Talk:Parochial school

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I would like to see some information on Catholic Elementary Education so I inserted a section on it and some advantages of the Catholic School for Elementary Education I'd like to see some authority for

"....with most of the public against the idea. Also a significant part of the population is against faith based schools being legal at all, citing potential damages to a multicultural society as their main reason."

Avalon 21:42, 4 November 2005 (UTC)

I think this poll is what you are after.

US usage[edit]

I'd like to see some authority for "used to distinguish a school operated by a Catholic church from one operated by a Protestant church". Wl219 00:32, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

There is none. In Milwaukee we have both Catholic and Lutheran systems, and both are referred to as "parochial schools." If folks don't object, I'm gonna delete that passage soon.--Orange Mike 20:54, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

I don't know about "authority," but here in California, I have never heard any non-Catholic religious school called a parochial school. Protestant variants are usually distinguished by either denomination or the word "Christian," Jewish schools are usually called "Hebrew," and Greek/Russian/Eastern Orthodox schools are called "Orthodox."Hmadrone 17:51, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

The next sentence seems to completely contradict this point anyway, saying that all denominations use the term "parochial schools". Walton monarchist89 12:15, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Not all Catholic schools are parochial either; here in Philly, "parochial" tends to mean "operated by the diocese", and there are plenty of both Catholic "parochial" and "private" schools in the area. Krimpet 06:00, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Technically a "parochial school" means a school operated by a parish. Within the Catholic church, the term parochial does, as Krimpet pointed out, distinguish between a diocean school and a school run by an order (such as Jesuits, Paulists, etc). I believe that the phrase "parochial school" has different meanings by region, however - like Hmadrone, here in California I've never heard of a non-Catholic school that was referred to as parochial.

I thin it's more fair to state that this is a regional distinction. In some regions (California) "parochial" is used to refer specifically to a Catholic school. In the Midwest and in New York, a "parochial" school may be Protestant or Jewish. The passage should be changed to reflect the regional nature of this distinction, rather than lumping the whole U.S. into a single use. Mike 11:26, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Since the references to non-Roman Catholic usage were removed, I edited the section to emphasize that this term is not RC-exclusive everywhere in the US. Hopefully the new wording will be palatable to everyone. Petronivs 15:26, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

Thanks, Arbiter! --Orange Mike 19:36, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

A quick google found this book, among hundreds of other references: The effectiveness of Lutheran elementary and secondary schools as agencies of Christian education; an empirical evaluation study of the impact of Lutheran parochial schools on the beliefs, attitudes, and behavior of Lutheran youth by Ronald L Johnstone; St. Louis: School for Graduate Studies, Concordia Seminary; 1966. --Orange Mike | Talk 13:49, 9 April 2008 (UTC)


The US and UK definitions should receive the same treatment, and be listed in alphabetical order, as should all subsequent country-based discussions in this article. I'll make that change.

The term 'parochial school' is completely unknown in the UK. The term 'faith school' is now in the Oxford English Dictionary as of UK origin. The new UK faith schools are nothing to do with parishes. I suggest that faith school is a broader term and it would be more appropriate to redirect parochial school to faith school, and explain the differences.Chemical Engineer 17:47, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

This comes as a relief, actually. I was having extreme problems trying to distinguish (research) schools run by dioceses, those run by the parish, and those run by an order. While it appears that we are stuck with these longer, awkward strings of words, at least, now, they are no longer ambiguous within Wikipedia. Nor are we "standardizing" to some arbitrary nomenclature which won't be understood outside a certain region. Student7 18:43, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

I don't think that the UK requires a "country-based definition" since the term ins't in use here. "Faith School" which is a term in UK education also redirects here. Might it not be best to create an article entitled "Faith School" and use that to deal with the UK issue (and other countries where the term is used). It could include at the top a link to the Parochial School article if this were to be considered useful. 10:54, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

I can appreciate that this seems reasonable to you. My problem is that it tends to separate similar articles based on a superficial linguistic colloquialism. Maybe not as bad as separating articles on "lifts" and "elevators," but you get my drift! My suggestion is to take the most common definition and use it, explaining in the lead that either faith schools or parochial schools are both covered in the article. Having them in the same article is going to be illuminating for the "other" persuasion. I know all about parochial schools. Why would I want to know more? I would be interested in "faith schools" but I'm not about to exit the current article just to find out! Student7 12:27, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
I had a long winded explanation of why we should not change the dictionary meaning of parochial. Lost is when trying to save anything because of a website way above this section that was since put on the blacklist! It would not let me add anything until I cleared up that problem. So I lost my train of thought. Anyway, I changed the front per the dictionary. Countries with different names should probably have their own article. For just sharing a two bit intro it's hardly worth it. Student7 (talk) 22:00, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
'Lift' and 'elevator' are different names for the same thing, but 'faith school' and 'parochial school' are not the same. The definition of a parochial school given in the lead, which I assume is the common US usage, doesn't correspond at all well to the UK usage of 'faith school' since (1) nearly all state schools, not just faith schools, engage in religious education; (2) Faith schools are typically not run by parishes; (3) Faith schools are typically neither grammar nor high schools. Parochial schools are a type of faith school, so we should either have 'faith school' as the primary article or have separate articles. --Duncan Keith (talk) 13:26, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
This may not be germane to the discussion, but the references I find to "faith schools" in the UK, all refer to secondary or primary schools. I probably misunderstood what was being said. Student7 (talk) 20:17, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
I guess this another difference in terminology! In England, grammar and high schools are types of secondary schools. Grammar schools are typically selective. 'High school' is not widely used, and where it is used it means different things. FWIW faith schools comprise about 36% of primary state schools and 17% of secondary state schools. Anyway, since there seems to be consensus I'll go ahead and move the UK stuff to Faith school. --Duncan Keith (talk) 23:06, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

