Queens has 10 Catholic high schools and the five boroughs have even more, so the Queens Tribune has provided a guide to Catholic education in the borough—including some of the reasons why parents choose a Catholic, rather than public school, education for their children.
According to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn—which serves both Queens and Brooklyn—students who obtain a Catholic education are more likely to be successful in the 21st century.
One of the pros of attending a Catholic school—according to the diocese—is that Catholic school students’ New York State test scores in English and Language Arts (ELA) outpace state and city public schools.
The average cost per student for Catholic school is $5,143 per school year. The average annual tuition cost for a Catholic elementary school within the Diocese of Brooklyn is $4,022. Approximately $7 million in scholarships per year is awarded to 5,495 students who attend schools within the diocese. Statistics from the diocese show that 75 percent of its eighth-grade graduates will attend Catholic or private high schools, while 58 schools and academies reported that 538 eighth-grade graduates were offered more than $8 million in merit-based scholarships to attend those high schools. A total of 63 eighth-grade graduates were accepted into specialized schools, and approximately 99 percent of students in Catholic secondary schools graduate within four years—and 98 percent of them go to college.
The Diocese of Brooklyn’s mission, according to its website, is “to lead those entrusted to its care to find salvation in Jesus Christ. This mission means that Catholic academies and schools value each and every student. [The diocese] educates students with the hope that they will make a positive difference in the world, in our country and in the lives of others. [The diocese] also strives to educate the whole child spiritually, academically, morally, emotionally, socially and physically in partnership with parents. This allows the Catholic academy or school to educate and evangelize students for the church’s mission in the world.”
The diocese contains both Catholic schools and academies. However, while Catholic schools are governed by the parish—with the pastor in charge—academies are governed by a two-tiered board that comprises a board of directors and a board of members. The board of directors is composed of laypeople who work with the principal, while the board of members is composed of clergy and safeguards the Catholic identity of the academy. In some cases, the board of members oversees multiple academies.
Every school within the Diocese of Brooklyn was projected to become an academy by the end of 2017.
When visiting one of the diocese’s schools or academies, families are encouraged to visit the schools to speak with the staff and move through the environment to see if it feels right for their children. Parents and guardians are also encouraged to ask about class or school sizes; the composition of the faculty and staff; academic, enrichment and remedial programs; school nutrition programs; transportation services; tuition costs and scholarship opportunities; registration requirements; uniforms; extracurricular activities and school hours; and clubs.