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Catholic Schools Week 2015

What's new at the area's Catholic schools

With Pope Francis set to visit Philadelphia this September, the area’s Catholic schools will have a global stage to show off their accomplishments. To mark Catholic Schools Week 2015 (Jan. 25-31), here’s a sneak peek at some of the interesting academic, athletic, technological and spiritual news from the Delaware Valley’s parochial elementary and high schools.

Pennsylvania Catholic Schools

Over the moon: They sky-high rate of Lansdale Catholic High School’s top graduating seniors who decided to major in STEM topics (80 percent) caught the attention of an honest-to-goodness astronaut. Captain Christopher Ferguson, USN, a Philly native who logged more than 40 days in space for NASA, gave the keynote address at the school’s STEM Fair last spring. 

Arcadian alliance: Bishop McDevitt High School is taking advantage of its close proximity to Arcadia University. The two Wyncote, PA, educational institutions have struck a long-term dual-enrollment alliance that also gives the latter access to the former’s athletic fields.   

Scholarship success: A record $320,573,955 in higher-education scholarships were awarded to 3,629 2014 graduates of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s 17 high schools. 

South Jersey Catholic Schools

Degrees of compassion: In their first joint service project, students from Paul VI High School in Haddonfield and Camden Catholic (above) collected new thermometers to stock a health clinic in Sikoro, Mali, hit hard by the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

College prep: Gloucester Catholic Junior Senior High has teamed up with Rowan University to provide free college-prep services for its students, easing the transition to higher education with access to college-credit courses.

Delaware Catholic Schools

Snow cyber days: In order to limit the learning loss too many snow days forces on a student body, Padua Academy in Wilmington has provided laptops to all its students, setting up a system for them to work from home should school be closed due to inclement weather.

Theology & technology: Combining modern tech with centuries-old religious tradition is a winning tactic at two DE Catholic Schools. During Easter-time Holy Week, students at St. Elizabeth High School in Wilmington take iPads loaded with audio-instructed activities into a prayer labyrinth, while kids at tech-savvy Padua Academy used their smartphones to scan QR codes in an electronic Stations of the Cross. 

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