Catholic Education; What is it for..?


#1

A few weeks ago I enrolled one of my daughters into a Catholic grade school because she felt uncomfortable in the public school setting… She complained about classmates cussing in class where the teachers would not only fall short of correcting those students, but were also using inappropriate language themselves… She also complained that students were stealing, fighting, and treating others with complete disregard -to the point that it was the norm.

After my daughters first day in Catholic school, she literally came home with tears in her eyes, and after asking her what was wrong, she said that she did’nt know why we had’nt sent her to Catholic school sooner… She now loves going to school and told me that she feels like Church is like a 2nd home to her.

Unfortunately, the Principal of the school informed us a few days ago that after evaluating some of her test results that she would need to find a new school, and they won’t be accepting our tuition payment…:eek: My daughters education level seems to be below standard for this Catholic school, and they don’t have the resources available to accomodate for her. She was devestated…!

I went ahead and scheduled an appointment to meet with our Parish Priest, but I’m unsure whether or not he would be willing to go against the Principals decision…

Meanwhile, my daughter refuses to go to any school but CATHOLIC school…! She loves it there.

So my question is: Why do parents choose to send their kids to Catholic schools…? Is it primarily for the education or more for kids to learn solid morals and to partake in the Body of Christ… By the way -my daughter loves our Church so much, I would’nt be suprised if she would become a Nun someday… She talks about Church and God all the time. However, I believe that pushing her out the door will have only negative results -not to mention psychological damage. :frowning:

What to do…?


#2

I would ask if arrangements can be made for her to get the services she needs through the public school, while still attending Catholic school. My kids attend Catholic, and I know many students receive other services through the district. Either they are transported to the local public school for a half day maybe twice a week, or after school they go to the other school for additional work in the resource room, etc.

I believe no one should be denied a Catholic education for any reason, but the sad reality is that most Catholic schools can not afford to provide every student with all the services they need. Please keep us updated after you meet with the Pastor.


#3

[quote="StJudePray4Me, post:2, topic:232579"]
I would ask if arrangements can be made for her to get the services she needs through the public school, while still attending Catholic school. My kids attend Catholic, and I know many students receive other services through the district. Either they are transported to the local public school for a half day maybe twice a week, or after school they go to the other school for additional work in the resource room, etc.

I believe no one should be denied a Catholic education for any reason, but the sad reality is that most Catholic schools can not afford to provide every student with all the services they need. Please keep us updated after you meet with the Pastor.

[/quote]

Thanks for your concearn..! This is very important to my family and I'm struggling with the acceptance of this issue... Big time.

I'll surely bring up your advice when I meet the Priest. Thanks.


#4

Hello!

My two oldest kids are in 3rd and 1st grade. My son has a sensory integration disorder. This is not something that that your average Catholic school is designed to handle. As a result, we would pull him from class twice a week for treatment at the local public school. It was disruptive, yes, but we made up for it at home.

My wife works as a speech pathologist for a local Catholic school. This particular school is designed to help the most needy students in the Sacramento area. What my wife and the staff have discovered is that as a whole, they need access the public school system for help with the cases they encounter. They have had to recommend a few students leave for a more specialized education, but at most stay and are helped. The public system has a mandate to help all school aged kids, even if they don't attend that campus.

Don't think of a Catholic education as all or nothing. You can use both the public system and private system in tandem to fulfill your daughters needs. If you have not already, go to your local public school and ask schedule an assessment. They cannot say no. They might try since your daughter does not attend, but they have a legal requirement to treat her like any other student. After they assess her, they will create an IEP (individualized education plan) that you can take your daughter's school to use as a framework for helping her.

Be prepared to fight for this. There will be a great out come if you can all persevere.

I will pray for your family!


#5

I don't know your particular case, or what the particular problem is. It may be that your daughter has a specific learning disability, which may be something the public school system is better able to deal with, or it may simply be that she has fallen so far behind in the public school system that she is just not at the same academic standard as her Catholic school peers. Is the Catholic school academically selective?

