Yesterday, a group of West Catholic students and staff joined together with members of Catholic Central High School for a prayer service and silent march in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. The theme of the gathering came from one of Dr. King's speeches to a group of high school students - "What Is Your Life's Blueprint?" (See the speech HERE). Those in attendance spent time reflecting on Martin Luther King, Jr.'s dream and learning how our community can grow stronger by standing together in God's love. These young leaders were a true inspiration as they prayed, listened and learned with each other in the hope of creating a better and brighter future for all.
As we begin to enter the darker days of the year, leaving summer and sunshine behind for a while, I have great news to brighten up your day.
Standardized test scores are in and our seniors have earned some of the highest scores that I have seen not only here, but in West Michigan. Seniors averaged 1193 on the SAT, compared to a national average of 1051 in 2020 and a state average of 985 in 2019. Our seniors also performed extremely well on the ACT, which is taken by fewer students, with an average score of 27, compared to the national average of 20.8.
The top 25% of our SAT test-takers earned an average of 1401.77. To put this into perspective, here are the scores typically cited as needed to attend* the following universities:
|Grand Valley State University||1050|
|Western Michigan University||1090|
|Michigan State University||1120|
|Michigan Tech. University||1160|
|University of Michigan||1380|
|University of Notre Dame||1400|
*Other factors, including extracurriculars, leadership experience, service hours and a strong personal story, are considered. Students are admitted with lower scores than those cited if other factors are strong. However, having these scores is no guarantee that a student will be accepted.
It’s no wonder we have so many students applying to Notre Dame and the University of Michigan this year! Congratulations, class of 2021, for a job well done!
Good luck on your college admissions and God bless,
Cynthia Kneibel | President/CEO
I am happy to announce the culmination of significant work in transitioning West Catholic from a principal/CEO model to the president/principal model. Please read this letter explaining the change. In it, you will find a link to brief job descriptions for the president, principal and dean of students. I hope this provides clarity. During the past couple of years, I know there has been some confusion as to roles, especially between Tony Fischer and myself.
Cynthia Kneibel | President/CEO
Thank you to all those who made contributions to our All A's Walk. Your support helps aid the hundreds of students every year who benefit from tuition assistance!
For a full list of sponsors, visit grwestcatholic.org/walk-sponsors-2020.
At West Catholic, we are constantly working to evaluate and adjust educational practices to better serve our students and our community. After listening to feedback, especially in regard to attendance, live stream, and recordings, we have fine-tuned expectations, policies and procedures in these areas. You can find detailed information HERE. We ask that all students, parents and staff review this information. Thank you for your cooperation as we work to make this a successful school year!
After Gov. Whitmer unveiled her MI Safe Schools: Michigan’s 2020-21 Return to School Roadmap, we were able to finalize our plans for re-opening West Catholic on August 19 and submit them to the State Superintendent prior to the start of the school year. We will continue to follow the necessary requirements and work with the Kent County Health Department to form sensible policy, making sure our students, staff and community remain safe. And we will continue to provide our students with a cutting-edge, dynamic, excellence-driven education.
Our plans center around the knowledge that there is no substitute for in-class instruction and human interaction. Yet during this pandemic, we recognize the need to provide flexibility and choice so we can offer an excellent education while protecting the health of each and every student and staff member. We can get through this together! Go to grwestcatholic.org/back-to-school to learn more about our plans for the 2020-2021 school year.
The following West Catholic seniors have been recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Program for their scores on the 2018 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT):
National Merit Finalists — Josh Arsulowicz & Hope Thome
Commended Scholars — Edward Frey, Joshua Haskell & Madeline Mitchell
These students all received scores in the top 3% nationwide with National Merit Finalists scoring in the top 1%. Congratulations to them on this outstanding achievement!
There’s a new opportunity for help with college costs, available to Grand Rapids residents who graduate from a high school within the city – including West Catholic High School.
Local officials approved the Grand Rapids Promise Scholarship plan on Jan. 13. The program will cover up to two years of tuition at Grand Rapids Community College, along with books, supplies and other fees. That means eligible students could have job training, certifications, or even their associates degrees paid for!
***Please note, you must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form by March 1 in order to take advantage of the Promise Scholarship.***
Check out the Diocese of Grand Rapids' Office of Catholic School's blog for more details on the program and student eligibility.
It is truly an honor to be recognized for our commitment to strong Catholic identity by the Cardinal Newman Society. Since 2007, West Catholic has been a member of the organization’s Catholic Education Honor Roll and we are incredibly proud to have once again made the list.
On Tuesday, September 3, 2019, our new prayer garden was blessed and dedicated by Bishop Walkowiak. We thank all the parents, alumni and members of the West Catholic community who joined us in celebrating this beautiful new addition to our school. At the center of the prayer garden stands a 7' marble statue of Mary the Blessed Mother. Thank you to the Classes of 2018, 2019 and 2020 for contributing funds for the statue!