National Catholic Schools Week (CSW) is entering its 48h anniversary this year of celebrating the value of a Catholic education. The CSW 2021-2024 theme is “Catholic Schools: Faith. Excellence. Service.” Local schools have had a challenge this past year due to the pandemic, however, that did not stop staff, faculty and students from planning and participating in events as normal, including an in-person graduation with safety protocols in place, donating toys and clothing to those in need and planting and weeding gardens to beautify their community. In addition to activities, Masses and assemblies during Catholic Schools Week, the fourth annual Many Gifts, One Nation: A Day of Giving to Catholic Schools will begin Tuesday, Feb. 2 at noon and continue through Wednesday, Feb. 3 at noon. For more information, go to ncea.org.
Letter from Archdiocese
Since 1974, National Catholic Schools Week has been the annual celebration of Catholic education in the United States. It always starts on the last Sunday in January and runs all week. In the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, the Office of Catholic Schools serves over 20,000 students in 68 schools across central and southern Indiana. In a typical year, our Catholic schools observe this week with Masses, open houses and other activities for students, families, parishioners and community members. To learn more about the Catholic schools in your area, please visit archindy.org/ocs or set up an appointment to tour a school near you!
Ours will be an archdiocese where every Catholic school community flourishes by having the professional and spiritual leadership it needs to advance the mission of the church and where every professional is supported, every family is engaged and every child, regardless of race, culture, socio-economic condition, or learning need, is nurtured in mind, body and spirit.
With open doors, open arms and open hearts, the Office of Catholic Schools supports the formation of young people through holistic, engaging and academically excellent programming that integrates faith, culture and life as modeled by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
OUR SHARED VALUES
- We believe that Catholic schools serve as a vital ministry of the greater church.
- We believe that Catholic schools should be accessible and affordable.
- We believe that the viability and vitality of Catholic schools are the responsibility of all the faithful.
- We believe in shared leadership with pastors, school leaders and commissions/ boards under the direction of the archbishop and guidance of church teachings.
- We believe in fostering positive relationships that exemplify the love of God.
- We believe that Catholic school communities are enriched by the unique image and likeness of God that is present in each individual.
- We believe that formation best occurs within faith-filled cultures of learning that are inclusive.
- We believe that parents are the primary educators of each young person and that it is the responsibility of Catholic schools to support the domestic church.
- We believe that Catholic schools are part of the evangelizing mission of the church, forming disciples through the intentional integration of faith, culture and life.
- We believe that “excellence” is defined by and achieved through the growth and holistic development – spiritual, intellectual/academic, social, emotional and physical – of the individual within the context of community.
- We believe that professional educators in Catholic schools are valued ministers of the faith who strive to live the universal call to holiness.
Interim Superintendent of Catholic Schools
Our Lady of the Greenwood Catholic School
Letter from our Principal
For over 60 years, Our Lady of the Greenwood Catholic School has been a vital part of the Southside. From its beginnings with the Sisters of Providence to being named a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence by the U. S. Department of Education, our students continue to develop the tenets of faith, knowledge and service.
Students attend a weekly all-school Mass. The school fosters spiritual growth through preparation for the Sacraments of First Holy Communion and First Reconciliation. Daily prayer, religion classes, along with participation in the Mass, Sacraments and special liturgical celebrations provide an environment where students can live their faith every day.
We invite you and your family to experience the difference and begin the journey with Our Lady of the Greenwood Catholic School by calling our school office to schedule an appointment to meet at your convenience. We hope to see you soon.
Why I appreciated a Catholic education
Being able to go to a Catholic school has changed my life for the better. I went to a public school from kindergarten to fourth grade. My mom had been trying for years to get me into Our Lady of the Greenwood, but the timing was always off until my fifth-grade year. When I first came to OLG, I was really scared because I thought I wouldn’t make any friends, or I wouldn’t be liked. Oh boy, was I wrong. It was the complete opposite. A girl, who is now one of my best friends, had pulled me over on my first day to come hang out with the other girls. Within months these people all started to become my family.
