You Belong Here

Recently, we asked our parents, “Why did you choose Sioux Falls Catholic Schools?”. The response to this survey was amazing – we just had to share! Maybe one of them will resonate with you as you are choosing the right school for your child.


1. What grade level is your child(ren)? (Please check all that apply.)

Response              Response
Percent                  Count

Elementary                           59.4%                    234

Junior High                           26.6%                    105

High School                          50.3%                    198

answered question 394

skipped question 0



2. Why do you choose to enroll your child(ren) in Sioux Falls Catholic Schools?

Response Count   378

answered question 378

skipped question 16

Q2. Why do you choose to enroll your child(ren) in Sioux Falls Catholic Schools?


1. I wanted my children to experience a Christian based education from an organization that sets a very high bar for academic standards. I feel SFCS’s approach to education will give my children the tools necessary to be successful in post secondary education and will also prepare them spiritually for their adult life.


2. My daughter is in preschool with Mrs. Laycock. The community that Holy Spirit Catholic Schools provides is invaluable; my daughter feels loved by her teachers, caregivers, and friends at Holy Spirit which gives her a solid base to succeed academically. The quality of the education has been outstanding – my husband and I are overwhelmingly pleased with how we have seen our daughter blossom since starting at Holy Spirit. She has accomplished far more in the way of learning to read and write than I ever would have expected in preschool – there is no doubt she will be exceptionally prepared for kindergarten.


3.  Education, smaller class sizes.


4.  Originally we had planned to just have them attend the preschool there.  They absolutely loved preschool and loved their teacher and the atmosphere so we decided to continue to go there. The teachers are wonderful and always willing to help. The learning is very well structured.


5. We like the faith based community and the freedom to talk about God in our schools. The teachers are easy to talk to and care about the students. The High School prepares students for college courses. On many occasions our daughter in college has mentioned that people ask why she knows so much. She credits the AP courses and teachers at O’Gorman for preparing her for college.


6. Because I feel they care!! (teachers – janitor – etc) Our kids look forward to school.  It just seems to me all involved make it a good place to go to school even if it is just holding the door for the next person, saying hello or sharing a smile! They look these children in the eye.  They just care about the children!


7. For the awesome Catholic faith based education! Consequently, my faith has grown along with theirs. Thank you Sioux Falls Catholic School system!!!


8. The overall sense of community and family in the schools and with past graduates.  Smaller class sizes.  Accolades of the education received by current and past graduates. Uniforms.


9. To receive a high quality faith based education. It is important to us that our children get to be taught with faith and love every day. We believe that this will help them to learn in a way that will provide them with all the skills they need to be the best later in life.


10.  Christian background, smaller class sizes, flexibility, and now that they have been there, I love the teachers and school staff! They treat our children as if they were their own family.


11. The entire package that SFCS offers is unmatched in terms of education and just as important, the environment. These kids are given a very clear and consistent message that success begins with education and I love the fact that God cannot be taken out of their lives in this setting. Another unique quality that you can see at the high school level is that it is ‘cool’ to be smart. It seems like all the kids support and encourage one other to achieve to the best of their ability. This type of attitude can only happen when it is taught from the ground floor up with excellent leadership. Our tuition dollars at SFCS (5 kids) is money very well spent.


12. Ability to pray and learn about our faith.  Proven results with excellent test scores.


13. As a child, school is “their whole world”.  We want to instill in them that no matter what “their whole world” is at various stages of their lives that their faith is always their foundation.


14.  We have numerous reasons why we enroll in SFCS… 1. The main reason is the fact that God is a daily part of their school life. While it needs to be reinforced at home, no matter what they are learning, the fact the faith is represented in all activities and even classes brings a strong binding spirit into their lives that is reinforced in all aspects of their livelihood. 2. I appreciate the fact that the faculty is also faith based. Many could have better salary opportunities at other locations but they believe in what they are doing and where they are doing it, enough so that they forgo those higher earnings to fulfill a higher calling. Our eldest child is a sophomore in college studying education whose goal is to come back and teach in the SFCS system. That tells me so much about what she learned there and the impact it made on her and obviously others. 3. While some complain, including my children still in school in the SFCS system, I like the uniform policy that we have.


15. We didn’t choose SFCS, God led us to the SFCS so we KNOW it is the right place for us!


16. We chose Catholic schools so our children would experience their Catholic faith on a daily basis.


17. Family like community


18. The excellent education that we feel only a Catholic school can give with the integration of God in their daily lives.


19. We chose SFCS schools because our Catholic faith would be practiced in the school setting and influence the curriculum in every way. We desired a close community with a common mission and purpose to assist us in educating our children.


20. Faith is part of their life every day. The tough curriculum prepares them well for college. The discipline aspect (dress code, etc.) improves the learning environment.


21. The morals that are enforced in the catholic school system. Small class sizes are a plus. The teachers are engaged in what they are teaching. The religious education that they receive and the opportunity they have to attend mass weekly.


22. Sioux Falls Catholic Schools have a small- town atmosphere. Parents know one another. It’s a community of people who genuinely care about each other. Kids and parents are respectful to one another.


23. The small classroom sizes along with having my children learn about their faith.


24. For the Christian education


25. We desire for our children to be part of a Catholic-based education and be surrounded by peers that share a common faith.


