4 Cornerstones of Our School Community

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4 Cornerstones of Our School Community

At Catholic High Schools of WNY, we know that times are tough. But in our school community, we’re rallying around our students, teachers, family, and staff to persevere. Together, we are accepting new challenges and adapting to new circumstances. Together, we are supporting environments that foster shared experiences, meaningful connections, and academic achievements.

Here are just a few ways we’re fulfilling our rich traditions and living up to our legacy:

  1. Interaction

We understand and appreciate the value of social interaction. At all 10 of our schools, we are creating safe and healthy opportunities for students to experience the social interaction they deserve. We are putting our teachers and staff in the best position to connect with each other, our students, and our families. We are leveraging the strength of our school community to stay focused and move forward.

  1. Mentorship

At Catholic High Schools of WNY, there’s no shortage of opportunities to grow as both an intellectual and as an individual. Whether you’re a new transfer or third-generation private school student, you have the benefit of learning from dedicated teachers who:

  • Are experts in their field
  • Believe in your ability
  • Are dedicated to your success
  • Prepare you for the future

Student-centered learning is paramount, and personalized education is a given.

  1. Lifelong connections

When you attend a Catholic High School of WNY, you’re joining a brotherhood or sisterhood that will last a lifetime. Right now, you might be making friendships, developing relationships, or learning about yourself and your peers as you grow up together.

But in four years, 10 years, or 25 years from now, you could leverage these very same connections to meet new people and seize new opportunities that change your life forever. Attending a private school isn’t just a part of growing up—it’s a part of living your life to the fullest. 

  1. Family

Last but not least, family is a cornerstone of our school community. To support the physical and mental wellness of every student during these uncertain times (and beyond), we’ve developed an emotional support system of guidance counselors and psychologists who work alongside students, communicate with families, and facilitate the safest environment for continued success.

In other words, our commitment to the progress and prosperity of our students relies on the values we share with parents, guardians, and alumni in our community. We invite you and your family to join us!

Are you interested in learning more about our schools? Please contact any of our admissions departments to find out about in-person and virtual events! And don’t forget to mark your calendar for the Entrance & Scholarship Exam on November 21, 2020.

5 Things Parents Gain From Catholic High Schools

Bishop Timon – St. Jude High School

Choosing where to send your child to high school is no small decision, and it is one you make with your child’s best interests in mind. You have chosen a Catholic High School education because you are excited about its lifetime benefits for your child, but you should know there are plenty of ways in which you will benefit as well—these highlights are just the beginning!

Here are 5 things to look forward to as a parent:

 

• Confidence in your child’s education. You want your child to get the most out of their four years of high school, which means you want them to be challenged to develop problem-solving skills they can use wherever they go next. Our comprehensive curriculum and attentive, supportive staff share these goals and work toward them every day.

• Support from an engaged parent community. Just as your child will be connecting with peers who share their goals and motivation, you will be introduced to a community of likeminded families with shared aspirations for their children’s futures. We are confident your child won’t be the only one forming lifelong friendships at school.

Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart

• Opportunities to stay involved in your child’s life. For many parents, getting involved with their child’s extracurricular activities is one of the most rewarding aspects of parenting. There are plenty of opportunities for Catholic School parents to play a supporting role in our many clubs, teams or community efforts.

• Meaningful relationships with a dedicated staff. Our small class sizes make it possible for Catholic High School teachers and staff to forge meaningful relationships with each of their students, which means they are perceptive to any challenges your child may experience with subject matter. They are committed to helping your child overcome any road blocks while keeping you informed every step of the way. Catholic High School teachers are also curious to hear from you, and receptive to any concerns or questions you may have.

Mount Saint Mary Academy

• Confidence in your child’s future. For the reasons we have mentioned here and more, you can feel confident that your child’s Catholic High School education is an investment in their future. They will make lasting relationships with peers and staff, learn critical problem-solving skills, and experience the spirit of community they can take wherever they go.

To learn more about our schools, please visit one of our upcoming open houses and mark your calendar for the 2020 Entrance & Scholarship Exam on November 21, 2020.

