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Grand Rapidian

Possible Consolidation of Catholic Middle School

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According to this article the bishop is looking to consolidate some of the Catholic schools. I think this is a bad idea for a number of reasons. I attended Catholic grade schools in Grand Rapids and I know that some are struggling, but others are doing quite well. Mine is one that was and is doing well so maybe I do not fully understand this, but it is in the smaller church based schools that the real value of private catholic education lies. By putting all of the students into one or two larger schools, this takes away from the close community feel and from the sports programs. Whom do the sports teams play if there is only one other Catholic school? Currently it is a big league of many schools in and outside of Grand Rapids area. As a student playing sports from 5th to 8th grade we had rivalries and competition between fellow schools. Without these other schools our sports programs will suffer. Another issue is that middle school students do not belong anywhere near a high school campus. It is a mix for disaster. Being separated into small groups away from the high school helps relieve some of the peer pressure that a student will encounter soon enough. I also favor not having to change buildings until high school. I went to my grade school from K-8 and then went on to high school.

I remember rumblings of this came around when I was in 5th grade about 10 years ago. I did not like it then and I do not like it now. I would rather pay more tuition and have the kids grow up in the same close knit community that I was able to experiance. When I was in school, there was about a couple hundred students, but you still knew every teacher and almost every student. If they have a large middle school the students would loose the biggest bennifit to having small class sizes; feeling like a part of somthing. I felt like I had several people to look up to in grade school and because it was small I saw many of them every day. If it is large school students tend to get shuffled into the crowd.

I do not know how to fully explain this so I was hoping to get others thoughts for or against.

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The GF and I plan to send our kids to Catholic School (in about a decade or so), so of course we would like the best for them. However it all depends on how things go. I think that he is trying to stir up support to keep the Elementary Schools separate. In his statement he says that he does not want to close any schools, but unless things change, that is what will happen.

Personally, if I had the money, I would donate heavily.

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One question:

Is your complaint on consolidation based soley on the sports program? I have always thought that point of schools were for an education they provided and not their sports program. If students would receive a better education with consolidation wouldn't that better for the student? Sometimes I feel adults can get too wrapped up in a sports program rather than the main purpose of educating their children. I am not saying sports do not promote positive things in a child (teamwork etc) but what should be more of the drive of the school: Sports or Education?

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One question:

Is your complaint on consolidation based soley on the sports program? I have always thought that point of schools were for an education they provided and not their sports program. If students would receive a better education with consolidation wouldn't that better for the student? Sometimes I feel adults can get too wrapped up in a sports program rather than the main purpose of educating their children. I am not saying sports do not promote positive things in a child (teamwork etc) but what should be more of the drive of the school: Sports or Education?

I agree with your overall thought that schools should be about education over everything else, however I don

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If there is not enough enrollment (demand) for that many schools and to have smaller class sizes, then I don't see how the Catholic schools have any other choice. As Catholics ourselves, we have no intention of sending our kids to Catholic school. My wife went to Catholic school all the way through high school, and readily admits that she thinks I got a better education at my public school than she did (even though she's still much smarter than I am ;) ). The class offerings were far more broad and advanced, and I was exposed to a far greater diversity in student body. I just don't think it's worth the extra thousands in tuition, and apparently more parents are feeling the same way.

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Do the Catholic schools have hockey teams?

Yes they do. I played for Northview when I was in high school. CC would kick our tail on a consistant basis. However, we would trounce WC on almost any occasion.

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Yes they do. I played for Northview when I was in high school. CC would kick our tail on a consistant basis. However, we would trounce WC on almost any occasion.

Yeah, I played for WC in high school 00'-04' it seemed that during those years we were about .500 agains Northview. The grade schools do not have a hocky program but people have tried to make one in the past.

I think the sports teams add a lot to the education of the students, and I enjoyed them a ton. I had some great coachs along the way that I still look up to. That is why I went on a sports tangent. I guess overall my main point is that smaller pairsh schools are a better approach in my opinion not because the education but because of the environment. If you gather them all together then you have a larger school which in the end is not much different than a public school and you loose some of that environment that makes private schools what they are (again, in my opinion).

You do not always relize what you get out of private school until many years later. I hated them until I got to college and realized how much I benefited from them. Some do not get anything from them and thats fine to. Now I am not trying to start a Private Vs Public here because it veries so much with many factors it is a waste to argue it so that is my last 2 cents on that particular track.

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Another issue is that middle school students do not belong anywhere near a high school campus. It is a mix for disaster. Being separated into small groups away from the high school helps relieve some of the peer pressure that a student will encounter soon enough.

I beg to differ. I went to a K-12 school, and it was a good experience that I will never forget. Granted, the whole school only had some 200some students, so there wasn't much peer pressure problems at all.

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Yes they do. I played for Northview when I was in high school. CC would kick our tail on a consistant basis. However, we would trounce WC on almost any occasion.

Luckily, you are just a young pup. You wouldn't be talking smack about WC's hockey back in the mid-80's when I went there.

Sometimes you gotta put the young uns in their place. :thumbsup:

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I went to a Catholic elementary school in the diocese of GR, but out in the exurbs rather than the city. If I had stayed in GR, I would have went to WC based on where I lived. I have plenty of relatives that have gone through the entire system.

One of the complaints I have heard from WC graduates is that there are no AP programs, and few ways to compete with other students at other schools as the GPA is unweighted. That may have changed now, but last I heard, that's the case.

Anyways, middle school consolidation isn't too bad a thing. I know, as I went to a big Catholic middle school here in Charlotte. It had over 1,100 students and still I felt safe and secure, and received a superior education, though I was a ways behind the rest of the pack academically for the first year. That's after jumping from a school that had 80 students!