26. Faith centered is the #1 reason! When I was little, I told myself that my children would have a Catholic education, and God has blessed my family where we can provide that education for my son. High education standards is #2. Just being in Kindergarten, I can tell my son is learning and growing.  Leading by example is #3. Not only does my son have incredible teachers and staff to educate him in the classroom, but also out. He HEARS them in the classroom to live the word of God, but then SEES them at church and other activities LIVING it. Friends is #4. He’s excited to go to church because he knows he’s going to see his friends from school. It’s amazing how close they are and how much they care for each other. Community is #5. Being a part of the SFCS system, it feels like a small town school. Every level of the system is invited to participate in all the activities and to show their support. My son loves it when the high school students come to his school, whether it is the football players or members of the plays. Homecoming and the Dakota Bowl aren’t just for the high school and alumni, EVERYONE is invited. Being invited and knowing about the plays that the high school students are doing excites my son and he wants to go to them ALL! It’s not just an elementary, junior high or high school event or activity….it’s a Community event or activity.

27. Faith based and the high quality of the educational environment.


28. The Sioux Falls Catholic schools have the best education in the area.


29. I want him to be able to practice his religion and get an above average education.


30. We believe this is the best education we can give our child.


31. They receive a good education because OG scores prove it is a good school. They learn more about their faith and helping in their community.


32. Smaller class sizes. Community . Recognition of God in our daily lives. Teachers have more authority over discipline in the classrooms.


33. We chose to enroll because SFCSS provides an academic environment where children are encouraged to thrive and reach their fullest potential while learning about and developing a relationship with the Lord.


34. Being an alumnus of the Sioux Falls Catholics School system, I want my kids to have the same experience I had. SFCS is not just another school system, it’s a family community. The teachers are the best around.


35. Faith based school, smaller class sizes


36. Solid Catholic education


37. The aspect of faith that is central to their learning.


38. The educational experience offered by SFCS is greatly enhanced by the emphasis of spirituality and community; and additionally, the curriculum is designed to give students a strong competitive edge.


39. Catholic faith. Community which encourages values. Academic strength.


40. Bible Based Education


41.  I want them to grow up with a spiritual background that I don’t feel like I can provide them by myself.


42. I like that they learn about the Catholic religion as a class. It’s one of the best communities to belong to.


43. Hopefully they will receive a fine Catholic, Christian education.


44. Size of student body, faith based education, academic excellence, staff accessibility.  Older siblings had a great experience and were well prepared for college.


45. I choose to enroll my child in Sioux Falls Catholic Schools for many reasons. The teachers are highly committed to each individual child’s success. The teachers are there because they want to teach and not just have a salaried position. The atmosphere within the school system is driven by values that will stay with them forever. They set standards to drive success and hold the children responsible for their character. As a parent, each day I am amazed at the dedication of the school’s principal. This foundation sets the tone for why each child matters.  My child is guided, loved, nurtured and thrives in this environment. I thank God every day that I am able to give this opportunity to my child. My wish is that more people would take the time to see what truly matters in this world and it is God’s greatest gifts – Children! Thank You Thank You Thank You!


46. I went there and loved it. The religious education and overall education were tremendous.

47. Because of the faith-based education my children have received there.


48. Better teachers, better education.


49. Because O’Gorman holds students to a high standard. They are strong academically.  We expect our children to be more mature.


50. Faith based education and better teacher to student interaction.


51. Christ based!


52. For the Christian education and the higher academic standards.


53. The quality of education is second to none and having educators reinforce a “biblically based social” in our youth is AWESOME!


54. Faith based education and strong academic excellence. You care.


55. I want my child to build an everlasting relationship with God early in life. I want her to know her religion and why we believe what we do. The smaller class size helps me to get to know the parents of the other children. I do not want my child to go to a school where God is not a part of her everyday life and where she may feel uncomfortable expressing her beliefs or have others question and/or contradict our beliefs. A good foundation for any person in their life is important.  God is the best and only foundation for us, and I want my child to know and understand this without any question from anyone or others doubting her or telling her she is wrong.


56. Faith is number one and the education and one on one attention they can receive.


57. To learn more about Jesus, discipline, and academic excellence.


58. Great School–keep up the superb work!!


59. I love the faith-based aspect of the school. They are receiving a great education. I love that the school feels like a family.


60. Faith-based, quality of education, smaller class sizes, friendly faces, incredible staff, and the belief that having a Christian influence provides stability for the children and the parents!


61. We feel that it was important to raise our daughter in a more structured system where she would be getting the higher education she will need. Also, we feel that we have more connection with what is being taught in the Catholic school and that you stay connected with the parents.


62. We choose to send our children to SFCSS for a number of reasons. We appreciate the smaller enrollment numbers, the standard of high achievement, and the fact that our children can pray and grow in their faith at school.


63. Because we are Catholic, and I want my child to receive a Catholic education, in a school where the Gospel is not censored. I also have been very impressed over the years with the excellent education all 5 of my children have received in the SFCSS. The teachers are dedicated to teaching, and the course work is pretty demanding.


64. We want our children to have a faith based education led by faith-filled teachers and coaches.


65. The biggest advantage of the Catholic School system in Sioux Falls is the tremendous feeling of community. Our children are surrounded everyday by loving, caring people – adults and children alike – who share a common set of values. They are able and encouraged to express these values in their thoughts and actions as well as in their academics. There are many good choices for receiving an education in Sioux Falls, but a strong faith community built on Catholic values is only available in our Catholic Schools.


66. Faith based environment


67. The quality of the education


68. Faith ministry, smaller classroom size, and superior education


69. Because it is a better school founded on faith.


70. We love the Christian values and the opportunities available for our children.  I think the Christian service requirement opens a lot of doors for them, while providing help to others.  All in all, it’s just a Great school.


71. Faith based education. Academic rigor. Community.


72. Faith based education


73. We choose to send our kids to SFCS because of the values and virtues that are reinforced throughout the day. The friends that they have made (and the parents that raise these children) are caring, generous, and respectful. SFCS teachers push their students to be better people both academically and morally.


