To the editor:
The Diocese’s Department of Catholic Schools and its 19 Catholic schools recently were recommended for accreditation by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools. Formerly, 15 schools had independently completed this process. Our Diocese is the third in the U.S. to complete the process, joining the Syracuse Diocese.
While 10 percent of Catholic-school families in a 2010 study acknowledged faith formation as their top priority, this choice followed academic quality/learning environment (as) primary areas for selecting Catholic schools. However, the data states: "It’s not an ‘either/or’ choice between academics and faith formation, but more a threshold question: you need high degrees of both." One open-ended statement specifically said, "I cannot send my child to a school with a high academic standard if it provides no faith formation."
Currently, 80 percent of our students identify as Catholic. I know from experience that there is a strong spirit of volunteerism and involvement by parents in school and parish. I commend our parents for their sacrifice and dedication in keeping our schools thriving. Be assured that our office will continue to emphasize Catholicity in our schools.
I’m confident you’ll find that many of the Diocese’s strongest stewards attended Catholic schools. I invite anyone who feel that schools are private, and not Catholic, to visit one of our treasured schools, or join us for Mass each first Friday or Holy Day of Obligation to see the conviction of students, faculty, and staff.
Dr. Anthony Cook III
Superintendent of Schools
Diocese of Rochester