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The teen years are a critical time in the academic, social and spiritual development of young men and women. Catholic high schools provide discipline, academic rigor, nurturing and a strong sense of community. Christ-centered values are emphasized as schools focus on the development of the whole person. Programs address the spiritual, academic, social, physical and emotional needs of young men and women. Each high school has a unique spirit and living tradition that captures the hearts and minds of its students. As a result, young people feel they really belong at the school of their choice and want to do well.
More than 5,600 students attend nine grade 9-12 high schools and four grade PK/K-12 schools located in Jefferson, Nelson, and Shelby counties. High schools vary in size. Check with individual schools for specific enrollment figures.
Some high schools in Jefferson County have private bus services, and all schools will assist parents in establishing and organizing carpools or identifying other families that can assist with transportation. Please check with the individual school about transportation opportunities. All Catholic high schools in Louisville are served by TARC bus service. Bethlehem High School in Bardstown is served by private buses as well as bus service through the Nelson County Public Schools.
For initial admission, applicants must have completed 8th grade at a certified elementary or middle school. All applicants must have up-to-date immunizations. Students who wish to receive Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship funds (KEES) must supply a social security number. Individual schools may have more specific and detailed admission requirements.
The first step in the student’s formal application process for high school is the Catholic high school placement test, which is administered on the second Saturday in December. This test is free of charge. This year the test will be administered on Saturday, December 9, 2023, at 9:00 a.m. Students take the test at the high school they plan to attend. (The make-up Catholic high school placement test is scheduled for Saturday, January 13, 2024, 9 a.m. Students should take the make-up test at the high school they plan to attend.)
Prior to the placement tests, students are invited to shadow at high schools, and each high school holds an open house in the fall. For more information about shadowing and open houses, visit the High Schools page.
Acceptance letters are sent by all high schools in early February, and registration is held in February and March of each year.
Each high school will inform you about the procedures for submitting immunization certificates and athletic physicals if applicable.
Each high school sets its own enrollment policies. Catholic high schools welcome students from a wide variety of ethnic and social backgrounds.
Approximately 32% percent of students in Catholic high schools are from other faith traditions. All students take religious classes taught from the Catholic Christian tradition. Classes and programs are built upon a shared sense of faith and respect for the unique contribution of each student.
The Catholic secondary schools of the Archdiocese of Louisville exist to serve young people in response to the call of Jesus Christ to “teach all nations.” Our goal is to form our students and, through them, our world in light of the Gospel message. This is accomplished through a diverse community of schools, each with its own unique history, spirit and traditions. We prepare our graduates to live their faith as maturing adults and provide Christian leadership for Church and society.
With fidelity to this mission, we provide:
- In-depth study of the teachings and traditions of the Catholic Church and opportunities for students to develop their personal relationship with God within a caring faith community.
- An exceptional academic experience that fosters the lifelong pursuit of truth through self-disciplined habits of mind, body and spirit.
- A community of lifelong learners and believers who share responsibility for developing themselves to the fullest—intellectually, spiritually, emotionally, physically and aesthetically—with appreciation for diverse individual gifts and challenges and respect for the common good.
- People and programs that teach and promote the dignity of all people as children of God, especially those most in need, vulnerable or neglected, through service, justice and compassion.
Class sizes vary from school to school and by subject and level. However, generally classes do not exceed 25-30 students.
Catholic secondary schools offer educational programs that meet or exceed state requirements. Founded on strong liberal arts traditions, supported by the technology of today and focused on the needs of tomorrow, the Catholic high school curriculum is designed to prepare students for a lifetime of learning and for the challenges of the 21st century. Catholic high schools are accredited through the Southern Association of Schools. Classes are geared to the learning ability of the student and address a wide variety of levels from basic college preparation to dual-credit and advanced placement (AP) and international baccalaureate (IB) levels. Classes are offered in English and literature, mathematics, science, social studies, foreign languages, fine arts, health and physical education, and a wide variety of electives. In addition, each high school provides a comprehensive religious program based on Catholic beliefs, values and traditions that actively promotes an awareness of the religious and ethical dimensions of life and teaches students to make principle-centered decisions.