74. Christian education in a smaller school setting (than public schools) is important to us. Prayer is a part of their culture, and they can celebrate Christian holidays as they truly are. We feel a connection to families through church, and we feel the staff is accessible and truly interested in the success of our children. The majority of students at our schools are motivated to learn, and this helps promote a higher level of academic success for the whole class.


75. The main reasons we choose the Sioux Falls Catholic Schools: 1. There is a better chance that our kids’ friends will be from families with similar values, attend church, etc… 2. God is in school and can be spoken about. They can pray and attend Mass at school. For example when 911 happened, our kids prayed and went to mass.


76. SFCS provides exceptional spiritual and educational services. The recognition of student, parent and teacher participation with common goals is of paramount value. The respect given to the students and expected of the students is apparent because of the strong Catholic religious teachings and moral values taught by the school.


77. Discipline & good foundation for life.


78. Catholic faith and academics


79. I wanted our son to have faith based learning.


80. I went to a catholic school myself and loved the experience. And I think an atmosphere that allows God in the classroom provides a character and loving environment that cannot be matched.


81. Our child had been in a Catholic School environment from day one of her education journey. Her mother and I wanted to give her the best opportunities in life we could afford, and one of these is the gift of a Catholic education/learning culture. She has been and will be a better person for this experience. The Sioux Falls Catholic Schools have been a blessing and will continue to be a blessing for our child and for her family as well.


82. For the Christian education, for the high academic education, and because I went there.

83. *Better education *We feel that Catholic Schools have smaller class sizes *We like that religion is incorporated into the everyday class and school. *We like that it is very family-involved.


84. We like the smaller class sizes and the religious education being integrated into their daily routines.


85. Our son came to us at the end of 8th grade with his wish to attend O’Gorman High. He wanted the smaller class sizes and the faith based education. It has been a wonderful opportunity for him and he has enjoyed all of it.


86. Better education.  Freedom of religion.  Less politics.


87. Rigorous academic standards with a faith based core.


88. We want them to learn the fundamentals of being Catholic. We have a good enough financial support to allow us to do this.


89. To keep God in the picture.


90. To enhance the building of faith that we have provided in our home. For continued growth in their spiritual knowledge of Christ. To impress upon them the importance of faith in all that we do, school, work, friends. To surround them with a Christ like environment where they can share their faith freely. For enhancement of the foundation we have provided as parents in respecting others and respecting life.


91. Christian environment, smaller class sizes, Barbara Lockwood, individualized learning as needed by the student, weekly Mass, prayer.


92. Catholic education and smaller class sizes allows more 1:1 teacher/student attention. The smaller size also results in closer relationships among the families that send their children to school here too, which is an added bonus!


93. We want them to be taught in a catholic environment that incorporates the faith into the daily school routine with opportunities for prayer and sacraments.


94. Because I know the teachers care about my children. I know that they are living their faith daily. I know that is the best education in the state!


95. Excellent rigor, safe, excellence


96. Better education.


97. So that God is part of their school life just as it’s part of their home life. Plus, I like the smaller class sizes.


98. Faith, Catholic education, “community” feeling.


99. Community like atmosphere with excellent education.


100. 1.Unapologetic Faith Based Education 2. Educated / Achieving Parents = Students with a Competitive Educational Environment


101. SFCS is a faith based community in which we choose to have our children surrounded. No school is perfect, but SFCS offers strong moral beliefs and a caring attitude that other schools are not able to offer. We make many sacrifices for our children to attend SFCS, and we wouldn’t have it any other way!


102. Quality of education, high standards of excellence


103. To have God and faith in their education.


104. Smaller class sizes, Catholic based curriculum, outstanding teachers, it feels like family


105. It’s my parish, and my son is in preschool. Otherwise my children will go to the public schools. ONLY because I cannot afford the tuition.


106. The great education centered around God.


107. Mostly because I can trust that the school will be centered around our Catholic faith.  Also, because of the quality of education.


108. I want my children to be able to pray with their friends.


109. By far and away, SFCS provides the best education in the metro Sioux Falls area! The SFCS teachers and administration work diligently to make sure each and every student is working to his/her potential in a Christ centered environment.


110. Lower class sizes and friendships my children have made are the main reasons.


111. Strong education emphasis with strong Christian values


112. Religious education


113. Quality of Ed. Safer and smaller. Moral and loving environment due to faith component.


114. Smaller class size, opportunity to know staff and families on a more personal basis. The opportunity to have church activities in our lives daily.


115. For a good Catholic faith based education. Also the family like feel at the school.


116. Faith based and smaller enrollment


117. We want our children to have a Catholic education that includes a curriculum based on our faith. We want them to be able to go to daily Mass, pray at school, and have other opportunities for spiritual growth. We want them to go to school with (for the most part) others who share the same faith background.


118. We believe they get an excellent education. We also feel that being in an environment where they can pray and express their faith openly is a wonderful experience.


119. They teach and practice faith, morals, values, respect and discipline. SFCS makes my child accountable for himself and his actions. SFCS teaches my children to care and serve others.


120. Faith based education. School community tied together with church community. Brings Jesus into all aspects of their lives, not compartmentalized and limited to Sunday mass.


121. Catholic education.  Great education.  Great teachers.


122. I believe strongly in putting God first in all of their activities – that includes school. And I believe that they are receiving a solid, well-rounded education.


123. High academic standards; children are taught values, service, and how to treat others instead of just academics.


124. There are so many! Strong academics and opportunities for all are very important to us as is the spiritual nurturing that goes on in every part of their school day and beyond.


