Catholic Schools Begin 2017-18 Academic Year

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Catholic Schools Begin 2017-18 Academic Year

August 4, 2017  (Louisville, KY) – Jefferson County Catholic elementary schools in the Archdiocese of Louisville will begin the first official day of instruction on August 16, 2017. Although this is the first “official” day of school, some Catholic schools choose to begin on a day other than August 16. Parents are asked to consult their school’s handbook to determine when their particular school will begin instruction.

Catholic elementary and secondary schools outside Jefferson County generally follow the calendar of the public school district in which they are located.

Catholic secondary schools have a variety of start dates:

Assumption High School: August 14
Bethlehem High School (Bardstown, Ky.): August 2
DeSales High School: August 11
Holy Cross High School: August 11
Mercy Academy: August 10
Presentation Academy: August 14
Sacred Heart Academy: August 15
Trinity High School: August 15
St. Xavier High School: August 18

There are 49 Catholic elementary and secondary schools in seven counties of the Archdiocese of Louisville. Last year more than 19,500 students attended grades PK-12 in Catholic schools.  Included on the following pages is a sampling of new initiatives of the Archdiocese and of individual schools for the coming school year.


Opening Event for Catholic School Educators

On Friday, August 11, 2017, more than 700 Catholic elementary school educators will gather at Saint Margaret Mary Church, 7813 Shelbyville Road, Louisville, to celebrate the start of the 2017-18 school year.  Archbishop Kurtz will celebrate liturgy, and there will be a keynote entitled, “The Joy of Teaching: FUN Raising for Catholic Schools.”  Catholic school principals Timothy Reilly from the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Ohio and Kathy House from the Diocese of Little Rock, Arkansas, will deliver the keynote.

Tuition Assistance

More than $16 million in financial assistance has been awarded to families attending K-12 Catholic schools for the 2017-18 school year.

Kindergarten Age

Students need to be five to enter kindergarten by August 1 instead of October 1 for the 2017-2018 school year.

Solar Eclipse

Catholic school students will experience the excitement of a solar eclipse within the first few weeks of school.  Many schools are planning activities and curriculum to coincide with this real-world event. Please see a summary of selected activities on pages 8-9 of this release.

New Curriculum in Social Studies, Physical Education, and Technology

Curriculum in social studies, physical education, and technology are revised and reflect the latest content information and teaching techniques.

In social studies, the new inquiry-based curriculum utilizes practices of gathering and using evidence, chronological reasoning and causation, comparison and contextualization, geographic reasoning, economics and economic systems and civic participation to grow students’ social science and historical thinking skills.

The revised physical education curriculum recognizes that students are called to use their God-given gifts to maintain a healthy mind and body.  It provides a foundation for lifelong healthy living by emphasizing fitness, nutrition, positive social behavior and stress management.

The technology curriculum emphasizes the standards of empowered learner, digital citizen, knowledge constructor, innovative designer, computational thinker, creative communicator and global collaborator.

 “Equity into Action” Implementation

Three schools – Saint Rita School, DeSales High School and Saint Xavier High School – will begin implementation of strategies focused on learning equity. Learning equity ensures students receive content in a culturally relevant manner, provides students with the necessary skills to access the content and assists students in developing nurturing relationships with adults within the school.  Through differentiated activities, learner engagement and assessment strategies, these schools are committed to enhancing opportunities for students by transforming how individuals experience institutions and how institutions experience individuals.

Merton Leadership Initiative Year II

The Merton Leadership Initiative is in the second year of its inaugural three-year cycle to provide support for Catholic school leaders and identify future leaders.  This year, 31 participants from 10 schools will participate in an opening three-day pilgrimage to Saint Meinrad Seminary July 25-27, 2017, four learning days and a culminating celebration in May 2018.  The focus of the second year is on “Leading Learning.”


