BY RACHAEL OSBORNE
---- — PLATTSBURGH — Seton Academy and Seton Catholic have been busy gearing up for Catholic Schools Week, which kicks off Saturday.
The theme for this year’s program, announced annually by the National Catholic Educational Association, is “Catholic Schools Raise the Standards.”
“Catholic schools are noted for … academic excellence and high moral standards, so this year we are celebrating the constant attention that Catholic educators pay to increasing the learning and growth in faith of all students,” according to a news release.
Caitlin Schultz, director of development at the schools, said students at Seton are no exception.
During the last school year, 91 percent of students at the academy passed both ELA and math tests, and at Seton Catholic, most students achieved a 90 percent or better passing rate on their Regents exams.
In addition, 100 percent of the Seton Catholic graduates from last school year went on to college.
“They (Seton students) outperformed schools in the Diocese (of Ogdensburg), Clinton County and the state,” Schultz said.
Students planned the week’s events, which were then approved by administrators.
The activities, Schultz said, “celebrate our faith, our dedication to service and the love we have for our Seton community.”
Festivities begin at 4 p.m. Saturday with a Mass celebrated at St. Peter’s Church. From 6 to 9 p.m., Seton Catholic students, faculty and staff will enjoy a night of tubing and snacks at Beartown Ski Area.
Monday is Spirit Day at both schools, and students are encouraged to dress in school colors.
For the younger students, Tuesday is Dress-up Day and Invite a Person to Lunch Day; at Seton Catholic, it’s Triplet Day.
On Wednesday, Seton Catholic students will dress up like their favorite superheros for Hero Day, and students at the academy will participate in a Wildlife Rehabilitation Program. Presenters from the Adirondack Wildlife Refuge and Rehabilitation Center in Wilmington will bring in injured birds of prey for a lesson in rehabilitation.
A Talent Show is planned Thursday at Seton Academy, while Sports Fan Day is the highlight for students at Seton Catholic.
“Students can wear their favorite team’s jersey,” Schultz said.
Crazy Hat/Hair Day is set for Friday at the academy, and the older students will do some activities with the younger ones.
Schultz said a major highlight and tradition comes at 1:30 p.m. Friday: the student vs. faculty basketball game.
“It’s all of the seniors against the school faculty,” she said.
One of the most meaningful aspects of the week, Schultz added, occurs Wednesday, when each student at Seton Catholic will donate $2 to the Newtown Memorial Fund, which benefits those affected by the recent Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut.
A food drive and a pet-food donation competition to benefit the Adirondack Humane Society are ongoing through Friday.
“Our students are really service-oriented,” Schultz said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
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