Saturday, July 4, 2020

January 26 – February 1 is Catholic Schools Week

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Suzanne Hammons
Suzanne Hammons is the editor of the Voice of the Southwest and the media coordinator for the Diocese of Gallup. A graduate of Benedictine College in Kansas, she joined the Diocesan staff in 2012.

The annual week for Catholic Schools kicked off on January 26, following the theme “Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service.”

Each year, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the National Catholic Educational Association set aside one week to celebrate the importance of catholic education on society.

In a January 2014 homily for a Mass given to Catholic School teachers and students, Bishop James Wall noted that Catholic schools are in a unique position to shape and inform students and to spread the message of Christ to society.

“An encounter with Jesus Christ is key for those of use who are students and members of Catholic schools,” he said. “And when we encounter Christ, we grow in love, we grow in kindness, we grow in respect.”

Despite the closing of Gallup Catholic High School in the 2012-13 school year, the enrollment in Diocesan schools is still strong. According to Jeanette Suter, who recently took over as Superintendent,

“The goals of Catholic education are to provide formation of the whole child in such a way that body, mind, heart and soul are united in the pursuit of academic excellence, full participation in the life of the Church, and joyful evangelization of our fellow man. We, the schools and the people of the Diocese of Gallup, need to continue to celebrate the great blessing we have in our Catholic schools, and work to increase the number of students who are able to attend and benefit from all that our schools have to offer.”


Catholic Schools by the Numbers

According to research by the NCEA, a total number of 2,001,740 students were enrolled in Catholic schools last year, with a little less than half that number consisting of elementary and middle school students. In the Diocese of Gallup, 1256 students were enrolled in grades pre-k through eighth grade for the 2013-24 school year – a total increase of 6 percent. The difference between this school year and the previous year was 38 students.

In total, the Diocese of Gallup has 1384 students, with 128 in secondary education and 1256 in elementary education.


Nationally, about 15.9 percent of students in Catholic schools are not Catholic themselves. In the Diocese of Gallup, 51% of students are non-Catholics. 62% of students who attend elementary school in the Diocese of Gallup are Native American and 21% are Hispanic. At St. Michaels Indian School, the sole Catholic High School in the Diocese, 95% are Native American. Nationally, minorities make up 19.6% of total enrolled students, with 14.3% being Hispanic.

Costs and Tuition

Average tuition per student: $1849 for elementary and $1714 for secondary

Average cost per student: $5712 for elementary and $4604 for high school

The average tuition income covers about 37% of the per pupil cost for students

On average, elementary schools provide tuition assistance to about 55% of families, and the high school provides tuition assistance to about 59% of families.




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