Teachers in Catholic schools have appropriate college degrees for the grade levels and subjects they teach, and 82% of teachers in Catholic high school have advanced degrees.
Teaching experience will vary by school. Archdiocesan high schools offer a variety of experience levels from teacher interns through veteran teachers.
Technology permeates the high school environment in all Archdiocese of Louisville schools. All high schools in the Archdiocese of Louisville are moving toward or have accomplished a one-to-one environment with equipment provided by the school or with equipment brought from home (BYOD) by the students. In these 1:1 environments students have the advantage of ubiquitous access to information in Learning Management Systems as well as on the World Wide Web. Students are positioned to manage data, prove hypotheses, and solve problems with the added advantage of being able to wirelessly share their work with their classmates to demonstrate their thinking. Interactive technologies allow students to take notes and physically manipulate, arrange and rearrange objects for presentations and discussions. Teachers use the wireless devices to gather student responses to get immediate feedback from students regarding class information. Students utilize one-to-one world language systems as well as design and produce objects using 3D printers. Robots are a key component in programming classes as students learn to analyze problems and solve them using programming.
Catholic high schools students score above state and national averages on college standardized tests such as the SAT and ACT. Up to 99% of Catholic high school students continue their education, and each year students earn millions of dollars in college scholarships.
Each Catholic high school strives to meet the needs of each learner within the scope of its mission and philosophy. Special needs coordinators and/or counselors work with administrators to identify the types of services that can be offered to students with mild learning disabilities within the context of the required high school curriculum. High schools require appropriate documentation and pertinent information from parents prior to a decision about enrollment and/or placement. Please contact individual schools for more specific information about learning differences programs.
All Catholic high schools have counselors to assist students with college and career preparation as well as personal and family issues.
Extracurricular opportunities will vary by school, but a wide variety of programs, clubs and other activities are found in all Catholic high schools. Programs found in many high schools include student council and student government, school ambassadors, subject clubs such as French Club or Young Historians, choral, band, music groups, yearbook, school newspaper, YMCA groups such as KUNA and KLA, dance team, drama/theatre groups, quick recall, speech and debate, and academic honors groups such as the National Honor Society, the National Art Honor Society and the Spanish Honor Society. There also are many clubs that focus on faith formation and service, and students have the opportunity to lead retreats, plan liturgies and participate in campus ministry.
At Catholic high schools, most athletic programs are administered through the Kentucky High School Athletic Association. Opportunities include cross country, volleyball, football, field hockey, cheerleading, basketball, baseball and softball, track, soccer and, in some cases, bowling, dance, wrestling, tennis, golf, swimming and lacrosse. Please be aware that the Kentucky High School Athletic Association has policies concerning financial aid, merit scholarships and participation in varsity KHSAA-sponsored athletics. If you have concerns or questions, be in touch with your high school athletic director or the KHSAA. For more information about high school athletics, please visit the Kentucky High School Athletic Association site at www.khsaa.org.
The Archdiocese and high schools offer financial assistance to families of high school students. Each high school sets its own deadlines for applying for financial aid, so check with the school. It is important to note, however, that if you have elementary-age children, one application can be used for all the children in your family, even if they attend different school. Elementary tuition assistance applications must be in by the end of November.
The tuition assistance application form is available beginning October 15 at www.ceflou.org or through your high school. For more information, please call (502)-634-1315.
Most high schools also offer merit-based scholarships based on students’ performance on the placement test. Please be aware that the Kentucky High School Athletic Association has policies concerning financial aid, merit scholarships, and participation in varsity KHSAA-sponsored athletics. If you have concerns or questions, be in touch with your high school athletic director or the KHSAA.
Most schools charge a registration fee that is applied to tuition and that is paid at the time of registration. Books are purchased separately. In addition, athletic fees, lab fees, graduation fees and activity fees are charged separately and are usually paid at the beginning of the school year. Parents should budget for the cost of school uniforms. Many schools hold used uniform sales.