Pennsylvania’s third largest school system, the Diocese of Pittsburgh’s Catholic Schools, has a fresh outlook on education. The launch of The Catholic Schools Network is a marketing initiative to create a universal platform to promote enrollment, retention, vitality of curriculum and awareness, and the benefits of a Catholic education.
The Network will include all 91 Catholic schools in the diocese, ranging from pre-K through 12th grade, in the six counties of the western Pennsylvania region. The formalized network was introduced to school administrators in January.
Ronald Bowes, Assistant Superintendent for Public Policy and Development for the Diocese of Pittsburgh, said the marketing campaign wanted to start off strong with a series of television ads, which began airing last month.
“Fundamentally what we’re doing is, we’re doing ads on the one side—that would be the Catholic Schools Network—we do that ad, and then following that, sometime along in the same ad pod, we would have a school, an individual school, that would tell their story,” Bowes said.
In addition to the TV ads, the Pittsburgh Catholic Schools’ website has been redone and features easier navigation with details on the Network, enrollment, and financial aid. Bowes said there will also be a link to the website for the Diocese of Pittsburgh for further information.
“You can get additional information on the Diocesan website, which would tell you which school to go to if you were looking in a particular geographical area, and it also then sends you to the website, because each one of our schools has a website, and you can go to that particular website to see and learn a little bit more about the school in your area,” Bowes said.
Catholic schools are known to offer rigorous academics, with a dropout rate of less than one percent and above average standardized test scores. Nearly 98 percent of students go on to higher education. Bowes said research has shown students who received a Catholic education tend to perform better in their educational and professional lives.
“It shows that when a student leaves the elementary school and goes on to high school, they’re very successful, and when they leave the high school they go on to college, they are very successful, and when they go into their chosen profession, they are also very successful,” Bowes said.