Proven Academic Performance across Several Criteria
How do Western New York Catholic schools measure effectiveness in teaching? In part, through state-administered tests that evaluate students’ competence in such core courses as mathematics and language arts. The comparative scores of third- through eighth-grade students illustrate clearly the margin of difference between public and parochial schools. Students in the Catholic schools in the Diocese of Buffalo scored an average of 16% higher on language arts and 9% higher on math than their peers attending public schools across New York State. In the City of Buffalo, Catholic school students in the Diocese of Buffalo scored an average of 33% higher on language arts and 22% higher on math than their peers in Buffalo public schools.
But test scores are only one indication of academic excellence. Catholic schools foster curiosity, creativity, and a general love of education that remains with students all their lives. Our schools bring fun and excitement to learning through Quiz Bowl competitions, science and history fairs, essay competitions, and other academically-based programs:
- St. Christopher School, Tonawanda, won both first and second place in the regional Science Bowl competition. The first place win enabled that team to travel to Denver, Colorado, to participate in a challenge against schools from around the country.
- Immaculate Conception School, Wellsville, took World Honors in Odyssey of the Mind Competition by winning first place out of 53 teams from Poland, China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan and the U.S.
- At St. John the Baptist School, Alden, students performed "One Small Child" at their annual Christmas performance. Every child from Pre-K through grade 8 participated in singing the spirit-filled music.
A Caring, Structured Learning Environment
Our students’ success reflects the work of competent, dedicated teachers and an atmosphere that stresses discipline in both behavior and study habits:
- Michael Prucha, an honor-roll student at DeSales Catholic in Lockport, says it’s easier to learn when there is order in the classroom: “Everyone has such respect for everyone else that we’re all on our best behavior. It’s expected. We learn it from day one.”
- Rebecca Koval, a student at St. John the Baptist in Kenmore, appreciates the fact that classes are small, and teachers “concentrate on your special abilities. They push you to your limit.” Read more about Rebecca’s Catholic school experience…
Preparing Students for a Brighter Future
The value of early discipline and an exposure to challenging areas of study are evident when our students go on to further achievement in high school and college, many with scholarships and other honors. Their paths to success can be traced to their Catholic elementary schools:
- 99% of Catholic high school students graduate.
- 98% of Catholic high school graduates go on to college.
- 94% of Catholic elementary school eighth-grade students are accepted to their first choice of high schools.
- In 2012 Catholic high school graduates received collegiate scholarships totaling in excess of $157 million.