The Benefits of a Catholic Education: A Deep Dive at Immaculate High School
The Value of Catholic Education
Catholic education offers more than just academic excellence; it nurtures the whole person, fostering values, character, and a strong sense of community. As parents, you're concerned about making the right investment in your child's future. Immaculate High School in Danbury, Connecticut believes that the return on investment (ROI) in a Catholic school education is immeasurable.
In this blog, we address the most common questions parents have about the value of Catholic education, helping you understand why it's a wise investment in your child’s future.
So, What Makes Catholic Schools Different?
Catholic schools are distinguished by their commitment to holistic education. Immaculate prides itself in developing the whole student by nurturing academic, moral, physical, social and spiritual growth. Its goal is to form tomorrow’s leaders today, and much of that is rooted in faith.
It’s this unique spiritual focus of an Immaculate education that sets it apart from other high schools. While many of Immaculate’s students are Catholic, there are a number of students who come from other faiths and all are welcome!
What Kind of Values Will My Child Learn?
Immaculate High School prides itself on its rigorous academic curriculum. Our dedicated faculty ensures that students receive top-notch education, preparing them for higher education and future careers. But what sets us apart is our commitment to instilling values, ethics, and a moral compass in our students, which guides their decision-making throughout their lives.
“At Immaculate, it’s cool to be smart,” said Principal and Acting President Wendy Neil. “We strive to create a safe learning environment where every student can reach their full potential.”
Immaculate prides itself on its signature programs and reviews academic offerings every year for one reason: It is always innovating.
From STEM to graphic design, to healthcare to languages and even broadcasting, students stay on the cutting edge of skills that give them a leg up in our world today. Six Signature Programs Immaculate offers are:
- Graphic Arts
- Certified Nursing Assistant Program
- American Sign Language
- Podcast 101
- eSports Program
What Kind of Community Does a Catholic Education Foster?
Catholic schools prioritize community and inclusivity. At Immaculate High School, we provide students with opportunities to engage in extracurricular activities, clubs, and community service.
These experiences not only enrich their lives but also instill a sense of belonging and social responsibility that goes beyond the classroom.
“It was so welcoming because everyone was friendly and very open,” said Chad Doto ‘23, who had attended public school and didn’t know anyone coming into Immaculate. “I think we have a special community here because we’re a small school and everyone gets to know each other.”
Sarah Tallaksen ‘23 from New Milford seconds that. Even though she came with friends from St. Gregory the Great School, she made new pals at Immaculate. “It was easy to meet people because there are so many opportunities between social events, clubs and sports,” she said.
Immaculate boasts 35 clubs and 39 sports teams to be exact. For six decades, the school has been committed to developing a well-rounded student – which includes academics, athletics, extracurriculars, service projects and faith based activities.
Immaculate alumni also say it’s a special place and have an active alumni community. They form strong friendships in high school but many enjoy bonds that have endured for a lifetime – some 30, 40 and even 50+ years coming back for reunions, alumni sporting events and Career Day .
How Does Spiritual Life Fit In?
Catholic education places significant emphasis on spirituality. Immaculate High School offers religious studies that enable students to explore and deepen their faith. Our spiritual retreats provide opportunities for reflection and personal growth, helping students develop a strong moral foundation that will guide them in life.
Respect, responsibility and reverence are three words that, for decades, have greeted every visitor to Immaculate High School. The power of this message guides every student and serves as the spiritual compass for the Immaculate community.
“Our school is special because our students are special - in terms of their faith and their desire to know God,” said Immaculate’s Chaplain Father Philip Phan. “While many young people shy away from the church or faith in God because they think religion is no longer relevant in their lives, most of our students feel differently. Our teachers encourage students to go to Mass and Adoration, plus school staff regularly attend these services themselves.”
Immaculate’s robust Campus Ministry Program empowers teens to grow in three areas: sacramental, social and service. In essence, Mustangs pray together, have fun together and serve others together. Participants regularly do food and clothing drives for local shelters and retirement homes.
As part of the school’s Opus Fidelium requirement of a minimum of 25 hours of community service, students volunteer at organizations across the region – and beyond.
How Does a Catholic Education Prepare You for Life After High School?
College Prep Starts on Day #1 at Immaculate. We are committed to preparing students for the future. Our college and career preparation programs are designed to equip students with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in higher education and beyond. We take pride in our alumni who have gone on to achieve remarkable success in various fields.
"I probably don't need to tell you that the college admissions process is more competitive than ever before, which makes preparation even more crucial," said Dean of Counseling Timothy Nash, who has three decades of experience in college admissions at various Catholic colleges. "We are proud that college prep starts on day one at Immaculate and we nurture students through our counseling process to find their strengths, take advantage of all our opportunities here and highlight their competitive advantages. Our experienced staff stays on top of all the latest trends in higher education."
Counselors have this time because their caseload is smaller than most schools and can give students individual attention. A 12 to 1 student-to-faculty ratio ensures that students receive personal academic support as well. This individualized support – plus Immaculate’s core Catholic values – are what makes it special.
“We don’t just build graduates. We build great young adults. We build character,” said Mike DiGennaro, a counselor on Immaculate’s team. “We are a college prep school so our academic level is high and our motto is respect, responsibility and reverence. It’s who we are.”
Can My Family Afford a Catholic Education?
We understand that affordability is a concern for many parents. Immaculate High School offers a range of financial aid options and scholarships to ensure that a Catholic education is accessible to all. We're dedicated to making the investment in your child's future as manageable as possible.
“We are committed to making an Immaculate education an option for families who are committed to the mission and values of our school,” said Director of Admissions Denise Suarez. “We offer various payment plans ranging from pay in full to 10 monthly payments.”
Tuition assistance is based on a family's finances, the overall need of the applicant pool, and our annual financial aid budget. Merit and need-based scholarships are also awarded each year.
We invite you to become part of the Immaculate High School community. Join us for open house events, campus tours and admissions information sessions to experience firsthand the value of a Catholic education and how it can shape your child's future. We offer Mustang for a Day shadow visits for all students interested in experiencing life at Immaculate for a full day!
Students and parents can visit our campus during our Open House on October 22 by registering on our website.
Is This a Wise Investment in My Child’s Future?
Investing in a Catholic education at Immaculate High School is not just about the present; it's about providing your child with a foundation for a successful and meaningful future. The return on investment goes far beyond academics and college placement – it encompasses values, character, community, and spirituality. We invite you to explore the opportunities that await your high school-age child and join us on this transformative educational journey.
Marianne and Scott Mitchell, part of Immaculate’s Class of 1981, thought there was no better place for their children. “Immaculate was so wonderful that we sent our three kids there, and all five of us came out with great educations and so many memories,” Marianne said. “It is truly Fairfield County's best-kept secret!”
Immaculate High School is dedicated to empowering your child's future. By choosing us, you're choosing more than just an education; you're choosing a community that believes in your child's potential and is committed to helping them succeed in all aspects of life.
“I think one of the things parents think about is the economic investment, and that’s understandable,” said parent Tony Cirone, who made the decision with his wife Jen to send their four children to Immaculate. “But I can tell you what you’re going to get from an academic and economic perspective pays dividends for life. Plus they grow up and develop as a person at Immaculate to become a really well-rounded adult. It’s well worth the investment.”