The mission of the schools and early childhood centers of the Diocese of Raleigh is to engage our school/center communities in creating quality education within a Catholic environment that fosters the current and future development of the whole child.
Philosophy of Total Catholic Education
Total Catholic Education meets the needs of every parishioner, birth to adult, by developing and enriching faith within the parish community. Faith development is promoted through formation classes, schools and early childhood centers, community service and prayer experiences. The Good News of the Gospel is proclaimed during formal and informal instructional programs in liturgy, sacraments, doctrine and beliefs.
In all phases of life, parishioners require different educational approaches. The family introduces faith to the child through Baptism. This entry into the Church community requires nurturing his/her spiritual, psychological and emotional growth. Total Catholic Education is both a goal and a method for accomplishing these tasks and fulfilling parish community responsibilities.
Schools/centers, one component of Total Catholic Education, provide academics in a Catholic environment for the holistic growth and development of children. This environment integrates academics with instruction in the message of Jesus, doctrine, values, moral standards and attitudes. The integration facilitates the development of the emerging self-concept basic to meet the challenges and opportunities of living in a complex global world. It provides students the opportunity to grow and develop in the knowledge and love of a Triune God. The needs of children at all stages of development, pre-school through high school, are addressed within the context of a Catholic School. "Catholic schools afford the fullest and best opportunity to realize the threefold purpose of Christian education among children and young people" (To Teach as Jesus Did, 1973). The purpose being message, community and service.
Each school/center is to operate under the precepts of the Philosophy of Total Catholic Education by providing religious instruction that finds expression in liturgical and sacramental celebrations. The diversity of these celebrations is central to the development of community and nourishes the service and outreach programs of the school.
Philosophy of Catholic Educators in the Diocese of Raleigh
- We believe quality Catholic education calls us to integrate Gospel teachings and values with real life.
- We believe all secular subjects need to be taught in the light of these values.
- We recognize and accept that parents are the primary educators of their children therefore we work closely with them in both the school and parish context.
- We believe students of all faiths, ethnic origins, and economic levels contribute to the world community and thus we welcome these students and strive to create an environment that reflects the dignity of each person.
- We believe the faith shared with parents, teachers, and students, is nourished by prayer and worship within the total life of the school and parish community.
- We believe students reach their individual potential by thinking clearly, forming strong convictions, and acting in ways consonant with their beliefs for the betterment of their own lives, their Church, and society as a whole.
Goals of Catholic Schools
The goals of Catholic Schools, message, community, service and worship are consonant with those expressed in To Teach as Jesus Did (1973). Catholic schools are to make "faith become living, conscious, and active, through the light of instruction." Primarily, Catholic schools are delegated to further the command of Jesus "to teach all nations."
To teach the children is to present Jesus' "good news," the gospel message in word and example. Children are instructed in Catholic doctrine, values, and moral standards.
The religious and academic message is experienced in community shared by the people of the school environment and expanded in service to the broader local and civic community.
Worship and celebration are means of offering thanks and praise to God who has gifted people with freedom to grow and develop in a constantly changing world.
Catholic schools are teaching/learning environments in which the needs of students are addressed. The instructional process is based on the belief that all children can learn. Therefore, teachers and administrators collaborate with parents to provide learning experiences consonant with student ability.
Objectives of Catholic Schools
Catholic Schools provide environments in which students:
- Grow in personal faith response through prayer and worship
- Learn Catholic tradition and current Catholic teaching
- Develop a functional moral code based on recognition of one's God-given dignity
- Acquire the knowledge and skills that will equip students to be active, participating citizens in a technological age
- Respond to the needs of others through service to school, Church, and community
- Gain the information and values necessary for an appreciation of family life and human sexuality
- Demonstrate social responsibility and awareness of global interdependence
- Understand and appreciate various cultures by growing in the understanding of social problems concerning race, poverty, and religion
- Recognize the responsibility to be good stewards of the environment
- Experience the joy of learning
- Develop creative expression and appreciation for the arts
- Acquire and apply the knowledge and skills necessary to promote intellectual, physical, emotional, and spiritual growth
- Learn and use basic skills in all areas of the curriculum
- Apply critical thinking skills
- Develop both cognitive and affective communication skills
- Develop interpersonal relation skills in an environment that encourages responsibility and appreciation for one another
- Learn through relevant materials and situations that recognize and address individual learning styles
Goals of Catholic Early Childhood Centers
The goals of early childhood centers focus on the development of the whole child. An integrated curriculum allows the young child to be aware of self, accept the worth of all people and ethnic cultures and prepare to be a contributing member at home, in school, at church and in the community.
Objectives of Catholic Early Childhood Centers
Early Childhood Centers:
- Assess the developmental stage of the child with particular emphasis on his/her strengths and needs
- Offer opportunities for the child to explore and to take appropriate risks without fear of failure
- Clarify curriculum expectations through staff development
- Structure thematic teaching-learning plans
- Offer enrichment activities using outside resources such as programs and speakers that complement themes
- Provide developmentally appropriate activities that promote the spiritual, social, intellectual, emotional and physical development of the child
- Recognize and encourage the unique contribution each child and family offers to the early childhood community.