Dear Catholic School Parents and Friends,
Since 1847, Catholic education has had a long and distinguished history in the Diocese of Buffalo. Thousands of men and women, both Catholic and non-Catholic, can trace the foundation of their success to the training they have received in our Catholic schools. Outstanding academic achievement, a strong sense of faith and values and a school community that supports parents as the primary educators have been the foundation of the solid tradition of Western New York's Catholic schools.
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Knowledge and Values
The academic achievements of our Catholic schools have been well documented. Catholic school students in both elementary and high schools out-perform their public school counterparts on New York State assessments. In the Diocese of Buffalo, 98% of our Catholic high school students go on to college. Dedicated and well qualified teachers ensure that each child reaches their full potential. International, national and state awards abound in our schools as noted in our news section.
Numerous extra-curricular and co-curricular activities provide students with opportunities to build self-esteem and to become involved in their communities. Music, art and technology programs enhance classroom activities while sports programs at both the elementary and high school level teach sportsmanship, self-discipline and respect. Service projects instill a sense of concern for others and promote a life-long commitment to the community.
A strong sense of faith and values clearly distinguishes Western New York Catholic schools. Their safe and secure environment teaches respect for all people and property and provides a daily life of moral development. Society today requires difficult decisions in so many areas that it becomes imperative for our future leaders to be prepared not just academically but morally to make the decisions that might someday affect all of us. Students in our Catholic schools receive not only instruction in our Catholic faith but witness daily examples of Christian living, responsible use of resources and moral decision making.
Western New York Catholic schools recognize parents as the primary educators of their children and in doing so recognize parental involvement and support as critical to the success of their children and the school. Our Catholic school community links families to one another, to their school, to their parish and to the wider community. Parents are encouraged to share their expertise in almost every phase of school life.
Stronger Catholic Schools
The tradition of Catholic schools in Western New York remains strong. The new Diocesan strategic plan has business methods, funding strategies and leadership guidelines in place to ensure the future of Catholic school education. Schools in the Diocese of Buffalo will continue to “prepare our students for a brighter future", fostering the intellectual, spiritual, physical and social development of children of all faiths and preparing them to become well-rounded young men and women and future leaders enriching the quality of our society.
Today's world demands that our schools pay attention to the business dimensions of education including leadership development, recruitment, finances, governance and fundraising. Guided by sound educational and business strategies, the Catholic School Development Program (CSDP) was funded by the Foundation of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo in 2006. The CSDP concepts are now an integral part of the Department of Catholic Education and have been used to re-imagine and re-engineer management and governance principles to ensure the long-term financial stability of Catholic schools in our Diocese.
Being attentive to the rising costs of education and the need to make our Catholic Schools affordable to all who wish to attend, the Diocese of Buffalo established a new funding plan in 2007 which provides for tuition assistance both at the elementary level and high school level. Starting with the 2007-2008 school year our Diocese provided $250,000 in needs-based tuition assistance to families with children attending Catholic elementary schools (www.frcdb.org). Between $750,000 to $1 million dollars is available annually for high school needs-based tuition assistance. Bishop Kmiec stated, "This program represents a new chapter of Diocesan partnership and investment in Catholic secondary education, reinforcing our long-standing commitment to these high schools and their families." In addition the BISON Fund and Oishei Scholarship Program are available to students choosing Catholic education.
We owe a debt of gratitude to all who are involved in Catholic education and who give so generously of their time and resources: pastors, board members, principals, teachers, school staff, parish communities and religious communities. God bless each of you for all that you do.
Carol A. Kostyniak
Secretary for Catholic Education