In Focus Blog

U.S. Department of Education Names Eight Archdiocesan Schools As Blue Ribbon Schools Most Decorated School System In The Country

Thursday, October 02, 2014

By Maria Ippolito

Chicago, IL (October 1, 2014) – Eight Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Chicago will be among the 337 schools from across the country to receive Blue Ribbon School Awards at a ceremony hosted by the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C., on November 10 and 11. These schools include:

School Choice

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

By Sr. Mary Paul McCaughey, OP

We are grateful every day that you and your children have found your way to a Catholic school!  It speaks to your care.  As you know, educating your children is a fundamental parental right and obligation. This right is defined not only by the Church, but by the broader society.

Welcome Back to a New Year and a Brand New Day in Catholic Education New Programs, Expansions, Collaborations and Celebrations represent a Brand New Day in Catholic Education

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

By Maria Ippolito

Close to 85,000 students of Catholic schools in Cook and Lake counties will return this month for the 2014-2015 academic year that will bring new programs, expansions, collaborations and celebrations with it. This year marks year two of the Schools’ strategic plan, which addresses six core goals for the Catholic school system: Catholicity, Academics, Leadership, Operations, Office of Catholic Schools (OCS) Reorganization and Funding. It is also year two of the AdvancEd system-wide accreditation. The Systems Accreditation designed for Catholic school systems aligns the schools with both the AdvancED Standards and the recently published National Standards and Benchmarks for Effective Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools.

Four Consecutive Years of Growth: Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic High School Students Show Gains on Overall ACT Scores; All Scores above State Average

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

By Maria Ippolito

For the fourth consecutive year, Catholic high school students in the Archdiocese of Chicago have demonstrated gains in the overall score and in nearly every subject area of the ACT test. The average composite score for Catholic high school students in the Archdiocese is 23.3, which is 2.6 points above the State of Illinois’ average. It is also a 0.2 point improvement over students' performance last year. While the State composite score has declined by 0.2 points over the past four years, Catholic school students have exhibited steady improvement in their composite scores with 0.6 point increase over the same four-year period. Across the board, Catholic high school students’ scores continue to be significantly above the average for the State of Illinois and the United States.

Less Conflict, More Cooperation

Friday, April 11, 2014

By Beth Miller, M.Ed. Certified Parent Coach

Many parents are looking for less conflict and more cooperation with their children. It is amazing how different our daily interactions can be when we use effective communication. Here are some tips on ways to encourage cooperation when giving directions:

Balancing Act

Friday, March 21, 2014

By Annemarie Scobey

The Easter season is upon us, and amid the fashionable pastels comes another hallmark of spring—practices, games, and rehearsals. Baseball, track, and soccer seasons overlap with spring musicals and concerts. Add in a first communion, confirmation, and graduation, and you’re likely to have at least one day where your daughter is changing out of her frilly dress in the church bathroom and scrambling into her cleats and uniform.

Social Media: Why Parents Need to Look

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

By Charles F. Hollendoner

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat. This is the 21st century form of communication. Social media is the wave of the future. All we see are kids with their phones in their hands and thumbs flying over keyboards.  Don’t get me wrong, social media does have it’s benefits. Social media allows family to stay in touch.  It also allows people with similar interests to share information and learn from each other.  Social media is also a great form of entertainment by allowing people to play games, share videos and music.

3 Simple Steps to Building Resilience Using an Attitude of Gratitude

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

By Jill Hope

One of the greatest qualities you can nurture in your child is resilience. Resilient kids are less likely to suffer from depression, poor quality relationships, jobs that do not excite and stimulate them, and are more likely to achieve their greatest potential.

“It was the best of times...”

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

By Sr. Mary Paul McCaughey, OP

Most high school sophomores eventually get to A Tale of Two Cities and Dickens’ “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” is arguably the best opening line in literature.  With a nod to those young readers, we can acknowledge that our two counties (Lake, Cook) of Catholic Schools could say the same.

Celebrating Catholic Schools Week!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

By Ryan Blackburn

With elementary school enrollment on the rise, a new strategic plan and the launch of a $350 million campaign for Catholic education, there is much to celebrate in Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic Schools as we prepare for Catholic Schools Week from Sunday, January 26th through Saturday, February 1st.

Catholic High School Placement Test - Saturday, January 11, at 8 A.M.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

By Ryan Blackburn

Catholic high schools across the Archdiocese of Chicago will administer the annual placement tests for eighth grade students on Saturday, January 11, at 8 a.m. Most of the 37 Catholic high schools in the Archdiocese administer the test; however, there are a few exceptions. It is important to check with the individual school to confirm when its test is being given. To find contact information for Catholic high schools, visit the High School Locator at

Persevere! The Birth of Jesus is Near!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

By Amanda Thompson

Just when you think you can’t get all the gift buying, food preparation and card writing done in order to be ready for Christmas, we light that pink candle on the Advent wreath that says persevere, Jesus is on the way! It is a reminder of the importance of Jesus being born in our hearts and that the love of Christ is born through us touching those around us. Persevere with a heart that is grateful and able to look at this season with the love that was intended. We must ready our hearts, but learn a lesson of perseverance as well.

Family Advent Ideas and Activities

Thursday, November 14, 2013

By Sue Bordenaro

Advent 2013 begins on Sunday, December 1st and ends on Christmas Eve. It is a wonderful four week period in which we can step back every now and then from the chaos the holidays bring and rest in the peacefulness of the real meaning of Christmas: Christ is coming and we will find him as an infant in a manger!

Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic Schools Deliver an Initial $2 Million for Caritas Scholars Student Scholarships Pilot Program for To Teach Who Christ Is Campaign Supports More Than 600 Students

Monday, November 11, 2013

By Ryan Blackburn

The Archdiocese of Chicago's Office of Catholic Schools has announced the initial results of the Caritas Scholars program. This $2 million pilot financial aid initiative for Catholic school students and their families is part of a three-year, $6 million commitment being made possible through the generosity of an anonymous donor.

Introducing the Virtual Academy Online Learning for 6th – 12th Grade Catholic School Students

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

By Ryan Blackburn

The Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic Schools is launching its Virtual Academy, which offers personalized learning opportunities through the use of online education to middle school and high school students across the 244 Catholic schools in Cook and Lake counties.


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