125. When we were looking at the school options, our kids were in 6th and 3rd grades. We liked the smaller class sizes, the ACT results, and the faith based education. Today, one of our kids is in college and the other is attending OG.  We have never regretted our decision.


126. Thought it was a good choice.


127. Faith based education!


128. Smaller classes and religious aspect


129. Before having children. I was against the thought of paying for their education. Now, sending them to SFCS is the one argument that I’m glad I lost. The love that my children show in getting to know Jesus and the Catholic religion is well worth the monetary sacrifice that we make monthly. The tight knit community, the small class sizes and the excellent education they receive is wonderful. Being able to speak openly about religion and even the fact that we can have a “Christmas” program means so much. We look forward to our children attending O’Gorman High School and preparing them for their college education.


130. It is a Christian school with high standards and expectations. There is ownership of the school by the students who work to help pay for their education. Students learn to dress for success- even though they don’t always like their uniforms, they look ready to learn and be taken seriously. The faculty is great leaders academically, spiritually and personally. O’Gorman has shown us through the years that they put the students first. They allow home schooled students to attend part-time as well as participate in extra-curricular activities enabling more students to experience various activities in a Christian atmosphere.


131. Faith based education along with a better education


132. Smaller classes. Religion based. Willingness to accommodate special needs. Quality education.


133. Very near to home


134. Education, To be ready for college.


135. Academic!!!


136. Faith based education, small school.


137. We chose the catholic system because prayer and catholic formation is fundamental to surviving and even thriving in this society.


138. Smaller class sizes, moral teachings, & Christ centered learning. I know that most people in the teaching profession care about children, but so many of the teachers at the Jr & Sr high level far exceed the norm.


139. A wonderful faith filled environment with strong academics


140. We wanted faith to be part of their education, as well as wanting them to be taught to have high academic expectations.


141. We wanted to continue our daughter’s Catholic education, and I’m very impressed with the structure and culture of the junior high. She will also attend O’Gorman HS.


142. Quality education taught from a catholic perspective.


143. We value a Catholic education, small classroom sizes, and quality education that SFCS provides.


144. High academic standards and to learn about our catholic faith


145. Formation as baptized Catholics. Discipline. Rigor. Peers.


146. Safe environment. Free to express religious beliefs. Smaller and friendlier school.


147. Because it is small and academically challenging. But the system also recognizes the special needs of the challenged child.


148. Faith formation


149. I want my child to have an education in an environment that addresses the mind, body and spirit.


150. Close proximity to our house, smaller than public schools, dress, hair and behavior expectations and good education


151. Because of Jesus Christ and God.


152. We choose to have our children attend catholic school because we feel they will get a superior education based on smaller class sizes, spiritual growth, opportunities, and the level of teacher investment in the students. We also feel that other families who have chosen to invest their money, time and effort into catholic school will have similar values and ethics, promoting good friendships for our children with other OG students.


153. For many reasons. Very good education, high standards, Teachers that care, Christian values, Parents that care. The same wonderful community that I experienced 35 years ago.


154. Uniforms, strong academics, where I went


155. Our main reason for enrolling children in the SFCS is for the quality of the education and proven academic superiority.  I believe the SFCS bridges the gap and gives my kids the best opportunity to get into the top colleges that they plan to go to. I will never understand why education seems to be of little value to Americans.


156. I believe in Catholic based faith education. I appreciate the smaller class sizes and the outcomes that our children are obtaining by attending SFCS.


157. I chose to enroll my daughter in a catholic school because I like the fact that kids are able to learn about religion.


158. My children attend SFCS for a few reasons. I like that their faith can be expressed in the classroom and honestly, so do they. Being able to pray in the classroom without “offending” someone is a big deal to them. Also, SFCS has a strong sense of community. People genuinely care about and support each other. The other important aspect is the level of education that is provided. SFCS encourages all students to work hard and stretch farther. They don’t teach the minimum. They provide opportunities for the students to achieve their maximum.


159. The quality of a Christian education, prayer in school, size of class room ( # of students), strict supervision and good parent / administration communication


160. Faith based education. Superior quality education.


161. There are numerous reasons why I chose SFCS. The infusion of faith in the academic school day and sense of community are probably the most significant. I appreciate the fact that the HS requires the kids to volunteer in the community and love that the kids have to wear uniforms. I grew up in a smaller SD town in which HS activities (athletics as well as performing arts) played an important role in the entire community. I feel that sense of community with SFCS.


162. Child feels safer and the students are more respectful. Better learning environment.


163. Structure


164. For the sports program and academics


165. Element of faith in the classroom


166. Values and quality of education.


167. I want them to have God in their lives in school along with prayer and saying the pledge. I like the idea of uniforms so everyone is equal. The biggie is they say prayers in school and second is the high quality education.


168. Best education possible! Best teachers on the planet. Faith based education reflects all that we teach at home and more. We can’t imagine any other school.


169. Small class sizes, teachers want to work for a catholic school, and they care about the kids.  Look at the smiles on the kids at catholic schools and you know that this survey is not needed. FYI I am not complaining about taking the survey, I am happy to do it.


170. Quality education enhanced with biblical values!!


171. My husband graduated from O’Gorman and wanted the same for his children.


172. To provide a well rounded education for our child.  Better teacher to student ratio.  Higher test scores in catholic schools.


173. For the curriculum and structure that SFCS offers that goes beyond simple education, also helps develop a strong moral compass.


174. Catholic and their awesome schools!


175. The catholic schools provide a high quality education with a religious foundation.


176. We value a Catholic education and perspective on life issues. There seems to be a wonderful community connection of parents and staff members. Excelling in education is the norm and expectation.


