Editor,

I am writing in reference to your article entitled "Harford a hotbed for Md. Catholics" in the Wednesday, Jan. 30, edition. The article mentioned the growing number of Catholics in Harford County and Archbishop William Lori's visit to two of Harford County's Catholic Schools during this week's Catholic Schools Week. The article neglected to mention that there is one more Catholic School in Harford County, St. Joan of Arc School in Aberdeen. St. Joan of Arc School (SJA) is one of only seven STEM Schools in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. We recently installed a new Science Lab, LabLearner which provides a 100 percent hands-on Science program designed by scientists and teachers. We are the first in the Archdiocese of Baltimore to offer this latest Science program.

Combining the STEM based curriculum with the richness of our Catholic faith, St. Joan of Arc School has created a vibrant, 21st century learning environment where our students thrive. Ninety eight percent are accepted into Catholic High Schools. The Class of 2012 was awarded over $60,000 in scholarships to local Catholic High Schools including Academic Scholarships to the John Carroll School and Academic scholarships to Catholic High School in Baltimore. At least one SJA graduate is accepted into the Science & Math Academy or the Global Studies & International Baccalaureate (IB) program since the programs started. Only 50 students from Harford County are accepted into this program.

As a STEM School, technology is integrated into our daily curriculum. The use of technology such as interactive boards, iPads, laptops and Web 2.0 tools give our students the opportunity to not only experience new technology, but be immersed on a daily basis.


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Our Catholic identity is an essential aspect that is woven throughout the school day. School begins and ends with prayer. Students participate in daily Religion classes as well as weekly school liturgies. Service gives us the opportunity to express faith in action through community service projects like welcoming home our soldiers at BWI Airport, making hospital bags for children in local ERs and collecting food for the St. Vincent de Paul Society. Our Catholic identity permeates who we are.

As we conclude Catholic Schools Week nationwide, it is important for residents to be aware that there are three excellent Catholic Schools for the growing Catholic population in Harford County.

Virginia Bahr

Principal of St. Joan of Arc School