 

2019 Open Houses:

BUFFALO

BISHOP TIMON – ST. JUDE HIGH SCHOOL  All Boys
Sept. 24 (6-8pm)    Sept. 25 (6-8pm)
716-826-3610

BUFFALO ACADEMY OF THE SACRED HEART  All Girls
Sept. 27 (5-7pm)    Sept. 29 (11am-1:30pm)
716-834-2101

CANISIUS HIGH SCHOOL  All Boys
Oct. 6 (9:30am-12:30pm)    Oct. 7 (5:30-7:30pm)
716-882-0466

MT. MERCY ACADEMY  All Girls
Sept. 21 (10am-1pm)    Sept. 23 (5-7pm)
716-825-8796

NARDIN ACADEMY  All Girls
Sept. 29 (10am-1pm)    Sept. 30 (5-7pm)
716-881-6262

ST. JOSEPH’S COLLEGIATE INSTITUTE  All Boys
Oct. 6 (10am-1pm)    Oct. 7 (5-7pm)
716-874-4024

HAMBURG

ST. FRANCIS HIGH SCHOOL  All Boys
Oct. 6 (10am-1pm)    Oct. 7 (5-7pm)
716-627-1200

KENMORE

MOUNT SAINT MARY ACADEMY  All Girls
Oct. 6 (10am-1pm)    Oct. 7 (5-7pm)
716-877-1358

LANCASTER

ST. MARY’S HIGH SCHOOL  Co-ed
Sept. 19 (5-8pm)    Sept. 20 (5-7pm)
716-683-4824

TONOWANDA

CARDINAL O’HARA HIGH SCHOOL  Co-ed
Sept. 26 (5-8pm)    Sept. 29 (9am-12pm)
716-695-2600

5 Important Life Skills Students Learn from a Catholic High School

St. Francis High School

There is a reason why people say that high school culminates in four of the most formative years of our lives. It is where we make some of our closest friends, discover new talents or hone existing ones, make lasting relationships with mentors, and take classes that inspire our futures. In between big wins, tough losses, group projects, research papers, rehearsals and opening nights, it is also where we learn skills we carry with us after graduation.

At Catholic High Schools of Western NY, we take our role in each and every student’s personal growth very seriously, and we are proud to help them develop the following skills before they finally flip their tassels on graduation day.

1. Problem-solving. Our challenging curriculum asks more from our students, which means they are prepared to answer tough questions and overcome any obstacles that come their way. We hold our students to high standards because we know they are capable of surpassing them! Our supportive staff will always be there to provide resources and guidance, and our small class sizes provide plenty of room for students to explore, learn from mistakes and grow.

Canisius High School

2. Community service. We encourage our students to get involved in their school community and the greater community however they can. We also offer opportunities for service trips outside of the region. As a result, students foster their innate sense of service to a greater cause—a calling they will carry with them wherever they go in Western NY or beyond.

3. Teamwork. Our emphasis on community and camaraderie means our students are always in it together—on the field, on the stage or in the classroom. We believe extracurricular activities are an important part of the high school experience. They provide opportunities for students to explore their interests with like-minded, equally motivated peers who share their values as they work toward a common goal.

Niagara Catholic

4. Self-motivation. While there is nothing like a sideline full of cheering fans, there will be times when our students have to be their own cheerleaders, take accountability for themselves and harness their inner drive to be successful—even and especially when faced with adversity. There will be plenty of opportunities for students to tap into this kind of initiative in their academics or in their chosen extracurricular activities.

 5. Respect. Respect for peers, faculty and staff, and the larger community is at the very core of every lesson our students are taught both in and out of the classroom. We welcome students of varying backgrounds and beliefs and expect our pupils to do the same. Students can expect to engage in constructive discourse with those who have differing opinions or work cooperatively with others who see a different solution. As a result, they learn to approach new experiences with respect and openness to others.

