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August 30, 2005


Students attending parish elementary schools as well as Archdiocesan high schools and schools of special education will return to class the week after Labor Day for the 2005-2006 school year. Elementary schools open on Wednesday, September 7th. The high schools have developed individual opening week schedules and students will follow a phase-in schedule on September 7th and 8th and all students will report on Friday, September 9th.

Across the Archdiocese

Prayer on the Parkway: Come Celebrate Christ's Eucharistic Presence
Students from across the Archdiocese will take part in this celebration of Catholic faith on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia on Sunday, September 18, 2005 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tens of thousands of Catholics are expected to attend this Holy Hour of prayer.

3,000 Elementary School Teachers Come Together for Workshops
The Office of Catholic Education will host nine workshops in September 2005. One of the speakers, Charlotte Danielson, is internationally known for creating A Framework for Teaching which underscores the focus and attention that today's classroom teachers must provide for the students in their care.

Early Childhood Conference
More than 500 Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten teachers came together on Monday, August 29th to participate in a Fine Arts Conference in Philadelphia. The Conference, sponsored by the Office of Catholic Education, aims to serve the teachers of our youngest students as they incorporate Music, Art, Dance, Drama and Song into their instruction for our three to five year old students. Red Grammer, a nationally known musician, is the featured presenter.

Conwell-Egan Catholic High School in Fairless Hills, Bucks County
The members of the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) recently elected Dr. Lorraine Rice, President of Conwell-Egan, to the National Executive Committee. Also this year, Conwell-Egan's new state-of-the-art television studio will capture much of the excitement of opening week. The new studio was made possible through a $27,500 grant from the Connelly Foundation. The technical skills learned here are integrated into the newly added courses in Broadcast Journalism and Cinematic Studies at the school. The school is also adding a Forensic Science/Bio-Ethics course.

Kennedy-Kenrick Catholic High School in Montgomery County begins the new KK Scholars Program for 20 members of the Class of 2009. The accelerated academic program will enable students to earn up to 30 college credits upon graduation. The school is also introducing two new elective courses, Sociology and Video Production.

John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls' High School in Philadelphia welcomes parents for a Back-to-School night and Parents' Association meeting on September 22nd at 6:30 p.m. On Friday, September 23rd, students will enjoy their Back-to-School dance; the theme this year is "Wild, Wild West."

The football teams of Cardinal O'Hara High School in Springfield, Delaware County and Archbishop Wood High School in Warminster, Bucks County, are headed to the shore. The two teams will face off on Saturday, September 3rd of Labor Day weekend for an 11:00 a.m. game at Ocean City High School in New Jersey.

Bishop Shanahan High School in Downingtown, Chester County hosted Freshman Welcome Evenings on August 22nd and 23rd for the Class of 2009. The incoming freshen learned the alma mater, played get-to-know-you games and enjoyed a dinner party. The evenings concluded with parents of the new freshmen participating with their children in a prayer service.

Bishop McDevitt H.S. in Wyncote, Montgomery County, begins its 48th year the first week in September. A comprehensive 34-hour PSAT/SAT program will be available to prepare students for fall testing. This year the school initiates a Video Design and Production course offered by Chestnut Hill College but taught at Bishop McDevitt H.S.

Archbishop Wood High School in Warminster, Bucks County will host a Freshmen Welcome Picnic for the Class of 2009 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The day begins with a prayer service followed by orientation and lunch. During September, freshmen homerooms will meet on designated days for retreats led by the campus minister, Rev. Chris Walsh. This will provide an opportunity for students to make the transition from grade school to high school in a positive manner.


Holy Child Catholic School, the first regional Catholic school in Manayunk opens this year. The school is sponsored by the pastors of St. Mary of the Assumption, St. Lucy and Holy Family parishes. It has a new library and new technology center.

Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Parish School opens its doors for the first time in September 2005. The school, formed from the consolidation of Our Lady of the Rosary and Our Lady of Victory Parishes in West Philadelphia is located at the former site of Our Lady of the Rosary Parish.

Saint Anthony of Padua Parish in Ambler, Montgomery County opens its new Parish Education Center which will be blessed by Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia on Thursday, September 8th at 7:00 p.m.

Cardinal Rigali will celebrate the Opening Mass of the school year at Pope John Paul II Catholic School in Bridesburg (formed from the former All Saints School and Saint John Cantius School) on Friday, September 9th at 9:00 a.m.

In Philadelphia, Saint Bernard School begins the school year with the theme "Enter a New Journey" of Faith, Hope, Light and Love. The school community has come together for a "summer makeover" of the school. More than 70 teachers, parents, students and alumni have put in endless hours to work on biblical murals, painting projects, a student art gallery and a media room. Students at St. Jerome School will begin the 50th anniversary celebration of the parish with a special Mass on October 7th.

In Delaware County, St. Kevin Parish Pre-School in Springfield begins its 20th year of caring for and educating the youngest students. St. Madeline-St. Rose School in Ridley Park welcomes four new faculty members. Saint Denis Parish holds its annual Penny Walk on September 23rd, with proceeds supporting outreach programs of the Mercy sisters who staff the school.

In Montgomery County, Visitiation B.V.M. in Trooper will dedicate the newly renovated school facility and addition on Sunday, September 18th. Saint Genevieve School in Flourtown marks 50 years of Catholic education this year. The Anniversary Celebration opens on Sunday September 11th at the 11:45 a.m. Sunday Mass followed by refreshments and an Open House. St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Norristown continues its high-tech ways with expansion of e-mail access between parents and all teachers as well as homework access on the school web site,, which is maintained on the school's own high speed T-1 line. Saint Rose of Lima School in North Wales is adding an after school CARES Program.

In Bucks County, Saint Jude School in Chalfont opens with the theme "Our Future is Now" as the school comes closer to the completion of the building project that began in 2004. In addition to a new building, set for completion in January 2006, Saint Jude School is also happy to open its new Pre-School program for three year olds with balloons and music for its youngest students as they enter the school. In Warminster, Nativity of Our Lord Parish and school community will celebrate the parish's 50th anniversary this year.

In Chester County, another school named after Pope John Paul II is under construction on the property of St. Peter Parish in Honeybrook. It is the first school to be built as a regional school and will include all of the students from the four Coatesville parishes. The school is scheduled to open in September 2006.

Two of the five schools are celebrating very special Anniversaries! Cardinal Rigali will a celebrate Mass marking the 25th anniversary of Queen of the Universe Day School on Sunday, September 25th at 11:00 a.m. at Conwell-Egan High School. The Cardinal will also celebrate a Mass marking the 50th Anniversary of St. Lucy Day School for Children with Visual Impairments on Saturday, November 19th at 2:00 p.m. at St. Alice Parish in Upper Darby. Our Lady of Confidence Day School in Willow Grove and Philadlelphia, has been awarded a $10,770 grant from The Hackett Foundation for Learning comes alive: Integrating Whiteboards into the Special Education Classroom.


Parish Elementary Schools: 194
Elementary School Enrollment for 2004-2005: 69,225

Archdiocesan High Schools: 21
Archdiocesan High School Enrollment for 2004-2005: 21,981

Schools of Special Education: 5
Special Education Enrollment: 327

Editor's Note: Enrollment figures for the 2005-2006 school year
will not be available until November 2005.

Matthew Gambino
Associate Director

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