FALL RIVER – When Mrs. Kut was searching for a new school for her son who has an IEP and learning differences, she never thought of enrolling her child into a Catholic school. Through a friend, Mrs. Kut heard that St. Stanislaus School in Fall River offers a very strong program for students with learning differences and experienced firsthand the benefits of combining a Catholic school environment with supports for students with learning needs. Subsequently, Mrs. Kut enrolled her child at St. Stanislaus School for the 2021-22 school year and has been extremely pleased with her son’s progress.
Unfortunately, misconceptions about Catholic education often prevent families from exploring a Catholic school as a viable option for their children. As a result, the Diocese of Fall River Catholic Schools Office is proud to launch the DID YOU KNOW campaign this week. The purpose of the campaign is to communicate current and relevant attributes of Catholic education that typically are misunderstood by the general public.
The ability for Catholic schools to provide state-of-the-art special education programs has been a recent programmatic addition and, although 90 percent of the Catholic schools in the Diocese of Fall River provide special education supports, most families are still unaware of this option. “Our schools have made huge investments financially to fully commit to serving students with learning differences,” said Daniel S. Roy, Diocesan Superintendent of Catholic schools. “The many hours of professional development are transforming our schools where students can thrive, achieve and succeed even though they may have learning differences.”
The DID YOU KNOW campaign also highlights the quality of Catholic school teachers. The vast majority Catholic school teachers are certified by the State of Massachusetts (or the equivalent) with an average of 10 years of teaching experience. Catholic school teachers in the Diocese of Fall River must meet extensive hiring standards as they are charged with guiding the minds and souls of children.
“When I review a candidate for a teaching position, academic credentials are important. However, it is even more important to ask ‘Does this candidate treat the role of teacher as a job or as a vocation?’” explained Michelle Russo, principal of St. Francis Xavier School in Acushnet. “I meet with so many families who are amazed at the quality and tenure of our teachers and tell me that their child has thrived because of the deep commitment our teachers have to ensuring their students are equipped with the knowledge and skills they will need for college and beyond.”
Assistant Superintendent Denise Peixoto concurs. “As a Diocese, our principals definitely know the importance of teaching as a vocation, not a job,” she said. “Our schools are dedicated to educating the whole person, mind, body and soul; which requires our educators to uphold this philosophy in their everyday actions with students and families. No other school system does this better than Catholic schools.”
The messages surrounding the DID YOU KNOW campaign will be available on social media, such as Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, the Catholic Schools Office website, and through email to diocesan and non-diocesan constituencies. For more information, please go to www.catholicschoolsalliance.org/did-you-know.
About the Catholic Schools Alliance
The Catholic Schools Alliance comprises administrators, teachers, staff, parents and clergy joined in partnership to educate the children of the Diocese of Fall River in Catholic faith and values. Our schools have a demanding educational culture that helps students from across the academic spectrum reach their God-given potential. With an emphasis on service and respect for the dignity of every person, we prepare students to meet the challenges of today’s diverse world and become meaningful contributors to society.