Why Choose Catholic Schools?

A Tradition of Academic Excellence

  • 99% Graduation Rate
  • 98% College Acceptance Rate
  • Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston Catholic School students consistently score higher on standardized tests than both West Virginia public school students and the national average
  • National Merit Scholars nominated every year
  • Presidential Scholars nominated every year

Fully Accredited.

All schools in the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston are accredited though the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI), an accreditation division of AdvancED. The school accreditation is a part of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston school system accreditation. This means that the system and all of its schools are accredited, and recognized across the nation as a quality school system. The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston was one of the first 25 dioceses in the nation to achieve this status. The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston became the first Catholic school system in the United States to achieve this status using the National Standards and Benchmarks for Effective Catholic Secondary and Elementary Schools.

We've made it to the 21st Century

flipped-classroom-iconAll schools in the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston have SMART Board technologies and more than half of our schools have SMART Boards in every classroom.

connected-learning-icon-t Many schools are implementing the use of mobile technologies into their classrooms, including providing iPads and Chromebooks to enhance teaching and learning.

learning-analyticsAll students in grades 3-8 have access to Think Through Math, an online exercise program which offers live math teachers to provide immediate feedback and individualized instruction.

A Well-Rounded Curriculum

All of our schools offer a superior academic program with religious education as a focus. All elementary schools have courses in:

  • Reading and Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Science and Health
  • Social Studies
  • Arts and Music
  • Physical Education
  • Computer Education
  • Family Life
  • Religion

All of our high schools offer college preparatory programs including:

  • Strong Religion and Theology Programs (academically and experientially with a focus on service)
  • Graduation requirements that exceed those of the state (all students take four years of Religion)
  • Honors and AP classes
  • Opportunities and assistance in obtaining college scholarships
  • State of the art Computer Labs and Science Labs
  • Academic competitions at the regional, state, and national level

Catholic Identity

“The Catholic school is unique in that it is a religious community within an academic community. An exemplary Catholic school strives to achieve the proper blend of learning and believing…The Gospel spirit is evident in a Christian way of thought and life which permeates all facets of the educational climate.” – from The Philosophy of the Catholic School

Students in our schools study many of the same subjects as students in public schools, but do so in the context of faith. Religious truths and values are not merely taught alongside other disciplines but are integrated within them, rooted in Gospel values, witness, and service. The Catholic school experience fosters intellectual growth and faith development in a cohesive manner, leading to the formation of a person of mature and informed faith who can contribute to society, motivated by Christian love. Catholic Schools provide a cohesive program of religious education and formation for students. Our schools provide an opportunities for daily prayer, daily classes in religious and family life education, opportunities to participate in and plan liturgies and prayer services, regular opportunities for reception of the sacraments, involvement in service projects, and the possibility of participating in retreats and days of reflection.  

Education Plus+

Service Opportunities

Integral to the mission of Catholic schools is teaching students their responsibility to give back to God by sharing their time, talents, and resources. Schools participate in a variety of service opportunities with service clubs, programs for the poor, global outreach programs ,outreach to shut ins and seniors ,and participation in parish ministries.


Our schools offer a variety programs and competitions to enhance the academic program. Academic competitions like Geography and Spelling Bees, Speech and Debate competitions, Science and Social Studies fairs, Quiz teams, Math Counts, and Foreign Language Competitions.


Elementary and secondary schools provide various opportunities to enhance the academic program by teaching various skills and values in an environment outside of the classroom. Clubs and organizations allow students to work collaboratively on common goals for learning purposes, social recreation and /or to address school or community needs.


Catholic High Schools and most Catholic elementary schools offer a variety competitive athletic programs for both boys and girls. Team building, motivation, goal focus and sportsmanship are but a few of the learning outcomes evident in successful sports programs. Some of the sports offered include: Basketball, baseball, football, golf, soccer, wrestling, volleyball, cheerleading, tennis, track, cross country, and swimming.


Central to our mission in Catholic schools is a focus on the family. This is evidenced with the various ways parents are involved in their child’s education and how they are involved in the school in general. All schools in the Diocese also provide education in family life as a part of their curriculum.

Preschool and Extended-care Programs

Most schools also provide early childhood education programs for 3 and 4 year olds. To assist working parents in need of safe quality daycare before and after school, many schools provide a fee-for-service extended day programs.

