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Welcome Back! Catholic school students return to class


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All 257 Catholic elementary schools in the archdiocese of Chicago opened their doors and welcomed students back at the end of August.

Students showed up with shiny new shoes and freshly sharpened pencils, ready to jump in and start learning.

Many schools greeted them with new programs and new ideas, including at St. Mary of Czestochowa in Cicero, where students from third through eighth grades will have the opportunity to learn swimming and water safety at the nearby Piotrowski Park pool.

Teachers will be welcomed back Sept. 10 with a “Catholic School Educators Celebration” at the University of Illinois at Chicago. This is to be a day of appreciation, blessing and inspiration for the more than 6,000 teachers and staff in the Catholic schools, and it includes remarks from schools Superintendent Nicholas Wolsonovich and and a keynote from education expert Douglas Reeves.

Mount Assisi Academy in Lemont, Guerin College Preparatory High School in River Grove, and Queen of Peace High School in Burbank will be launching their laptop-forall- student initiatives, joining St. Joseph High School in Westchester, Seton Academy in South Holland, and De La Salle in Chicago, which already have similar programs. Additionally, certain elementary schools provide laptops for their junior high students: St. Benedict and St. Matthias/ Transfiguration in Chicago, and Sacred Heart in Winnetka.

Students at St. Procopius School in Pilsen will have a new dual-language program, in which all students will be taught in English and Spanish, and seventh- and eighthgraders at St. Richard School will have a new honors program.

St. Agatha Catholic Academy has a new name—it was formerly known as Our Lady of the Westside—as well as a new principal and pastor, and Notre Dame High School for Boys has a new governance structure, as well as its largest freshman class in 22 years.

Chicago Jesuit Academy, a full-scholarship school for boys who would otherwise not be able to afford Catholic education is bringing its intensive program to a new campus and is adding a seventh grade, now serving students in grades five through seven.

Students at St. James School in Arlington Heights are enjoying a new school building, and Father Michael Kallock, pastor at Old St. Mary Parish, is planning to develop a new parish school building there.

St. Ferdinand School has a renovated gym, and Immaculate Conception School on Talcott will have the use of a new parish center soon. Immaculate Conception School on North Park is adding classrooms.