Statement of Purpose
"The Christian family is ordinarily the first experience of the Christian community and the primary environment for growth in faith. It is the place in which the word of God is received and from which it is extended." National Directory for Catechesis
PARENTAL ROLE IN FAITH FORMATION
The Christian family is ordinarily the first experience of the Christian community and the primary environment for growth in faith. Instruction in our parish education program endeavors to provide our youth with the authentic teaching of the Catholic Faith, building on the "church of the home." This is the sure foundation of a genuine relationship with the Lord Jesus and His Church.
Doctrine and Curriculum
St. Patrick's uses textbooks approved by the Archdiocese of Washington. Copies of all grade level texts are available in the Religious Education office for your review.
In compliance with the Archdiocesan Curriculum Guidelines, students in grades 3-8 will be given a standardized assessment in the beginning of the school year. The assessment will enable our program to be accountable not only to the Archdiocese, but also to you, the parents, ensuring that your child is well versed in age appropriate practices, faith language, and general knowledge of their Roman Catholic faith tradition. Knowing well that faith itself cannot be tested on paper, this assessment merely reflects religious education efforts and assists catechists in their lesson planning. Through our participation in this Archdiocesan initiative, we will be better able to assist our students and you, their parents, in your role as primary educators in the faith.
In our continuing effort to create a safe environment for the children of St. Patrick, the Religious Education Program implements the Circle of Grace Safe Environment Program. This program emphasizes personal dignity as a creation of God and the space that envelops us in His grace. A summary of the Key Concepts that are developmentally appropriate (that include topics of sexuality and internet safety in middle school) may be requested from the office.
Religious Education is centered on developing the whole child's Catholic identity in relationship to God. In this respect, St. Patrick's offers a curriculum rich in the following experiences:
- Students are taught the Gospel truths and values of the Catholic Church rooted in scripture and communicated by the Magisterium and the creed.
- Students are nurtured in the sacramental life in the celebration of Holy Mass and Reconciliation.
- Students are immersed in different forms of prayer and liturgy that accentuate the seasons of the liturgical calendar.
- Students are introduced to a wide array of saints to be looked upon as role models for genuine Christian living.
- Students are steeped in Catholic traditions, signs, and symbols that encourage a pursuit to a deeper and lifelong friendship with God.
Appropriate Catechetical Placement
St. Patrick Religious Education is a responsive learning community that strives to reach all students regardless of age, development, ability, and life circumstance. Please contact the Religious Education Office for more information on how we can accommodate your particular situation.
"Persons who are non-verbal can receive the sacraments of Baptism, Reconciliation, Eucharist and Confirmation. They can show their spiritual understanding through gesture or respectful temperament." ADW Policies for Parish Catechesis 2013
Children who have not been enrolled or receiving formal catechetical instruction continuously will be given a pre-test for proper catechetical placement. The pre-test will be administered by the Office of Religious Education and when deemed necessary, a remedial plan will be put in place to provide the child with the foundations of faith formation. Remedial plans may include the completion of appropriate grade-level text and parent-student retreats or workshops. "When students lack sufficient religious instruction...the catechetical leader shall evaluate the student before a placement is made." ADW Policies for Parish Catechesis 2013
REGULAR PREPARATION FOR SACRAMENTS OF INITIATION: Two consecutive years of preparation are required for the reception of the Sacraments of Initiation. First Communion preparation encompasses 1st and 2nd grades. Confirmation preparation encompasses 7th and 8th grades.
STUDENTS ATTENDING CATHOLIC SCHOOL and preparing for Confirmation at St. Patrick’s in the spring of 2016 must complete a registration form by September 1st in order to receive RE Office mailings. Private school students must complete all RE requirements for Confirmation as well as attend the Rite of Enrollment, Confirmation Retreat, and other events planned for Confirmation Candidates.
CHILDREN WHO ARE UNBAPTIZED OR BEYOND THE AGE WHEN SACRAMENTS OF FIRST EUCHARIST AND/OR CONFIRMATION ARE NORMALLY RECEIVED: Each case is evaluated individually. Please make an appointment with the Religious Education Office as soon as possible. Call (301) 929-9314 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Attendance, School Closures, and Carpool Safety
Calendar: St. Patrick's generally follows the Montgomery County Public School calendar. When the county schools have a scheduled early release day, St. Patrick's will have class.
Emergency Closing: Whenever MCPS schools close due to inclement weather or an emergency, our classes will be canceled as well. Classes are canceled when after school and evening activities are canceled by MCPS. Check St. Patrick’s Website at http://www.stpatricksmd.org for weather related closings.
Attendance: Attendance will be taken for each class. It is important that students attend class each week. Habitual absences or a total of three absences not due to illness will require additional homework to be submitted to the DRE. Early pick-up may also require make-up homework. We are unable to switch classes to accommodate other extracurricular activities. It is imperative that students arrive for class on time. Teachers may use their discretion to hold their class past the dismissal bell, if tardiness is a particular problem for a class. Parents are requested to call the office at 301-929-9314 if their child will be absent.
Drop Off – Pick Up Policy:
When driving in the parking lot at these busy times, please use caution and courtesy. Staff members do not stay outside to meet nor dismiss the students.
Drop Off - As much as possible, parents must bring their children into the building through the main doors. Drop off is limited to the cones and sidewalk closest to the rectory building. There will be no staff members outside. Please do not park along the yellow lines.
Elementary Pick up - Please park in the main church parking lot and come into the building to pick up your child or children in your carpool. Do not ask your child to cross the parking lot and meet you in your car.
Middle School Pick up - It is preferred that students be met in the lobby at dismissal. Students should not cross into the parking lot to find their cars. Please drive slowly and watch for students, especially in the winter months when the students are both coming and going in the dark. Students must wait along the sidewalk. Please instruct your child to wait in the office if they don't see your car immediately.