Administrators, faculty, staff and volunteer leaders in the nation’s 6,568 Catholic elementary and secondary schools are about to get extra busy – because National Catholic Schools Week 2016 begins Sunday, Jan. 31, and continues through Saturday, Feb. 6.

The theme of this year’s observance is Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service.

Typical activities during the special week include Masses, open houses and other activities for students, families, parishioners and community members. Each day has its own theme, beginning with “In Our Parish” on Sunday, and continuing through “In Our Families” on the following Saturday. Faculty, staff and volunteers will be honored Friday, which is “Teacher & Principal Appreciation Day.”

During the week schools focus on the value that Catholic education provides to young people and its contributions to our church, our communities and our nation. Some key statistics about Catholic schools:

  • Based on an average public per pupil cost of $12,054, Catholic schools provide savings of $24 billion to the nation.
  • Catholic secondary schools graduate 99% of their students, compared with 97.8% for other religious schools, 95.2% of non-sectarian schools, and 78.2% for public school students.
  • 87.5% of Catholic secondary school students go on to college, compared with 62.1% in other religious schools, 56.1% in non-sectarian schools, and 39.5% in public schools.

Although maintaining enrollments has been an issue for some Catholic schools and some have been forced to close, 31% of Catholic schools today have waiting lists for admissions.

The Yeshua Institute’s Catholic Vision for Leading Like Jesus programs are being used by administrators, faculty, staff, volunteers and students in middle and secondary schools in the U.S. and Uganda.

To see a video of Catholic eighth graders talking about their experience with Leading Like Jesus, click here and scroll down to Lead Like Jesus: St. Therese Little Flower School.

To view an infographic of facts and figures about the ongoing excellence in our country's Catholic schools, click here.

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