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August 27, 2001


Schools bells will be ringing to welcome back students from throughout the five-county Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Approximately 105,000 students will be returning to parish elementary and Archdiocesan high schools. Elementary schools will open on Wednesday, September 5th. The Archdiocesan high schools have developed individual opening week schedules and students will follow a phase-in schedule on September 5th, 6th and 7th. Full student bodies will be in attendance on Monday, September 10th.


is the theme of the Archdiocesan Office of Catholic Education's web site launched last May. Check it out at

All 22 of our high schools have multiple state of the art computer labs. The focus for the future is wireless. Many of our schools today have wireless laptop carts, Palm Pilots and SMART boards. Libraries in our schools are becoming Interactive Media Centers. English classes are using Writer's Solution software for enhancing writing across the curriculum. Science classes are using the Web to compare experiment results with other schools. Students in business/technology courses are being taught Microsoft Office User Specialist (MOUS) and music classes are learning how to play the piano using computerized keyboards. Electives such as C++, Visual Basic, and Web Design are offered.

Technology continues to be an important thrust of the elementary schools. Many of our parish schools are enhancing computer/technology programs with additional computers, computer labs, networking, internet access, wireless computers, and new instructional courses.

Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua will dedicate a new school and religious education center on Sunday, September 30th at 3:00 p.m.
This new school is a first for the parish. Formerly, student parishioners attended various other parish elementary schools in Chester County. This new two-story facility has 19 classrooms, a gymnasium and cafeteria. The school can accommodate 560 students. This year, the school opens with 150 students, pre-school through third grade, with plans to add a grade every year.

On Monday, June 11, 2001, the Vicar of Chester County, Monsignor James McDonough, blessed a newly-completed addition to the three-year-old high school located in Downingtown. The 14 classrooms, two story addition was built to accommodate the ever increasing enrollment. Enrollment last year was 1,180 and 1,340 students are anticipated this year. The new wing will boost enrollment capacity to 1,600.



Northeast Catholic High School
will be celebrating its 75th anniversary this year and will welcome its largest freshman class in the past five years. It has greatly expanded its financial aid program with the generous help of the Northeast Catholic Alumni Association and the Tuition Assistance Program. With the help of the building trades unions, it has undertaken the conversion of the first floor annex to a state-of-the-art resource center which will feature a new computer technology lab sponsored by the Academic Enrichment Program of the Connelly Foundation and the Office of Catholic Education.

Saint Francis Xavier School will continue to participate in video-conferencing with a school in Ireland. The program was so successful this past spring that the students, teachers, and donor of the equipment unanimously agreed that it is a worthwhile project and everyone wants to learn more.

Holy Name School will continue its very successful arts and music program ‘Music Connection.' Also, students will be involved in a service project making breakfast bags for ‘Aid for Friends.'

Holy Spirit School will continue its after-school fine arts academy program, world language program, and cultural instruction program. Spanish language instructions, piano lessons, chorus and cultural enrichment are offered.

Saint Mary Interparochial School will add the ‘Twilight School Program' consisting of world language instruction, dance classes and chess taught from 3:30 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. each day. The school prides itself on being the oldest parochial school in the United States.

Our Lady of Hope School is renovating the school library. A Service Club is beginning in the fall for students in grades four through eight. The St. Alphonsus Scholarship Assistance Program provided tuition for fifty new students.

Saint Raymond School is planning to build a ‘Green House' on the school property. The school hopes to plant the seeds of desire in the children to continue their education in the fields of Science and Research.


Conwell-Egan High School
in Fairless Hills welcomes a new principal, Mrs. Maryjane McHugh. Mrs. McHugh recently served as principal at Archbishop Carroll High School in Radnor. A fourth computer lab for class and individual student use has been added, and new state-of-the-art computers have been purchased to complement the excellent technology infrastructure. To enhance the academic program, the addition of U.S. History and Physics will be made to the Advanced Placement Class. During the past two years 30 students have earned perfect scores on Advanced Placement tests and two students have achieved perfect scores in the Math SAT test.

Saint Martin of Tours Parish in New Hope will open its new school with four grades, first through fourth, with 55 students. Plans are to add a grade every year. This new two-story facility includes 12 classrooms, a library, computer lab, and multipurpose room. The school can accommodate 300 students. The new school was blessed by Cardinal Bevilacqua on June 2, 2001.