2019 Open Houses:

BUFFALO

BISHOP TIMON – ST. JUDE HIGH SCHOOL  All Boys
Sept. 24 (6-8pm)    Sept. 25 (6-8pm)
716-826-3610

BUFFALO ACADEMY OF THE SACRED HEART  All Girls
Sept. 27 (5-7pm)    Sept. 29 (11am-1:30pm)
716-834-2101

CANISIUS HIGH SCHOOL  All Boys
Oct. 6 (9:30am-12:30pm)    Oct. 7 (5:30-7:30pm)
716-882-0466

MT. MERCY ACADEMY  All Girls
Sept. 21 (10am-1pm)    Sept. 23 (5-7pm)
716-825-8796

NARDIN ACADEMY  All Girls
Sept. 29 (10am-1pm)    Sept. 30 (5-7pm)
716-881-6262

ST. JOSEPH’S COLLEGIATE INSTITUTE  All Boys
Oct. 6 (10am-1pm)    Oct. 7 (5-7pm)
716-874-4024

HAMBURG

ST. FRANCIS HIGH SCHOOL  All Boys
Oct. 6 (10am-1pm)    Oct. 7 (5-7pm)
716-627-1200

KENMORE

MOUNT SAINT MARY ACADEMY  All Girls
Oct. 6 (10am-1pm)    Oct. 7 (5-7pm)
716-877-1358

LANCASTER

ST. MARY’S HIGH SCHOOL  Co-ed
Sept. 19 (5-8pm)    Sept. 20 (5-7pm)
716-683-4824

TONOWANDA

CARDINAL O’HARA HIGH SCHOOL  Co-ed
Sept. 26 (5-8pm)    Sept. 29 (9am-12pm)
716-695-2600

3 Healthy Ways to Deal With Stress

Being a teenager is stressful, period. But in the time of Covid, having to make new transitions is even more complicated, frustrating, or just plain annoying. If you find yourself being more stressed out than usual—which is a normal response to new or unpredictable challenges—please check out this list of healthy ways to deal with stress.

1. Take care of yourself.

Stress can be scary because it causes a negative chain reaction in your brain. Scientifically speaking, here’s how it works:

  • You experience a stressful situation
  • Your brain processes an emotional response
  • A distress signal is sent to the control center of your brain
  • The distress signal is relayed to the rest of your mind and body
  • You are triggered into a “fight-or-flight” response

The thing is, there are healthy and unhealthy ways to “fight” or flight.” Instead of stuffing your face with junk food or acting destructive, consider these healthy alternatives:

Breathe.

Did you know that U.S. Marines learn a special breathing technique to stay calm in stressful situations? It’s called the 4-7-8 relaxing breath exercise. When you control your breathing, you’ll slow your heart rate and reduce anxiety and panic.

Exercise.

Go for a walk. Take a jog. Crank out some pushups. Have a punching bag somewhere? Let it rip. Physical exercise stimulates a chemical change in the brain that contributes to healthier thinking.

Meditate.

Go to a quiet room, close your eyes, control your breathing, and clear your mind. This type of meditation will help you “quiet down” your nervous system and relieve stress. To learn more about the benefits of meditation and how to practice it at home, check out this article from the Cleveland Clinic: How to Use Meditation for Teen Stress and Anxiety

2. Find your happy place.

Is it playing the guitar? Drawing a picture? Spending time with a favorite friend, family member, or pet? Most of us have healthy and happy places that make us feel the safest and most comfortable. Where is your happy place?

If you’re experiencing discomfort, pain, or inescapable feelings of doubt, who can you talk to? Reach out to your parents, siblings, or friends for help. Ask one of your teachers or pastors for advice. Connect with a counselor, a coach, or your family doctor.

Examine the most trustworthy people in your network and tell them what’s going on. If you bottle up stress, frustration, and even anger, you could be doing serious damage to your mind, body, and soul. But when you talking about how you’re feeling, that alone can act as a healthy release—communicating can be a cathartic experience. And when you receive input from people you know and love, it can help you look at things from different, more comforting perspectives.

