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August 25, 1999


Classrooms throughout the Archdiocese of Philadelphia will spring to life as a new school year begins! More than 107,000 students will be returning to parish elementary and Archdiocesan high schools. Elementary schools will open on Wednesday, September 8th. The Archdiocesan high schools have developed individual opening week schedules and students will follow a phase-in schedule on September 8th, 9th and 10th. Full student bodies will be in attendance on Monday, September 13th.


According to statistics from the National Catholic Education Association,
the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has the second largest enrollment in the nation.
Chicago is first and New York is third.
Archdiocesan high school graduation rate is 99%
In the Class of 1999, 88% of the students will continue their education at post-secondary schools
The Class of 1999 received more than $117 million in scholarships, an increase
of $7 million over last year
Diocesan Wide Area Computer Network linking all 22 high schools is completed


St. Joseph Parish in Downingtown
is opening a new $3.5 million addition to their school. Eleven new classrooms, five meeting rooms and gymnasium are part of this new expansion which will boost the capacity to 950 students. Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua will bless the new addition on October 9, 1999.

St. Maximilan Kolbe Parish in Westtown is building its first school, a $4.5 million complex with a capacity for 400 children, due for completion June 2000. This September, the school will welcome its first kindergarten classes to be housed in portable classrooms until the new school is ready.

St. Robert Bellarmine in Warrington
built a new educational facility for the combined school, St. Robert/St. Joseph. This building, the first built on the St. Robert's site, will include fourteen classrooms, a media center and computer labs. Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua will bless the new facility on September 11, 1999.

The demand for part time and full time kindergarten is contributing to growth in enrollment - both locally and nationally - at Catholic schools. Single parents, working couples and even stay-at-home mothers and fathers regard pre-kindergarten and kindergarten as a way to prepare their children for a better education. This September thirteen parish elementary schools will be starting or adding both pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classes.

New kindergarten classes will open in the following schools: In Philadelphia -- Incarnation of Our Lord School, Our Lady of Angels School, and Sacred Heart School. In the suburbs -- Blessed Virgin Mary School in Darby, St. John Neumann School in Bryn Mawr, St. Joseph School in Downingtown, St. Katherine School in Wayne, and St. Maximillian Kolbe in West Chester.

New pre-kindergarten classeswill open in Sacred Heart School in Philadelphia, Epiphany of Our Lord in Norristown, Our Lady of Grace in Penndel, St. John Bosco in Hatboro, St. John of the Cross in Roslyn, and St. Philip Neri in Lafayette Hills.

Our Lady of Confidence
is a school for mentally handicapped students ranging in age from 4 to 21 years of age. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia relocated the school to better meet the needs of the students. The younger students are now located at St. David's in Willow Grove. The 14-21 year old students relocated to Cardinal Dougherty High School.

Our Lady of Confidence and Cardinal Dougherty have developed a peer interaction program. The Cardinal Dougherty students volunteer their time during study periods to assist in the Confidence classrooms. This is a wonderful opportunity for peer-tutoring and age appropriate socialization. Students are tutored in functional academics and life-skills. They work on time and money skills, vocational and functional vocabulary skills, and fine-motor activities. Cardinal Dougherty students work side by side with the special needs students, teaching, supervising and socializing.

Cardinal Dougherty student body is also initiating the Best Buddies Program, where Confidence students will be matched with a Cardinal Dougherty "Buddy" to develop a friendship and participate in activities together

At Archbishop Ryan High School in Northeast Philadelphia, the Reach and Bonaventure Programs for the at risk and learning disabled student continue to flourish and expand. Ryan graduated its first seniors this past June. The graduates are now looking forward to their college years.


St. Maria Goretti High School in South Philadelphia
is implementing a new Technology Program. Beginning in Freshman year, students will begin the process that will allow them to receive certification as a MICROSOFT OFFICE USER SPECIALIST (MOUS) by the time they finish senior year. According to education officials at Microsoft, Goretti is the first school in the country to implement this as part of the curriculum. The school expects this certification to open many doors to the graduates, both at the college level and in the workforce.

Archbishop Wood High School in Warminster is establishing an exciting new technology project called World Wide Wood. The program included wiring the building for Internet access and internal networking. Internally, World Wide Wood will allow communications to be conducted via E-mail on a Local Area Network and will establish a Website for faculty, staff and students to keep updated on the latest news about the school. Externally, World Wide Wood will bring all of the educational resources from around the world to students in the classrooms, and will bring the thoughts, ideas and suggestions of the Ryan students to the rest of the world.

During the 1999-2000 school year, two Archdiocesan high schools will host a CISCO Networking Academy. CICSO is a leading company in the manufacture of computer network and Internet components. Students at two schools, St. Hubert in the Mayfair section of Philadelphia and St. John Neumann High School in South Philadelphia, will complete a four semester program. Upon passing a qualifying examination, they will receive a certificate officially listing them as "CISCO Certified Associates." This certificate is a significant credential when students apply for jobs in the computer and/or networking field.

Archbishop Ryan High School in Northeast Philadelphia will be a host school for the National School Conference Institute (NSCI). This is an in-service program for teachers, making use of distance learning through teleconferencing. Ryan will use this medium for their faculty as well as other grade and high school faculties in the area. Ryan has installed a faculty development room to enable this distance learning program. When not in use for in-service programs, the facility will be used for distance learning projects by the Ryan student body.

Twenty parish elementary schools obtained new computer labs through grants from the Connelly Foundation and the Sullivan Foundation.


Last year's enrollment for parish elementary schools in the Archdiocese was 84,556. In the city of Philadelphia there were 39,223 students enrolled in 96 parish elementary schools. In the four suburban counties of the Archdiocese, there were 45,333 students enrolled in 119 parish elementary schools.

Enrollment for the 22 Archdiocesan high schools was 23,004. In the 11 Archdiocesan high school in the city of Philadelphia, enrollment was 11,743. Enrollment in the 11 suburban Archdiocesan high schools was 11,261.

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* 1999-2000 Enrollment Figures will not be available until the end of October.

Marie Kelly
Associate Director

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