Catholic Students Ready for College
High school students at Catholic schools in the Diocese of Orlando scored higher on the ACT than students state-wide, with a composite score of 22.9 compared to 19.5 for the state. The ACT consists of curriculum-based tests of educational development in English, mathematics, reading and science designed to measure the skills needed for success in first year college coursework. Catholic students outscored students state-wide in all four subject areas.
Students attending Catholic schools, along with the faculty and staff, achieved the following during the 2009-2010 academic year:
- Test scores show students attending Catholic schools performed well above state and national averages compared to other students
- 81% of the students who took the ACRE (Assessment of Catechesis Religious Education) are advanced or proficient in understanding their faith;
- 99% of our high school seniors graduated;
- 98% of our seniors went on to college, having earned more than $27 million in scholarships;
- Our students gave back to their communities through more than 125,000 volunteer hours
- We continue to invest in technology, our faculty, and our facilities.
2009-2010 Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS)
The ITBS is given to elementary and middle school students to test their understanding of key concepts. Fifty percent is considered average.
Today the 8,000 Catholic schools across the United States are regarded as a gift to the church and a gift to the nation. Catholic education goes back deep into U.S. history - to at least 1606. That year, expressing their desire "to teach children Christian doctrine, reading and writing," the Franciscans opened a school in what's now St. Augustine, Fla. U.S. Catholics faced the ongoing crisis of religious vocations, welcomed the invigorating contributions of Hispanics and other new arrivals, celebrated 2000 years of Christianity at the Millennium and reeled at the horrors of 9/11. But through it all, Catholic schools are there for their families, community, nation and church and they continue to be a gift to the church and a gift to the nation.
The Diocese of Orlando has a total of 37 schools in 8 of the 9 counties it covers. It is the second largest with five high schools, thirty-one elementary schools, and one special education school.
Blue Ribbon School of Excellence Award - Designation as a Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education is considered the highest honor that an American school can achieve.19 out of our 37 schools have received this award since 1985.
The Diocese of Orlando has recognized Florida's Goal 3 Standards as good expectations of student performance and has adapted them to meet the expectations of students graduating from Catholic high schools. The following ten standards are broad areas of knowledge and competence that exiting Catholic high school students are expected to have when they graduate.
- Performance standards are defined through statement of outcomes that support each standard
- The exit-level skills required for entering postsecondary education and the world of work in the information age are the same and can be measured through a variety of assessment activities.
- Exit levels on the Goal Three performance standards will be established using a Gospel-based developmental approach, performance expectations at pre-exit levels will be established as benchmarks for assessing adequate progress.
- One of the criteria for the success of a Catholic school is determined by the extent to which each individual student in the school is making progress toward the performance standards. Some students may need individual accommodations in order to progress toward the performance standards and outcomes. These accommodations are based on Catholic philosophy and respect for each student.
- Gospel-based performance standards are written at the highest operational levels (e.g., analysis, synthesis, evaluation) and are based on the belief that individual students learn at different rates. Competency at such a high level requires student understanding, and use of content and foundation skills such as reading, writing, and mathematics.
- Assessment practices should serve but not determine the performance standards and should be based on the belief that all students can succeed.
- Performance standards should be designed so that students may go beyond them by broadening the learning areas within which the standards are applied.
- In order to reach high operational performance standards, teaching and learning in the Diocese of Orlando Catholic schools will be fundamentally structured in keeping with the principles of academic excellence and faith formation.
- The exit-level skills, knowledge, and values provide a framework within which the essential concepts of the curriculum frameworks will be incorporated. This framework provides a baseline measure for curriculum development in the Diocese of Orlando.
Standard #1 – Information Managers
Standard #2 – Effective Communicators
Standard #3 – Numeric Problem Solvers
Standard #4 – Critical and Creative Thinkers
Standard #5 – Ethical and Responsible Workers
Standard #6 – Resource Managers
Standard #7 – Systems Managers
Standard #8 – Cooperative Workers
Standard #9 – Effective Leaders
Standard #10 – Culturally Sensitive Learners
Sports & Enrichment Programs
All the schools in the Diocese of Orlando participate in local sports league. They offer a well-planned and directed athletic program for students of all ages. Activities include soccer, baseball, softball, flag football, volleyball, basketball, track, golf, cheerleading, and many more. Any student participating in a sports activity is expected to:
- Exhibit Christ-like character at all times
- Maintain a 2.0/C average at all times.
- Do their personal best in academics and behavior.
- Give fully of himself / herself during the practice and games.
- Be accepting of his/her mistakes.
- Strive to win without placing undue pressure on self or teammates.
- Recognize and respect strengths and weaknesses of teammates.
- Accept the guidance of coaches.
- Respect the decisions of officials and umpires.
- Refrain from offensive language and actions.
Some of the organizations by county are:
- All our high schools are members of the Florida High School Athletic Association
- Brevard County - Coastal Catholic League
- Lake County
- Marion County
- Orange, Seminole, and Osceola County - Catholic Youth League and Catholic Middle School Athletic Conference
- Polk County
- Volusia County
Catholic Schools within the Diocese of Orlando require enrolling students to submit a Florida Department of Health Certificate of Immunization as provided for in Florida Statute 1003.22 as a condition precedent to acceptance. Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Orlando do not recognize a religious objection to this immunization.