St. Vincent de Paul School in Stirling joined with hundreds of other Catholic schools throughout the nation in celebrating Catholic Schools Week. The celebration began with a visit of Most Rev. Arthur J. Serratelli, Bishop of Paterson.

 The theme of this year’s weeklong celebration is "Catholic Schools Raise the Standards." The theme highlights the launch of an initiative, the National Standards and Benchmarks for Effective Education. The national standards establish a set of defining characteristics for schools. Raising standards is a theme that 46 states have adopted for their public schools and that Catholic schools took on voluntarily. "It is unconscionable to ask parents to make a choice between high academics and faith-based education as if it were a trade off," said Fr. Richard Carton, pastor of St. Vincent de Paul Parish and administrator of the school.

 "This year's theme ‘Catholic Schools Raise the Standards’ is a particularly fitting theme for our Catholic school, which is known for a strong focus on academic excellence, high moral standards and faith development in our students," he added. “Catholic schools have a fundamental responsibility to ensure that those academics are of the highest standards, which is why St. Vincent de Paul School was one of 11 schools statewide awarded the 2012 National Blue Ribbon for Academic Excellence.”

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 “Statistics bear out the impact of a Catholic education," Fr. Carton added. "According to a survey published in 2010 by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, 99.1% of students in Catholic schools graduated, compared with 97.9% in other religious schools and 73.2% in public schools."

 The week of celebrations includes a student appreciation day, a teacher and volunteer appreciation day, a play written and directed by the second-grade teacher Mrs. Vicki Daglian, classroom visitations by parents, an academic bowl, pep rally and an assembly for the reading of citations from the State and local government.  

 The mission of St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School is to offer a system of education committed to developing each person involved spiritually, academically and morally so that each can become the best possible version of themselves to the glory of God.  St. Vincent de Paul School offers a variety of academic programs and extracurricular activities to students in preschool through eighth grade.  For more information on St Vincent de Paul School, its Blue Ribbon or its current registration, please call 908-647-0421.