Students from St. Rose of Lima School are celebrating what makes their education different from other schools in Overbrook. From Jan. 27 to Feb. 2, the school is taking part in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Catholic Schools Week.
Events for the week include a breakfast for school volunteers, an open house for students’ families and friends and a professional development course for teachers at the end of the week. All of the events focus on the theme “Catholic Schools Raise the Standard.”
“One of the big thrusts as a Catholic school we publicly make is that we expect our students to behave in ways that are in keeping with our faiths’ traditions,” Sister Rita Murphy, principal of St. Rose of Lima, said. “We expect them to be respectful, to be kind, to be accepting of one another, to shy away from any sort of violence and to obey teachers, speak respectfully to teachers and one another.”
Although St. Rose of Lima is a Catholic school, Catholicism is not the only religious affiliation among students.
“No matter what faith tradition they [students] follow, they are welcome here,” said Sister Murphy. “We want the kids to understand and feel special about their school.”
The school serves a diverse community and is trying to adapt to various learning styles.
“We realize learning is expansive,” Sister Murphy said. “A lot of disadvantaged students do not have the reading skills, which presents challenges to close the gap.”
Through Catholic School Week’s professional development workshops, faculty will be learning new methods to help reach better scores for Pennsylvania’s System of School Assessment and other standardized tests.
“I don’t know when I have worked with teachers who were so committed to the children and to helping them be the best they can be in every way,” Sister Murphy said.