Academic Excellence

Academic Excellence

Excellence has been a goal and hallmark of Catholic schools since their inception. As early as 1884, the Bishops of the United States meeting in Baltimore declared, "a complete education is inclusive of faith as well as education for the world." The bishops challenged us not to relax our efforts until our schools, "be elevated to the highest educational excellence." Such excellence remains a clear goal today and is at the root of all our future vision. This is a basic principle which directs school programs and improvement efforts.

During the 1996-97 school year, the school community was involved in a detailed evaluation. This process included a self study, a team visit and ultimately accreditation by two agencies: The Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges and the West Coast Catholic Schools Association. The visiting teams recognized the school for developing an atmosphere and learning environment which emphasizes the spiritual, academic, and personal development of students. We are also approved by the State of Washington, Department of Education.

Major educational improvements since 1992-93 include the addition of a staffed library with computerized record keeping and access to the Internet. All classrooms are networked and have access to the Internet as well as TV/VCR and cable access. Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) exams for grades 4 and 7 have performance-based outcomes and are a valued teaching tool. Students also take the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) in grades 2,3, 5, and 6. Teacher training and continuing education have resulted in a number of advanced degrees among faculty.

All teachers of religion are certified according to criteria established by the Archdiocese of Seattle. Additionally, teachers are expected to accrue 150 hours of continuing education within their discipline every five years.

A position of technology coordinator was established in 1997-98. This coordinator facilitates computer literacy and training for faculty, staff, and students.

The administration and faculty have been able to focus, evaluate, and improve academic quality through a seven year curriculum plan. This plan is reevaluated and updated annually.

We believe it is imperative that St. Charles Borromeo School continue to make every effort to not only meet the local and state standards, but to surpass them.