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September 1, 2006


Students attending parish elementary schools as well as Archdiocesan high schools and schools of special education are preparing to return to class on Wednesday, September 6, 2006. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia serves students in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties.

There are 187 parish elementary schools, 20 high schools and 5 schools of special education.

Archbishop Wood High School in Warminster, Bucks County, has created the Archbishop Wood Medical Careers Academy, which enables students who are interested in medicine to take courses in the related field. The school formed a partnership with St. Mary Medical Center in Langhorne, which allows students to complete an internship at the hospital during their junior and senior years.

Conwell-Egan Catholic High School in Fairless Hills, Bucks County, is a recipient of a $75,000 Environmental and Spatial Technology (EAST) grant from the Connelly Foundation. EAST is an educational program that has drawn national attention for promoting collaboration among education, business and community while meeting the needs of 21st century students.

Bishop Shanahan High School in Downingtown, Chester County, is offering Psychology 101 and Developmental Psychology to students in conjunction with Immaculata University. Students who enroll in these classes will receive dual credits.

Cardinal O'Hara High School in Springfield, Delaware County, will open its new Instructional Technology Center. It will house a digital photo lab, access to digital camera photography, video and music editing, along with Apple and PC computer labs. In addition, students may participate in Classroom for the Future, a pilot program initiated by Governor Ed Rendell that will give them access to Questia, making over 66,000 books as well as journals and periodicals available for research.

West Philadelphia Catholic High School in West Philadelphia is giving students an opportunity to take a course in culinary arts in association with the Restaurant School of Walnut Hill College. Students will be taught by a master chef and will be eligible for college credits should they choose a future in culinary arts. Students will also be certified in food management.

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta School in Pottstown, Montgomery County: Students of this new parish school will mark opening day, Tuesday, September 5 at 8:15 a.m. by bringing a non-perishable food item to school, in honor of their namesake, Blessed Teresa. A prayer service will begin at approximately 9:00 a.m. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced the establishment of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta Parish in February 2006. The new parish, created through the consolidation of St. Clare Parish in Linfield and St. Peter Parish in Pottstown, will eventually occupy 24 acres in the area of Swamp Pike and Neiffer Road in Limerick. For now, the parish will use the Linfield site as the parish center and the Pottstown campus for the school.

Our Lady of Ransom School in Northeast Philadelphia: On September 6, the school celebrates 50 years of offering Catholic education. Students will stand in front of the Jubilee doors of Our Lady of Ransom and process into the auditorium for a prayer service. Most Reverend Joseph P. McFadden, auxiliary bishop of Philadelphia, will celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving at 11 a.m. on Sunday, October 8, 2006 marking the Jubilee Year.

St. Katharine Drexel School in Chester, Delaware County: Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia, will celebrate Mass to begin the new school year on Friday, September 8 at 9 a.m. Cardinal Rigali announced at the St. Katharine Drexel Feast Day Mass on March 3, 2006, that the school would remain open. The Neumann/Drexel Collaborative Initiative was created to fulfill the mission of both St. Katharine Drexel and St. John Neumann in providing Catholic education to the immigrant, Hispanic and black children who make up the majority of the population in Chester.

St. Helena School in Blue Bell, Montgomery County: The old church has been converted into six new classrooms, which will house two fifth grades, a Science Lab/Art Room and a temporary home for the library.

Our Lady of Victory Regional School in Norristown, Montgomery County: The new school, created through the consolidation of Holy Savior and St. Paul schools, will open its doors for the first time on Wednesday, September 6. A ribbon cutting ceremony will take place at 9:45 a.m. The new school is located on the site of the former St. Paul Parish School.

St. Cyril of Alexandria School in East Lansdowne, Delaware County, is opening for the 2006-2007 school year in keeping with the wish of student Thomas Geromichalos. In nine weeks, the school community raised $350,000.

Holy Cross School in East Mount Airy, Philadelphia: On Thursday, September 14 the school celebrates 95 years of Catholic education. The school's theme for the year, which began last year at its Curriculum Fair, is Celebrating 95 Years of Grace-Full Education in Our Parish, Our Neighborhood, Our City.

St. Elizabeth Parish School in Uwchlan, Chester County: Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia will celebrate Mass and dedicate the new school on Saturday, September 23rd at 5:30 p.m.

Archangels Academy, School of Special Education in Levittown, Bucks County: The former Queen of the Universe Day Center opens its doors on Tuesday, September 5 in a new location at Immaculate Conception Parish School. Archangels Academy serves children with cognitive disability and nurtures each student's spiritual, emotional and cognitive growth.

STATISTICS (as of 2005-2006 school year)

Elementary School Enrollment for 2005-2006: 65,711

Archdiocesan High School Enrollment for 2005-2006: 21,260

Special Education Enrollment for 2005-2006: 277

Editor's Note: The contract covering the 955 lay teachers at Archdiocesan high schools expired at midnight on Thursday, August 31, 2006. No new agreement is in place but both parties have agreed to continue to hold negotiating sessions. The teachers union has scheduled at ratification vote for Tuesday, September 5, 2006 at 11 a.m. School is scheduled to open on Wednesday, September 6, 2006. Students are expected to report. In the event of a strike, contingency plans would be announced; however, school will open the first week regardless of any action by the teachers' union.

Meredith Wilson
Communications Specialist

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