Guide to Enrolling in Catholic Schools in San Antonio for 2023–24

San Antonio Catholic Schools girl student playground horizontal

Catholic schools in San Antonio have a long tradition of high quality education, as well as faith and character formation. In recognition of Discover Catholic Schools Week, November 13–19, 2022, and Celebrate Catholic Schools Week, January 29–February 4, 2023, we have prepared a guide to San Antonio Catholic schools—including a spotlight on St. Gregory the Great Catholic School—to help you learn more about them, as well as discover how to enroll your children and apply for financial aid.

About Catholic Schools in San Antonio

Catholic schools are an essential part of the history of education in San Antonio. The first Catholic school in San Antonio, Ursuline Academy (now the UTSA Southwest Campus), was founded in 1851Central Catholic High School was founded in 1852. Guided by the Archdiocese of San Antonio, Catholic schools educate students through “higher thought and prayer.”

What are the distinctive features of Catholic school culture? Around each school, families, teachers, and students form a Christ-centered community, expressed through acts of service. The schools partner with parents and parishes, and students engage in their local communities and beyond. 

Catholic schools strive for academic excellence, and also work to make their programs affordable for more families. Hope for the Future is a tuition assistance program that raises money for scholarships

Catholic schools have a track record of success, especially for students of color. Data show that 99 percent of Catholic school students graduate from high school on time; of those, 86 percent attend college. A black or Latino child is 42 percent more likely to graduate from high school and 2.5 times more likely to graduate from college if they attends a Catholic school. They are also less likely to be incarcerated.

Students who grow up in Catholic schools are more likely to keep their Catholic identities as adults through daily prayer, church attendance, and charitable giving. Also, studies show that Catholic school graduates are more civically engaged and more likely to vote than peers who went to other schools. As adults, they are more likely to serve their communities. 

To read more about Catholic schools in the news, we recommend that you click on the articles linked at the bottom of this post. Also, we invite you to join the San Antonio Charter Moms discussion group on Facebook and ask questions; the group includes current Catholic school families who can comment with answers based on their own experiences.

San Antonio Catholic Schools boy student library horizontal

Spotlight on St. Gregory the Great Catholic School

Let’s have a closer look at St. Gregory the Great Catholic School, which was founded in 1955. The campus is located in the heart of San Antonio, located near the Medical Center and downtown San Antonio. St. Gregory the Great serves students in PK3 through eighth grade. This year, the school opened its doors to an early learning program serving children from 18 to 36 months old.

Here is the school’s mission statement: “We, the faith community of St. Gregory the Great Catholic School, in keeping with the Catholic tradition, nurture in our children and one another, spiritual, personal, and academic growth through prayer and Christ-like service.” This mission guides the curriculum, activities, and interactions of every student, faculty and staff member. The school continues to build on a strong tradition of Catholic identity and academic excellence that truly brings the mission of St. Gregory the Great Catholic School to life. 

St. Gregory the Great believes in meeting students where they are and the school’s commitment is to nurture and develop every facet of student life: spiritual, academic, and extracurricular.

Spiritual formation: St. Gregory the Great fosters an environment that is rooted in faith and Catholic values. Catholic identity is visible throughout the campus, in the classrooms, and through the interactions amongst faculty, staff, and students. The faculty and staff are truly committed to the mission of Catholic education, which is evident when over 65 percent of the faculty and staff had a child attend and graduate from St. Gregory the Great Catholic School.

Academics: St. Gregory the Great is committed to the development of each child according to his/her intellectual aptitude, with a goal of achieving academic growth in every child. A parent recently said, “St. G is so far ahead of the game when it comes to the day-to-day quality attention and education every student receives.” St. Gregory the Great Catholic School is the only school in the archdiocese to offer the Success For All literacy program for students in kindergarten through fifth grade. This is a research-based reading curriculum that is proven to increase reading and comprehension skills and propels students to mastery and beyond. The program also utilizes a built-in tutoring component, Lightning Squad, that reinforces phonemic and comprehension skills for students in kindergarten through third grade.

