Catholic school works to expand offerings to high schoolers

IRON MOUNTAIN — A Catholic school in Iron Mountain is looking to expand its educational offerings beyond the eighth grade.

“It’s not just parents and grandparents that are excited about it, but the whole community,” said Jen Raiche, High School Committee Chair at Bishop Baraga Catholic School. “I think they see the impact that Catholic education makes in students beyond the classroom experience.”

The Bishop Baraga Catholic School in Iron Mountain currently serves pre–Kindergarten through 8th grade students in Dickinson County and the surrounding areas. Over the past eighteen months, the school has been surveying parents, raising funds, and creating a business plan regarding the addition of a high school curriculum by 2016.

“Our goal is to have about ten students per classroom and then each subsequent year we’re going to add the next grade level, so we’ll start with the ninth grade, and then go tenth, eleventh, and twelfth, so in four years starting in 2016, we should have a full–fledged ninth through twelfth grade,” said school principal Adam Husing.

The school is working with the four area parishes, and currently plans to host classes at St. Mary Queen of Peace Church in Kingsford. They are also working with the Holy Spirit school in Norway to unify curriculums to prepare K through 8 students for entry into the high school.

The school is in the process of hiring a high school headmaster with a background in both science and mathematics in addition to the theology and philosophy that makes up a large portion of the planned curriculum. The students’ experience will have some differences when compared to traditional public school.

“We realize in high school there might be differences in mathematical abilities, so we’ll have different math classes, but otherwise, the students will stay together for the majority of their classes,” said Raiche.

Financing the high school expansion has been one of the biggest tasks for organizers. Through fundraisers and a recent grant, they’ve already raised about $20,000.

“The goal is to raise $150,000 so that we can open our doors in the fall of 2016, and initially we’ve had some excellent fundraisers and we’ve had some really great success, but we could certainly use more,” Raiche added.

The school will be holding a Mission In Action tour on March 11th at 9:00 a.m. for people interested in seeing what it currently has to offer. Click here to find out more information about Bishop Baraga Catholic School.