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St. Patrick's celebrates Catholic Schools Week'

By Staff
FLAG Braden Sims, second grade, and Cohlby Sims, first grade, hold the school flag. Photo by Carl Crocker/The Meridian Star
Special to The Star
Jan. 26, 2001
St. Patrick School will join thousands of Catholic schools nationwide in the week-long observance of Catholic Schools Week 2001.
Established in 1974, the week recognizes the contributions Catholic schools make to the church, community and country. "Celebrate Catholic School" is the theme for this year's observance, which begins Saturday and continues through Feb. 2.
The local celebration will include several masses, a Winter Dinner and Dance, a Proclamation Walk to City Hall, a fly-over ceremony, special recognition events and lunches and an essay contest.
Among those recognized during the week are supporters and volunteers who work to provide a faith-based education for the 2.6 million students in 8,200 Catholic schools nationwide. In addition, teachers and staff are applauded for their contributions.
In the last seven years, overall student enrollment has increased by 86,000 and nearly half of all Catholic schools have a waiting list for admission.
According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (U.S. Department of Education, 1998), Catholic school students outscored their public school counterparts in every area on standardized tests including math, reading, science and writing.
St. Patrick Catholic School opened in 1873 under the leadership of the Rev. Father Louis Vally. The school grew from a frame structure housing 30 students to two separate schools one for boys and another for girls in grades one through 12.
In 1924, the two schools merged into one co-educational institute. In 1951, the high school section was closed, followed by the closing of the junior high section in 1968. The current building was erected in 1961 and today provides education for students in pre-kindergarten through seventh grade. The current enrollment is 200.

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