Where Did You Go to High School?
St. Louis is blessed with 27 Catholic high schools. They exist in a highly competitive environment for everything from enrollment numbers to ACT and National Merit test scores to campus sizes and neighborhoods, to athletics teams to performing arts to technology usage and new buildings. These schools are sponsored either by a parish, a cluster of parishes (regional), by the Archdiocese, by an independent board for private schools or by religious communities.
Choosing a Catholic high school in St. Louis involves a three-year process that begins as 5th graders start chatting about which high school’s they want to start visiting in 6th grade and which athletic games, performing arts events or high school summer camps they what to do. All Catholic high schools participate in 10 or more fall “High School Nights,” held for 6th-8th graders and their parents to present the unique value of their respective programs; all host a four to five hour open house at their school on the first Sunday of November.
Eighth-graders receive an application to indicate their first, second and third choice for high school. They complete the form and request the school to send their transcript and test scores to their first school listed on their application. All schools mail the student acceptance letter on the same date in February as designated by the Archdiocese.
Catholic high schools in St. Louis take great pride in their students and alumni. They are challenged by the highly competitive environment as well as the social justice principles to provide accessibility and affordability to students of diverse socio-economic backgrounds, diverse learning abilities and the immigrant who may be the first generation in the family to merit a high school diploma.
What high school memory do you cherish? What choices helped shape you in high school?
by Sister Michelle Emmerich, SSND, Principal at Notre Dame High School, St. Louis, MO
Photo credit: Notre Dame High School Yearbook Staff