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September 8, 2009

Many Back-to-School Events Planned Throughout Five-County Area

PHILADELPHIA (September 8, 2009) - More than 80,000 students who attend 177 parish and regional elementary schools, 20 high schools and four schools of special education within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia will head back to their classrooms on Wednesday, September 9, 2009. Since its founding, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has educated more than 15 million students, providing academic and faith formation rooted in Gospel Values.

Numerous back-to-school special events are planned throughout the Archdiocese to usher in the back-to-school season. On Wednesday, September 9, 2009 at 7:15 a.m. Most Reverend Joseph P. McFadden, Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia, and The Honorable Michael A. Nutter, Mayor of the City of Philadelphia, will officially kick-off the start of the Archdiocesan school year at Our Mother of Sorrows Parish School, 1008 N. 48th Street, Philadelphia. This year, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia will mark the 2009 back-to-school season as one of gratitude toward parents and guardians, who make significant personal sacrifices to invest in Catholic education for their children. Bishop McFadden and Mayor Nutter will welcome the elementary students at Our Mother of Sorrows Parish School and also thank their parents for their continued support of Catholic education.

"The current economic climate has had an impact on thousands of families across the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, yet, our students' parents continue to make great sacrifices to provide their child with a Catholic education," said Mary E. Rochford, Superintendent of Schools. "For this, we would like to show our parents our gratitude. And this back-to-school season, we will focus on taking the time to honor and thank the parents and guardians of our students for their selfless investment in Catholic education."

Across the Archdiocese, parents will receive letters of gratitude from Bishop McFadden to thank and bless them for continued commitment to and support of Catholic education.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

St. Stanislaus Parish School, 493 E. Main Street, Lansdale, Montgomery County welcomes Most Reverend Timothy C. Senior, Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia, for the school's opening prayer service on Wednesday, September 9, 2009 at 9:15 a.m. In observance of the Year of the Priest, the school will give each student a photo and name of an Archdiocesan priest whom the class will pray for during the school year.

St. Kevin Parish School, 200 W. Sproul Road, Springfield, Montgomery County will celebrate their students' parents this back to school season with a welcome reception at 8 a.m. Following the reception students will create cards to thank their parents for providing them with a Catholic education.

Archbishop Ryan Academy for the Deaf and Saint Lucy Day School for Children with Visual Impairments, 4251 L Street, Philadelphia will celebrate the joining of the two school communities at an assembly on Wednesday, September 9, 2009 at 11 a.m. The assembly will focus on the exciting process of bringing the school communities together and learning to communicate with each other using the Braille code to sign into each other's hands.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Saint Hilary of Poitiers Parish School, Rydal, Montgomery County will celebrate this back-to-school season with an event at Rita's Italian Ice, 136 Huntington Pike, Rockledge, Montgomery County. On Thursday, September 10, 2009 from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Reverend Kevin P. Murray, Pastor, St. Hilary of Poitiers, will join Principal Eileen Hagan and St. Hilary faculty to serve Italian ice at this Rita's location to raise money for their 2009-10 school year.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Mary E. Rochford, Superintendent of Schools, will celebrate a significant enrollment boost at DePaul Catholic School, 44 West Logan Street, Philadelphia on Friday, September 11 at 10 a.m. by welcoming the new students who have helped to double the school's enrollment since 2003.

St. Richard Parish School, 1826 Pollock Street, Philadelphia, will hold an outdoor prayer service on Friday, September 11 at 8:00 a.m. in honor of Patriot Day and the memory of the nearly 3,000 people who died in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. All students, their parents and parishioners are invited to attend.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Students at Holy Trinity Parish School, Stockham and Osborne Avenues, Morrisville, Bucks County will meet their new Principal, Mrs. Elaine McDowell, through a series of special events held on Monday, September 14, 2009. The day will begin with a kick-off Mass with Communion Meditation given by Mrs. McDowell. Students and parents are then invited to tour the school with prizes given out along the way. The day will culminate with students participating in the Traveling Zoo assembly program.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Most Reverend Joseph P. McFadden, Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia, will bless the new LabLearner science lab at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, September 15, 2009 at Ss. Simon and Jude Parish School, 6 Cavanaugh Court, West Chester, Chester County. The LabLearner lab is outfitted with modern scientific equipment and interactive lesson plans that encourage group work and creative thinking. Ss. Simon and Jude is one of 26 in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia furnished this summer with a state-of-the art science lab.