If it's the latter problem, you may want to consider home-schooling her up to an appropriate level, or providing out-of-school classes alongside public school, then getting her back into the Catholic school. If she loves it so much, the incentive to work hard is already there. You could also ask if it would be possible for her to continue at Catholic school but in a lower grade.

I do hope you manage to find what you need from the education system.


#6

Sadly - unless your daughter has a learning disability the public school isn't going to be much help. honestly as a educator I'm not surprised to hear your daughter is behind at the catholic school after moving from the public. Catholic schools are known (and proven) to have a higher level education.

Here is my suggestion - time to roll up your shelves and have a frank conversation with the prinicpal and the teacher. You'll have to accept your daughter educational level isn't up to par, tell the prinicpal both you and your daughter are willing to do the check up work to bring her up to standards. Find out where she is and where she needs to be. Have weekly check ins with her teachers, consider getting her a tuitor, and encourage by doing homework with her and volunteering in the classroom.

My children attend catholic school and our main reason for sending them was the higher standard of education, strong learning environment, centered around our faith.

Good luck!


#7

I would definitely talk to the priest and do whatever it took to keep your daughter in the school. I went to Catholic schools for 12 years and will do whatever it takes to give all my kids a Catholic education. The schools in our district are atrocious, but even if we were to move to a better district I would still want them in a Catholic school. The education has always been superior in our area, and the values are lacking to non-existent at public schools.

I recently reconnected with an old friend who was in a similar situation as your daughter when we were kids. He attended Catholic school in K-1st grade and could not keep up with the other kids. His parents pulled him from the Catholic school and sent him to public school where he excelled. After a couple years, though, he asked his parents if he could go back to the Catholic school because he didn't think he was learning anything at the public school. They sent him back and even though he struggled at first, he never lost sight of the earlier experience and always worked his tail off. He told me recently that the values and education he got in his years of Catholic schooling always stuck with him.


#8

I teach in a Catholic school. I’ve never heard of this happening unless there is a learning disability or a behavior problem. Did your daughter struggle academically in the public school?


#9

Did the principle give more info than you provided? Just low test scores!?! Or did he/she cite a probably learning disability?

The sad fact is that the public schooling system in this country is so hostile to catholic education that there is simply NO way that catholic parents can afford to fund a private system that can meet all needs AND continue to pay their unreduced role in funding the public system.

If your daughter has diagnosible learning disorders, you may be eligible to get some special assistance from the public school district even if you don't attend there. I have friends with a dyslexic ADHD child who home school mostly, but get twice a week special ed help from the public school district. Getting it required a BIG fight though and some threatening letters from a lawyer friend.


#10

My oldest children are in elementary school and because I had young ones I had them in public school as I could not figure out how to get them to school (we have no local Catholic school) with babies in diapers/nursing etc. when the bus came to our property. I visited many of the Catholic schools that we could apply to, but just could not figure out how to get it done and get my husband to agree to the financial aspect. So I put up with public school.

But at the beginning of this current school year, our daughter kept coming home with very strange stories about what was going on in her class and my husband and I would just stare at each other over her head wondering what the heck was going on in her class! I went to see for myself one morning. It was a circus to say the least. My daughter is extremely shy and quiet and there is NO way she could learn in that environment. Because of the No Child Left Behind there were no less than 3 adults coming and going in the classroom the entire time I was there (during a testing session that should have been quiet for the children to test) and it was just a really bad situation. The teacher was wonderful, and it was not the school’s fault, it was just a really difficult class for children to actually learn anything in due to the vast differences of all of the children. So I finally had enough information to get my husband to agree to the tuition of a Catholic school, plus I was ready to take on the twice daily commute. Within one week we had them enrolled in a Catholic School.

