Students enrolled in grades 2 - 8 at St. Joseph’s Regional Catholic School in Beltsville scored in the Top 15% nationally in Reading and Mathematics on the most recent standardized test, the Scantron Performance Series, in June 2018. Consequently, the school is now eligible to apply for the prestigious National Blue Ribbon award based on outstanding academic achievement.
The school’s principal, Dr. Janine Bertolotti, credits the strong partnership between parents and teachers for the success. The understanding of the fundamental role of parents as the primary caregivers of their child coupled with the dedicated and highly skilled staff ensured that each child was able to benefit from a highly structured and disciplined learning environment at St. Joseph’s.
Research from The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) or The Nation’s Report Card has consistently demonstrated that students enrolled in Catholic schools demonstrate higher levels of academic achievement than their peers enrolled in public schools over the last 20 years. St. Joseph’s results on both the math and reading Scantron assessments are consistent with NAEP’s findings, outperforming all local public schools over the last five years.
Some studies have cited the emphasis on self-discipline in Catholic schools as the reason for student success (Wall Street Journal, 2018). This emphasis is the core of Catholic education whose mission is to foster scholarly achievement and responsibility in a complementary, not mutually exclusive, manner. As students operate within a community of faith that encourages reverence, respect, and concern for others, the school climate reflects and affirms the dignity of all persons as children of God. Therefore, Catholic schools teach students how to live with one another in a manner that is kind and accepting, instead of exclusionary. With this foundation serving as the core of Catholic beliefs, students develop habits of valuing other opinions, personal responsibility, and listening. These skills serve to improve self- discipline and thereby maintain an environment that is conducive to high scholarly achievement based on high expectations and support.
The faculty and staff are currently working on the application for The Blue Ribbon award to be recognized for this outstanding achievement. With very few schools in Prince George’s County and Montgomery County producing such stellar academic performance, it is great news to hear the wonderful news about our Beltsville community!