School Climate—Center for Catholic Education—Aquinas College

School Climate

Note: The following quotations focus on the topic of School Climate as it is contained in the documents of the Church which consider education. The following conditions and recommendations apply:

  • The purpose of this selection is to give a sample of the topic. It is not intended to replace the reading of the entire document(s) cited.
  • In-text citations are not included in this document. The document can be accessed in its entirety for this purpose. The paragraph numbers give the exact location of the quotation within the pertinent document.
  • In a few instances spelling has been changed to reflect common usage and for the purpose of clarity. (“program” instead of “programme,” for example).
  • The sections included are only examples and are not necessarily the only references on this topic contained in the document(s).

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Declaration on Christian Education (Gravissimum Educationis), #8

Vatican Council II, 1965.

But its (the Catholic school’s) proper function is to create for the school community a special atmosphere animated by the Gospel spirit of freedom and charity,

The Catholic School, #53-54

Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education, 1977.

The Catholic school, far more than any other, must be a community whose aim is the transmission of values for living. Its work is seen as promoting a faith-relationship with Christ in Whom all values find fulfillment. But faith is principally assimilated through contact with people whose daily life bears witness

The community aspect of the Catholic school is necessary because of the nature of the faith and not simply because of the nature of man and the nature of the educational process which is common to every school.

The Catholic School, #73

Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education, 1977.

An equally important role belongs to the teachers in safeguarding and developing the distinctive mission of the Catholic school, particularly with regard to the Christian atmosphere which should characterize its life and teaching.

The Religious Dimension of Education in a Catholic School: Guidelines for Reflection and Renewal, #25-26.

Congregation for Catholic Education, 1988.

From the first moment that a student sets foot in a Catholic school, he or she ought to have the impression of entering a new environment, one illumined by the light of faith, and having its own unique characteristics… The religious dimension of the school climate is expressed through the celebration of Christian values in Word and Sacrament, in individual behavior, in friendly and harmonious interpersonal relationships, and in a ready availability. Through this daily witness, the students will come to appreciate the uniqueness of the environment to which their youth has been entrusted. If it is not present, then there is little left which can make the school Catholic.

The Religious Dimension of Education in a Catholic School: Guidelines for Reflection and Renewal, #103

Congregation for Catholic Education, 1988.

Some of the conditions for creating a positive and supportive climate are the following: that everyone agree with the educational goals and cooperate in achieving them; that interpersonal relationships be based on love and Christian freedom; that each individual, in daily life, be a witness to Gospel values; that every student be challenged to strive for the highest possible level of formation, both human and Christian. In addition, the climate must be one in which families are welcomed, the local Church is an active participant, and civil society – local, national, and international – is included. If all share a common faith, this can be an added advantage.

The Catholic School on the Threshold of the Third Millennium, #18.

 Congregation for Catholic Education, 1997.

…While respecting individual roles, the community dimension should be fostered, since it is one of the most enriching developments for the contemporary school. It is also helpful to bear in mind, in harmony with the Second Vatican Council, that this community dimension in the Catholic school is not a merely sociological category; it has a theological foundation as well. The educating community, taken as a whole, is thus called to further the objective of a school as a place of complete formation through interpersonal relations.

Consecrated Person and their Mission in Schools: Reflections and Guidelines, #60.

Congregation for Catholic Education, 2003.

The quality of the teachers is fundamental in creating an educational environment that is purposeful and fertile

Educating Together in Catholic Schools: A Shared Mission between Consecrated Persons and the Lay Faithful, #34

Congregation for Catholic Education, 2007.

By its very nature, the Catholic school requires the presence and involvement of educators that are not only culturally and spiritually formed, but also intentionally directed at developing their community educational commitment in an authentic spirit of ecclesial communion.

Aquinas College welcomes all students regardless of race, color, ethnicity, or national origin who desire to be part of the faith-based mission of the College to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the College. It does not discriminate based on race, color, ethnicity, or national origin in administration of its education policies, admission policies, scholarships and loan programs.

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