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Catholic schools week: A tradition continues

| Friday, Jan. 25, 2013, 9:08 p.m.

There are 132,656 public and private schools in the United States, according to the Department of Education. Of those, 6,980 are Catholic elementary or secondary schools.

Locally, the Fay-West area parochial schools include Conn-Area Catholic and Geibel Junior-Senior High School, both in Connellsville, St. John's in Scottdale and several elementary schools in the Uniontown area. All are important in each community.

Beginning Sunday, these schools will kick off National Catholic Schools Week, when schools and Catholic parishes will focus on the value of a Catholic education and the contributions made by these institutions. This year's theme is “Catholic Schools Raise the Standards.”

Catholic Schools Week is a national celebration — observed since 1974 — of the important role that Catholic schools play in providing a values-added education. Despite the challenges of declining enrollment, they have persevered and contribute significantly to their communities.

For parents looking for a faith-based education, Catholic schools offer a choice.

We wish our local Catholic schools and their students success. In so many communities over the years, we have seen Catholic education lost because of school closures. We would hate to lose that part of our community.

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