Office of Catholic Schools debuts DetroitCatholicSchools.org along with new visual identity, video

DETROIT — Interested in Catholic education, but not sure whether it’s affordable?

Which schools in your area offer which extra-curricular activities?

How many times do students attend Mass? Which schools are run by religious orders, and what are the core values of those orders?

As part of the Archdiocese of Detroit’s “Unleashing Our Catholic Schools” initiative, the archdiocese's Office of Catholic Schools on May 30 unveiled an all-new identity and website, DetroitCatholicSchools.org, a one-stop shop where parents and prospective Catholic school families can look up need-to-know information about Catholic schools in southeast Michigan.

“Archbishop (Allen H.) Vigneron and I talked about how important it is to develop an archdiocesan marketing and communication strategy to promote the life-enriching benefits of Catholic education,” Kevin Kijewski, superintendent of Catholic schools for the Archdiocese of Detroit, told Detroit Catholic.

Visit the new website for the Archdiocese of Detroit's Catholic schools at DetroitCatholicSchools.org.

“A ton of people like our Catholic schools, but they don’t know what they are able to accomplish, how affordable they are, how accessible they are to families,” Kijewski said. “This is a more effective communication tool for our current families and prospective families on what our Catholic schools have to offer.”

Part of the new identity is a logo featuring Ste. Anne and the Blessed Virgin Mary, inspired by the Archdiocese of Detroit's coat of arms, in which the mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary is shown in her role as mother and teacher, “reinforcing the role parents play as the primary educators of their children,” Kijewski said.

By incorporating elements of the archdiocese's coat of arms, the new identity underscores the centrality of Catholic education to the Archdiocese of Detroit's core mission of creating disciples, Kijewski said.

DetroitCatholicSchools.org, developed in conjunction with the Archdiocese of Detroit's Department of Communications, features a new video and an interactive map where users can find Catholic schools in the area, with filters by grade level. The website lists each school in the archdiocese with links to learn more.

A teacher reads flashcards for students at Our Lady of Sorrows School in Farmington. (Marek Dziekonski | Special to Detroit Catholic)

Eventually, the website will feature core information such as tuition rates, extracurricular activities, financial assistance and core values for each school.

The site will also feature statistics comparing Catholic schools' achievement rates with those of neighboring public schools in order to give parents a full picture of the benefits of a Catholic education, Kijewski said.

In addition to being an aggregate site for schools in the archdiocese, the new website will highlight Archbishop Vigneron's vision for Catholic schools as “proudly Catholic, academically excellent, accessible to all and sustainable for the future.”

Kijewski added the website's primary purpose is to be an initial research point for prospective parents, not a comprehensive source of information. The goal, he said, is to encourage parents to seek additional information from individual schools that might interest them.

Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron prays over a student during the annual Catholic Schools Week Mass at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in January. (Naomi Vrazo | Detroit Catholic)

“We want to be a 'value-add' to our existing Catholic schools, bringing to bear our resources to attract attention to our local Catholic schools and the amazing work they are already doing,” Kijewski said. “If families are interested in applying, they will have the contact information that goes directly to our Catholic schools. We are the introductory informational level, and when parents need to know more, they can go directly to the school they are interested in.”

The new website will also feature Detroit Catholic articles highlighting local schools, and promotional material detailing the proud history of Catholic education in the Archdiocese of Detroit and what makes a Christ-centered education unique.

“This is about bringing all of our resources and knowledge together to share the good news about what our Catholic schools can do,” Kijewski said. “Our school principals and pastors have been asking for something like this: a central place to share the good news, to share information with our families.

“Once we have them in the door, we know the quality, the faith of our Catholic schools will make them want to stay,” Kijewski added. “Each of our Catholic schools have their own story to share in their own way, and this website will help them tell that story.”


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