Peter Vardy[edit]

The allegations that Peter Vardy has introduced creationism into the curriculum at his schools have been shown to be false: For example:,,1963511,00.html

As such I am removing the section paragraph regarding Peter Vardy and Creationalism on the basis that the it is irrelevant - the actions of an individual science teacher does not constitute standard practice in the United Kingdom. -- 16:35, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

Peter Vardy is not a science teacher.Hood23 (talk) 16:22, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

Advantages of Catholic Elementary School Education[edit]

I would like to consider adding a section just for Catholic elementary education and its benefits.

The elementary education is important because it is the first stepping stone in the real experiences of education. The Catholic education starts the students in the right direction for high school and even college, making it a lifelong journey of learning. It provides academic excellence along with sharing in christian values by adding religion or theology classes to its curriculum.

The catholic elementary school education has many advantages. The Catholic School education has the technology to enhance the student’s minds in academics. The grade levels are not separated between grammar and middle school. This eliminates the problems that one may run into while in the process of transferring to a different school. They would be able to stay in a familiar environment to continue their education. The curriculum of the Catholic education is not just basic but it gives you more, curriculum plus.

In attending the Catholic school for elementary education one will be able to participate in various educational activities, programs, and extracurricular activities. The many different activities of the Catholic schools are great experiences. These activities have huge impacts on the lives of the students attending the Catholic School system for the Elementary Education. Catholic school elementary education allows students to make lifelong friendships while in the process of gaining lifelong academic success.--Lady Aries (talk) 03:30, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

All too true. However, this is not a WP:SOAPBOX, nor a blog. We can only put in valuable new information that is supported by WP:RELY WP:FOOTnotes. Our own opinions are, alas, valueless and unusable here. Sorry. (And thanks for checking first). Student7 (talk) 12:33, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

Suggest merge with Faith school[edit]

Suggest new article Religious School[edit]

It should be remembered that Wikipedia is an international encyclopedia, not an American one. The term "Parochial school" is itself pariochial having little meaning today outside the USA. I suggest the article should be "Religious School" with "Parochial School" and "Faith School" being directed here with an explanation that they are US and UK terms respectively. Likewise "Madrasah", "Jewish School", "Seminary". The status of religious schools in different countries should be briefly given with (as far as possible) a separate article. Chemical Engineer (talk) 15:28, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

This has some merit. "Religious school" seems neutral.
In defense of separate articles, while "religious schools" can be defined as a separate article as though it were the highest level, the problem is that each country defines them differently, so there is nothing wrong with separate articles either IMO. So rather than having Parochial School redirect to Religious School, it makes equal sense to have the higher level article link to these lower level ones, with each of them mentioning that Religious Schools is the higher level article and moving common material to all into that article. And mentioning each other in "See alsos" if not already done. Student7 (talk) 23:31, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
Neutral until I discovered that that is what Canada calls their schools. Given my organization above, they might be placed into Religious schools (Canada) separate article.Student7 (talk) 14:57, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
Note that with separate articles, schools within the country can "link" to article without having to repeat information therein. While this can be done for articles with paragraphs, someone can always change a subtitle on you. This would affect dozens, if not hundreds of articles if this happened. Separate articles are probably better. Student7 (talk) 14:57, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

Blaine (US only)[edit]

The section on Blaine needs to stay there. Without this, a person outside the US, nearly all living in a country which allows (even mandates) support for parochial schools, cannot understand the US system, which is drastically different from any other in this respect. Student7 (talk) 16:44, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

to keep it the article must say which states did and did not pass Blaine, and we can't use an op ed by President Bush's brother as a reliable legal or historical source. Rjensen (talk) 17:00, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
All 38 states that have included the anti-Catholic amendment in their constitutions? Fine with me, but isn't that the point of a link? I don't want to insert it and have it removed by someone (else) trying to remove "clutter."
I have inserted US Supreme Court certoriari. I agree that Bush's comment may be premature. He was a governor though, and was widely known in Florida before his big brother came on the national stage. "President's brother" is a bit of an unnecessary putdown in this case IMO. Student7 (talk) 14:23, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

Suggest merge with Church school[edit]