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Yes they do. I played for Northview when I was in high school. CC would kick our tail on a consistant basis. However, we would trounce WC on almost any occasion.

Ahh - fellow HS hockey player - we're a strange breed eh?

I played @ Kenowa from '95 - '97. We had OK years my soph and junior years. My senior year we were on fire. We whooped pretty much everyone - except of course East Kentwood. :/ I think we were 19-4 that year - but lost to Big Rapids in Regionals :( (I think we also lost to Foresh Hills Central and Kalamazoo Central).

Ahh - I miss hockey.

Anyways - sorry for taking this OT.

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Ahh - fellow HS hockey player - we're a strange breed eh?

I played @ Kenowa from '95 - '97. We had OK years my soph and junior years. My senior year we were on fire. We whooped pretty much everyone - except of course East Kentwood. :/ I think we were 19-4 that year - but lost to Big Rapids in Regionals :( (I think we also lost to Foresh Hills Central and Kalamazoo Central).

Ahh - I miss hockey.

Anyways - sorry for taking this OT.

My senior year we went 18-5 and lost the regional final to EGR 3-1 which was pretty good seeing that they got to the finals by beating Muskegon Catholic (who wasnt too bad) 13-0. I remember hearing about the Kenowa power years when I played from the Kenowa people I worked with and from running into older Grads.

I went to a Catholic elementary school in the diocese of GR, but out in the exurbs rather than the city. If I had stayed in GR, I would have went to WC based on where I lived. I have plenty of relatives that have gone through the entire system.

One of the complaints I have heard from WC graduates is that there are no AP programs, and few ways to compete with other students at other schools as the GPA is unweighted. That may have changed now, but last I heard, that's the case.

Anyways, middle school consolidation isn't too bad a thing. I know, as I went to a big Catholic middle school here in Charlotte. It had over 1,100 students and still I felt safe and secure, and received a superior education, though I was a ways behind the rest of the pack academically for the first year. That's after jumping from a school that had 80 students!

They do have AP programs now and compete just fine these days.

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Yea, that was 5 years ago when I last had a relative go there. That's what she complained about.

Beats me, but they have AP (they had it when I went there 00'-04') and the students can compete.

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Luckily, you are just a young pup. You wouldn't be talking smack about WC's hockey back in the mid-80's when I went there.

Yeah, you're so much older then me!! You fogie. Something happened between the mid-80's and the early 90's at WC, they started to suck huge. The coach when I played was Joey Galant the former Owl. I don't think he was doing them any favors at the time. I know what you mean though. My cousin played for WC in the early 80's and they were a force to be reckoned with.

When I played they had a woman goalie by the name of Kitty. We had a woman goalie as well that would play a very occasional game for us. We had the first game in league history with two women goalies. It was interesting.

Ahh - fellow HS hockey player - we're a strange breed eh?

I played @ Kenowa from '95 - '97. We had OK years my soph and junior years. My senior year we were on fire. We whooped pretty much everyone - except of course East Kentwood. :/ I think we were 19-4 that year - but lost to Big Rapids in Regionals :( (I think we also lost to Foresh Hills Central and Kalamazoo Central).

My senior year, '94, was the first year that EK got beat in a league game in something like 9 years. Mona beat them and you would have thought they won the Stanley Cup. It was quite the story. EK would hand us our asses on a regular basis. Big Rapids was always tough too, I can't remember ever beating them or even being close for that matter.

Hockey has changed quite a bit since then. Now a ton of schools have teams. Back then our league was us, Kenowa, Grandville, EK, and Mona Shores. We'd play the city league teams as well but that was a different league. Now places like Lowell have a team. Lowell???? Plow boys on ice??????

We had our choice of playing at EK, Belknap, or God forbid Jolly Roger. I have some really awful memories of having to get dressed in the locker room on the second floor of Jolly and having to walk down those damn stairs.

Sorry for dragging this further off topic - I needed to reminisce a bit.

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Yeah, you're so much older then me!! You fogie. Something happened between the mid-80's and the early 90's at WC, they started to suck huge. The coach when I played was Joey Galant the former Owl. I don't think he was doing them any favors at the time. I know what you mean though. My cousin played for WC in the early 80's and they were a force to be reckoned with.

When I played they had a woman goalie by the name of Kitty. We had a woman goalie as well that would play a very occasional game for us. We had the first game in league history with two women goalies. It was interesting.

My senior year, '94, was the first year that EK got beat in a league game in something like 9 years. Mona beat them and you would have thought they won the Stanley Cup. It was quite the story. EK would hand us our asses on a regular basis. Big Rapids was always tough too, I can't remember ever beating them or even being close for that matter.

I remember WC's female goalie. I played JV in '94 and went to all the varsity games. I also remember Mona beating EK - it was like the US beating USSR in 1980 Olympics.

Hockey has changed quite a bit since then. Now a ton of schools have teams. Back then our league was us, Kenowa, Grandville, EK, and Mona Shores. We'd play the city league teams as well but that was a different league. Now places like Lowell have a team. Lowell???? Plow boys on ice??????

We had our choice of playing at EK, Belknap, or God forbid Jolly Roger. I have some really awful memories of having to get dressed in the locker room on the second floor of Jolly and having to walk down those damn stairs.

It definately has changed. I think the league is now the OK-Rainbow? Or something. I remember playing @ Jolly Roger - what a dump! I can't believe that place. It was straight out of the movie "Slapshot". Maybe we should start a new thread to prevent this from going too far OT. I have many stories. :thumbsup:

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