This week education secretary candidate Betsy DeVos sat before a senate committee for consideration. Her position is being widely reported to be a proponent of advancing charter schools. She also has pushed for vouchers, which use public money to help low-income families send their kids to private and or religious schools of their choice. There are already 59 publicly funded programs used in 27 states and the District of Columbia available to families opting out of public school educational options. For many families who are limited by various barriers to provide their children with a quality education they are deeply invested in the outcome of this appointment as it could be a gateway to better opportunities for their children.
The timing of all of this is happening just days before celebrating Catholic Schools Week January 29th through February 4th and the theme for this year's celebration is "Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service" and as a graduate of Catholic Schools myself this could be the theme every year. Attending Maria Regina and St. Mary's Academy in California groomed me to be a great citizen of this country and ambassador of my faith.
"The National Catholic Education Association reports that Catholic Schools are a Gift to the Nation"
That's because by their computation the average public school per pupil cost of $12,608 multiplied by the over two million students educated in a Catholic School saved the Nation 24-Billion in cost.
Catholic Schools boasts a 99% graduation rate from high school and according to a U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education report published in 2014, 61.9 percent of Catholic high school students went on to earn a bachelor’s degree or higher by the time they were 8 years out of high school. By contrast, only 31.1 percent of public school students had gone on to earn a bachelor’s degree or higher.
For many parents like mine who sacrificed to send all four of their children to Catholic elementary and high schools, the most important element of the curriculum was religion. One of my most vivid memories was pledging allegiance to the flag in the school yard and then heading to the classroom to say prayers for what we would learn.
This week if you are managing social media pages for a Catholic School, Church, or Diocese here are 10 posts that you can do to celebrate the gift of Catholic School(s):
Create an infographic like the one above with your own schools stats using a tool like Canva.com that has templates that will allow you to plug in your own stats. Cool stats like the number of graduates through the years, colleges attended, family with the most generations of attendees or most tenured teacher.
Create a throwback Thursday and or Tuesday post and hashtag it with the name of your school for example my high school was St. Mary's Academy then add TBT for throwback Tuesday or Thursday so I'd hashtag it #SMATBT, but the fun starts when you ask people to comment class of and post a picture in uniform!
Pictures of uniform changes through the years are also great to share.
Ask followers to share their favorite memories of attending Catholic school.
Video of the mass celebrating the week at your school or from the principal/pastor offering prayers for the school.
If you do some of these posts you will see great engagement from followers of any of your social media pages.
Happy Catholic Schools Week!