It was a busy Wednesday at the Catholic grade school on the outskirts of Buffalo, some 50 miles northwest of Minneapolis on Hwy. 55.
After Mass that started the day at St. Francis Xavier School, all 205 students in kindergarten-through-eighth-grade made their way outside to the Mary Garden next to the school. That’s where the parish’s pastor, Father Nate Meyers, blessed new Stations of the Cross for student prayer.