Saint Ignatius School in Yardley is resuming its ‘Language at Lunch' Spanish classes, which are conducted in conjunction with Bucks County Community College.

Saint Michael the Archangel School in Levittown is again providing a resource room for students with learning disabilities. This program was very successful last year.

St. Joseph/St. Robert School in Warrington has added a new afternoon Pre-Kindergarten program and a new full-day Kindergarten program.

Saint Isidore School in Quakertown has added to their Early Childhood Program by beginning a program for three-year-old children. They also have expanded Catholic Youth Organization activities and students will have the opportunity to participate in intermural games.


Saint Basil the Great School
in Kimberton will implement a program from the Crime Victims' Center of Chester County which will address issues of bullying and harassment.

Holy Family School in Phoenixville has been wired for internet access. Also, the school will have additional instrumental band instructions and will offer Field Hockey for the girls.

Saint Patrick School in Malvern is a work in progress. Due to the yearly increase in student population six new classrooms will open in September. The addition of a vice-principal will enhance the teaching/learning process.

Saints Philip and James School in Exton has set in motion a very extensive Peace Project incorporating the concept that conflict does not solve problems. Eight new classrooms and a larger library are planned to open in September 2002. This new addition is anxiously anticipated.


Monsignor Bonner High School
welcomes a new president, Reverend Augustine Esposito, O.S.A., Ph.D., Class of '69. Environmental Science and Psychology will be part of the curriculum for the first time during this school year. Technology has continued to grow rapidly at Monsignor Bonner. The school has one computer for every two students and a new distance learning wireless multimedia room.

Holy Cross School in Springfield has a new computer lab and is opening a second learning resource classroom. School enrollment is up with an additional forty-two children. Students will be using the newly refurbished

Saint Cyril School in East Lansdowne has initiated a peace project called "Peace Making Education: A Creative Experience." Students will be able to take advantage of classes for conflict resolution and the school is implementing a ‘Peace Making Task Force' for parents.

Saint Philomena School in Lansdowne has a new computer lab. Technology will be a big part of the school program. To address Fine Arts, the school is starting a new school band.


Bishop McDevitt High School
in Wyncote opens the new school year with a new state-of-the-art, multipurpose, air-conditioned Science Library. The new facility will accommodate laboratory facilities for Biology, Environmental Science, and Physics. The facility also provides the latest wireless computer hardware which links to the school's internal network as well as the internet.

Lansdale Catholic High School in Lansdale begins the new academic year with 50 students from the Class of 2004 taking part in a laptop cohort program. Each student will bring a Dell laptop computer equipped with wireless modems to their classes each day. Four faculty members will be teaching class in an updated room which includes larger desk space, a SMART Board, LCD Projector, and wireless network.

Saint Alphonsus School in Maple Glen is initiating a service education component of faith in action called ‘Making a World of Difference.' A global language program which will include Spanish (grades K-7) and French (grade 8) will start in the fall.

Saint Genevieve School in Flourtown received the prestigious United States Department of Education National School of Excellence Blue Ribbon Award. Saint Genevieve School is one of only 264 schools in the United States to receive this award in 2001. Representatives from the school will attend a national ceremony in Washington, D.C. in the fall.

Saint Hilary of Poitiers School in Rydal participates in an outreach program to Saint Vincent Soup Kitchen in Germantown. The students are very committed to the service projects and are looking for new ways to be of service for the fall.

Saint Margaret School in Narberth will have internet access in every classroom for September allowing the integration of curriculum with technology to move forward.

Visitation B.V.M. School in Trooper has received a Connelly Foundation grant for the acquisition of equipment and lap top computers. The school will enter the phase of wireless internet education. Hands-on experiments have been developed for two science labs and the Fine Arts program will continue in September.


Archbishop Ryan School for Children with Hearing Impairments
(Delaware County) was the recent recipient of a grant from the Connelly Foundation for an innovative online reading program called Fast Forward. Holy Cross School in Springfield, PA is expanding to a second diocesan-sponsored resource room for students with learning disabilities.


Last year, enrollment for parish elementary schools in the Archdiocese was 81,347. The enrollment for Archdiocesan high schools was 23,148. 2001-2002 enrollment figures will not be available until November.

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Marie Kelly
Associate Director

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