Archdiocesan Schools | FAQs



Here you will find the top 30 questions for parents of Catholic school students and prospective families. Click on the question to view the answer. If you don't see your question answered on this page, please contact Sarah Toepfer,, for more information.

It will be a big financial investment for our family if we choose Catholic education. Why should we make that choice?

You're right. It is an investment. When you choose a Catholic school for your child, you get a return on your investment. Click here to find out more.

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Is tuition assistance offered at Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee?

Tuition assistance may be available at the local school site. It is the parents' responsibility to request and apply for tuition assistance. Contact your school directly for information and any applications they may have. Tuition assistance may be available in two forms:

  • Financial aid sources include parish subsidies, government subsidies (such as the Milwauke Choice Program) and other grants. These programs are based on financial need or hardship.
  • Private grants and scholarships are also awarded to students and/or families for reasons including volunteer efforts, academic achievement and/or financial need or hardship. These scholarships are funded by endowments, private foundations and generous individuals who support Catholic education.
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What is the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program?

The Parental Private School Choice Programs in Milwaukee and Racine provide an opportunity for students, under specific circumstances, to attend at no charge, private sectarian and non-sectarian schools.  Eligible families are residents of the City of Milwaukee or the Racine Unified School District with incomes at or below 300% of the federal poverty level.  

Currently there are 47 schools, including elementary, secondary, and K-12 systems, participating in the Choicen program.  In 2015-16, these schools serve approximately 11,734 students. Choice student enrollment represents 37.5% of the total student enrollment in all Archdiocese of Milwaukee Catholic schools.

In addition, 10,204 students (33%) currently receive free or reduced lunch in Catholic schools.

For more information or to apply for the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program, contact your school directly.

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How is tuition determined at a Catholic school?

Fortunately, parish subsidies, government subsidies, private donations and grants and school fundraising efforts cover some of the total cost of educating a student. Tuition is the difference between the cost of educating a student and what is not covered from these aforementioned resources. Each individual school determines its tuition rate(s). Most schools offer discounts for families with multiple children attending the school.

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How many Catholic schools are in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee?

In the 2016-17 school year, there are 92 elementary schools and 15 high schools in the 10 county region of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.

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I have a special needs child. Are Catholic schools equipped and trained to handle my child?

Catholic schools try to meet the needs of all learners through effective core classroom instruction and differentiated lessons. Interventions for students with special needs are determined by the school staff according to the resources, facilities and specialists available on site. Contact your school for your specific needs.

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I have a gifted child. Are Catholic schools equipped and trained to educate my child?

Similar to the question above, each school offers programs based on local resources, facilities and specialists. Contact your school for your specific requests.

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How does the curriculum at a Catholic school compare to a public school?

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee has a required curriculum which is based on national and state standards for all core content areas. The difference between a Catholic school anda public school curriculum is Catholic schools include religion as a core content area. Additionally, Catholic schools integrate faith and values throughout the total school program.

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Do Catholic schools have to abide by the standards set by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI)?

The basic instructional day is based on the minutes required by the Wisconsin DPI, with the addition of religion as a core content area.

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Are Catholic school teachers certified to teach?

All Catholic school teachers are required to have appropriate State of Wisconsin teaching certifications.

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How do I find a Catholic school in my area?

To find schools in your area, click here.

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How can I find out if my school is accredited by the archdiocese?

All archdiocesan schools are accredited. Accreditation status of each school is posted here.

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There is a public school system. Is there a Catholic school system?

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee is a system of Catholic schools, not a Catholic school system. Each school is an independent corporation led by the local leadership team. Decisions related to the school are made at the local level, allowing the school's leadership team to allocate resources to meet the unique needs of their local parish and school community.

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Our family is not practicing the Catholic faith. Are we welcome?

Catholic schools have a rich tradition of welcoming and educating students not practicing the Catholic faith. Children of all traditions are welcome in Archdiocese of Milwaukee Catholic schools. In the 2016-17 school year, 18% of elementary students were non-Catholic, and 26% of high school students were non-Catholic.

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Do Catholic elementary schools offer an Extended Care program?

In 2016-17, approximately two-thirds of elementary schools offered an Extended Care program. Contact your school to see if Extended Care is provided.

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Who is in charge of all the Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee?

