Catholic Schools - Philosophy of Program
Policy adopted March 12, 1983
Revised May 4, 1991; May 4, 1996, May 6, 2000
Archdiocesan Board of Education
The philosophy of program for Catholic schools of the Archdiocese is based on the scriptures, the teachings of the Church, principles of human and faith development, reverence for the dignity and uniqueness of the child and educational research. This philosophy is used to guide the development and implementation of program at the Archdiocesan and local levels.
Philosophy Schools make a unique contribution to today's Church and society by providing a God centered education rooted in the Roman Catholic tradition. The school, in cooperation and partnership with parents/guardians and in the context of the Catholic community/parish, strives to assist students to relate faith and Gospel teachings to all aspects of human knowledge and life.
Development of a Catholic Christian identity in the students is a basic aim of the Catholic school community. Religious instruction and formative experiences are a primary and essential part of the school's program directed toward leading the student to deepening faith commitment to Christ. Direct catechesis as well as involvement in liturgical and sacramental prayer and worship are both formative and instructional for the student.
The environment of the school is created primarily by the people of faith - students, parents, faculty, pastors, and board members - who build the school community. It is within this setting that the fourfold dimensions of Catholic education: message, community, worship and service become a reality. The focus of the program is not merely the attainment of knowledge but the acquisition of values and the discovery of truth. This focus includes high-level thinking processes, critical judgment and decision-making that enhance the student's responsible use of freedom, based upon gospel values.
The school's program must concern itself with the whole child in development that is fully human and thoroughly Catholic. The school's curriculum focus is student-centered with a continuous progress emphasis that reverences the dignity of the student and serves the individual's developmental growth needs. Moreover, the development of Christian values as well as the principles of Church teachings on morality, justice and life issues permeate and integrate all the subject areas and experiential dimensions of the curriculum.
The staff of Catholic schools must be thoroughly competent professionally, thoroughly Christian personally, and must teach in a way that their own faith and Christian life are manifest. Teaching methods incorporate a variety of materials, media and modes that accommodate content geared toward individual student. needs and unique talents.
"Church in Modem World", Vatican II document, c. 1966
"Declaration on Christian Education", Vatican 11 document, c. 1966
Vision and Values in the Catholic School, National Catholic Education Association, c. 1981 The Catholic School, United States Catholic Conference, c. 1977
Sharing the Light of Faith, National Catechetical Directory of United States, National Conference of Catholic Bishops, c. 1979
To Teach As Jesus Did, National Conference of Catholic Bishops, c. 1972
Archdiocesan Board of Education Policy Manual
6141.2, Page I