January 25, 2019

Catholic Schools Week Supplement

Catholic schools: promoting the love of Jesus every day

Gina Kuntz Fleming (Archdiocesan Superintendent of Catholic Schools)

Gina Kuntz FlemingThe Archdiocese of Indianapolis is honored to serve more than 23,000 students in 68 Catholic schools throughout central and southern Indiana. With 57 elementary schools and 11 high schools, we certainly have the privilege of seeing the love of Jesus Christ in action every single day!

Though each school serves its unique community in its own special ways, there are several commonalities that all of our Catholic schools share, which include:

• Shared Mission and Catholic Identity—We recognize that each person is made in the image and likeness of God. Through programming and practices, we integrate our faith, culture and life in ways that help young people attain academic and career pursuits as well as everlasting life with God.

Our doors are open to all who desire a quality Catholic education regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender and socio-economic status.

• Academic Excellence—Our focus remains on the growth and achievement of every young person we serve. Recognizing parents as the first educators, we partner to help youth grow spiritually, socially, emotionally, intellectually and physically.

With ISTEP+ scores higher than state averages at every grade level and continued excellence illustrated by other measures of performance (such as SAT and ACT college entrance exams), our students are challenged and supported as we maximize their capacity in preparation for college, careers and heaven.

Our school leaders, teachers and other staff members truly set our Catholic schools apart from the rest for their dedication, professionalism and example as ministers of the faith which cannot be matched! We thank God daily for these amazing individuals and their service to our Church.

• Quality Leadership/Governance—We value local autonomy while having the broader support of our archdiocesan offices and network of Catholic schools.

We are grateful for our pastors and religious who give so generously so that we may all come to know, love and serve God more fully. With lay leaders from each community serving on school boards and commissions in an advisory capacity, our school leaders are provided supports intended to directly impact youths and families in positive ways. We are thankful for each of our board/commission members and other volunteers who readily assist in this great ministry.

• Operational Vitality—Committed to excellence and rigor, our Catholic schools responsibly approach personnel, financial and operational decisions in ways that put children first and fortify long-term viability for generations to come.

Our cost per student, on average, is significantly lower than that of public and charter sectors, and our youths are the direct beneficiaries of the resources secured.

Our Catholic schools exist to develop missionary disciples in Christ, and we do that through effective stewardship, strategic planning and prayerful discernment when making decisions.

Please join me in celebrating the ministry of Catholic schools and all those who aid in their success! May God continue to bless our Church abundantly and all those we serve! †

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