About Catholic Schools
Diocese of Bridgeport Catholic Schools are led by highly skilled professionals. The Office of the Superintendent of Schools has earned invitations from around the country to share best practices in curriculum development.
From our perspective, a Catholic school provides benefits that ensure a tremendous return on investment: rigorous academics, spirituality and faith woven into a nurturing learning environment and a community that looks after one another. You can’t ask for more than that!
- Marcy McDougall, Parent
Over A Century of Transforming Lives
In the 1850s the first Catholic schools were established in Fairfield County. They were all small and taught by the laity. Saint James in Bridgeport, Saint Mary in Norwalk and Saint Peter in Danbury opened in private homes. By 1876 Sisters of Mercy were invited to by the rector of Saint John’s in Stamford to establish a mission in the parish school. By the turn of the century, the Sisters of Mercy were joined with other teaching congregations. With immigration on the rise in the early 1900s, 21 parish schools had been established.
By 1953 there were 279 parishes in the state that comprised the Diocese of Hartford which had the largest Catholic population of any diocese in the United States outside of Brooklyn, NY. It was decided by the Vatican to split the state into three dioceses. The first bishop of the Diocese of Bridgeport was Lawrence Joseph Shehan who opened 3 diocesan high schools, 15 parochial elementary schools and started construction on an additional five. Notre Dame High School opened accommodating 2,200 students and was the largest Catholic high school in New England and the largest secondary school in the country. Soon after, Norwalk Central Catholic High School was built teaching over 1,000 students by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. The school is now the site for All Saints Elementary School.
Today there is a renaissance in Catholic education in the Diocese of Bridgeport. 9,000 students attend our 20 elementary schools, 5 high schools, and 1 special education school, St. Catherine’s Academy.
We Are Committed to Academic Excellence
Our academic program, faith-filled learning communities, and safe and secure classroom environments, help us educate the whole student. We promote our students successful journey to higher education and throughout their lives.
- 50% of our elementary schools achieved the Blue Ribbon of National Recognition.
- 99% of graduating high school seniors go on to college.
- College financial aid awards to our graduating seniors total six million dollars in federal, state, and local scholarships and grants.
- Nationally recognized curriculum mapping process exceeds Connecticut state standards.
- Faculty participate in highest caliber professional development.
Our faith is integral to what We Do
Students learn the value of Catholic service – to be responsible for helping others – which begins with our youngest and continues through high school. Within our Catholic school system, students work with students from other schools to nurture learning and living.
- Our school communities live the faith we teach and strive to instill a solid moral foundation rooted in Gospel values.
- Students, teachers and staff come together to celebrate and pray for each other, our communities, and for the world around us.
- We mark the Church seasons and holy days with Eucharistic liturgies, prayer services and other activities.
- Students learn the value of Catholic service – to be responsible for helping others – which begins with our youngest and continues through high school. Within our Catholic school system, students work with students from other schools to nurture learning and living.
- Our curriculum ensures that our faith is taught as a core subject in every year of study, and every facet of the Catholic faith is kindled in the hearts of our students.
- Our learning communities are small and personal where each child is known by name.
- Students are secure in our safe school communities.
- Values and faith taught at home are re-enforced in school.
Opportunities to discover new interests
Besides a strong athletic and performing arts program, we also offer a variety of clubs including Art, Robotics, Congressional Youth Leadership Council, Culinary, Science, Debate, French, Spanish, Mandarin, Honor Societies, Newspaper, Outreach Programs, Service Organizations, Student Council and Yearbook.