Having a religion class was very different from what I was used to in public school, but I got used to it really quick and being able to learn about my faith has helped me grow as a person. Our Lady of the Greenwood is the best thing that has ever happened to me and my family. The only thing I would ever wish for is that I would have come to OLG earlier.
Going to a Catholic school my entire life has saved me from becoming what some of my friends from public schools are – that is, constantly getting in trouble. Some have been in ISS (in-school suspension) or getting detention every other day. That could have been me if my parents hadn’t chosen to send me to Catholic schools my entire life – we’ve moved around a lot, and everywhere we’ve lived my parents have chosen a Catholic school for my siblings and me. I’m not the best kid in the world, as my parents and teachers can tell you, but the Catholic school system has prevented me from becoming the kind of person that always makes bad choices.
I am not the best kid in the world, and I know that. I do get into trouble. Before I came to Our Lady of the Greenwood, I was in the principal’s office one or two times every semester, sometimes more than that. Since my time here at OLG I have only been to the principal’s office twice, and I have been here for three years. Some of my friends that go to public school have thrown things at teachers and gotten into fights with other kids in their class. I have never done any of those things because I go to a Catholic school. Not saying that public schools are bad, but that a Catholic school teaches you to be a better person. Overall, the Catholic school system has saved me and changed me – ultimately helping my future.
Moving to a Catholic school was a huge benefit for my family. Everything has changed in a good way since then. Before coming to OLG in the first grade, we weren’t in the best situation with my family dynamics. But the staff and students at OLG are all like a big family, and embraced me as part of their family. I even see everyone at school more than I see my own family! Our school principal, who I see every day at lunch, Mr. Clady, has been there for me and helped me through tough times, like how my parents don’t live together anymore, and just having the struggle to keep up with everything going on.
My friends and family are super important to me, especially everyone at school. I am super happy to know that I have people there for me, and that they will stick up for me no matter what. At OLG you realize all the possibilities you have to better yourself. Being here has changed my life for the better.
Every now and then giving up feels like the easiest thing to do, but I keep pushing myself to do better than before. My home life hasn’t always been as easy as I try to make it seem. It’s super difficult at home especially right now. But OLG helps give me the strength and support to keep being the best version of myself.
Roncalli High School
Letter from our principal
Choose Excellence – Choose Roncalli!
The Roncalli High School Board of Directors and the school’s administration could not be prouder of our students and teachers for all the hard work they put forth and the perseverance they displayed in the first semester of this school year. Never before have students and teachers been challenged so significantly while pursuing excellence as they were in the first semester during the midst of a pandemic!
Many may already know what is meant by the terms, hybrid schedule and synchronous learning, but it is best to define them so that all reading this article are operating from the same perspective.
Hybrid Schedule – For Roncalli, hybrid schedule means that we have approximately half our students in person at school while the other half of students are at home. At Roncalli it is broken out in the following format.
A-K Students with last names beginning with the letters A through K.
L-Z Students with last names beginning with the letters L through Z.
The groups rotate daily in terms of who learns in person at school and who learns from home.
Synchronous Learning – This term references teachers who are instructing live from their classrooms to both the students physically present in their classroom as well as to their students at home. This ensures that all our students get live teaching from our awesome teachers daily!
We have never been prouder of our faculty than we were at the end of this semester. The level of excellence in teaching and learning that unfolded daily at Roncalli through our synchronous learning model was UNMATCHED by any other high school in the state!
Our teachers worked long and hard at this daunting task. Their creativity in order to provide excellence in teaching daily is a testimony to their passion and love for their students. Here is a small sampling of some of the unique aspects of the synchronous teaching model observed during this recently completed semester.
- A teacher displaying their chalkboard, whiteboard, or overhead to the students at home so they could follow along with what students were seeing in class.
- Calling on students at home to answer questions or to work out a problem.
- Teachers putting students at home into breakout rooms to allow group work to occur virtually.
- Students creating and explaining graphs from home to the students in class.
