Does my parish's faith formation program count toward the religion class on my child's report card?
Although faith formation programs and other spiritual development activities undertaken by our students are an excellent and worthwhile use of their time, Kolbe Academy has specific requirements and expectations for academic coursework. Most religious education programs should be considered supplemental/enrichment activities rather than theology/religion coursework for academic purposes. If you believe your parish’s program goes beyond what most parishes offer and may qualify as an academic course, you’ll want to reference our requirements for academic coursework before contacting your advisor.
Note: Requirements for academic coursework may vary depending on the grade level of your student, but the basic principles apply to all grade levels for academic coursework:
Academic coursework should be at or above the student’s grade level.
Academic coursework offers academic rigor to include formal curriculum, instructional material, and assessment/grading.
Time spent on the course should be equivalent to other academic courses. In other words, a class meeting for an hour or two each week is insufficient unless significant coursework is assigned outside of in-class time.
Does my parish's faith formation program count toward religion in kindergarten - 8th grade?
Each diocese has different requirements and programs for CCD or CFF programs. Some have more robust programs whereas others are very light. We want to make sure your child is getting a solid foundation in the Catholic faith each year, propelling them on a path of holiness. If you would like to count this weekly class as religion, you are welcome to do this. However, we would require a Pass or Fail grade if the program does not include homework or tests.
Due to the differing levels of programs and lack of assessment offered, we strongly encourage utilizing Kolbe Academy’s religion curriculum as your spine, which may then be enriched by your parish’s program. By using Kolbe’s curriculum you can assess your student's academic progress and accurately give a letter grade (e.g. A, B, C).
If you know the curriculum used in your parish, you can ask your advisor if this curriculum will work as an academic course. If they use the same curriculum as Kolbe Academy, you can use both in a complimentary fashion by using the academic instruction and assessments in our course plans alongside the activities in your parish.
Note: One well-loved catechetical program is Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. This program offers a firm foundation in the faith, but we still require additional academic coursework to be undertaken in the homeschool to assess student progress and comprehension within the framework of an academic course.
In 8th grade, we require religion to issue a diploma. A CCD course is not sufficient on its own for this requirement. This will better prepare the student for the rigor of high school courses.
Does Kolbe's curriculum include First Communion preparation?
You will need to talk to your parish priest to see if your parish or diocese will count our curriculum in place of your parish’s preparation program. From our perspective, our curriculum does go over the preparation needed for receiving First Communion and First Reconciliation, but that is under the discretion of your parish priest and particular diocese.
Does Kolbe's curriculum prepare students for Confirmation?
Although we give a firm foundation in theology for middle schoolers, our program is not equivalent to a parish confirmation preparation program. You will need to ask your parish for their qualifications for your child to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation.
Does my parish's faith formation program count towards high school theology credit?
If your child is attending weekly youth group and/or parish theology classes, this will usually not qualify for theology credit. To grant theology credit, we expect an academically rigorous course that will include some assessment involved such as tests, papers, or homework. Most parish programs do not have academic rigor or the hours needed for academic credit, so they do not work for high school academic credit.
Note: In order for a course to be eligible for high school credit, the following criteria must be met:
- The course texts must be high school level.
- The course must include high school-level written assignments.
- The course must include written evaluations (quizzes, tests, etc.).
- The student must be “in class” for a minimum of 60 hours for one semester of credit and 120 hours for one year of credit.
- For students studying independently, “class” time represents the time they are engaged with the course texts and completing “in-class” assignments. Some portion of time spent on larger written assignments or projects should be considered homework rather than class work.
Theology is at the heart of what we do at Kolbe. Thank you for partnering with us in the education and formation of your children. We are praying for you in these curriculum decisions.