177. It is a sacrifice to send our children to SFCS but it is the greatest gift that we could give them. Two of our children have already graduated and they now agree.  It’s the community and family that we love. Academically, we are very proud of their accomplishments and the expectation for academics is high. We simply just love SFCS.


178. We love SFCS – it is a natural extension to teaching our children the Catholic faith. I always knew that I wanted my children to be taught our faith in school, but it never came home to me as much as it did around the time of Sept 11, 2001. My children were very young and the administration and teachers stopped normal activities to pray. Not to scare, but to pray together. I would sell my blood to keep my children in a catholic school as fine as ours.


179. Christian values and excellent education standards. Great staff and wonderful fine arts for teenagers to participate in.


180. Combination of academics, faith based education, and extra-curricular activities


181. We feel our child is getting the best education possible in a faith based environment, which is important to us.


182. I enroll my child in Sioux Falls Catholic Schools because they can practice their faith in school and also because of the quality of education.


183. We chose to send our children to Catholic schools because we wanted to give them as much of their Catholic faith as we could to start out in life. As the years passed, we decided that the Sioux Falls Catholic School system had a good academic program along with having daily prayer, weekly mass and opportunities for outside activities. The main reason has always been for their Roman Catholic faith.


184. Education, religion, faith based


185. Faith!!!


186. Faith based environment, close knit community and excellent education


187. We are Catholic.


188. I believe that it is our responsibility as parents to provide our children with a solid religious background. I grew up without it and truly want my children to know, understand and live our faith. I believe that seeing it in action and being able to pray in school is a great step in that direction.


189. I was given the opportunity to experience the SFCS when I was a child and it has made a huge difference in my life.  I feel if I do not give my children the same opportunity, it would be a great disservice to their development. To have the opportunity to explore one’s faith and understand what it means to be a loving, caring human being is an amazing gift. I know that someday my children will realize this because of what they learn in the SFCS, which only help them grow as a person. Secondly, the academic standards in the SFCS are second to none in the state of South Dakota. Not only do they get to understand their faith they get an amazing education that can take them anywhere they wish to go.


190. I went to St. Mary’s as a child, but I evaluated every educational opportunity for my children before selecting St. Mary’s. When viewing St. Mary’s I felt a great sense of community and felt that my children would be surrounded by other kids that shared similar values to what I am trying to teach at home. Having faith in their life was important to me but was not a deciding factor. That said, it is now Christmas time and I very much appreciate that my kids are able to talk about the meaning of Christmas being about Jesus and therefore Santa and gifts rarely come up in our conversations about Christmas. My parents went to the Christmas program with me and my mom was so impressed with the feeling of community and said, “I just wish that (cousin’s name) went here also”. I am continuously impressed with the staff at St. Mary’s and how they have worked with me on a few different things and they want above and beyond.  My husband who is not Catholic is equally impressed with our experience and sings the praises of St. Mary’s.


191. Because we are Catholic and want our kids to have an education that stems from the root of daily prayer, sacraments and steeped in the life of The Church!


192. We send our children to the Catholic School System in order to incorporate their Catholic religion into their education and to be part of an educational system that can set higher standards.


193. For the catholic education


194. The faith filled environment


195.  Catholic faith and they are good schools


196. Smaller class size.


197. Faith-based education and smaller class sizes


198. Can have God in their daily teachings, talk about Him, say prayers, etc, and not be tagged as being politically incorrect. Smaller classes with more of a chance to have one-on-one help.


199. Good quality Religion based


200. Why not? My children hang out with children that have similar morals and values. We pray, we build Christian service, we have passion for our schools, and we are a family. We have smart kids. I have great kids because of SFCS.


201. Catholic education


202. Catholic values. Good education.


203. Academic excellence first. Then a smaller school would allow more opportunities, but this hasn’t really been the case. Third would be would be the catholic education.


204. I like the Faith Education. Smaller classes vs. public schools. Better quality education. Feels it is a better preparation for college.


205. Because of the families and teachers. It’s a smaller community and the quality of families that choose SFCSS are a group of wonderful people that have your back when you need it. The teachers really know your children and their needs. The level of education is remarkable. There is a lot of steak and less sizzle. My son has a peanut allergy, and they were the best about how they handle that situation.  Love it here!


206. For faith based environment, for faith education and practices, and above average academics


207. Structure, faith, rules, smaller classes


208.  We wanted to have a catholic core with great education.


209.  High educational standards. Foundations of Faith.


210.  I enroll my children in Catholic school to help them grow in their faith.


211.  Faith in education. Excellent education.


212.  Christian environment, small class sizes, weekly Mass, opportunities to interact with Priests and other religious.


213.  To become closer in Christ by helping our children grow with the loving support of staff and community. SFCS is not only a strong community but more importantly our family!!!


214. The Religious based education. Smaller class sizes. The quality of education. The caring staff and teachers.


215. Faith based


216. Academics, close knit families, and smaller class size.


217. Since we would have to drive our kids to school anyways , might as well drive them to Holy Spirit.


218. Quality of education. I attended so I knew the value of the education provided.  Sense of community offered by SFCS.


219. I believe the school will help reinforce our Catholic beliefs, help them grow in holiness and help strengthen their relationship with Our Lord. I also hope that prayer in school will reinforce the prayer at home…and that in all things good and bad, God will be their center, the first one to go to in praise and

Thanksgiving and in cries for help!


220. Academic performance. Well-rounded offerings in sports and arts….specifically in the arts.


221. We LOVE the faith based education that our children receive. Although SFCS offers our children a first class, Blue Ribbon Education, it is truly the foundation of faith that the system is built on that made the decision for us.