Our school would not even accept us until they had tested our children and the test scores were compatible with what the school expected. We were happy to learn and have since learned that our children were not receiving substandard educations in our local public school.

I cannot imagine a school accepting and allowing a child to begin classes only to then tell her she has to leave?? What is wrong with that principal?? Anybody in their right mind would know how bad that could be for a young child.

Why do I support a Catholic education you ask? I cannot even begin to tell you all of the positive things about it. My children are thriving unbelievably! There were definitely good things about the public school, the teachers were nice and they were nice kids. I really enjoyed the other parents. But the lack of uniformity in dressing, the messy hair and jewelry and competition for popular clothes etc. was bothersome to us. Plus the lack of respect for adults etc.

The Catholic school is so different its amazing. Although I don’t know why I’m surprised, I went from a public junior high to a Catholic High School and the difference between my education/experience and all of my friends who went on to the public High School was so huge that I should not be surprised. I don’t think my public school friends even attended school they ditched class so much!

The clean, tasteful uniform is just one small (but great) aspect. The amount of respect is the best thing. These children are so polite and well-behaved compared to what we used to see. It is Hello Mr. and Mrs… this and that, all politeness and manners are a big deal at this school. There is no where near the messing around, the schoolwork is the top priority, and I love that they have little signs and notes all over the walls that say things like “respect other people” and “treat people kindly” etc. Not just religious notes, but notes on general kindness and respect overall.

They go to mass weekly and its wonderful to go and see all of these children at mass together, I just love it! Every classroom I’ve seen so far has a statue of the Mother Mary. They have religion every day in class. They say Grace before going to lunch. They have morning prayer over the intercom along with the Pledge of Allegiance.

Its just a totally different atmosphere. Are there bad things as well? Yes, but honestly that is more for me as a parent than my kids. There are wealthy people and that is a bit uncomfortable, but that is anywhere, not just private schools. My kids absolutely love this school. They were devastated when we moved them and within a few shorts days they were in love with it.

I think you need to assure the Parish Priest that you will do what it takes to get her up to speed. I hope he will listen to reason that we do not want to push children away, especially those who embrace the Catholic Faith as she has! You should portray to him everything you said to us and I pray he will listen to reason! Allowing her to begin and then turning her away is a horrible thing to do and hopefully he will understand and recognize that and put an end to it immediately!

I wish you all the best, your daughter sounds like an amazing child and I wish I could meet her :slight_smile:


#11

Originally I sent my children to Catholic school because they are Catholic. I didn't know any different. Now I do.

We are in Australia but I get the feeling that it's no different here than anywhere else. I've heard stories from my friends who are not Catholic about their kids' schools, and frankly it shocks me. These public schools are not safe, friendly places to be. I have somewhat timid children, and if they were attending a public school, I believe they'd be eaten alive.

As it is, I feel very blessed to be able to send my children to a wonderful, friendly, small school, where the teachers all know me and I know them. They care very much about each individual child. I can see by the actions of all the students that the caring environment is rubbing off on the children - they are all (generally) so very kind to each other. Why would I choose a public school after I've seen this? I still supplement my children's religious education, because I feel a personal responsibility in this area to ensure they grow up believing and understanding their faith.

I believe that primary school (is that elementary school?) is less about the academics, and more about building the child's confidence and morals. Making them a solid person. Secondary school (middle school?) becomes more about the academics, but I would still want a school where my children feel safe and supported. From what I've seen, the Catholic schools are on average better than the public in both respects. There are some good public schools, but they are usually the expensive ones.

Thank God for Catholic education.


#12

My daughter is just an honest kid, perhaps a little shy, perhaps a little naive, perhaps just a little innocent. She's a good girl with good morals... She is very capable of differentiating between right and wrong. Her only wish seems to be to surround herself with other like-minded kids -who also wish to live a life of solid morals... This is very much the opposite of my oldest daughter, unfortunately, who seems to excel in academics when she tries, yet lacks good moral judgement alot of the time.

