Archdiocese of Chicago Welcomes More than 78,000 Students for the 2017/18 School Year

Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago, will preside over a back-to-school Mass on August 30 at Carmel Catholic High School

Chicago, IL (August 24, 2017) – The Archdiocese of Chicago’s 214 Catholic schools are ready to welcome more than 78,000 new and returning students for the start of the 2017/18 school year after a very active summer break. The theme for this school year is „We Are One Body.” As St. Paul indicates in his first letter to the Corinthians, we all represent many „parts,” but ultimately form a single „body.” The Catholic schools of the Archdiocese serve different neighborhoods, geographies, races and religions throughout Cook and Lake Counties. While we celebrate this diversity, our schools are unified in the single educational mission of Catholic education.

As part of back-to-school celebrations, Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago, will preside at Mass and a prayer garden blessing on Wednesday, August 30 at 9 a.m. at Carmel Catholic High School, 1 Carmel Pkwy, Mundelein. On Saturday, August 26, more than 1,300 Marian Catholic High School (Chicago Heights) students, staff and family members will kick-off the school year at the Chicago White Sox game where the school’s nationally acclaimed marching band will perform the national anthem.

„The first days of school are always a favorite time of year because there is much enthusiasm, hope, and energy in all of the classrooms,” said Dr. Jim Rigg, Superintendent of Catholic Schools. „For generations, our Catholic schools have achieved a well-deserved reputation for academic excellence. I expect a year filled with continued success and spiritual growth for our students and am extremely grateful to our teachers and staff who not only teach but also listen, coach and mentor our students.”

Over the summer break, the more than 7,500 faculty and staff members of the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Catholic Schools were hard at work planning and preparing for the start of the school year. Activities included:

* In June, more than 400 Archdiocesan educators attended an interactive reading and writing strategies seminar with New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Serravallo,

* St. Thomas the Apostle School (Hyde Park) prepared to expand and open two new classrooms – a third Pre-Kindergarten classroom and a second section of third grade,

* St. Zachary School (Des Plaines) finalized a new science curriculum for kindergarten through eighth grade students that incorporates the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS); and prepared to launch a new after school Robotics Club,

* St. Louise de Marillac School (La Grange) finalized plans to roll-out a new technology program in which every eligible student in first through eighth grade will have his or her own Google Chromebook,

* St. Michael School (South Shore) created a new social studies and science curriculum using Nearpod virtual reality technology that lets students take virtual field trips around the world,

* Our Lady of Charity School (Cicero) completed the installation of a new Learning Resource Center, Fine Arts Room, and STEM Lab, and

* Christ Our Savior School (South Holland) finalized details for a new STEM class, Let’s Build It Robotics, where students will learn about mechanical engineering as they build and use robots to complete tasks and engage in competitions.

To learn more about the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Catholic schools, visit:

About the Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic Schools
The Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic schools serve more than 78,000 students in 214 schools in Cook and Lake Counties. It is one of the largest private school systems in the United States and the recipient of the greatest number of U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon Awards of any school system – public or private. In July 2015, all Archdiocesan elementary and secondary schools were accredited by AdvancED, the largest community of educational professionals in the world.