St. Hubert High School, 7320 Torresdale Avenue, Philadelphia, will welcome Ms. Regina Craig as their new Principal. Ms. Craig will introduce herself to St. Hubert students on Tuesday, September 15, 2009 at 8:30 a.m. in an opening address.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Annunciation B.V.M. Parish School, 421 Brookline Blvd., Havertown, Delaware County will welcome back students and their families at a Back-To-School Block Party on Friday, September 18, 2009 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The block party will feature a moon bounce, face painting, pretzels, water ice and games for students, their parents and the school community to celebrate the new school year.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Assumption B.V.M. Parish School, 290 State Road, West Grove, Chester County will celebrate its 50th anniversary with a Fall Festival on September 19, 2009 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. The festival will feature music, food, games and prizes to commemorate the school's 50 years of providing Catholic education.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

St. Luke the Evangelist Parish School, 2336 Fairhill Avenue, Glenside, Montgomery County will honor local police, firefighters and emergency medical services staff at a Blue Mass on Saturday, September 26, 2009 at 4:30 p.m. The school community will meet the local first responders at the Weldon Fire Station on Easton Road, and process in uniform to St. Luke's for Mass at 5 p.m.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Lansdale Catholic High School, 700 Lansdale Avenue, Lansdale, Montgomery County, will welcome alumnus, Most Reverend Timothy C. Senior, Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia, to serve as the main celebrant of the school's annual Founder's Day Mass and 60th Anniversary Celebration on Friday, October 2, 2009 at 9 a.m.


St. Andrew Parish School, 535 Mason Avenue, Drexel Hill, Delaware County will open with a renovated state-of-the-art computer lab and new art room. The computer lab will include new computers, training tables and seating to enhance the learning environment. The lab will be dedicated on Wednesday, November 4, 2009.

St. Albert the Great Parish School, 214 Welsh Road, Huntingdon Valley, Montgomery County , will introduce its new LabLearner lab program and new science lab. The LabLearner lab is outfitted with modern scientific equipment and interactive lesson plans that encourage group work and creative thinking. The school is one of 26 in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia furnished this summer with a state-of-the art science lab.

St. Andrew Parish School, 51 Wrights Road, Newtown, Bucks County will unveil their brand new television studio. Funded through the school's successful fundraising program, the Great Crusader Quest, the studio will feature a green screen, five monitors, professional cameras and a mixing board.

St. Francis de Sales Parish School, 39 New Street, Aston, Delaware County will begin the school year with 16 new netbooks and desktop computers through a grant by the Connelly Foundation. The netbooks will provide students with Microsoft Office applications and access to the Internet in the classroom, helping to integrate technology into all subject areas.

Blessed Virgin Mary Parish School, 51 MacDade Blvd., Darby, Delaware County will offer a new extracurricular activity to students this year - the Business Club. The Business Club, taught by local entrepreneur and parishioner, Mr. Harold Finigan. The club will help students learn personal budgeting, basic banking, balancing a checkbook and avoiding debt.

Ss. John Neumann and Maria Goretti High School, 1736 South 10th Street, Philadelphia, will welcome Mr. John Murawski as the school's President. Mr. Murawski will address the students to welcome them back on September 10, 2009 at 7:30 a.m.

In the 2008-2009 academic year, Archdiocesan elementary students scored between 22 and 26 points higher than the national mean on the basic skills portions of Terra Nova testing. The Archdiocese's Powerful Learning Program, implemented across all 20 Archdiocesan high schools over the 2008-09 school year, used Virtual Learning Communities (VLCs) for a professional development initiative where teachers shared resources for implementing emerging social web technologies in their classrooms. For the 2009-10 school year, technology continues to be a top priority in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, as several schools begin to launch netbook initiatives, including St. Francis de Sales where netbooks will be available to students in 5th to 8th grade.

In June 2009, 4,716 young men and women graduated from the 20 high schools of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. The Class of 2009 was offered over $243 million in scholarships, surpassing all previous records for the Archdiocese, and more than 95% of the Class of 2009 will pursue a post-secondary education.

"This year our schools will observe the Year of the Priest to reflect on essential role priest fulfill in our schools, parishes and society," said Rochford. "Throughout the year, our schools will celebrate priests and their dedication to their sacred calling."

For more information about the 177 parish and regional elementary schools, 20 high schools and four schools of special education in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, please visit

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Meredith WIlson
Communications Specialist

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