But I blame myself for for my younger daughters low academics... Yes, she was diagnosed a few years ago with a learning disability, however I disagree. It was my job that forced me to relocate my family to various cities -switching my kids schools over and over again. I just could'nt stand to be apart from them. I honestly believe that my younger daughter missed gaps in her education due to our constant moving.

My wife spoke to the Parish Priest yesterday. He said that to involve himself with the school would be like "putting his head under the chopping block." To my wife's discontent, he quickly changed the subject to the coincidental baptism plans of my new youngest daughter. This frustrated my wife.

All in all, the school is expecting a phone call from us within the next week in which we are to give them the information on our daughters NEW school, that she'll be going to... I think they'll be suprised when they get no such call -we're not moving her anywhere. :cool:

Our daughter claims that she's understanding all her assignments... She say's she's passing all her classes. She's made good friends, and she seems happier than ever.

If they want her gone they'll have to remove her themselves... I just can't bear to do it. :o


#13

Thank you for your kind words… :slight_smile: I agree with you on all the differences between Catholic and public schools as I myself attended Catholic schooling for nine years and public for three. I started off in Catholic and ended up in public and must admit that I went through a little bit of a ‘culture shock’ once I experienced the public side.

I just honestly thought that any Catholic kid could attend a Catholic school… I did’nt know that they needed to be outstanding students. I don’t think I was… :confused:

I wonder what a “learning disability” really even is…? She has’nt been medically diagnosed as anything out of the ordinary. She just reminds me alot of myself… When I was a kid… I went to Catholic school… :shrug:


#14

That’s really frustrating to hear. Our priest is very active in our school, as were the priests at my school when I was a kid. I can only think of 2-3 priests that were ever associated with the schools I or my kids have gone to who wouldn’t have stepped in in a situation like this. I’d schedule another meeting with him and try to get him to brave the chopping block.


#15

[quote="DL82, post:5, topic:232579"]
Is the Catholic school academically selective?

[/quote]

No, they don't claim to be an "academically selective" school. It's just a Catholic school at one of your everyday local parishes.

But I will say that we're living on the better side of town, and even when we enrolled our oldest daughter into the public high school down the street, they needed 3 forms of proof stating that we do actually live at the address that we claim... They even threatened us that they would be doing "home inspections" to make sure that we were actually living there... :rolleyes:

This is Southern California though... The public school system surrounding our area is one of the worst in the nation... Our neighborhood is a jumping leap higher, so everyone naturally wants their kids to go to school in our area.

Now, I don't want to make any kind of accusations, but I hope the Catholic schools here are not following in line with the public schools in 'weeding' kids out, who they think just don't belong. Like I said, I'm not accusing just hoping that it's not true.


#16

I never went to a Catholic school. American public schools were tolerable. Somethings I liked some things I hated. Most of the teachers were nice and some were my friends. I was always the quite one in school. Rarely talked in school, had a few close friends, average grades, etc. I was the black sheep of the group. I might send my kids to a Catholic schools because of all of the positive things I've heard from them.:D


#17

[quote="Gordon_Sims, post:14, topic:232579"]
That's really frustrating to hear. Our priest is very active in our school, as were the priests at my school when I was a kid. I can only think of 2-3 priests that were ever associated with the schools I or my kids have gone to who wouldn't have stepped in in a situation like this. I'd schedule another meeting with him and try to get him to brave the chopping block.

[/quote]

I have relatives who are retired Catholic school teachers themselves, who actually gave me the idea in the first place to schedule an appointment with the Priest.

They surely thought that it would have done some good... I'll admit, I was'nt expecting to hear the response we got... :doh2:


#18

[quote="TEPO, post:17, topic:232579"]
I have relatives who are retired Catholic school teachers themselves, who actually gave me the idea in the first place to schedule an appointment with the Priest.

