O’FALLON – St. Clare Catholic School will celebrate Catholic Schools Week Jan. 27-Feb. 3. The week of activities kicks off with an open house for the community and kindergarten registration from 1:30 to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 27 at the main campus at 214 W. 3rd Street in downtown O’Fallon.
The open house will feature tours of the school, including the addition that opened in 2013, and will showcase the school’s enhanced offerings, such as 1:1 iPads in grades 4-8, Spanish and the expanded fine arts curriculum. Grades K-8 attend the main campus. The school’s Good Shepherd preschool program for children ages 3-5 is located in the Good Shepherd Center at St. Nicholas Catholic Church, 627 St. Nicholas Drive in O’Fallon.
“We have so much more to offer our students and their families, and we want to welcome everyone,” Principal Clarice McKay notes. “Our faith and service opportunities, extensive curriculum, expanded building, family atmosphere and emphasis on experiential learning and personalized instruction are among our strongest assets.”
“By incorporating faith formation into all aspects of our curriculum, we are not only building smart students, but we also are building strong Catholics, who we hope will lead the way in our faith as they grow,” McKay notes.
“For Catholic Schools Week, we will focus on gratitude for dedicated Catholics and our three parishes who provide a quality, faith-based, academically strong education,” says Director of Faith Formation Diane Overmann.
To kick off Catholic Schools Week, students and parents will serve as liturgical ministers at the weekend Masses at the three churches affiliated with St. Clare School – St. Clare of Assisi, St. Nicholas and Corpus Christi Catholic churches. School families will thank parishioners for their generous support. In addition, after Monday’s prayer service, students will have the opportunity to talk about their faith role models. Each student is asked to dress as someone who is a model of faith to him/her. They can dress as Saints, friends, relatives, community members or leaders (living or deceased).
“Throughout this special week, we also will focus on our Catholic identity – what it means to live a Catholic life and follow Jesus in all you say and do,” says Overmann. “Our Catholic identity includes an understanding of the value of all human life and service to help provide for the needs of others.”
For example, school families, with the guidance of Catholic Relief Services, will join in daily prayer for people who suffer from natural disasters around the world. Our students will also be collecting gently used children’s books, which will be donated to the St. John Bosco Children’s Center.
Students and teachers will thank those people who work in our community for their service and present them with a card. Then, as a celebration of our unity and our buddy program, the students will go bowling together. On Wednesday, St. Clare families are invited to have a picnic-style lunch to share some quality family time together.
Christian rock artist Karl Zimmerman and his band will play music at 8:30 a.m. Mass on Thursday and perform a concert after Mass.
On Friday, students and parents will celebrate the teachers. The eighth-grade students will teach classes in the morning, and the St. Clare School Parents and Friends organization will host a faculty and staff appreciation luncheon. Then, students and teachers will do trivia together in the gym.
The faculty and staff will create their list of “Top 10 Reasons We Love Teaching at a Catholic School,” and each homeroom will create their own list of “Top 10 Reasons We Love Attending a Catholic School.” These will be displayed at the open house.
The week of celebration closes with a pancake breakfast, hosted for the community by the Parents and Friends organization, from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 3 in the school cafeteria and gym. Donations will be accepted at the door.