Related: Teems Talk About Stress (Video) 

3. Give it a rest.

Are you spending too much time studying? Reading the news? Watching TV? Scrolling on your phone? Too much of anything can be a bad thing, and sometimes the best cure is just to walk away. Take break. Give it a rest! It’s not about burying your head in the sand or ignoring a problem—that’s different. Rather, taking a break from something—usually the dramatic source of stress, whatever it may be—will give you a chance to reset your thinking, relieve stress, and regain your healthy mindset.

Are you literally not getting enough rest, try getting more sleep! Healthy exercise, regular sleep routines, and saying no to that coffee or energy drink will make it easier for you to chill.

Related: Stress Management and Teens

Inside the Catholic High School Student Experience

Wondering what it is really like to attend a Catholic high school? Though we could go on about its many benefits, we know the best way to get to know the Catholic high school experience is through the words of our students themselves.

To help you get an idea of the friendships, classroom environment, student/teacher relationships and extra-curricular activities that a Catholic high school offers, we asked three current students to reflect on the people and experiences that have shaped their last few years.

 

Q. How did you make new friends when you got to high school?

Maddy ’20: I made new friends playing soccer in the fall and through activities such as Freshwomen Fun Day. Soccer began in August and I was able to meet and befriend other incoming freshmen before school started.

 

Q. What class has challenged you most during your time at school? What did you learn from this experience?

Taylor ’21: During my sophomore year, I had to take Algebra II/Trigonometry—a really difficult course that most people take their junior year. There was homework every night, but it prepared me for the Regents exam at the end of the year. I learned that I could not be lazy, and that taking extra steps to prepare is important.

 

Canisius High School

Q. What are your favorite extra-curricular activities and why?

Gabriel ’21: Student Council and Varsity Baseball. I chose to get involved with Student Council because it allows me to have an impact on student and campus life. I am asked to submit ideas on ways to improve life on campus and for possible fundraising campaigns to support our initiatives. Baseball allows me to compete, escape the stresses of everyday life, have fun and better myself. Both of these activities offer opportunities to meet new people, have new experiences and to open doors for future endeavors.

 

Q. What kind of experiences have you shared with friends that brought you closer together?

Maddy ’20: I have made strong bonds with my friends through retreats and school events. Every year, each grade goes on a retreat for the day and spends time connecting with classmates. Throughout the year, students gather together at sports games and spirit week to make memories that will last forever.

 

Q. Describe a time you felt a teacher went above and beyond to help you accomplish something.  

Taylor ’21: My chemistry teacher really helped me and my classmates throughout the year. If we were busy with activities outside of school, she would try her best to accommodate us. She would also help us understand material better, prepare for Regents and add to our grades by allowing us to make corrections on tests.

St. Mary’s High School

Q. What has been the most valuable part about participating in an extra-curricular activity at your school?

Gabriel ’21: The new relationships I have made. The bonds I have built with teachers, coaches, students and teammates have been very positive. These relationships make me feel supported, welcome and comfortable. I could not be more thankful for the people who surround me.

 

Q. What memory of your friends will you always remember when you look back on your time at school?

Maddy ’20: Every spirit week, each grade creates a karaoke dance and performs it for the school. The winner of this dance earns a lot of spirit points and the grade with the most spirit points wins spirit week. During my junior year, my grade was behind in points, and our dance was the last chance at winning. We practiced hard, won the dance and, as a result, won spirit week! I will never forget celebrating and winning with my classmates.

 

Q. What do you like most about the classroom environment at your school?

Taylor ’21: Our guidance counselors divide students, so we have less people in our classrooms. Smaller classes are a really valuable benefit. They have had a really positive influence on my own learning. There are less distractions which helps me get my work done more efficiently.

 

Q. How have your extra-curricular experiences prepared you for the next step?

Gabriel ’21: They have opened doors for me that would not have been opened otherwise. Baseball may give me the opportunity to experience playing at the collegiate level. Student Council has given me experience in public speaking, creating and implementing plans, and working with others—all of which will help me in my future.

 

Q. What kinds of things have you learned from your friends at school?

Maddy ’20: My friends have taught me how important it is to support one another. No matter what is happening, my friends are always there for each other. There has never been a time that I have felt lonely and excluded.

