Boise Catholic school praised for diversity

broberts@idahostatesman.comApril 3, 2014 

St. Mary's Catholic School has been recognized by a national Catholic magazine for creating a climate that educates students about different cultures.

The school was one of 12, chosen from about 150 entries, recognized in the March issue of Today's Catholic Teachers magazine for an "Innovations in Catholic Education" award. St. Mary's was highlighted for promoting Catholic identity.

St. Mary's, a kindergarten through eighth-grade school at 2620 W. State Street, sought to include more Latino children in its population of 220 students beginning in 2009, the magazine said. It has also begun curriculum changes to reflect diversity.

Only about 7 percent of the school's population came from diverse ethnic backgrounds eight years ago, St. Mary's said. As the school grew from 150 students, more Latino, Asian and African children were part of that growth. The school's diversity has grown to 30 percent of its student population.

St. Mary's will begin dual-language immersion instruction in English and Spanish starting with kindergarten in 2015. St. Mary's will add a grade to the program each year. The program comes through Boston College.

"St. Mary's believes Catholic identity requires all members of the community to open the school doors wider to share the gift of a Catholic education with all families," according to the magazine.

Bill Roberts: 377-6408, Twitter: @IDS_BillRoberts

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