222. Faith based community with proven academic excellence.


223. To be raised in a school that promotes and provides a Catholic education and to have God in their daily lives.  To also be educated in what Jesus Christ did for all of us.


224. Faith foundation and excellence in academics. SFCS is a family.


225. Catholic faith is central to the curriculum, high academic expectations, dedicated and caring teachers and staff, high parental involvement, community. The whole team, including parents, grandparents, priests, parishioners, teachers, staff, students are all in to ensure we are providing safe, Catholic, high quality learning environment for our students. We are blessed to be part of Sioux Falls Catholic Schools.


226. I believe my child will receive opportunities to grow in their faith, to be challenged academically and to put faith and knowledge together to learn how to serve others. I believe that in a Catholic school my child will be surrounded by caring people who can compassionately help my child get back on track when they fail spiritually, academically and in service to others.


227. Thought it would be good? Not sure at this point. We will see how the semester grades are….


228. Smaller class sizes. Teachers are more involved and know students and parents better. Parents are more involved. Prayer & religion are incorporated in everyday learning. Students are more challenged academically.


229. Excellence in academics


230. Allowed to actively practice their faith, higher level of academics


231. The Sioux Falls Catholic School System does a great job teaching children. Our son Ben, who graduated from O” Gorman in 2009 confirmed this. He went to college at Southwest Minnesota State in Marshall, Minnesota. He said he felt like he was better educated than other students. Overall, I feel like SFCS does better because students are held to higher expectations in their academics and their behavior. As a society, we keep saying that our children are our future. To me, that means we are making a wise investment by sending our children to Catholic school.


232. We wanted faith based education for our children and smaller class sizes.


233. The culture, environment, and staff


234. The spiritual teaching of God’s truth and the academic rigor.


235. To make their faith part of their daily life.


236. Faith, smaller class size and the love from the teachers, staff, parish and families.


237.  To provide my children the opportunity to receive not only a great scholastic education but also a religious one as well. Growing up and being exposed to the catholic faith and education on a daily basis will always help them make the right decision when faced with the daily issues of peer pressure and all other teenage issues.


238. The Christian education, small class sizes, and wonderful families we have met.


239. Education and religion.


240. Christian focused and smaller classes.


241. 1. To educate our children more about our Catholic faith 2. Smaller classroom settings, therefore more hands on 3. We feel our children are getting a much better education here at OG.


242. I enrolled my children in the SFCS system because I love the family feel, the morals taught and just how great and caring the teachers are. I love how much my children learned about their Catholic faith by being able to ask questions. My daughter and I are teaching a Rel. Ed class to 8th and 9th grade girls, and I am amazed at how much my daughter knew and is able to teach to these girls!! I just LOVE OG!! A great support system for me and my children.


243. Because of the quality of education and more importantly, the faith that is involved in every aspect of their education. I couldn’t imagine my kids spending all of their school days in a place where sharing their faith would be discouraged.


244. I feel the education is better at catholic schools. I also want my child to have religion as a class daily.


245. Faith centered and high academic standards.


246. Two reasons, outstanding performance and moral instruction.


247. Because they grow in their Catholic faith every day, are taught by excellent teachers who care about them, and are challenged academically.


248. We choose to enroll our children in SF Catholic Schools for the Faith, the outstanding education and the community. We have had so many positive experiences and opportunities over the years. I cannot imagine my children being a part of any other school system!!


249. The enrollment is smaller which means more personal interactions with other students and faculty. The emphasis is on team building, academics and character.


250. Faith, Class size, Teachers, Parent involvement, Community, Test scores


251. The administration, teachers, and coaches all truly care about preparing our children for the rest of their life. They don’t just talk, they follow through with action. The education and quality of life at the school is second to none. I wish everyone was as blessed as we are to be able to have our children be part of the O’Gorman family.


252. We love the faith community that SFCS provides for our 2 children, both in high school now. They have been a part of SFCS since preschool, and we love that they can live their faith and get the best education in Sioux Falls.


253. There are many reasons that brought us to the decision to start and continue with SFCS. Originally, it was tradition, as I am an alumnus. Then, it became more about quality and what we perceive to be a more caring environment. Finally, I would submit that the level of work and peer competition keeps my children engaged at their individual level of ability and encourages them to improve.


254. Primarily because of the location. At the pre-school level the tuition was also very comparable to other pre-schools; however, I do not intend to send my preschooler on because of the cost of tuition.


255. Great education that has focus on faith first


256. To receive a first rate education while enriching her spiritual life.


257. Better education


258. Deepen our faith and open communication about Catholicism


259. Because God is included in their daily routine. That simple.


260. I believe the education level is higher, and I believe in teaching faith, values and being able to discipline students!!


261. Two main reasons: 1) They will be educated in the faith, and they’ll learn the kind of values that I want them to learn. 2) I believe they’re getting a better education period. The teachers are excellent, and the class work is challenging for my girls.


262. I feel they are receiving an excellent education rewarded with the ability to have God in their life every day. I feel like SFCSS is there to help your child succeed in life. Very positive atmosphere and promote family involvement.


263. Christian teachings


264. Because integrating Faith in my child’s education is very important to our family. I honestly like the smaller school environment. It is more personal and I want to know that the teachers and administrators are faithful Catholic people as well. Providing and surrounding my child with good faithful Catholic people in as many areas of his life during his formative years is very important to my family.


265. The teachers at St. Mary School love our children, like we love our children. They are able to talk to God every day and know that he is guiding them through all their daily activities. They get to know the real reason for the season and be proud of it. Sioux Falls Catholic Schools are truly a sacrifice for our family, but it is a sacrifice we wouldn’t even think twice about had we done it all over again. The smaller class sizes and individual attention are worth every penny of sacrifice.


