Catholic Schools Admissions Landscape in Baltimore County

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Catholic School Admissions Landscape in Baltimore County

For those living in the greater Baltimore area, it is no secret that there are an abundance of private school options available to families seeking an alternative to public schools in the elementary and middle school grades. Essentially you can segment these options into two categories: Archdiocesan (AoB) Catholic schools and independent schools. The AoB system boasts 40 elementary/middle schools, with 15 in Baltimore County alone. For the most part, these schools are co-ed, and offer preschool through middle school grade options, enabling a continuity in student education both academically and socially, and are significantly more affordable than their independent school peers.

The benefits of a Catholic education are well-documented.

  • High achievement resulting from quality academic instruction and smaller class sizes culminates in higher graduation rates, even up through the college level when compared to public school counterparts.
  • An emphasis on moral and spiritual values is evidenced in high expectations for student behavior and in harmonious learning environments in which students are not distracted by conflict and negative interactions. 
  • The immersion of students into a strong community of support that seeks to foster a sense of belonging and of individual worth and value in every student as a child of God.

When considering Catholic schools in Baltimore County, parents do have a variety of distinguishing factors on which to judge the best fit for their child and their family. 

  • School size typically impacts the breadth of leveled classes and extracurricular opportunities that can be offered to students. 
  • Standardized testing results, though not an all-inclusive snapshot of school quality, do speak to the relative strength of each school’s academic rigor and the success of its faculty in delivering curriculum effectively. 
  • The expression of Catholic identity, evidenced within the school calendar in terms of scheduled Masses and celebrations of feasts and holy days, daily prayer expectations, and student engagement in service initiatives, should be robust and pervasive. 
  • Strength and sincerity of community can be inferred from parent testimonials, parent volunteer opportunities offered, level of participation in school celebrations and special events, the tone set by school leadership and frequency and quality of school to home communications.
Catholic schools in Baltimore County are in high demand, of that there is no doubt. Most schools experienced a significant influx of public school transfer students as a result of pandemic-related BCPS policies. Having experienced all that Catholic schools have to offer, those families are re-enrolling en masse, and the admissions process is more competitive than ever before. This has had particular impact on families who had always planned to make the transition to private schools when their child reached 6th grade. With full enrollment in the Catholic elementary schools, middle school placements for new students have declined considerably.

Now is the time to explore options, visit websites, request information packets, mark your calendar for Open House dates and schedule shadow dates and building tours. Call the Admissions Office personally with any questions, or just for an introduction. And definitely follow schools on social media to see glimpses of daily activities and get a sense of school spirit. You can find links to all admissions event registration opportunities for the Immaculate Conception School by clicking this link.