Bookmark and Share

September 6, 2011


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

More than 68,000 students who attend 157 parish and regional elementary schools, 17 high schools and 4 schools of special education within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia will return to their classrooms during the week of September 6, 2011. Numerous back-to-school events are planned throughout the Archdiocese to launch the upcoming school year.

Wednesday morning at 9:00 a.m., The Honorable Michael A. Nutter, Mayor of the City of Philadelphia, will officially kick off the start of the new school year by reading to students at Saint Martin de Porres Catholic School, 2300 West Lehigh Avenue, Philadelphia.

"Over more than 100 years, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has provided 15 million young people with a spiritually and intellectually enlightening education rooted in the Gospels and immersed in the spirit of Christ," said Mary Rochford, Superintendent of Schools for the Archdiocese. "Throughout the 2011-2012 school year, we will continue building upon this tradition of spiritual growth and intellectual rigor by incorporating even more innovative and exciting teaching strategies, subjects, and technological advances within each classroom."

As the academic year begins, all elementary and secondary schools in the Archdiocese are prepared to utilize the new Common Core Standards in the classroom after preparing to adopt them since July of 2010. The schools in the Archdiocese are among the first in the nation to begin full implementation of English and Language Arts, this year. As education continues to change throughout the nation and world, our schools are working to remain on the cutting edge by serving students and preparing them for their future success in 21st century careers. The curriculum is designed with an inter-disciplinary approach that is permeated by literacy and a thinking skills approach to problem solving. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is the first diocese in the state to adopt the Common Core.


Among 21 "Young Heroes" honored last month by the National Liberty Museum were three Archdiocesan students. Mahlon Graham, a student at Saint Francis de Sales Catholic Elementary School, 917 South 47th Street, Philadelphia, was recognized for making a critical 911 call that resulted in the rescue of several senior citizens trapped in a burning building last February. Daniel Godzieba of Saint Stanislaus Parish School, 493 East Main Street, Lansdale, Montgomery County, was honored for his volunteerism in his community. Hanna Schoenleber, a senior at Archbishop Wood High School, 655 York Road, Warminster, Bucks County, was recognized for her efforts to better educate her peers about the challenges faced by persons with disabilities.

A cadre of students from Archbishop Ryan High School, 11201 Academy Road, Philadelphia, participated in the Advanced Statistics Institute, which was held at the school between August 29 and September 2. Their effort was led by Sister Alice Hess I.H.M., the school's nationally-recognized math teacher.

On Wednesday, August 31, students and parents at Saint Agnes Parish School, 211 West Gay Street, West Chester, Chester County, attended a Back-to-School Fair to celebrate the school's renovated Junior High School Wing. The renovations, which were completed over the summer by parish volunteers, included newly-painted classrooms and hallways, as well as new lockers. New classroom desks were donated by school families and Knights of Columbus Council #1333.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Saint Mary Parish School, 40 Spring Mount Road, Schwenksville, Montgomery County, at 9:00 a.m. will welcome three and four-year-olds who are attending the parish's new preschool program.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Saints John Neumann and Maria Goretti High School, 1736 South 10th Street, Philadelphia, will celebrate the addition of thirty tablet PCs to the media center established at the school last year. The new tablets were purchased using funds donated by alumni from St. John Neumann High School's Class of 1960.

Saint Hilary of Poitiers School, 920 Susquehanna Road, Rydal, Montgomery County, will celebrate back-to-school at Rita's Water Ice on Huntingdon Pike from 4:00 to 6:30 p.m. Families will be sporting new St. Hilary's baseball jerseys with a big number 50, marking this year's Parish Jubilee celebration. There will be face painting and other activities.

Friday, September 9, 2011
Saint John the Baptist Parish School, 4050 Durham Road, Ottsville, Bucks County, will hold a school assembly entitled "We the Peacemakers" in remembrance of the tenth anniversary of September 11, 2001. Throughout the assembly, each class will demonstrate - through words, song, and action - what it means to be a peacemaker.