School Information

Nathan Sturtzel, Principal, Saint Patrick School


Saint Patrick School (1000 N. Beckley Station Road, Louisville) is proud to announce a new initiative for student engagement beginning in 2017-18.  With the belief that children should be engaged in the classroom at all times and that student engagement increases student achievement, the school will utilize cooperative learning to make this happen, in partnership with Kagan Cooperative Learning, an educational company. Through cooperative learning structures, students will learn how to effectively and positively interact with their peers while building knowledge, processing new information and thinking critically about new ideas.

  • Effective cooperative learning strategies can lead to a gain as high as 28 percentile points in measured student achievement (Marzano, Pickering, and Pollock, 2001).
  • These strategies also lead to higher individual and group achievement, healthier relationships with peers, higher metacognition and greater psychological health and self-esteem.
  • Students are better prepared for post-secondary school work and the workforce, as careers now demand strong social and emotional intelligences while working on teams and exhibiting effective 21st century skills, including collaboration and communication.

Teachers, administrators and instructional assistants will be working with Kagan Professional Development in August for training and throughout the implementation process.


Margie Reece, Principal, Saint Athanasius School

502-969-2345/Email: Web:

Teachers and staff are working hard at Saint Athanasius School (5915 Outer Loop, Louisville) to get classrooms ready for new learning and welcome new students.  The school also is celebrating last year’s Terra Nova test scores with grades 3, 5 and 7 scoring in the top 15% in the nation in reading, and grades 3 and 7 scoring in the top 15% in the nation in the area of math.  Additionally, teachers are busy finding ways for students to enjoy the solar eclipse. ​


James Torra, Director of Admissions, Trinity High School

502/736-2120/Email: Web:

Trinity High School (4011 Shelbyville Road, Louisville) is opening a new information technology center. Archbishop Kurtz will tour and bless the space on September 15. The center brings together Trinity’s five IT professionals into one modern office environment and adds two new computer labs, bringing the total number of campus computer labs to six. With Trinity’s “bring your own device” approach, new computer labs, newly renovated library-media center and iPad and laptop carts, students have ever improving, up-to-date technology and supporting spaces at their fingertips. Trinity students enjoy a wide array of information technology courses including Robotics, Video Game Theory and our CISCO Networking Academy. The new technology center was made possible by a generous gift from the estate of Gregory H. Brown, Class of 1965.

Through a generous gift from Dr. Kevin Walsh ’73 and his wife Dr. Carol Summe, Trinity also completely renovated its oldest science lab. This new science lab is one of nine on our campus, including an outdoor hands-on science lab along Sherrin Avenue that was envisioned by department member Marlon Francis. In addition to the traditional classes of biology, chemistry and physics, these spaces allow Trinity students to enjoy a wide range of science electives including Anatomy and Physiology, Earth Science, Space Science, Environmental Science, Forensic Science, Aerospace Science and multiple AP offerings. All students are required to study four years of science at Trinity, and many of our students go beyond this requirement.


Laura Grinstead, Communications Manager, Sacred Heart Model School

502-736-6418/Email: Web:

Over the summer Sacred Heart Model School (3107 Lexington Road, Louisville) renovated ten learning spaces as part of an initiative to introduce “classrooms of the future.” Nine classrooms and one lab have been outfitted with features such as modern concept ergonomic furniture, collaboration stations, touch panel LED displays, Lego walls and floor-to-ceiling magnetic surfaces. The renovations were planned, in part, to accommodate an expansion of the middle school, which has seen considerable enrollment growth in recent years.


Michael Bickett, Principal, Saint Martha School

502-491-3171/ Email: Web:

It has been a busy summer at Saint Martha School (2825 Klondike Lane, Louisville) with   Technology upgrades, building renovations and teacher professional development in full swing:
Professional Development 
 Jonathan Perri, middle school math teacher, was selected to attend the NASA Space Camp Conference for Math and Science. Dana Bale, grade 3 teacher, was selected to attend the Kentucky NEED Energy Conference, where she studied the energy needs and abilities of Kentucky.

