18 Reasons Non-Catholic Families Choose Catholic Schools for Their Children

Krystal Smith

Many Catholic schools have a reputation for academic excellence, with a focus on core subjects and a strong curriculum. This often means that even non-catholic parents send their children to catholic schools. Here are 18 reasons why: 

Strong Academic Performance

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As mentioned, many Catholic schools have a reputation for strong academic performance. The U.S. Department of Health has evidence that catholic schools perform better on average, with pupils achieving 13 points more in mathematics, for example. 

Smaller Class Sizes

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Catholic schools often have smaller class sizes, so there is a better student-teacher ratio than public schools. This allows for more individualized teaching, especially for children who may struggle academically. 

Safe Learning Environment

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Discipline and strong values can create a safe and structured learning environment for children, which appeals to parents.  Parents feel comforted knowing they will get one-to-one attention, giving them peace of mind when leaving their child. 

Emphasis on Values

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Catholic schools incorporate religious teachings and the importance of moral values into the curriculum. The emphasis on values such as respect, responsibility, and service to others can be attractive to parents who want their children to develop a strong moral compass and receive a great education. 

Character Building

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Students from Catholic schools often volunteer in their communities, which enables them to learn to empathize with others and show compassion. Whether working in a nursing home or raising money for charities, children can understand a sense of social responsibility.

Ethical Framework

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A religious foundation can provide students with a clear ethical framework, guiding their decision-making. Catholic values are rooted in the Bible, teachings of Jesus Christ, and interpretations by the Catholic Church. Many parents think this allows for a strong moral compass no matter their religious beliefs. 

Structured Environment

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Catholic schools’ structured environment and clear expectations can benefit students who thrive on routine and discipline. School uniforms can also reduce social and economic comparisons among students.

Focus on Uniformity

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According to research by the University of Nevada, school uniforms can reduce social and economic comparisons among students and create a more focused learning environment. Additionally, matching uniforms can help children feel a sense of belonging at school. 

Strong Extracurricular Programs

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It is common for catholic schools to offer a variety of extracurricular activities, sports teams, and clubs that can enrich a student’s experience. While public schools offer some after-school clubs, they may not be to the same standard. 

Sense of Community

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With various extracurricular activities, sports teams, and clubs on offer, there are many opportunities for catholic school children to widen their network.  Smaller schools can foster a strong sense of community and belonging among students, parents, and teachers.

Parental Involvement

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Parents who choose Catholic schools often value the varied partnerships between them and the school. With lots of opportunities to get involved in PTAs and fundraisers, parents can often feel a part of the whole school network. 

Welcoming of All Faiths

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While Catholic by tradition, many Catholic schools welcome students of all faiths or backgrounds, emphasizing religious teachings can promote tolerance and respect for all, no matter what god people follow. 

Focus on Respect

 

The foundation of respect in catholic schools often comes from religious teachings.  Respect is integrated is an important aspect of the curriculum, encouraging students to treat each other, teachers, and authority figures with respect.

Cost

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On average, Catholic schools might have lower tuition fees than private secular schools. This can be a significant factor for families seeking a private school education but facing financial constraints. Currently, the average Catholic elementary school has fees of $4,840, and high schools are $11,240. These figures are lower than the $11,207 and $16,645 for non-Catholic private schools. 

Location and Facilities

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Some Catholic schools might be located closer to your home or workplace than public schools in your area. This can be a major advantage for busy parents, reducing commute times and making pick-up or drop-off easier. In some cases, Catholic schools might be situated in areas perceived to be safer or have a more desirable environment compared to certain public schools.

Special Needs Programs

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Catholic schools often implement special needs programs to support students with learning disabilities or other challenges. These programs can vary in scope and effectiveness, but parents can explore what school best meets their child’s needs. 

Cultural Heritage

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For families with a Catholic background, these schools can provide a connection to their heritage and traditions. Schools may integrate catholic traditions and holidays into the school calendar and curriculum, providing families with a sense of cultural continuity.

Alternative to Public Schools

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In some areas, catholic schools might be seen as a better alternative to public schools due to various factors, such as cost, poor school ratings, and behavior management systems.  The emphasis on values and discipline in catholic schools can benefit students who thrive on structure and clear expectations.

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