Choosing the right school for your child can be a stressful time. As much as we sometimes wish they did, children don’t come with an instruction guide for the environment which best suits their learning needs or abilities. It’s up to us as parents to invest the time in finding that perfect fit of academic, cultural and social growth for our children. We want a school that will educate the spirit as well as the intellect, and that fosters responsibility and kindness.
While Catholic schools were once considered only for Catholic students, we now welcome all students who want an academically challenging education in an environment of love, trust, and loyalty. “Catholic schools provide a special atmosphere where every child is loved and valued for the gifts he or she contributes”, said St. Richard Principal Jennifer David. “Our teachers are gifted at determining the learning styles of each child and providing the skills and tools needed for growth and success.” While you are choosing the best path for your child, here are a few things to consider:
A Happy Student is a Successful Student
In Catholic schools, students find an atmosphere where academic achievement is valued and doesn’t conflict with social acceptance. With the freedom to learn to their potential without negative feedback, students enjoy meeting or exceeding any challenge they are given academically. At St. Richard, we have annual projects or events that motivate students to stretch themselves, such as the School Spelling Bee, the Geography Bee, and the Science Fair. Additionally, we encourage students in the arts with programs like the 3rd Grade Shakespeare play and the end of year smash hit Nanny Goat Opera, put on by our preschool and Kindergarten classes every spring.
Your Child is in a Disciplined and Nurturing Environment
Self-discipline, responsibility, and self-motivation are among the many benefits of an environment that is both nurturing and structured. In Catholic Schools, teaching the whole child is a priority. Lessons in courtesy, respect, and responsibility will be part of your child’s daily life. Weekly mass allows students to participate in a leadership capacity. By taking turns speaking and singing in front of the congregation, these children are learning the skills needed to become successful speaking in front of others.
Your Child Won’t Get Lost in the Crowd
In a Catholic school, teachers get to know every one of their students well—not just in the classroom, but on the athletic field, in the drama productions, or during after-school programs. And, of course, students and teachers share their faith during morning prayers and at special services.
Seeing your child in many different lights gives teachers insights that enhance the whole learning process. Another important outgrowth of the close teacher/ student relationship is trust. Students feel free to discuss ideas and problems with their teachers. In a Catholic school, every teacher is an adviser. As a result, your child’s school becomes an extension of your family. It provides a safe environment in which your child can explore ideas and feelings, and the guidance that ensures your child won’t get lost while exploring.
Catholic Schools Want You to Participate, Too.
Catholic schools welcome—and expect— parent involvement. You participate in the social life of the school and help the school advance. At St. Richard, we have events such as Blue Mass and Grandparents Day with special liturgies for the school community, and we celebrate special occasions such as graduation with a dedicated Mass. We have a signature fundraising event once a year, Krewe de Cardinal, which couldn’t survive without our parents’ involvement. You’ll find that when you enroll your child in a Catholic school, you join the school family, too.
The selection of a school shouldn’t be made lightly. Study your options. Check the Website, tour the school; observe in classrooms. Talk to administrators, teachers, and current parents. Then you’ll be in a position to make the choice that best reflects your values and meets the needs of your child.
If you are thinking about schools for your child, St. Richard is currently enrolling. Contact Wendi Shearer: 601.366.1157, or Wshearer@strichardschool.org for more information. We are also holding monthly tours, called Cookies with the Cardinals. Check out our website, www.strichardschool.org, or our Facebook page for more information.