“We must produce good human beings, informed citizens, productive wage-earners, creative thinkers, etc. AND we must produce individuals who are steeped in the culture, values and tradition of the Catholic Church.” -The National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA)
The difference between a public and a faith-based education is much more than a requirement that students take a Religion class as part of the curriculum. What really makes a Catholic school stand out is that Catholic culture is integrated throughout every aspect of the program, designed to educate your child’s mind, body and soul.
So before we go any further, let’s define what we mean by Catholic culture. Catholic culture is all about core values and Gospel truths. It is the celebration of the rights and dignity of every person, the cherishing of family and community, and the commitment to working for a more socially just world. When we include these values in our teaching philosophy and objectives on a daily basis, they begin to sink in with our students and become a part of the personal code of ethics they will take out into the world.
Another major part of the Catholic school mission is to provide our students with critical thinking skills in an ever-changing, diverse technological and global world. In other words, we don’t just teach students about World War I or how to multiply fractions; we guide them to an understanding of why this knowledge is important in real life. So not only do our students emerge from our classrooms college- and career-ready, they leave with the tools they need to be productive and virtuous citizens.
Now to better understand exactly how we integrate Catholic culture into our academic classes, it will be helpful to look at some of the actual objectives across grades and subjects in the schools in the Archdiocese of Hartford.
Early Childhood: The child will experience a warm, caring environment that develops self-esteem and a positive attitude toward learning.
Math: Students will apply mathematics to describe, understand and communicate about the world in order to solve problems and make decisions.
Fine Arts: Students will make connections between music, other disciplines and daily life.
Science Health and Wellness: Students will develop the knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts and processes required for participation in a Digital Age society as well as church teachings regarding health and wellness issues.
World Languages: Students will employ a greater awareness of self, of other cultures and their own relationship to those cultures.
Language Arts: Students will analyze how oral language helps us to learn, socialize, communicate and participate fully in family, classroom, community and parish life.
Social Studies: Students will evaluate how we organize our society, in economics, politics, law and policy, as well as how this directly affects human dignity and the capacity of individuals to grow in a community.
To see more, including the specific standards and tasks for each grade, visit the Curriculum Standards page on the Office of Catholic Schools website, and click on the individual subjects on the right-hand side of the screen.
As you can see from this small sample of curriculum objectives, the schools in the Archdiocese of Hartford are living up to our promise to integrate Catholic identity — global perspective, moral education, community and service — into everything we do.
We invite you to learn more about us and how you can enroll your child in an environment that will encourage her or him to Believe 〜 Learn 〜 Excel.