After hearing about what Holy Trinity Catholic School has to offer, many families ask, “What is the difference between Catholic school and public or secular private schools?” Some think that it is just that we teach religion. When you read about Holy Trinity Catholic School, or see one of our ads, something you will notice is the phrase “Superior Education in the Catholic Tradition”. If you do not have experience with Catholic school education, you might find yourself wondering, “just what does that mean exactly?" These are important questions, because there are reasons for the success rate Catholic schools enjoy.
First, the curriculum is not just academic. This matters! When considering a Catholic school, I would like you to imagine the cross in a special way. Imagine the cross as a convergence of two important curricula. Take the horizontal beam of the cross and allow it to represent the formal curriculum. This formal curriculum includes the various disciplines of study through which the student learns about the world, and him or herself. The formal curriculum, or the horizontal, signifies knowledge of the world, our temporal existence, physical truths and the human experience – all so necessary to understand in order to become a productive citizen of this world.
In a Catholic school, this formal curriculum is taught and understood through the lens of a Catholic worldview: a worldview that holds every person in dignity, a worldview that respects and protects all life from conception to natural death, a worldview that promotes careful stewardship of our resources, espouses hard work and promotes care for the poor. This Catholic worldview believes that knowledge is not just for knowledge’s sake, nor is it just for the purpose of making a living, but rather knowledge is to be used to make a difference in our world, to be used for innovation and discovery. It is this formal curriculum informed by a Catholic worldview taught at Holy Trinity Catholic School that is represented by the horizontal beam on the cross.
A Catholic school is also a community of faith. The vertical beam of the cross represents the informal curriculum through which the student learns about God and His Church. The informal curriculum, or the vertical, signifies our relationship with God. All relationships begin with the relationship we have with God, which then translates to our relationships with one another. Because we are all created and loved by God, we all share in the one family of God. At Holy Trinity, this community of faith binds us together in a special way. Students at Holy Trinity develop a sense of belonging that changes how they see and experience school, life and relationships. That is because this community of faith affects the way each person is treated. It is this community of faith that calls us to holiness, calls us to be people of service, and bids us to become more together than we can be by ourselves. This faith community expresses itself in daily prayer and community worship, which provides students the opportunity for leadership, where the diversity of gifts is developed and shared. Children learn that their gifts and talents matter and that they can be used to benefit the whole community. These are everyday occurrences at Holy Trinity.
The convergence of the two beams of our Catholic school cross show how important each of these aspects are to educating the whole child, spirit mind and body. Holy Trinity fulfills its mission to educate the whole child through both the horizontal – the formal curriculum, and the vertical – the informal curriculum. And at the center of our Catholic school cross is Christ – who is the great teacher in our school.