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Various activities planned for Catholic School Week

Cindy Ramunno
Special to the DailyA group of second graders poses for a photographer at the St. Clare of Assisi school, which will begin celebrating Catholic School Week Monday.
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St. Clare of Assisi is gearing up for Catholic School Week, which begins on Jan. 25. Staff members at the Edwards private school have planned a variety of daily activities for the students and that, along with preparing for an upcoming annual fund raiser, makes St. Clare’s a very busy place.

St. Clare of Assisi opened its doors in the fall of 2000 to 91 students. Now, four years later, the school has 147 students in kindergarten through eighth grade. About one-third of graduating eighth graders continue on to Vail Christian High School. St. Clare’s has a 19 percent Hispanic population and the male-female ratio is about 50-50.

The school currently has a waiting list for some grades, but welcomes calls for inquiries. As enrollment has grown, the school’s administration has added various programs during the years including music and a hot-lunch program.

Students and staff members recently changed their school colors to red and white and their new mascot is the Lynx. Although most of the students are Catholic, some are from other faiths. “It’s nice to see some of our families come back to the church after enrolling a child into our school,” says principal Sue Roitman. She adds that some students are currently studying to become baptized.

In the early 1990s, a study of community needs in the valley was conducted by the church. “Through that study we learned that child care was the No. 1 need according to community members,” Roitman says.

That led to construction of a community center. “Next was the elementary school, followed by a new church for the third need,” says Roitman.

The new church will soon be at the corner of Squaw Creek Road and U.S. Highway 6.

Catholic School Week festivities begin Monday with a spirit day and continue Tuesday with a canned food drive. On Wednesday, kids and staff members will wear wild hats or tease their hair in wild styles. A community open house takes place Tuesday evening, so if you see some wild hair on teachers that night while visiting, don’t be alarmed.

During the earl -afternoon on Thursday, middle school students will host a talent show. Finally, on Friday, a special mass will be held at 8:15 a.m. with a bake sale to follow.

Each classroom will also create a special prayer to say each day during the week.

Parents say they are excited about the celebration. “I think it’s a great week for the students to re-emphasize the focus on pride and respect for the Catholic religion,” says Suzanne Goodwin, parent of a third grader at the school. “It’s also a celebration that we have Catholic education as a choice in this valley,”

The biggest annual fund raiser for the school is its Mardi Gras celebration. The fund raiser is put on in cooperation with Vail Christian High School and this year’s event will be held on Feb. 21. “Our art students are currently painting chairs and creating murals for Mardi Gras,” says art teacher Karen Werner.

For more information on programs at St. Clare’s, call 926-8980.


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