266. Compassionate teachers who really care about my child’s success.


267. We feel there is a higher standard for education in Catholic schools and the Catholic school system is not completely bound by public policy. We also appreciate the teaching and example of our Faith.


268. Love the idea of our Catholic Faith being taught on a daily basis. Also, I believe this is the best education around!


269. It was one of the few places that offered all day preschool and a prekindergarten program. Plus, it is in our neighborhood and I love the small, family-like atmosphere. My girls love going to school so I love sending them to such a wonderful place!


270. Smaller school size


271. My children are safe and learning in a faith based environment


272. Faith based education.


273. We loved everything the SFCS had to offer our children and us as parents. It was important to us to have not only the academic standards but more importantly the Church values.


274. My wife and I appreciate the smaller class size in elementary school.


275. Financially cheaper than daycare (preschool).  To keep him learning about faith while he’s not home. To ensure he gets best teaching via the ratings.  Only a couple blocks from our house.


276. Size of the student body. Because of the Catholic based education.


277. Because we believe in educating our children in a faith based environment with smaller class sizes and faculty that stands with us through each step of the way.


278. I went to the same school and enjoyed my experience and wanted my child to have the same experience.


279. Quality of education and Catholic values


280. Catholic faith, family went to St Mary and OG


281. The quality of education combined with the sense of community and faith environment…..there is nothing more important than these attributes in creating considerate, productive and mature individuals!


282. Because it provides my son the structure and Catholic base that helps guide & build his character to be a wonderful, young, Catholic man to contribute and make a difference in this world.


283. Our children have a freedom to speak openly about prayer and God. They are challenged with academics everyday and learn it all in a spiritual setting.


284. I believe the entire experience is more positive.


285. For a faith based education.


286. Faith & smaller (generally) class sizes


287. My husband and I both attended catholic school in SF. Great system academically! Faith filled!


288. The great education is only the 2nd reason because in Sioux Falls, the public schools have good education programs as well. For us, we choose Catholic schools because we desire a faith-based education. We feel it’s important to have our kids share their faith together with their peers. It’s our job at home but if we can immerse them with their faith while at school too, that is an extra blessing.


289. Catholic education. Excellent scores. Families with like-minded life goals.


290. Great education.


291. Faith based education. Their teaching infuses God every lesson. I am a graduate of Catholic schools and believe in supporting our parish school.


292. A Faith based education is very important to us as a family. We love that our little ones can participate in a Christmas program, not a winter program. We love how you feel like you belong to a family. The staff at both schools is amazing!


293. Faith based community.  Smaller grade and class size. Opportunities for advanced academics. Catholic values incorporated throughout learning. Supportive and invested families. Dedicated teachers and administrators.


294. Community of Faith. Smaller Classes. Academic and behavior expectations.


295. Faith community, academics, my whole family went through SFCS, excellence.


296. Smaller class sizes. Religious based approach to education. Better opportunities for involvement in helping to set school goals, fundraising, working to improve each school.


297. Our daughter has attended St Michael’s since kindergarten, and we had several deciding factors to enroll her in catholic school rather than public. One was the number of children in each class being much smaller than in the public schools, and we felt she would be exposed to a much better teacher/child relationship.  Second, we also were very impressed when we toured the school and saw how well the teachers and children interacted with each other.  Third, we were also very surprised to find the tuition was much lower than we had expected to send our child to a Catholic school.


298. My husband and I chose to send our child to catholic school because we wanted her to continue to build and grow in her faith every day in school and to be able to express that faith in school. To be able to see her grow spiritually has been a true blessing. Even though we pay tuition, it is well worth the sacrifices we make to invest in her education.


299. Our Catholic faith as a foundation at home and school as well as the smaller class sizes for more individual attention if needed. The teachers have been amazing and take great care of our kids.


300. I like the structure and the positive and encouraging atmosphere SFCS provides. I also like and appreciate the religious and academic education my children receive, which in my opinion, makes them a more rounded, wholesome positive person. The “atmosphere” surrounding the SFCS is more of a community…a family. Positive culture and behavior is expected and followed by most. Higher academic scores is a POSITIVE. I hope to provide my children w/an excellent education which will provide them a little bit of an advantage when entering into their secondary education and into LIFE and their careers.


301. Faith based education, high standards, and small community atmosphere.


302. Faith family. I went to SFCS my entire education. Safety.


303. Faith based education. Community between schools and parishes. Wonderful staff. High academic standards.


304. Religion can be a daily part of curriculum, academics, smaller numbers.


305. I like the smaller setting and more structure. I thought the program offered more quality education.


306. Sense of community Integration of the faith into the curriculum and the academic and activity life.


307. Best in education and religious commitment


308. Education and potential for college


309. Education quality. Small class size.  Ability to interact with teachers.


310. We have a family history, dating back 4 generations of attending SF Catholic schools and have never considered public education for our children. Having a strong academic program, and the opportunity to live and learn your faith is very important to our family.


311. Quality of education. Infrastructure. Overall discipline and moral values. Good brand name in SD.


312. Christ based education that’s GREAT!


313. Faith formation in an academic setting. Our family shares belief in the principles and values of SFCS.


314. 1. The quality of the education. 2. The faith-based incorporation of prayer, theology into the curriculum. 3. The faculty and staff care about the success of my children.


315. We wanted our children surrounded by a Christian environment and have felt it was the best choice for our family. Even though it is a financial struggle at times, it is well worth it.


