Current Total Enrollment:
5,879

There was a 20% increase in enrollment in Catholic schools over 3 years (fall of 2021 to spring of 2024)

Teachers in the Diocese:
443

Accreditations:
State of Indiana
COGNIA

About the high school graduating Class of 2024:

  • 100% graduation rate
  • 98% accepted into a 4-year college
  • 70% earned dual-credit with regionally accredited universities 

Notable Achievements:

  • All schools are 1:1 (student to electronic device ratio)
  • Diocese of Gary Catholic Schools consistently score 10-15% higher on ILEARN state testing compared to the average public school scores
  • 9 elementary schools earned outstanding achievement with a 95% or higher pass rate on the 2023 IREAD-3 assessment
  • St. Paul Catholic School in Valparaiso is a National Blue Ribbon School 
  • St. Patrick School in Chesterton placed number one in mathematics in the state of Indiana in ILEARN testing in 2021
  • The Diocese of Gary has invested over $500,000 annually in tuition assistance for families
  • 75% of students in Diocese of Gary Catholic schools receive a school choice scholarship towards tuition

Click Here to Find a School

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What role does Catholic identity role play within our schools?

Catholic schools in the Diocese of Gary are driven and guided by a clearly communicated mission that embraces a Catholic identity that includes gospel values, a focus on the Eucharist, and a commitment to communal faith formation, academic excellence, missionary discipleship, and service. Being a Catholic school gives us a lens in which we provide classroom instruction and build school culture.

Does a student have to be Catholic to attend a Catholic school?

Students of all religious backgrounds are welcome to enroll in our schools and can benefit from a Catholic education. On average, 22% of Catholic school students in Northwest Indiana are not Catholic.

How has school choice impacted Catholic education in Indiana?

School choice scholarships have removed the economic barrier to Catholic and other non-public education for 80% of families in Indiana. 75% of our current student population receives a school choice scholarship. Over the past three years with the expansion of choice legislation, the diocese has experienced a 20% increase in enrollment in its schools, while maintaining its commitment to small class sizes and every student having a sense of belonging.

We believe that parents should be allowed to choose the school that best fits their child’s academic, personal and spiritual needs. The expansion of choice scholarships allows all families access to educational opportunities previously not available to everyone, and this gift will ensure that these families are accessing a high-quality education through all of our schools.

Have school choice scholarships impacted the quality of education in Catholic schools?

We continue to offer excellent academic programs and strong test scores while we increase our enrollment and open our doors wider to more students. Giving students these scholarships to use toward tuition has allowed schools to expand course offerings, meet student needs, maintain test scores consistently higher than local public-school counterparts, and serve more families in the community.

What is the diocese’s commitment to equal access in education for all families?

As a Catholic community, we are called to serve all our brothers and sisters. A diverse student body and faculty are valuable components to the success of Catholic education, as everyone brings unique gifts and perspectives. The Diocese of Gary is committed to making Catholic education available to all families who desire to send their children to a Catholic school. To support these efforts, the diocese annually invests over $500,000 in tuition assistance and participates in the federal free and reduced lunch program. Children of all religions, race, and economic backgrounds are welcome and valued in our Catholic schools.

Who determines the curriculum used in Diocese of Gary Catholic schools?

The Diocese of Gary Office of Catholic Schools, in consultation with key stakeholders and educators, determines the curriculum standards. Our standards are aligned with the Indiana Department of Education academic standards. Students participate in all state approved assessments including ILEARN, IREAD3, and PSAT/SAT. Our standards for religion class are in agreement with the United States Council of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

What is the relationship between the Diocese of Gary and individual Catholic schools?

In the Diocese of Gary, our 20 schools are either governed by the diocese or through the parish (parochial schools). Our elementary schools are parochial schools, which means they have a principal who runs the educational needs and the day-to-day operations of the school. The principal reports to the parish pastor who prioritizes the Catholic identity and overall management of the school. The Office of Catholic Schools supports the principal in their school improvement efforts and overall management.

The three high schools in the diocese (Andrean High School, Bishop Noll Institute, and Marquette Catholic) are considered diocesan schools governed directly through the diocese. The Superintendent of Catholic Schools directly oversees the administration of the schools, working closely with the principal and president.

How can I support Catholic education in the Diocese of Gary?

Our schools’ benefit from many people’s time, talent, and treasure. Local schools regularly have volunteers serving in classrooms and on committees. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact your local schools directly. You can also financially support Catholic schools in Northwest Indiana by making a contribution to the Catholic Services Appeal at give.dcgary.org. We will offer additional information to contribute to the new personnel compensation endowment in the near future.

 


About the Office of Catholic Schools

Dr. Colleen Brewer has been the superintendent of Catholic schools in the Diocese of Gary since July 2023. Brewer has 27 years of experience serving in Catholic schools in numerous roles as a teacher and principal for PK-12th grade, and at the Archdiocese of Chicago as a Regional Director for Turnaround Schools, managing a portfolio of ten schools for the archdiocese. As the Superintendent, Brewer guides the 17 elementary and 3 high schools within the diocese to live out our school’s motto to offer Academic Excellence Inspired by Faith in Action.

Brewer holds a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education in Mathematics and Minor in Religious Studies from the University of Dayton (OH), a Master of Education in Instructional Leadership and a Doctorate in Educational with her superintendent endorsement from Loyola University in Chicago (IL). Brewer’s doctoral research focused on Guiding School Improvement for the Diocese of Gary Schools.

In 2016, Brewer participated in ACE - Alliance for Catholic Education - Notre Dame's educational leadership principal academy and spent two years visiting schools in Chicago and around the country seeing high-leverage educational techniques put into practice. She has served in many supplementary roles such as a coach, retreat leader, club moderator, graduation coordinator and accreditation supervisor.

Brewer prioritizes keeping her faith an active part of her personal and professional life. She received the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Christifideles Award in 2014 for her dedication to the Church and its ministries.

 

Ingrid Znika is the Education Resource Coordinator for the Diocese of Gary Catholic Schools. In this position, she supports the Schools Office with the implementation of teacher contracts, pre-employment background checks, job postings and the management of new teacher hires in completing their employment files. She also collaborates with our new-hire processer, APPLITRACK, and guides principals and pastors on listing open positions on the diocesan website.

Znika is a graduate of Andrean High School (class 1982) and earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Art Institute of Chicago. She spent 27 years in the business sector, operating her own art studio.

Contact Us

Dr. Colleen J. Brewer
Superintendent

Mrs. Ingrid Znika
Education Resource Coordinator