Similar to public school districts, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee has a superintendent and several associate superintendents who support and guide the 107archdiocesan schools in the 10 county region. Located in the Office for Schools, this leadership team reports directly to the archbishop. To be considered a Catholic school within the archdiocese, the archbishop must give his approval.

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What sports are offered in the athletic programs?

A wide variety of competitive sports may be offered through the athletic programs at Catholic schools.

  • Fall: Football, soccer, volleyball
  • Winter: Basketball
  • Spring: Soccer, track and field, softball, baseball
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I've heard a lot about Catholic schools merging or closing. Why is this happening?

There are several reasons why there are fewer Catholic schools in Milwaukee compared to just a decade ago. The primary reasons are:

  • More churches were built in the 1800's and early 1900's than needed a century later.
  • A decrease in the population of school-aged children.
  • A significant increase in operating expenses for parishes and schools.
  • Cost-prohibitive improvements to building structures.

Mergers or consolidation of schools is the result of a long process of research, study and, most importantly, discussions with the parties involved. The goal is to continually search for ways to improve the learning environment for students and keep tuition affordable.

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The school year has already begun. Can I transfer my child to a Catholic school mid-year?

Our doors are always open. Contact your school to begin the process.

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Do Catholic schools offer transportation?

Many Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee offer transportation. Transportation availability is determined by state law and provided by the public school districts. Contact your school to see if they offer transportation.

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Where can I find the curriculum for my child's school?


There is an archdiocesan curriculum for all core subject areas. Curriculums and grade-specific exit expectations are available from principals at your school. A curriculum summary is posted here.

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Why are some Catholic schools in Milwaukee very geographically close?

To answer this question, we have to look closely at Milwaukee's vibrant history. In the 1800's and early 1900's, a shift from commerce to heavy industry occurred in southeastern Wisconsin's economy. This shift brought a huge influx of southern and eastern European Catholics to the area, making the city more ethnically diverse. Ethnic groups included: German, Italian, Polish, Hungarian, Lithuanian, Irish, Slovene, Bohemian, Croatian, Syrian and more. With their language and cultural differences, a demand was created for each group to build their own parish communities, even if they were only a few blocks apart.

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What special classes are offered, such as music, art, computers and physical education?

These are required courses according to the State of Wisconsin curriculum standards. As a result, all of these classes are incorporated into archdiocesan curriculum.

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Is the curriculum the same for all Catholic schools?


There is an archdiocesan curriculum for all core subject areas. Please obtain specific curriculum information from your principal. Curriculum summaries may be viewed here.

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What has the archdiocese done to ensure safety against sexual abuse?


In accordance with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and annually audited by a national, independent board, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee instituted the program "Safeguarding All of God's Family." The goal of the program is to protect our children and all in the church family from sexual abuse and related dangers. All adult volunteers, teachers and archdiocesan employees who have contact with children in any parish or school-sponsored programs are subject to the following requirements:

  • Read and sign the Code of Ethical Standards and read the Mandatory Reporting Statement.
  • Successfully complete a criminal background check.
  • Participate in a 3-hour Safe Environment Education session.

For more information on the "Safeguarding All of God's Family" program, please click here.

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Who attends Catholic schools?


Catholic and non-Catholic students of every race and ethnic and socio-economic background attend Catholic schools. In 2016-17, the following ethnic groups attended Catholic elementary and high schools in the 10 county region.

  • American Indian/Native Alaskan - 0.4%
  • Asian - 3.3%
  • African American - 12.4%
  • Hispanic - 24.7%
  • Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander - 0.2%
  • White - 55.8%
  • Multi-racial - 3.3%
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My child is currently in public schools. Can I transfer him/her to a Catholic school?

We're eager to welcome your child at any time, any grade. It is never too late to begin a Catholic education. Contact your school to begin the process.

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What is expected of Catholic school parents?

Parents are the child's first and best teachers. Therefore, parents are expected to reinforce and exemplify the Catholic values reinforced at school: faith, respect and responsibility. Parents are expected to:

  • Practice their Catholic faith by attending Mass weekly.
  • Share their time, talent and treasures with the parish and school community.
  • Display respect for themselves and for others.
  • Participate in their child's education by partnering with teachers and school administrators to ensure their child is completing homework and following school rules.
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Where can I find standardized test scores of Catholic schools?

School-specific standardized testing data is available at each individual school site. As one of the many determining factors when choosing a school, school parents are encouraged to request this information from the principal when evaluating a school.

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