St. Mary’s Catholic School in Boise has been recognized by a national Catholic magazine for its work in building diversity and creating a school climate that educates students about different cultures.
The school was one of 12 out of 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 located 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 began curriculum changes to reflect more diversity by teaching more about other cultures.
Only about 7 percent of the school’s population came from diverse ethnic backgrounds eight years ago. 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.
To reflect that change, St. Mary’s will begin dual language immersion instruction in English and Hispanic languages starting with kindergarten in 2015. St. Mary’s will add a grade 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.