- Classroom discussions in real time over literature, artwork, public policy, etc.
Our teachers received high praise from both our parents and students with regards to their synchronous learning experience this past semester. Here are some of the unsolicited comments shared with the school.
Current parent – Frankly, we are much more impressed with the experience our child at Roncalli is getting versus the experience our child is getting at the university he attends.
Alum/sibling of a current student – I’ve recently been talking with my brother who has really been enjoying your classes. I never expected anything less, of course, but I’m very grateful that my brother is getting so much out of the class because of the extra care you’ve put into teaching during these unusual times.
Current parent – We have been so incredibly impressed with the consistent support and guidance that ALL at RHS have provided to the students and parents. Your diligent planning, compassion and overall hard work has offered so much stability as we navigate all the twists and turns.
Current parent – We cannot thank the teachers enough for all they have done for our children during this challenging time. We’ve been pleased with the instruction both of our children have been receiving online and it’s evident how well prepared the staff was for the “new normal” this year.
Current parent – My job has me working with school systems across the country on delivering instruction during this pandemic. I have worked with high schools across the country. I assure you that no one in the country has provided instruction as well as the teachers have at Roncalli!
¨Choose Excellence – Choose Roncalli” is a core belief that we feel is owed to our students and parents and one we pursue with a relentless passion not only in normal times but also while in the throes of a worldwide pandemic!
Thank you to our teachers and students for the tireless efforts and hard work! I believe a grade of A+ is merited!
I have attended a Catholic school my entire life, starting at Our Lady of the Greenwood. Going to a Catholic school has really given me opportunities to grow in my faith and with others. As unusual as this may sound, Roncalli is a family, where everyone is cared for and loved. High school is hard to navigate for any teenager, but I am glad I am doing it here. At Roncalli there is an understanding that as long as you have Christ in your life, you will not fail. No matter the subject, all of my teachers have come back to this message. Teachers have such a huge impact on students’ lives and their faith journey. In a way, they teach us more than the curriculum requires. They teach us to “see the face of Christ in others”.
I think I can speak for most, if not all, when I say Roncalli students appreciate the mere opportunity to learn more about what being a Catholic truly means. In today’s world, so often we can be engrossed in evil and disregard how God is working around us. More specifically within Roncalli, we all get to achieve this goal, achieve eternal life with God, together. I am so thankful that I am surrounded by people all chasing the same goals. Especially for me personally, when my faith begins to falter, it tends to be the Roncalli community that picks me back up again. Roncalli is a place where faith will always be at the center, but even beyond that it is a place where I myself can witness God working all around me.
I have been able to attend Catholic school from elementary through high school, and I can say that it is one of the greatest blessings in my life. Every day I get to walk into a school where I know that I will be pushed to my fullest potential, form close relationships with my peers and teachers and dive into the Catholic faith through theology classes. Catholic schools are not just a place where I learn to live out my faith, but I also get to walk alongside people who are on the same journey toward sainthood that I am. That’s what makes the school feel like a family. We pray for each other, celebrate mass together and share in the same love of our community every day. I am so appreciative of my Catholic education and the relationship with God it has helped me form.
Saints Francis & Clare
Letter from our Principal
This time of change and challenge has been a testimony to the commitment of educators, students and parents in our Saints Francis and Clare of Assisi School Ministry. It has proven that our small community at SSFC is close, resilient and everyone is willing to contribute in order to keep us safe and healthy. As a school “family” we have really come together to help one another to be safe, healthy, happy and faith-filled during our journey through the 2020 – 2021 school year.
Our students are especially resilient. When they returned in the fall, they have worked diligently with the support of the teachers to continue growing and close any learning gaps. All our students are working toward growth goals in their learning and in their faith. We are proud of our students for their efforts, flexibility and determination.
In the spring, when we were challenged to learn remotely, our teachers adapted to become a stronger team of educators. This year they are able to teach to those who attend in person each day and those who attend online. We will celebrate our teachers during Catholic Schools Week for their efforts to work as “superheroes” on behalf of the children in their charge.
