Catholic schools observe a whole litany of holidays that secular schools pass over, or at least we celebrate them with a greatly amplified level of enthusiasm.  The religious holidays, at least, we share with other Christian schools, but there comes a week in the bleakest stretch of winter that is, as far as I know, unique to America’s Catholic schools.

Yes, friends, that’s right.  It’s Catholic Schools Week!

What that means depends largely on your community (and your feelings about it probably depend largely on just how enthusiastic the kids in your life get about it).  It probably includes pajama day, crazy sock day, sport day, twin day, and maybe an open house or a dance.  If you’re part of a really savvy school community, there may even be a press release in the mix.  In whatever way each community has deemed most fitting, Catholic schools across the country are celebrating their community, their existence, and their sheer awesomeness.  It’s a beautiful and often sugar-fueled thing.

That is the point of CSW – to celebrate all that we are, and all our children, families and parishes gain from being part of these institutions.  More recently, some Catholic schools have taken advantage of the opportunity not just to gather and rejoice, but to shout it from various rooftops: community events, media outlets, and social networking platforms, for example.  Check out the goings-on at your school – there will almost certainly be something happening.

Meanwhile, on a national level, the ACE Advocates for Catholic Schools are running a beautiful and incisive series highlighting the myriad of ways Catholic schools are vital to our Catholic community and our American society, centered around this year’s CSW theme – Catholic Schools: A+ for America.  Today’s post from Nick Senger, For Our Students, for instance, poignantly illustrates how a Catholic educational philosophy benefits and forms “whole kids” – not just their brains, which, while critically important, are far from the end of the story.  It and the other posts in the series are well worth your time.