Excellence in Teaching

The staff and faculty at Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston schools are World Class.apple-pointillism

  • A faculty/student ratio of 3:25.
  • All teachers and principals are required to obtain West Virginia certification
  • Over 90 percent of our teachers have earned credit hours beyond their bachelor’s degrees
  • Beginning teachers complete a Mentor Program under the guidance of a master teacher
  • All teachers and principals participate in ongoing staff development to enhance the teaching/learning process

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I send my child to a Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston Catholic School?

Parents rightly view Catholic schools as a partner in the education of their children. Students find a loving but challenging learning environment, resulting in a superb education infused with Catholic values. Nowhere else but in Catholic schools can you get such a fusion of Catholic spirituality and academics everyday, forming the foundation of lifelong success.

How many Catholic schools and students are there in the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston?

There are 27 Catholic schools – 20 elementary and 7 high schools. In the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston 5960 students in grades birth to 12th grade are enrolled in our schools.

Are the Catholic schools accredited and do they participate in the state testing? How is student achievement assessed?

All of the schools in the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston are accredited by AdvancED. As private schools, our students are not designated for any state testing. All students in grades Kindergarten through 8 take the Terra Nova Test, a nationally norm-reference test utilized by both public and private schools throughout the country. This test provides not only comprehensive accountability information, but also diagnostic information as well. The Terra Nova Tests provide teachers and schools with information regarding students achievement and growth. Test scores throughout the Diocese reflect the superb education that students are provided.

What credentials do the teachers possess?

Administrators and teachers in our schools are state-certified and highly qualified.

What curricular standards do the Catholic schools use?

The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston’s Catholic Academic Standards Excellence (CASE) of are based upon, but not restricted by Next Generation, 21st Century and West VIrginia State curriculum standards. Where appropriate, we use the best of these standards as a foundation, but go beyond them not only by making the teaching of religion our priority, but by teaching the whole child through music, the arts, foreign language, and athletics. All of the standards within our schools are infused with Catholic teaching. The textbooks, online sources, and other materials selected appropriately reflect high expectations and Catholic values.

How safe are the Catholic schools?

Providing a safe learning environment is inherent in the mission of our Catholic schools. School employees and volunteers must pass a national background check, be fingerprinted and trained according to the Diocesan Safe Environment Policy (VIRTUS). Each school has an EmergencyResponse Plan for emergencies that is put into practice on a regular basis. Safety measures are in place at all of our schools.

What is the discipline policy in the Catholic schools?

A peaceful learning environment is crucial for any quality education. As such, a code of conduct is in place. Schools adhere to the policies set forth in both the Diocesan School Board Policy manual and each school’s own handbook.

We Produce Results

Catholic High Schools Consistently Outscore Public School Peers on ACT Exam

Students of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston’s Catholic high schools outscore their public school peers significantly on the ACT exam year and after year.  “The numbers are outstanding,” said Vincent de Paul Schmidt, superintendent of Catholic schools for the diocese, “and reflective, I think, of the hard work put in by not only the students but by the schools in terms of their programming for those students.”

ACT English Composition:
Diocesan Students – 86th Percentile
Public Students – 70th Percentile

ACT Algebra:
Diocesan Students – 59th Percentile
Public Students – 33rd Percentile

ACT Biology:
Diocesan Students – 42nd Percentile
Public Students – 25th Percentile

ACT Social Sciences:
Diocesan Students – 74th Percentile
Public Students – 53rd Percentile.

“The numbers that we are putting forth as our ACT numbers are reflective of our whole student body because the majority—an excess of 90 percent of our students—take a college entrance test,” Schmidt said. “In a public school, less than 60 percent are taking college entrance testing.” Schmidt noted that the test scores reflect a combination of factors coming together within the diocese’s schools. “One,” he said, “is incredible parental support for the programs we put forth in our schools. Number two—an unbelievable dedication to the students by the teachers, faculty and administration in our schools. And lastly, it shows that our students care about what their future brings. Our schools in the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston are clearly putting forth an environment that nurtures not only the Catholic faith but high academic achievement. Given the support from our parents for the end goal, I see nothing but the opportunity for these scores to continue to increase.”

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