We are proud of our policy for smaller class sizes; it has benefitted our safety protocols. Our classroom cap has been set at 25. We have managed to divide our largest group of students into two smaller groups to help with social distancing. Our small class sizes and remote learning rigor have attracted several new students to our doors. We continue to persevere to keep most students in our building and allow those families the opportunity to join us each day as remote learners if needed. We will also celebrate our students during Catholic Schools Week at the end of this month.
Another positive aspect of our campus is that we have an early childhood ministry for children from infancy through preschool years. The majority of our families find that once they become a part of the Saints Francis and Clare of Assisi community, they want to continue enrollment in the grade school because of the close community relationships they have built.
We are currently accepting enrollment from six weeks – eighth grade for our 2021-2022 school year. The link for new families can be accessed on Feb. 15 by going to our website at ss-fc.org and filling out the enrollment application. If you are interested in touring our school, we schedule tours for new families; please call our office at (317) 215-2826 and set up a time. We welcome families to come check out our early childhood ministry and school if you are looking for a place to call home!
Mrs. Betty Popp
With a private school being part of my life from the start, it has been an adventure for the ages. My Catholic school has built me from the ground up. Character, courage, morality, integrity, grit and forgiveness are some of the most notable traits that SSFC has enforced and secured from my time here. With these life skills with me forever, I can really make a life out of what I have; and my private school has started it all. Some of the perks of being at a private school is the size. When you’re at a small school, all the teachers know you very well and are always down to earth. That, and many other great teaching skills, can make for a superb educational experience. With that experience, I can stay on top of learning skills, which will help me throughout high school and for life to come.
I like many things about my Catholic school. One of those things is the eighth-grade play. It’s fun to rehearse lines, practice the choreography and to have something to look forward to. Another thing I enjoy about my Catholic school is my classmates. Almost all of them are incredibility nice and fun to be around. The final main reason why I love this Catholic School is my teachers. They are all incredibly nice and helpful. They always answer my questions, and I can’t thank them enough for that.
I’ve always really liked my Catholic school because it has always helped me grow in my faith and helped me get closer to God. For nearly eight years, I’ve gone to church or religion class every day. My religion teachers have always made my religion class fun and helped me understand it. When I was in second grade, I was taught the importance of Reconciliation and the Eucharist. I still remember and apply those lessons today. Now, in eighth grade, I’m learning about the Holy Spirit, and its effects on our lives. Throughout my education, I’ve grown closer to God, and closer to my best self; the person God wants me to be.
For my whole life I’ve been attending a Catholic school, and I have loved it. I love my school because they teach me so many important lessons that can get me ready for my adulthood. My school has taught me academically and spiritually in my Catholic life.
When my principal asked me what I liked most about Catholic schools, Saints Francis and Clare of Assisi (SSFC) in particular, I knew exactly what I was going to say. To start off, SSFC provides the best information about how to live and learn faith that no other school would benefit from. We have FIA days which are all about putting our “Faith Into Action.” For example, the SSFC food drive. This is where we as a school bring canned food in to give to our SSFC food pantry! This is only the beginning!
I am currently an eighth grader at SSFC. I have been at SSFC since kindergarten and have been there ever since. I really love the faith curricula that I get daily and so does my little sister, Evelyn Lewis. She has been at SSFC for eight years. She went to preschool for two years and got the same faith class daily from preschool through the fifth grade!
While adjusting to the current conditions with the virus, SSFC has made it very easy to keep going to school, and continuing our weekly masses, all while keeping each other safe!
I have had wonderful experiences at SSFC, especially the ones with all my friends. They were all willing to open up from the very beginning and invite everyone in, becoming one big SSFC family! Then comes the endless faith-filled projects or activities, and all the fundraisers that the school has for the parish.
There are a lot of features to Saints Francis and Clare of Assisi Catholic School! But again, this is only the beginning of all the amazing benefits and characteristics of SSFC!