Extracurricular: St. Gregory the Great offers a variety of after-school programs like drama, mariachi, ballet folklorico, gardening, and STREAM. The athletic program strives to develop disciplined minds, healthy bodies, competitive spirits, and a desire to excel. 

The culture at St. Gregory the Great Catholic School is rooted in community. The school endeavors to partner with families to shape future leaders and contributors to society. The school community includes the pastor and principal, school council, PTC, faculty and staff, parents/guardians, and students in the overall goals and success of the school. There is a true sense of unity and a commitment to build a strong and nurturing school community where all are valued and all live in a spirit of collaboration and cooperation, which supports and enhances the mission of the school.

preschool early childhood program St Gregory the Great Catholic School San Antonio

Catholic Schools in San Antonio

As of the 2022–23 school year, there are 36 schools in the Archdiocese of San Antonio, including eight high schools. 

Archdiocese of San Antonio Catholic Schools finder map

At sacatholicschools.org, there is a user-friendly school finder tool with a map and filters to help you narrow down your search among schools in the Archdiocese of San Antonio.

Like all private schools in Texas, Catholic schools in San Antonio do not need to administer state mandated standardized tests, so there is no accountability data or school report cards to share. However, San Antonio Catholic school students do take assessments through NWEA.

Central Catholic High School San Antonio

Enroll at San Antonio Catholic Schools

Discover Catholic Schools Week in November is a good prompt to do research into San Antonio Catholic schools; similarly, Celebrate Catholic Schools Week in late January/early February is a good reminder to submit your applications because many Catholic schools conduct registration in February for the upcoming school year. Catholic school applications may ask for records such as birth certificates, report cards, and standardized test scores. They may also interview students and their families, and ask students to take an academic readiness test. For students with special education needs, the schools will meet with the students and their families to determine whether the school can meet the students’ needs. Catholic schools may ask for Baptism and First Holy Communion records, and give priority to families who are parishioners.

Each campus conducts its own registration process, so it’s best to check with each school for details about procedures, fees, and deadlines. Church newsletters and bulletins can be a good source of information. Social media can also offer a glimpse in to school events and celebrations; we recommend following these accounts:

In addition, please join the San Antonio Charter Moms discussion group on Facebook to post questions and search previous discussions about San Antonio Catholic schools. For more information about enrolling at private schools in San Antonio, see “Your Guide to San Antonio Private Schools” from San Antonio Magazine.

Catholic schools offer tuition assistance to students based on need. Hope for the Future is the financial aid program of the Archdiocese of San Antonio; applications open in January for the upcoming school year. The generosity of parishoners helps lower the cost of tuition at Catholic schools. 

Catholic schools in San Antonio are full of tradition and culture, and help students grow in academic knowledge as well as faith and character. We hope that Discovery Catholic Schools Week and Celebrate Catholic Schools Week inspire you to take a closer look at the high quality schools in the Archdiocese of San Antonio.

Charter Moms Chats

Watch Ana Cortez, Principal at St. Gregory the Great Catholic School, speak with Inga Cotton on Charter Moms Chats on November 17, 2022 at 4:00 PM Central live on Facebook and YouTube.

Ana Cortez is the Principal of St. Gregory the Great Catholic School in San Antonio, Texas.


Watch Catholic school parents Laura MacGregor Peña and Mary Valdez speak with Inga Cotton on Charter Moms Chats on February 1, 2022 at 4:00 PM Central live on Facebook and YouTube.

Laura MacGregor Peña has a daughter in kindergarten at St. Mary Magdalen School; she is an alumna of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Antonian College Prep, and the University of Notre Dame. Mary Valdez is an alumna of Providence Catholic School; her daughter is now a senior at Providence Catholic School, and her son is a freshman at Central Catholic High School. Both guests are natives of San Antonio and are engaged members of their children’s school communities and activities.

Read More About San Antonio Catholic Schools

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A nonprofit that helps parents to research school options and become advocates for high quality education.