New Catholic schools open every year, but are far outnumbered by the number that are closed or consolidated. The National Catholic Education Association reported that 32 new Catholic schools opened in the country in 2010-11, but 172 were consolidated or closed.
While there is much to lament about Catholic education in America, some Catholic elementary and high schools have managed to thrive. This has occurred despite a troubled economy, smaller family sizes and a secular culture increasing hostile to traditional religion.
CWR recently talked with representatives of five such schools (all opened since 1974) who offered an overview of their schools and shared their insights as to how their schools have been successful.
JSerra Catholic High School in San Juan Capistrano, California opened its doors to 153 students nine years ago. Today, it serves more than 1,000. It has strong academic credentials, with more than 99% of its graduates going on to college and AP passage rates far above state and national norms. It is also known for its strong sports programs.
But JSerra’s most notable feature is its Catholicity. Co-founder Tim Busch said, “If your kids finish school and don’t have the Faith, they leave with nothing. The Faith is the most important thing they can have to guide them through their lives.”
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