They surely thought that it would have done some good... I'll admit, I was'nt expecting to hear the response we got... :doh2:

[/quote]

Maybe if you went in instead of your wife you might get a different result. Years ago we had a billing issue with the school (they essentially pulled a $500 deficit out of thin air). My wife went in three times, each time taking more documentation than was needed to show that we'd paid everything they said we hadn't. Each time she walked out because of the principal's bad treatment and dismissive attitude. I'd had a run-in of sorts with the principal the previous school year--nothing too bad, but I made it clear to him that I wasn't in the mood to play games with my son's education. I called to make a personal appointment with the principal to discuss the billing issue. He put me on hold for five minutes then came back to the line and said it had been their mistake. My wife didn't mishandle the issue in any way, but some people still think they can walk all over certain people. I'm not saying that's how it is in your case, but it doesn't hurt to try all approaches. And if you don't get local results, I'd contact the bishop.


#19

[quote="TEPO, post:12, topic:232579"]
My daughter is just an honest kid, perhaps a little shy, perhaps a little naive, perhaps just a little innocent. She's a good girl with good morals... She is very capable of differentiating between right and wrong. Her only wish seems to be to surround herself with other like-minded kids -who also wish to live a life of solid morals... This is very much the opposite of my oldest daughter, unfortunately, who seems to excel in academics when she tries, yet lacks good moral judgement alot of the time.

But I blame myself for for my younger daughters low academics... Yes, she was diagnosed a few years ago with a learning disability, however I disagree. It was my job that forced me to relocate my family to various cities -switching my kids schools over and over again. I just could'nt stand to be apart from them. I honestly believe that my younger daughter missed gaps in her education due to our constant moving.

My wife spoke to the Parish Priest yesterday. He said that to involve himself with the school would be like "putting his head under the chopping block." To my wife's discontent, he quickly changed the subject to the coincidental baptism plans of my new youngest daughter. This frustrated my wife.

All in all, the school is expecting a phone call from us within the next week in which we are to give them the information on our daughters NEW school, that she'll be going to... I think they'll be suprised when they get no such call -we're not moving her anywhere. :cool:

Our daughter claims that she's understanding all her assignments... She say's she's passing all her classes. She's made good friends, and she seems happier than ever.

If they want her gone they'll have to remove her themselves... I just can't bear to do it. :o

[/quote]

Hi

How old is she again? How long has she been at the school? I would think that, if they are telling you that her academic progress is way behind, they would have shown you her work. If you haven't seen it, you should ask, not just take her word for it.

If she really IS behind, and failing, are you open to having them gold her back in the same grade? You said she's naive and innocent, so you mean that she is young for her age, so to speak? If so, perhaps she would do well if she was able to have a "catch up" year.

It sounds like you suspect that the school wants her out for other reasons, like socio-economic ones? I would fight that tooth and nail. If you can pay the tuition, and she can do the work, I would make a BIG old stink if they try to push you out.


#20

I'm sorry to hear of your situation. I taught in both public and Catholic schools, and my reason for leaving the teaching profession was because of the kids in public schools. Like one poster described, public school was indeed a "circus," and I felt like a ringmaster most of the time!

Although I am the product of inner-city public schools, I turned out okay, but times have changed. Kids are more mature these days--cable tv and radio are teaching them things at a young age they shouldn't know yet. I was always determined to send my son to a private school, at the very least. He's been diagnosed with Asperger's, and I know that a Catholic school will be a much better environment for him (smaller class sizes, morals taught, structure, etc.). My husband and I have already scouted the local Catholic schools to ensure they can accommodate him, and both schools have no problem.

Does your daughter normally score low on tests? Maybe this test was just done on a bad day. Maybe she could retake it? Even if your daughter does have a learning disability, I'm certain there are other Catholic schools in your area that can accommodate her. Keep searching. She sounds like a great kid.

I've decided that when I'm old enough to retire, I might go back to teaching part-time. But I'll never go back and teach at a public school again.


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