Diocese of Harrisburg Catholic Schools

Proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ, the Catholic Schools Office of the Diocese of Harrisburg supports their Catholic Schools by promoting the spiritual, academic, social, and physical development of students in an environment that is distinctly marked by the values of our Catholic faith.

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We believe your child is a gift from our loving God. We would love for you to become part of our community! Each school will be able to offer you a tour and also tell you about their admissions process and costs.

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of our Elementary students score above the national average in Language Skills
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of our Elementary students score above the national average in Reading
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of our Elementary students score above the national average in Math
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of our students graduate from High School
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in scholarship funds are offered to graduates of Catholic Schools

About the 2021-2022 School Year

January 14, 2022

 

Dear Parents and Guardians in our Catholic Schools:

I hope the Christmas season brought peace and joy to your families! I am writing to update you on our Covid protocols for our Catholic Schools and some adjustments we are making, effective January 17.

On December 27, the CDC published new guidelines that are informing our approach, as we strive to mitigate Covid and maximize in-person learning:

  1. Isolation time for those who are positive for Covid 19 will now be five days, if asymptomatic, followed by five days of strict mask usage, without exception. If this is not possible, then the full ten-day period applies.
  2. Quarantine time for those who are unvaccinated and exposed to Covid 19 will be five days, followed by five days of strict mask usage, without exception. If this is not possible, then the full ten-day period applies. If symptoms occur, individuals must immediately quarantine until the quarantine period is completed, or a negative test indicates the symptoms do not stem from Covid 19.
  3. We will also begin to implement the CDC-approved “test-to-stay” program, when it is logistically possible for a school to do so. As of the week of January 17, schools will apply this program only for faculty and staff members. We hope to apply this program for students in the future. In this program, those unvaccinated individuals who were potentially exposed to Covid 19 may remain in school, as long as they remain symptom free, and follow the CDC-recommended regimen for testing.

We are also making the following changes:

Our Catholic schools are beginning the transition to mask-optional protocols. Schools will implement mask-optional protocols as early as January 17, but no later than January 31. All Catholic schools will follow mask-optional protocols as of January 31. The actual date on which the implementation begins is left to the school’s discretion.

However, face masks will be required in certain situations, including:

  • The requirements for masks in the new protocols, above;
  • When, at the discretion of the Principal in consultation with the Secretary for Education, there are multiple Covid cases in a particular classroom or grade level, and masking could help maintain in-person learning;
  • When 4% of the building is positive for Covid 19 (based on new cases in the previous week). In that case, the building will mask for one week, and we will re-evaluate in one-week increments. For smaller schools (less than 200 students), eight new cases will be needed to require masking for the whole school.

Based on the data and circumstances of the situation, the school Principal, in consultation with the Secretary for Education, may elect to switch an individual classroom or the entire school to virtual learning, when we believe that is in the best interests of the health and safety of all involved. We are committed to keeping virtual learning to a minimum, and to prioritizing in–person instruction.

While consistency is difficult to achieve in Covid times, we have been striving for consistency with masking protocols: As the Church teaches us that parents are the primary educators of their children, we started this school year with a mask-optional approach. When the state’s mask mandate was issued, we complied, as we have with previous mandates. As the mandate was overturned, we provided a period of time for transition and preparation for mask-optional protocols. Now, it is time to return to our original intent to allow parents to make the decision on masking for their children.

My office will provide support and information to schools as we adopt these protocols, and our schools will be in touch with more information.

We will continue to review and revise our protocols, as needed, based on the data we collect, as Covid situations change rapidly.

I thank you for your support for our Catholic schools. God bless you and your family.

 

Blessings,

Mr. Daniel Breen

Secretary for Education and Superintendent of Catholic Schools

 

Read this letter in Español.

What sets our schools apart?

As the Catholic Schools Office of the Diocese of Harrisburg, we envision education as a lifelong process that can actualize the full human and spiritual potential of all people, calling them to discover, internalize, proclaim, and live the Gospel message and to grow in faith.

We believe:

  • Every Child is a gift from God
  • Parents are the primary educators of their children
  • Teachers are a partner with the family in the educational process
  • Every person must be treated with dignity, respect, and care
  • The school is rooted in the life of the parish
Values Based Learning

Our schools are Christ-centered with a goal to provide the best spiritual formation for each child’s body, mind, and soul and to educate each student intellectually, spiritually, and morally.

Technology

Students in almost all our schools have access to a world class wide area network that brings untold educational resources and opportunities to them in well equipped classrooms.

Accredited

Our schools are accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and are members of the National Catholic Education Association. Catholic schools are unique faith-centered communities that integrate thinking and believing in ways that encourage intellectual growth and nurture faith and inspiration. They create a supportive and challenging climate which affirms the dignity of all persons within the school community.Please check out our schools.

