St. Martha Parish School

Providing excellence in Catholic education since 1967

Welcome Archbishop Perez

Pope Francis named Nelson J. Perez as the new archbishop of Philadelphia. He will replace Charles Chaput. 


Saint Martha would like to welcome Archbishop Perez to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia! Learn more about newly appointed Archbishop Perez here.



The Secret Sauce to Education

For years, educators, politicians, school administrators and more have pondered what is the secret to success in schools that carries on throughout life. Kathleen Porter-Magee, the superintendent at Partnership Schools in New York City, determined that the “secret sauce” for Catholic schools is the way Catholic values are woven into the curriculum within Catholic schools. Let’s take a closer look at how this claim might ring true.


According to a report from the Manhattan Institute, in the decades old discussion of school reform, the values, culture and beliefs within the school have been largely overlooked in how they relate to student success. Researchers determined that schools that looked like Catholic schools “on the inside” had better success in achieving key student outcomes.   


The author of this study, Kathleen Porter-Magee, alludes to the idea of treating “every student as having equal worth before God” might be the magic, secret ingredient as to why Catholic schools hold a track record of success other schools would be wise to take notes. 


Porter-Magee notes three core elements that drive the Catholic education model, that may not be visible to an outsider:


  • The belief in objective truth

  • A commitment that all humans are made in the image of God

  • Priority of teaching the habits of virtue and the happiness of choosing to do good


Through the curriculum in Catholic schools, “academic rigor is grounded in the belief that truth is objective, and the one goal of education is the search for objective truth.” To this end, this means the curriculum is created in such a way that students learn what they need to learn by looking for the truth to the question at hand.


In regards to seeing each student made in the image and likeness of God, students are held in high regard and the curriculum is aimed at helping bring out the best of their abilities. Catholic schools also foster a culture of virtue and helping students understand happiness is found when they do good. 


Students who are educated through the Catholic school system understand these core values, and remember them through the rest of their schooling, their careers and in their lives, which offers a public benefit. Additionally, this proves to school reformers to focus less on individual achievement (though, of course, important), but to move to a bigger focus on “values, culture and beliefs” to benefit students long after they graduate. 


As parents of students at St. Martha School, know that by sending your child(ren) to our Catholic elementary school, you are setting them up on a path for success (academic, career-wise and personal) that will continue throughout their life.