Catholic Schools

Religious Education

The Right Questions

Parents have the important responsibility of choosing the right school for their children. It is one of the most important decisions parents make. Selecting a school that matches a family's faith traditions, values and the needs of the child all play an important role in this decision.

The following information is a document for parents to use as a baseline when considering schools for their children. It contains sample questions about faith traditions, academics, student responsibilities, the vital role of teachers and parent involvement.

Faith Formation

Which religious textbooks are used? How are students involved with liturgy and sacramental preparation?
Is religion just a class, or is it faith modeled, nurtured throughout the day? What faith development and community service opportunities does the school offer?

Approach to Learning

What is the school's mission? What classes are offered in addition to core subjects (e.g. English, math history and science)?
Does the school have a special focus or theme for the curriculum? Is there departmentalization at certain grade levels? Do students exchange for each class period?
How current are the textbooks? What are the accomodations for students with diverse learning needs (e.g. students with disabilities, limited English proficiency and gifted students)?
What is the average class size? Are there split classes?
Are classes self-contained in which students stay with a teacher all day for core classes? What are the school's expectations for parental involvement?
Is the school's tenor traditional (lecture-based lessons) or non-traditional (e.g. group activity, peer work, writing workshops and active learning)? What extracurricular activities are offered?

Academic Performance

Is the school accredited? By whom? When? Are recent test results available to be seen?
Are standardized tests given? How often? How do test scores compare to surrounding schools?
How are test results used?

Faculty

What is the principals educational philosphy? Are services available to address students' special learning needs (e.g. school phychologist)?
What is the staff size and turnover rate? When is the next open house?
Are teachers certified in their subject areas? Are building tours available?
How do teachers grade student work?