Technology upgrades   Smart televisions were purchased with PTO funds to provide a seamless stream of technology for all middle school classrooms, where all students are one to one with Chromebooks. In addition a set of Chromebooks was purchased for grades 4 and 5 students.  Cleverboards, state of the art technology, were purchased for the preschool program and for middle school math instruction.

Building Renovations   The Saint Martha school cafeteria received a new ceiling, lights, window shades and a fresh coat of paint. It is beautifully bright and ready to serve! The parish gym, Bethany Center, was painted, and a new floor was installed with a beautiful Shamrock at center court.


Anastasia Quirk, Principal, Vice President of Academics, DeSales High School

502-368-6519/ Email: Web:

As DeSales High School (425 W. Kenwood Dr., Louisville) nears the first day of school, the school is anticipating enrolling its largest number of students since 1998 with an opening day enrollment of at least 365. Three hundred seventy-one students were enrolled in 1998.

The estimated 365 students will mark a 32% increase in enrollment since 2006. To prepare for this growth, DeSales has added new lockers, an online classroom offering 50 plus electives, three new faculty positions and additional dual credit classes. DeSales welcomes and gives thanks to all faculty, staff, students, parents and stakeholders as it embarks on another year of academic, spiritual and personal growth.


Andrea Mattingly, Communications and Digital Media Coordinator, Mercy Academy

502-671-2010, x 2309/ Email: Web:

Mercy Academy (5801 Fegenbush Lane, Louisville) is excited to welcome students back to school with new carpet throughout the first floor and state-of-the-art renovations to the athletic fields (two press boxes, stadium seating with Mercy blue chair backs and an outdoor sound system so the National Anthem can be played before each game). Renovations also have been made to the theatre (acoustic treatment to the ceiling and walls, new flooring with portable risers that provide a variety of performance and stage configurations, sconce lighting, a new sound and light control booth and additional lighting systems that allow for greater flexibility and variety of productions).

Mercy also received a $10,000 grant to purchase an AT&T commercial drone that can be used to enhance opportunities inside and outside the classroom, including a STEM research project at the falls of the Ohio with archeological professor at Bellarmine University, Dr. Kate Bulinski. Mercy students will assist her in review of the 390 million-years-old fossil beds, which are among the largest naturally exposed Devonian fossil beds in the world.


Megan Stearman, Communications Coordinator, Saint Xavier High School

502-637-8485/ Email: Web:

As Saint Xavier High School (1609 Poplar Level Road, Louisville) strives for excellence in all areas, many improvements have taken place over the summer. To enhance student involvement and health and safety among users of its athletic facilities, Saint X improved these facilities through state-of-the-art turf on both the stadium field and baseball field and through the resurfacing of the track. These facilities are used daily by athletic teams, hosting more than 50 games per year and also are utilized by all students in the physical education curriculum, intramural programs, special school events (i.e. Tiger Blast and Senior Field Day), and for general use by our entire student population.

The new turf fields provide the safest environment through the use of the Brock Powerbase shock pad designed to protect the brain from impact injury, therefore lessening the risk of soft tissue joint injuries. The turf improvement also included changing the infill of the field to a product called Envirofill. This infill product is a much safer and cleaner acrylic-coated material that will help with field maintenance and the health of those using the field.

St. X thanks its wonderful donors and alumni for supporting these improvements to the school. The focus and commitment to students in the classroom and in campus life keep the tradition of excellence alive and responsive to the needs of today’s Tigers.


Tricia Barry Biagi, Director of Marketing, Communications, and Public Relations Assumption High School

502-271-2517/ Email: Web:

Assumption High School (2170 Tyler Lane, Louisville) becomes the first all-girls school in Louisville to benefit from a national program designed to introduce students to career opportunities in architecture, construction and engineering. The ACE Mentor Program (Architecture, Construction, Engineering) is an after-school program that provides hands-on introduction to architecture, design, engineering, construction management and other construction careers. The program matches students with ACE professionals or mentors who volunteer their time and energy to mentor students in these fields. Students will learn where and how these professionals work, the skills they use and see their projects under construction. Participants will design a project for possible construction on campus or in the community. Upon completing the program, students will have the opportunity to earn scholarship dollars for college if they elect to major in these fields.

