Diocese talks about curriculum overhaul
November 21, 2012
MARSHALL TWP — Along with building a new high school in Cranberry Township, the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh also is starting a new curriculum as well. But while the Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic High School will open in fall 2014, the new curriculum will begin in the coming school year at the existing school in Troy Hill. The Cardinal Wuerl school will replace North Catholic. Robert Paserba, secretary for Catholic Education and Evangelization for the diocese, presented information Thursday on the new school’s educational programs and on the construction. He spoke at St. Alphonsus School in Marshall Township to parents of prospective students. This was the fifth in a series of 10 informational sessions at various locations. Two other sessions also were held in the county this week. One was Monday at Butler Catholic School in Butler and the other was on Tuesday at St. Fidelis Roman Catholic Church in Meridian. The first year of educational programing for the new school will take place in the final year of North Catholic. Paserba said that for the next school year, the 12th graders in the Class of 2014 will graduate from Troy Hill. The 11th graders in the Class of 2015 will spend one year at Troy Hill and their final year at the Cranberry-based school. Subsequent classes from 9th and 10th grade will spend one year at Troy Hill and two and three years, respectively, in Cranberry. About 25 parents at the meeting Thursday asked about student transitioning, staffing and programs, athletics and program objectives. The new school will be only one of 10 secondary schools in the world to teach in the Marianist tradition, Paserba said. The Marianists look to Mary, the mother of Jesus, as a model of faith and spirituality. The characteristics of education in the Marianist tradition include educating for faith, quality, family spirit, service, justice and peace, and adaptation and change. The tuition for the 2013-14 will be $9,700. Tuition assistance is available, Paserba said. For the first year of the new program of studies next year, the new North Catholic will provide free transportation to the Troy Hill campus for students in districts that do not provide busing, such as Seneca Valley, South Butler, Butler and Mars, Paserba said. All athletic and extracurricular activities at North Catholic will continue at the new school in Cranberry. Paserba explained future athletics and activities at the new school will be determined from parents’ and students’ input. A decision on athletic fields will be made soon, as those facilities aren’t included in the first phase of construction. Paserba said school officials have talked with surrounding schools about the potential use of some of their fields. For athletic eligibility for the WPIAL, students entering the 9th grade next year on Troy Hill will be eligible to play all four years. Students transferring to the new school in grades 10 to 12 in the 2014-15 school year and beyond will have to go through the WPIAL eligibility transfer process. Construction on the new facility off Route 228 is on schedule, Paserba said, and there are no major problems. The structural steel has been delivered and the footers are in place. Much of the grading is done. Paserba said the project is expected to be completed in February 2014. The first students won’t move into the building until that fall because it would be too difficult to transfer students during mid-semester. Another round of informational sessions will be held in March to present the final program of studies along with the enrollment packet for the new school, said Paserba. Administrators are asking parents to provide feedback at: cwnchs.org. Online registration forms also are available there.