Schools committed to ‘whole child,’ official says

Assumption High School students worked in Spanish class Nov. 7. Catholic high schools in the Archdiocese of Louisville saw a three percent increase in enrollment this year. (Record Photo by Ruby Thomas)

Leaders in the Archdiocese of Louisville’s Office of Catholic Schools believe there are three primary reasons for families to consider a Catholic education for their children. 

“It’s faith, community and academic excellence,” said Dr. Mary Beth Bowling, superintendent of Catholic schools. 

“It’s the commitment to the whole child. They have to feel a sense of belonging in order to thrive” and this three-pillar approach facilitates that, she said.

Next week, families are invited to learn more about this commitment during Discover Catholic Schools Week Nov. 12 to 18. The Archdiocese of Louisville’s 39 grade schools and nine high schools are planning open houses and offering tours to prospective students.

Shelby Morgan, from left, Addison Beal and Maleya Giddens, sophomores at Assumption High School, studied in the media center Nov. 7.

Bowling believes that families searching for those three pillars have driven enrollment up for three years in a row.

The whole-child approach creates a nurturing environment that’s important in all grades, but particularly so in high school, said school leaders.

“Never is there a more important time to nurture” than in high school, said Amy Nall, assistant superintendent. “You need that partnership of faith, community and strong academics.”

Familes “partnering with a community that prays together and cares for the whole person, it’s invaluable,” she said.

Nall noted that as teens grow, “the outside world becomes an influence.” Catholic schools help them see the world through a lens of “Christian citizenship,” she said. 

Every opportunity provided at the high schools are grounded in the Catholic faith and ensures students will be prepared for life, Nall said.

“The opportunities provided are rich and varied and really meet the diverse interests of students,” said Nall. “Leadership develops through all these amazing opportunities that are grounded in the Catholic faith.”

For example, she said, Catholic high schools offer opportunities to develop real-life experience through internships and planning and leading retreats. These ensure students have “relevant preparation for life after” high school, she said.

Bowling added that all students including those who aren’t Catholic benefit from a Catholic education. 

“There are so many values taught that you can see contribute to society,” said Bowling. “It’s a strong foundation for Catholics or not and it provides a foundation for students to be citizens of tomorrow in an ever-changing world.”

Assumption High School students participated in Spanish class Nov. 7. (Record Photo by Ruby Thomas)
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