Saint Mary Magdalen Parish School, 2400 North Providence Road, Media, Delaware County, will host a Pre-Kindergarten Orientation at 9:45 a.m. for the 18 four-year-old students comprising the school's inaugural pre-kindergarten program.

Students at Saint Jude Catholic School, 323 West Butler Avenue, Chalfont, Bucks County, will participate in the school's Opening Event Parade. Each homeroom will display the team banner they created to reflect this year's theme, "Team SJS: Building Character, Making a World of Difference, Going for the Gold," which will guide the school community as it strives to grow in faith, academics and community service throughout the year.

Sunday, September 11, 2011
Saint Denis Church, 2401 Saint Denis Lane, Havertown, Delaware County, will hold a 50-minute church service at 3:00 p.m. to honor the victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The St. Denis Choir & Orchestra will perform Morten Lauridsen's Lux Aeterna (Light Eternal) during the vigil, which will also feature a slideshow of 9/11-related photos.

The student council at Archbishop Prendergast High School, 401-403 North Lansdowne Avenue, Drexel Hill, Delaware County, will hold its inaugural Welcome Cookout for the Class of 2015.

Sunday, September 18, 2011
Holy Saviour-Saint John Fisher Regional Catholic School, 122 East Ridge Road, Linwood, Delaware County, will celebrate the upcoming school year with a School Family Mass & Carnival. After the 11:00 a.m. service, families will enjoy free games, crafts, face-painting and photos in the school hall.


Conwell-Egan Catholic High School, 611 Wistar Road, Fairless Hills, Bucks County, will participate in the prestigious Jefferson Awards for Public Service, an effort dedicated toward recognizing and encouraging volunteerism and community service.

Saint Francis de Sales Catholic Elementary School, 917 South 47th Street, Philadelphia, will be one of two Archdiocesan schools piloting the "Engineering is Elementary" program developed by the Museum of Science in Boston. Third, fourth and fifth grade students will participate in the program, which will feature work site visits as a means of exposing the students to several different forms of engineering.

Each student at Bishop McDevitt Catholic High School, 125 Royal Avenue, Wyncote, Montgomery County, will be given a new netbook computer for use inside and outside of the classroom. Connectivity for the netbooks will be made possible by PAIUnet, a statewide fiber network, and through a grant program offered by the Montgomery County Intermediary Unit.

Monsignor Bonner & Archbishop Prendergast Catholic High School, 401-403 North Lansdowne Avenue, Drexel Hill, Delaware County will launch its new technology initiative, through which all incoming freshmen will receive a Macbook laptop for use in school and at home. The Class of 2015 will also be the first required to compile a four-year Digital Portfolio, a collection of work encompassing all subjects studied throughout their high school career. Sophomores, juniors and seniors will be invited to participate in the school's "Bring Your Own Technology" initiative.

Good Shepherd Catholic Regional School, 835 North Hills Avenue, Ardsley, Montgomery County, will plant a tree dedicated to present and future students during a back-to-school liturgy on Friday, September 16. The tree will be a reflection of the theme selected for the 2011-2012 school year: "Tree of Life - Rooted in Faith."

Thanks to a grant from J.P. Mascaro & Sons, students and teachers at Blessed Virgin Mary School, 51 MacDade Boulevard, Darby, Delaware County, will cultivate a mini-greenhouse this year. Herbs and flowers grown in the greenhouse will be given to the St. Vincent DePaul Food Bank and Senior Citizens Club, respectively.

Students at Saint Isidore Catholic School, 603 West Broad Street, Quakertown, Bucks County will utilize an online math program entitled "First in Math" and participate in the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, an interactive initiative that provides schools and communities with essential information and prevention techniques regarding bullying and cyber-bullying.

Saint Martha School, 11321 Academy Road, Philadelphia, will welcome students back to school, where all classrooms have been equipped with Smartboards.

In June 2011, 4,229 young men and women graduated from the 17 high schools of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. The Class of 2011was offered over $270 million in scholarships, surpassing all previous records for the Archdiocese, and more than 94% of the Class of 2011 will pursue a post-secondary education.


Editor's Note: For more information about schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, please visit

Meredith Wilson
Communications Specialist

Back to Top