During the next four weeks, the Northeast Ohio Catholic e-newsletter will feature a story on Catholic schools as the Diocese of Cleveland prepares to join students, parents, educators and alumni across the country in celebration of Catholic Schools Week.
Catholic Schools Week will take place Jan. 26 to Feb 2. Throughout the week special events and Mass celebrations focus on a central theme for 2020 of how students are not just learning the faith as a sunject, but living it daily.
“We have something that other school systems do not,” said Frank O’Linn, superintendent of schools for the Diocese of Cleveland. “Celebrate Catholic Schools Week shares to all people why our schools are important, the impact they have on the greater community and what makes them a quality choice for parents and guardians,” he said.
Nearly 6,500 Catholic schools across the country will participate, showcasing academic excellence, faith development, and service.
The January/February issue of Northeast Ohio Catholic magazine is dedicated to sharing stories of students, parents, staff and alumni of Catholic schools and how their education has made an impact.
Many of the 185 schools in the diocese will host open houses with the ability for prospective families and community members to tour the schools on Sundays, Jan. 26 and Feb. 2, and additional weekday evenings.
New for 2020, some schools are offering parent ambassadors who are parents of current students. These ambassadors lead tours of the school building, answer questions and share personal stories of how the school has helped them grow in their faith.
The National Catholic Education Association conducted research across the country at the diocesan level that confirms one of the influential factors in a prospective family’s decision to send their children to a Catholic school included testimonials.
St. Gabriel School in Mentor is one of the schools within the diocese that is utilizing the student leader and parent ambassador approach in the coming weeks. In addition to the tour, a Q & A session with parent ambassadors has been incorporated into the agenda.
“Parent ambassadors share ways they have experienced God’s hand in their student’s learning, growing and faith development,” said Ann Ulrich, principal of St. Gabriel School.
The role of parent ambassador at St. Gabriel’s extends beyond the open house event. Throughout the year testimonials are incorporated into social media messaging and the school’s website.
“Being a parent ambassador has allowed my husband and I to give that welcoming and warm feeling to new parents. We had such a wonderful and positive experience when we came to open houses and met parents and students,” said Michele Detore. She and her husband, Nick, are parents of a fourth-grader and a second-grader at St. Gabriel.
“We wanted to recreate that for others as they walked through the door,” said Detore.
To view a listing of open houses, visit the events page, select "include school events" and pick your category.