Assumption High School is launching the prestigious AP Capstone Diploma program for the 2017-18 school year and is the only all-girls high school in Louisville to offer this program. AP Capstone is a College Board program that equips students with the independent research, collaborative teamwork and communication skills increasingly valued by colleges and employers. It cultivates curious, independent and collaborative scholars and prepares them to make logical, evidence-based decisions. AP Capstone is comprised of two AP courses — AP Seminar and AP Research — and is designed to complement and enhance the discipline-specific study in other AP courses. Assumption High School will use the AP Capstone program to provide unique research opportunities for current AP students and to expand access to AP by encouraging students to master the argument-based writing skills.

The green roof at the Assumption Green Sports and Education Complex (4500 Champions Trace Lane, Louisville) has received updated technology. New temperature sensors were installed to collect data for Assumption science students to research. The sensors are connected to an interior computerized data panel to determine the benefits of having a white roof planted with foliage, which absorbs and reflects the heat of the sun and lowers the temperature of the building, decreasing energy use. Assumption’s green roof also is equipped with solar panels to collect energy to contribute back to the Louisville electrical grid.

During the summer of 2017, more than 30 Assumption students participated in international travel programs arranged through Assumption High School for global learning opportunities. Six faculty-moderated student groups traveled to Argentina, South Africa, China, Ireland, France, Spain and Costa Rica to enhance their understanding of other cultures and develop international skills.


Solar Eclipse Activities:

Kathy DeLozier, Principal, Saint Nicholas Academy

502-368-8506/Email: Web:

Students in grades 5-8 at Saint Nicholas Academy (5501 New Cut Road, Louisville) will experience the total eclipse of the sun on August 21.  They will travel to Goodletsville, TN to find out first-hand what happens during a total eclipse.  Teachers have worked in the summer to create lesson plans about the eclipse.


Camille Boone, Principal, Saint Gregory School

 502-348-9583/Email: Web:

Saint Gregory (350 Samuels Loop, Bardstown) middle school students will be traveling to Bowling Green, Ky. on August 21 to view the solar eclipse.  Buses are scheduled to arrive at 10:00 a.m. at the Bowling Green Hot Rods Stadium.  The agenda for the day will be to take in the minor league baseball game and view the eclipse from the stadium.  The Hot Rods’ education team has provided some educational materials regarding baseball and the eclipse that will be used for the day.


Caitlin Ousley, Science Teacher, Saint Leonard School

502-897-5265  Email:


Saint Leonard School (440 Zorn Avenue, Louisville) is prepping for a solar eclipse party from 1-3 p.m. on August 21.  The school has bought eclipse glasses for everyone in the school (staff and students) and some extras for the families, and the school will be serving sun chips and moon pies as snacks in honor of this event.  It also has joined a NASA project to collect temperature and cloud coverage data and to observe animal behavior.


Nathan Sturtzel, Principal, Saint Patrick School


The Saint Patrick School (1000 North Beckley Station Road, Louisville) Parent Teachers Association is purchasing sunglasses for each student to wear when viewing the solar eclipse – ensuring safety while looking cool as we witness this special day in history.


Anastasia Quirk, Principal/Vice President of Academics, DeSales High School

 502-368-6519/ Email: Web:

The men of DeSales High School (425 West Kenwood Drive, Louisville) will celebrate the solar eclipse through guided lessons and an experiential walk to view this remarkable event.


Wendy Sims, Principal, Saint Margaret Mary School
502-426-2635/Email: Web:

Saint Margaret Mary School (7813 Shelbyville Road, Louisville) will celebrate the solar eclipse school-wide. Activities will include: a guest speaker from the Louisville Astronomical Society, special eyewear, a solar eclipse scavenger hunt with IPads, cooking with solar energy and webquests with Mr. Eclipse.

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2017-10-13T15:52:04-04:00August 4th, 2017|2017 Press Releases, 2017 Schools Press Release|