 

Q. What is the most valuable thing you have learned in the classroom?

Taylor ’21: I have learned you have to work hard for your grades and your diploma. You have to strive for academic excellence. You have to do your homework or at least try, and you have to study for your tests. It may seem like it is pointless right now, but it prepares you for the next step.

 

Our Catholic high schools are places where students find community, build lasting relationships and find support that prepares them to take the next step. If this is the high school environment you are searching for, we encourage you to attend an upcoming open house to find the right fit.

Don’t forget to save the date for the entrance exam: November 21, 2020

Addressing Your Kids’ Questions About Catholic High School

St. Mary’s High School

Opting out of the public school system might seem like a no-brainer to you, but in the mind of your child, the decision to leave their familiar district can be overwhelming. We’re aware that attending a Catholic High School is a big decision for your family, which is why we’ve taken the time to break down the most common concerns we hear from students upon enrolling.

Here’s how to address them with your child:

Will I have to wear a uniform? Some of our schools require uniforms, and some don’t. If your child is worried about whether or not his or her personal style will be squandered by wearing a uniform, they needn’t be concerned! Uniforms actually help raise productivity in the classroom by eliminating distractions. Plus, your young adult will be happy to realize they can have an extra few minutes of sleep each morning without the need to select an outfit for school! As an added bonus, many WNY Catholic High Schools offer dress down days for students to showcase their individuality through their attire.

What about sports? Catholic schools offer just as many options for sports and extracurriculars as public schools. Our smaller class sizes allow for greater opportunity for students to participate and excel in higher levels of play.

Cardinal O’Hara High School

What about the teachers? Yes, our teachers have high expectations – but it’s only to help our students reach their full potential. Our staff teaches with a foundation of faith that builds students’ character while giving them the tools they need for the future. We truly care for each and every one of our students and do everything we can to help them succeed.

How will I make new friends? This is possibly the best part of attending a Catholic High School! Your child will be surrounded by similarly motivated peers who encourage one another to succeed. By making friends with the same core values and aspirations, our students enjoy a higher level of discourse and discussion – both inside the classroom and in social settings – all while forming lifelong relationships.

Nardin Academy

Encourage your child to come along to one of our upcoming Open Houses to learn more and see why WNY Catholic High Schools are truly a place where motivation meets opportunity.

Open House Dates:

 

BUFFALO

BISHOP TIMON – ST. JUDE HIGH SCHOOL  All Boys
Sept. 25 (6-8pm)    Sept. 26 (6-8pm)
716-826-3610

BUFFALO ACADEMY OF THE SACRED HEART  All Girls
Sept. 27 (5-7pm)    Sept. 30 (11am-1:30pm)
716-834-2101

CANISIUS HIGH SCHOOL  All Boys
Sept. 30 (9:30am-12:30pm)    Oct. 1 (5:30-7:30pm)
716-882-0466

MT. MERCY ACADEMY  All Girls
Sept. 23 (1pm-3pm)    Sept. 24 (5-7pm)
716-825-8796

NARDIN ACADEMY  All Girls
Sept. 30 (10am-1pm)    Oct. 1 (5-7pm)
716-881-6262

ST. JOSEPH’S COLLEGIATE INSTITUTE  All Boys
Oct. 14 (10am-2pm)    Oct. 15 (5-7pm)
716-874-4024

HAMBURG

ST. FRANCIS HIGH SCHOOL  All Boys
Sept. 30 (10am-12pm)    Oct. 1 (5:30-7pm)
716-627-1200

KENMORE

MOUNT SAINT MARY ACADEMY  All Girls
Sept. 30 (12-3pm)    Oct. 1 (6-8pm)
716-877-1358

LANCASTER

ST. MARY’S HIGH SCHOOL  Co-ed
Sept. 20 (5-8pm)    Sept. 21 (5-7pm)
716-683-4824

TONAWANDA

CARDINAL O’HARA HIGH SCHOOL  Co-ed
Sept. 30 (9am-12pm)  
716-695-2600