The article Church school is just a stub and should probably be merged and redirected here, as the plural church schools already is. - Fayenatic (talk) 12:46, 13 April 2010 (UTC)

That may be beneficial; however, I'd like to point out that not all church schools are religious. Further, not all church schools are parochial; that is, some church schools instruct on multinational and worldwide concerns. For this reason, it may be WP:POV to say that all church schools are parochial or have an inherent parochialism. If the two articles are conflated, I think it would be important to maintain the distinction between parochial schools and church schools in general. ElderHap (talk) 17:54, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
Sure, the article should make these distinctions and varieties clear. I also think it should then be moved to church school. - Fayenatic (talk) 19:56, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
I hate to say it, but wouldn't it (then) make more sense, to merge this article under "church school" and make the additional distinction that it is religious? As opposed to putting church school in here and making the distinction that it may not be religious although part of "parochial school" where people would expect a school to be religious? Just a thought on organization. Would hate to do anything and have a later group of editors rethink it and move it back! :) Student7 (talk) 19:00, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
Don't hate to say it. That is, don't hate to make a suggestion. Parochial schools are religious, and the church buildings serve as school buildings. It makes sense to identify parochial schools as a subgroup of church schools. Some (non-parochial) church schools hold a very broad geographic and societal scope in their educational concerns rather than focusing only on local matters. ElderHap (talk) 20:18, 18 April 2010 (UTC)
there's not much content at Church school worth merging, nor should there be--the usual term is "parochial school". Rjensen (talk) 23:43, 18 April 2010 (UTC)
"the usual term" where? In the UL, "church school" is the usual term; "parochial school" would be a technical or historical name, not the common name. - Fayenatic (talk) 13:19, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

User:Macrakis has now emptied and redirected Church school to Christian school. That target should probably absorb this article parochial school too. - Fayenatic (talk) 23:04, 7 August 2010 (UTC)

Although I thought that was an acceptable bold move, and therefore marked this discussion as closed, user:ElderHap reverted it on 9 August 2010. I have therefore reopened this discussion as unresolved. - Fayenatic (talk) 13:47, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

Suggested merge to Christian school[edit]

This seems a better international term. Faith school should remain a separate article covering schools of any religion. - Fayenatic (talk) 23:04, 7 August 2010 (UTC)

I probably should have discussed my above changes here before being overly bold.... Thanks for accepting them graciously.
Maybe we should keep Christian school as an umbrella article and move the long section on the US to its own main article Christian school (United States). Similarly for the UK content of Parochial school => Christian school (United Kingdom). The main article Parochial school should cover only truly parochial (= parish-ial) schools, with xrefs to the other articles. Note that in the US, 'parochial school' almost always means 'Catholic parochial school' and many people use 'Christian school' to mean 'conservative Protestant school'. What do you think? --Macrakis (talk) 23:33, 7 August 2010 (UTC)
There's a citation above for 'Lutheran parochial schools' in the US, so 'parochial' is not only used for Catholics, although I have no idea how common that usage is. I hoped 'Christian' as opposed to Muslim, Jewish etc would be an easy outcome, encompassing parochial schools, but if the US usage of Parochial and Christian is mutually exclusive, that merge would not be so helpful. Would merging both into Church school work for all/most countries? - Fayenatic (talk) 01:20, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
I think 'Christian' is correct for all. The conservative Protestants can't monopolize that term! --Macrakis (talk) 02:04, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
Probably needs to be done. I like the idea of "summarizing" parochial school in Christian School and "forking" it. This does indicate which predominates but allows the parochial school article to develop separately. A comment in the latter article should indicate that significant matter should be considered for the Christian School article, lest American newbies not understand the connection. Student7 (talk) 13:54, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
"Church school" would have been better for Americans but apparently that option has gone. (See above thread). Student7 (talk) 14:25, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
"Church school" has belatedly been reopened. (Sorry I wasn't watching what happened.) - Fayenatic (talk) 13:50, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
"Church school" feels better to me too, and FWIW gets double the hits on Google Scholar that "Christian school" does. There is a slight difference in meaning, in that Christian schools may be a broader category: state schools can also teach Christianity quite strongly, and I don't think that's intended to be included. Rd232 talk 14:32, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
Quite a different meaning in Australia. --jjron (talk) 12:05, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
Please explain the meanings there, then. - Fayenatic (talk) 13:36, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
  • I removed the merge tags on both articles since there hasn't been any discussion in a full year. Would appear to be no consensus at this time. Dennis Brown (talk) 20:38, 22 January 2012 (UTC)

Too much emphasis on Catholicism[edit]

Merriam Webster defines "parochial school" as "a private school maintained by a religious body usually for elementary and secondary instruction" ( My familiarity with the term comes from politically themed articles and government policies, with its use synonymous with "faith-based school." There are a lot of unverified claims throughout the article. Per WP:N, we shouldn't give too much weight to one religion, or branch of one religion. PCHS-NJROTC (Messages)Have a blessed day. 18:27, 17 January 2017 (UTC)