Local School Update – January 2023 

By Tina Jenkins Bell 
BAPA School Liaison 

With this first column of the year, I want to take the opportunity to remind you of the blessings in great school options we have in our community. In Chicago, that’s a rare statement because in some areas parents must drive or bus their children to school because they feel their local choices are “few and far between.” And I know that nothing is perfect, but we have educators and leaders who strive for the sakes of our children, whose long hours at their respective schools bleed into time for family and sleep, and whose teachers and staff emulate personal and school missions to move our children forward. That’s the reason over the next three months, The Villager will be celebrating the national recognition weeks of our Catholic schools in this issue, public schools in the February issue, and private schools in the March issue. 

I don’t know about you but I’m thankful every day that my children could walk to school as I watched from my door and that when they transitioned to high school, a drive was no more than ten to fifteen minutes each way.  

And here I go repeating myself: Look for ways to support your local school.  

National Catholic Schools Week: Jan. 29-Feb.7 

National Catholic Schools Week is annually celebrated in the United States to promote the exceptional education Catholic schools offer. Its goal is to recognize the value, principles, and contributions that the Catholic schools have relayed to the Church and every citizen for decades.  

The theme for National Catholic Schools Week 2023 is “Catholic Schools: Faith, Excellence, Service.” In this issue, we have profiled ten Catholic Schools. Take a look, visit their open houses, schedule a shadow day or review their websites to see how each school epitomizes this theme.  

CK Goes to Washington DC 

In October, Christ the King School (CK) followed a six-year tradition to take their 8th grade students to Washington DC in one day! The goal of the trip was to broaden students’ perspectives by experiencing Washington DC, its culture, and the nation’s capital. “All 40 of our students attended,” said Lee Ann Arethas, CK’s junior high math and 8th grade homeroom teacher. This was a feat because parents joined CK’s mission by paying for the cost of the trip in addition to tuition.  

Chaperoned by Arethas, Principal Dr. Ann Riordan, and eight volunteers, students got a chance to see the changing of the guards at Arlington Cemetery; the national mall; the Lincoln, Vietnam, Thomas Jefferson, Martin Luther King, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and national monument memorials; the White House; and other places.  

MPA Ranked Among the State’s Top Schools 

Morgan Park Academy (MPA) remains the top school in Chicago’s Southland area and one of the best in the state, according to an annual report from the school rankings and reviews website Niche.com. 

MPA was among 2.5% of schools nationwide to receive an overall grade of A+ and ranked No. 9 among Illinois K-12 private schools and No. 15 among the state’s private high schools. On diversity, long a strong suit, the Academy again earned the highest marks, ranked 13th in the state and in the top 4 percent nationally among most diverse private high schools. Niche’s report ranks schools based on a combination of data from the U.S. Department of Education and millions of school reviews and parent and student surveys. For more information, visit morganparkacademy.org or call 773-881-6700. 

For a complete listing of schools in Beverly/Morgan Park, visit www.bapa.org 

Happy New Year! 

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