316. Faith-based education, small class sizes, more personal attention focus on the overall student, values, who they are as a person and not just their test results, small-town, community feeling the school delivers


317. I feel that SFCS will provide my children with an excellent education. I have been highly impressed with the teachers that my children have had so far. I especially like that they are taught more about their religion and faith and are surrounded by friends who share their same beliefs. Attending weekly mass and confession is a wonderful addition! Starting off and ending each day with a prayer is the best way to start anyone’s day.


318. When your child goes to school and engages in activities with families of similar values, there is a great trust in the community and support for the entire family. When parents are involved and invested, great things happen, and I want my child to benefit from the experiences that he is offered at the Sioux Falls Catholic Schools.


319. Because we feel faith should be an integral part of everyday education.


320. Quality of education, faith based


321. I wanted the stability SFCS offers for my child. I also thought the academic standards were better.


322. Smaller class sizes, Christian values, Challenging curriculum ***I would like to see the SFCS increase the technology available to our students – at every grade level


323. Faith based community.


324. Because the school is smaller than most public schools and because God is a part of education.


325. I really think that having religion in my child’s life on a daily basis is important. I think she is more influenced by children her age and more accepting of the Catholic faith when she sees her friends also participating, instead of just mom and dad. With all the things going on in the world today, I think a little religion in school is a great thing. I also wanted the smaller class sizes and I was anticipating a more caring and helping staff in the Catholic school system and that is exactly what I have seen. They just seem to care! That is important to my wife and I.


326. School size and education


327. High educational standards, prior to Common Core. Close knit community and daily religious prayer and activities.


328. Our values are reflected in the teachings of the school. Our Catholic faith is reinforced in everyday practices.


329. For the faith based education.


330. Daily prayer; Catholic Values; smaller size!


331. I want my kids to learn about God and have His teachings be incorporated into their everyday lives.


332. We appreciate the incorporation of religion into lessons. We believe it builds a strong moral foundation and stresses the importance of God’s presence in our lives. We feel Sioux Falls Catholic Schools care about each of their students and trust they will instill the same values and teachings we hold true in our home.


333. Catholic education is very important to us. We are active members of our church and want to reinforce that through their education.


334. We enroll our children in Sioux Falls Catholic Schools because of the superior education, small class sizes, close-knit community and faith (we actually have a “Christmas” program in December!). Our two sons are very different from one another. For one, school is seemingly effortless. For the other, school is much more difficult. Amazingly, the Catholic schools are able to address both boys’ individual needs and build on their strengths. Children simply do not “fall between the cracks” in the Catholic schools.


335. I feel SFCS provides my children with the needed education, skills, work ethic and spirituality to prepare them for adulthood.


336. Faith based education, exceptional education opportunities, increased competition and higher standard of education, uniforms (VERY important that I’m afraid OG has been too lax lately) and being at a school where you know almost everyone else AND their families. Also important is that the kids have honor in what they do. Being smart and a quality kid is a noble and cherished asset at OG.


337. We choose to enroll our children in the Sioux Falls Catholic Schools so they can openly share their faith and pray with their teachers and friends. We also know that the teachers and staff care a tremendous amount about our kids. They have demonstrated this over and over again.


338. High scholastic achievement, values and morals taught and expected of children, religious education


339. I chose the school he attends because it has really small class sizes. I also know that the education he receives will prepare him well for a prosperous future.


340. I feel they received an excellent education and faith based environment


341. Faith based, harder material challenges the kids! The fact that they are learning and actively participating in their own religious beliefs is so reassuring to us. We love that they are content and prayed for by their schools.


342. Christ centered education and lots of little things that add up. Like- uniforms, excellent teachers and a principal that know all of the students by name.


343. Because it is Faith based and our system strives to differentiate itself.  This will be essential for our system to excel for generations to come!


344. Quality education, convenience of after school care and faith based.


345. High quality education that incorporates a faith background


346. Small class size. Academic achievements. Faith based community of adults and peers.


347. We like the combination of good quality academics with faith learning.


348. Better education. Receives religion in school. Smaller class sizes. Great community!


349. Too many reasons to count! They can pray before meals, performances, etc. The education is exceptional – as well as appropriate curriculum that maintains our Catholic values. But most of all because my children love it! They love being surrounded by their faith and sharing that with others. Thank you for what you do!!!


350. Faith and academics


351. The high quality of education. My daughter said her first year of college was a breeze due to the 4 years of “training” at O’Gorman.


352. Faith based education. Level of education. Sense of community and belonging.


353. For the faith based education and strong academics.


354. Initially, because my wife is Catholic. But I’m glad we did. Our sons have enjoyed the system and have been – and are being – well prepared for college.


355. Sioux Falls Catholic Schools have a very strong culture of community. The school creates many opportunities to grow in faith and service.


356. We chose SFCS primarily for the faith based environment and education. We also felt that the education our children will receive is better than that in the public schools. (We are also watching closely the common core curriculum and how it plays out, as we are not in favor of the curriculum being used, including that in the SFCS.)


357. So he can learn more about the Catholic Faith.


358. To provide them a religious education


359. Because I went to Catholic Schools when I was younger and there was no question that I would send all 3 of my daughters to SFCS.


360. Christ is the central focus, with religious education and reception of the sacraments.


361. Our son gets the caring nurturing environment he needs. The teachers have a vested interest in helping special needs kids. I only wish we had moved him there sooner!


362. Catholic education and the expectation of a more caring, controlled and effective learning environment.


363. My daughter has been in private schools in Ca and Fl, and I felt it was important for her to remain in a private Catholic school.


364. For the natural integration of religion in their daily lives.


365. The quality of education and having Christ in our daughters’ lives daily.



***The survey replies listed do not include a very small number of responses which compares or points out a specific school or person.



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