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parochial schools

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In parochial schools, who/what is the overseeing organization? It is the parish council or does the school have it's own school board, board of trustees or does the school fall under the jurisdiction of whatever school district they are in?

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#1 - December 07, 2011, 06:31 AM
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There's probably a hierarchy of some kind--a local board of trustees for the particular school, plus being overseen by some diocesan authority.  It probably varies by diocese.
#2 - December 07, 2011, 07:38 AM
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Around here (Philly) there are Diocese Catholic schools run by the local Diocese but also non-Diocese, independent ones that are run by religious orders, like Christian Brothers or Jesuits. The independent ones are more prestigious and expensive like other private religious and secular schools, and they have their own boards of trustees.

So you can choose whichever structure makes most sense for your story!  

ETA: Here's a big difference. I just looked tuition rates for the large high schools in the Archdiocese -- $5,600 a year. I looked at one of the fancy Augustinian schools -- $26,700 a year. That's a day school. Guip.
#3 - December 07, 2011, 09:22 AM
« Last Edit: December 07, 2011, 09:38 AM by KellyA »
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Parochial schools are generally run by either the local diocese or by a religious order such as the Marians, Benedictines, Jesuits etc. Both of them have boards of directors, but they don't work the same way and both of them are far different from public school boards. Local diocesan schools are ultimately run by the parish pastor who can make any and all decisions with or without the consultation of the board. They have boards and board policies, but the final decision is a pastoral decision. Order run schools also have a board and they make decisions along with the school president and principal, especially decisions like long-range plan, any new buildings being built, etc.

If you're talking about heirarchy in terms of a kids who gets in trouble it might typically go Teacher - Dean of Students/ Vice-Principal - Principal - Head of School/School President.  At least around here, far fewer things are decided by the board than would be in a public school. Things like curriculum, discipline, teacher retention, etc. don't go to the board.

We do not have the difference in price that Kelly mentions - it's about $9,000 a year for high school irregardless of whether it's the Jesuit school or the Archdiocesan one.
#4 - December 07, 2011, 10:13 AM

I'm Lutheran and have been involved in a number of parochial schools.

Most of them are under the "control" of the local congregation, primarily. They do have ties to a circuit and district, but that's primarily for support and continuing ed. The curriculum, budget, hours, etc. are all set locally. If a Lutheran school is run by just one church, they have a board of education. That board oftentimes also runs the Sunday school, Bible studies, and other congregational education programs. The school is just an extension of the church.

Currently, I'm at an association school. It is run by several churches of the same denomination and synod. They each have a say in the budget and other typical board of ed things. They each send two people to the board of ed, so they are all equally represented. The pastors may or may not be on the board of ed (usually they are in advisory role, but I have seen some take more powerful positions.)

The public school district works with us to provide some services, but we don't even follow their schedule exactly. We share some bus services, but since our students have to pay for that, it doesn't affect too many of the students. The whole busing issue is different in every district. I've seen all sorts of things worked out (or not worked out.)

I've got one student in a Lutheran high school and one at elementary. I've worked at elementaries (K-8) but have helped out at the high school level. My husband (a pastor) serves on one board of ed and the technology committee at the other school.
#5 - December 07, 2011, 12:17 PM

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You guys, rock! Thank you so much. I knew the BBers would come through for me!  :carrot
#6 - December 07, 2011, 02:18 PM
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Hi Car,

I think the responses here are right; there are various different situations. I went to a Parochial school that was overseen solely by a Board of Trustees as it had no affiliation with one specific church. (It had an affiliation with a religion, but there was no church on or near the campus.)

You mentioned school district. My school, as well as other private and parochial schools I know of in my city (Los Angeles), was not part of any school district. It was accredited by the state of California. It did not report to any larger governing body such as a district. The only thing we did that was like a district was that for sports, there was a league of about 6 local private or parochial schools that played sports against each other. But that league was just something started by parents and school faculty and it was run independently.

I hope that is helpful!
#7 - December 31, 2011, 03:10 PM

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And keep in mind that many parochial (i.e., parish) schools are consolidating with others in the area and typically have different campuses based in the old parish school buildings, such as grades K through 5 in the former St. Mary's school building and grades 6 through  8 in the former St. Teresa's school.

Also (as others have implied but not directly stated), "parochial" is not a synonym for either Catholic or religious. A parochial school is a parish-based school, usually a grade school. Very, very few Catholic single-parish high schools exist any more because of the expense; the majority draw from several parishes in the area.

#8 - January 01, 2012, 12:51 PM

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