  • We offer an education that combines Catholic faith and teachings with academic excellence.
  • We partner with parents in the faith formation of their children.
  • We set high standards for student achievement and help them succeed.
  • We provide a balanced academic curriculum that integrates faith, culture and life.
  • We use technology effectively to enhance education.
  • We instill in students the value of service to others.
  • We teach children respect of self and others.
  • We emphasize moral development and self-discipline.
  • We prepare students to be productive citizens and future leaders.
  • We have a 99 percent high school graduation rate. 85 percent of our graduates go to college.
  • We cultivate a faculty and staff of people who are dedicated, caring and effective.
  • We provide a safe and welcoming environment for all.

Affordable Tuition

A quality private Catholic education comes with a cost. Our schools work hard to offer the most affordable tuition possible for parents who want to make that choice. We are committed to making Catholic education an affordable option for families. Financial Aid and Scholarship programs are available to help with the cost of attending our schools.

Neumann Scholarship Foundation

The Neumann Scholarship Foundation provides financial assistance to families within the Diocese of Harrisburg who want to choose Catholic school education for their children, but do not have the financial resources to pay full tuition.

Golden Apple Award

Through the generosity and kindness of the Donahue Family foundation, the Golden Apple Award has been established to honor outstanding individuals who devote their lives to teaching in Catholic schools.

The Diocese of Harrisburg recognizes the unique responsibilities Catholic school educators have with regard to the holistic development of those students entrusted to their care. These educators are not only state-certified, but must also meet diocesan catechetical certification standards, which helps to ensure the integration of Gospel values and the Catholic Faith in all subject areas. As such, the Catholic school educator is a special person who guides students as they strive to reach their full intellectual and spiritual potential.

In light of the valuable contributions made by Catholic school educators to the Church and society, the Diocese of Harrisburg demonstrates its appreciation through the Golden Apple Award program.

Employment Options

Looking for a job in a Catholic school? View current openings and find resources for school applicants here.

All curriculum policies and procedures are established by the Office of Catholic Schools of the Diocese of Harrisburg and are voluntarily consistent with the requirements of the Academic Standards of the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Catholic Schools have high graduation rates.

U.S. Graduation Rates

Over 98% of our Catholic School students graduate from High School compared to 78.2% in Public Schools.

Courtesy of the National Catholic Education Association www.ncea.org

The Instructional Support Advancement Committee raises funds to support the implementation of new programs, and expand existing programs in order to sustain Instructional Support for children with learning differences and special needs in grades K-12 throughout the Diocese of Harrisburg.

The committee serves as a resource and support system for families and will promote awareness to all key stakeholders in the Catholic Community.

Secretary for Education and Superintendent of Schools

Mr. Daniel Breen
PH: 717-657-4804

Associate Superintendent

Mrs. Margaret Barrett
PH: 717-657-4804

Board Members
  • Rev. Peter Hahn, St Leo the Great
  • Rev. James Lease, St Catherine Laboure
  • David Rushinski, Harrisburg Catholic School
  • Antoinette Oliverio, St Patrick School
  • Vince Harper, Bishop McDevitt
  • Loretta Witkowski, Corpus Christi School
  • Adrienne Howe, Lancaster Catholic
  • Jeffrey Hughes, Resurrection Catholic
  • Kimberly Winters, St Joseph Danville
  • Katie Seufert, York Catholic
  • Eric Zeglen, Shippensburg University
  • Terry Kerwin, Counsel, Kerwin and Kerwin
  • Daniel Breen, Secretary of Education and Superintendent of Catholic Schools, ex officio
  • Margaret Barrett, Associate Superintendent of Catholic Schools, ex officio

The Catholic schools in the diocese are operated as faith communities, not as a commercial or secular enterprise. The schools provide an opportunity for the development of faith-based values and for receiving instruction in the teachings of Christ and His Church.

  • Community Policies
  • Administrative Policies
  • Business Policies
  • Personnel Policies
  • Personnel Benefits Policies
  • Student Policies
  • Curriculum Policies
  • Student Accident Insurance

COVID-19 Acknowledgement

Please use the below link to find the COVID-19 Acknowledgement for parents and/or guardians of students enrolled in a Catholic school in the Diocese of Harrisburg for the 2021-22 year.

Wellness Policy

The schools in the Diocese of Harrisburg recognize that student wellness and proper nutrition are related to students’ physical well-being, growth, development and readiness to learn. The Diocese of Harrisburg Office of Education is committed to providing a school environment that promotes student wellness, proper nutrition, nutrition education and promotion, and regular physical activity as part of the total learning experience.

An Introduction to Service as a Teacher in the Diocese of Harrisburg – part 1 of 2

An Introduction to Service as a Teacher in the Diocese of Harrisburg – part 2 of 2

Catholic Schools Contacts

Mr. Daniel Breen

Superintendent of Catholic Schools and Secretary for Education

Mrs Margaret Barrett

Associate Superintendent for Curriculum and Government Programs

School Events

Find Out What's Happening at Our Schools

The Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Harrisburg are always bustling with activity. Browse our education calendar to see any upcoming events at your child’s school.