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The impact of a school environment on your teen

According to the National Center on Education and the Economy, most teenagers in the U.S. spend approximately 1,000 hours in school every year. Add the number of hours they’re engaged in after-school sports, clubs, and rehearsals, and you’ll find that many teenagers are spending around 1,400 hours each year with their school peers. For teens who spend time with school friends in the evenings and on the weekends, that number surpasses 1,500 hours a year, maybe even reaching 2,000. And if they’re snapchatting, following, tweeting, messaging, and whatever-ing these friends, we’re probably talking about 3,000+ hours of a potential 8,760, if the teen never sleeps.

If you’re like most parents of teenagers, you catch your child on the fly, when he’s darting off to rehearsal or she’s heading out to practice. The weekend comes and your child may be busy at a job or concentrating on homework or spending time with friends. If you calculated how many hours you actually spent with your teenager last year, you might discover that the number is closer to 100 than 1,000.

Why do these numbers matter? Because the data tells us that teenagers are spending far more time in school and with their school peers, face-to-face or online, than with their families. You don’t need a calculator to tell you that.

At Northwest Catholic we know time is limited and every hour counts. We know how those valuable hours are spent and with whom they’re spent matters. In truth, we take our responsibility of preparing and protecting the school environment and community and the hours spent here very seriously.

At NWC we are consciously building a community of learners who lean on and learn from one another. The message all day every day at Northwest Catholic is we are a community. We look out for one another, we encourage one another, and we expect a lot from one another. This is what community looks like to us.

The question for parents today is where do you want your teenager to spend 1,000 hours next year? An equally important question is with whom do you want your teenager spending 2,000+ hours? Remember, you’re only getting 100 of those precious hours, if you’re lucky. Choosing a small, safe, Catholic school that lives its mission and values every day is guaranteed to leave an impression, and in a future where there are few guarantees, wouldn’t it be wise to secure just one?

Catholic schools are peaceful, inclusive spaces where values are expressly taught. Students in tight-knit, Catholic school communities learn to work with others from all walks of life, knowing that a diverse community prepares them for college and career. Catholic school students, whether they’re Catholic or not, absorb and embody the message that they’re part of something bigger than themselves. Catholic education celebrates every single, unique person in community.

At Northwest Catholic we are proud to provide an academically challenging, faith-based education to a diverse student body that mirrors the world. We are proud to be Greater Hartford’s #1 Catholic school for the third year in a row. We are proud of our test scores, college acceptances, and alumni success stories. We are proud to be a unified community. Mostly, we are proud that our students are nice to one another. If your child has only 5,000 waking hours next year, don’t you want him or her to be on the receiving end of all that?

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  Maureen Scudder

  Director of Communications


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