The Proof is in the Numbers

For a long time, there has been a general misconception that children in Catholic schools are out performed by their peers in public schools.  Catholic school students are viewed, incorrectly, as being behind academically behind in math and reading.  However, if Covid has shown anything, it is has proved that Catholic schools have been doing it better than public schools and the proof is in the numbers:

  • On national and standardized tests, Catholic schools consistently outperform public and other private schools by as much as 20 percentage points.
  •  National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) results for the Technology and Engineering Literacy (TEL) assessments show Catholic school students were “at or above proficient” scoring 60 percent and public schools scoring 40 percent. In basic overall achievement, Catholic schools stand at 93 percent and public schools at 83 percent.
  •  NAEP results of twelfth-grade students performing at or above proficiency in reading and math are, respectively, Catholic school seniors perform at 63 percent compared to public school seniors at 37 percent; and Catholic school seniors at 48 percent compared to 25 percent for public school seniors.
  • Catholic schools are 37 of the 50 private and religious schools recognized as National Blue Ribbon schools in 2017. 
  • Catholic schools graduate 99.3 percent of their high school seniors compared to 82 percent in public schools; 86 percent of those Catholic high school graduates go on to four-year colleges and universities.

Blessed Trinty Academy is a preschool through 8th grade Catholic school located in Glenshaw, PA. We offer unique and dynamic learning environments that engage students and encourage them to become confident and responsible adults. If you are interested in learning more about how a Catholic education can benefit your child, regardless of your religious denomination, contact Blessed Trinity Academy at or visit our website at

Ready for a New Adventure

Summer is a time for relaxation and crazy adventures with family and friends. Some of you may have attended our awesome summer camp or maybe you attended some fall sports workouts. Hopefully many of you have been working on your summer reading assignments too. Summer is always filled with fun and adventure but being in school is an adventure too. 

Many people have been working hard over the summer to prepare for this next adventure – the 2022-23 school year! A new school year with new classrooms, new teachers, new friends, and a new principal. We have so many wonderful, exciting things to look forward to as we continue to grow as a BTA family. I am so excited to be a new member of this family. I am looking forward to making memories with all of you and to watching you grow in faith and academics. Are you ready to begin this adventure with me? 

Mrs. Elizabeth Vita

Principal, Blessed Trinity Academy

Graduation! A Time to Celebrate

Spring is the season for graduations.  While we mostly recognize students graduating from high school and college, eighth grade graduations can be just as monumental especially for children who attend at Catholic school.  By the time they arrive at eighth grade graduation, most Catholic school students have been together since kindergarten or even preschool.  For an eighth grader, the movement from middle school to high school is more than just the movement from one grade level to another.  While students who attend public schools will most likely be moving to high school together, students in a Catholic school will be splitting up and going different ways. Undoubtedly this can be a time of transition and celebration.  Here are some ways to help your child celebrate their accomplishments and prepare for the transition:

Help Your Child Become More Independent

There is a lot of growth that happens in middle school especially because children become teenagers during this time.  Finding the right balance between offering assistance and giving them space to learn and grow can be difficult.  But you want your child to work towards being an independent adult which they will need when they head off to college. Teaching your child to advocate for themselves is important to prepare them to move on from their primary grades.

Talk About High School

By the time your child comes to the end of their eighth grade year, they are probably thinking a lot about high school.  You have probably attended open houses, done a shadow day, attended welcome events or orientations, and met with guidance counselors in preparation for the start of the school year.  If you haven’t done so already, educate yourself about your child’s new school.  Look at the different classes and activities that are available.  Then talk to your child about what to expect and discuss ways they can get involved in their new school.  This will help ease the transition and open them up to new friendships. Encourage them to look on the school’s website and talk to other students they may know who already go there.

Celebrate the Graduation

For parents, eighth grade graduation may not seem like a big deal. Most children pass eighth grade with no real problems. However, this isn’t just about the end of her middle school journey — it’s also about the beginning of her journey into high school. Surprise your child with her favorite breakfast, or get the family together for a special dinner celebration, complete with a graduation cake. Make sure your child knows that you’re proud of her for taking the next step. 

Blessed Trinity Academy is a preschool through 8th grade Catholic school located in Pittsburgh, PA.  We pride ourselves in providing the foundation for students to develop their leadership skills and grow to their fullest potential.  We offer unique and dynamic learning environments that engage students and encourage them to become confident and responsible adults.  To learn more about Blessed Trinity Academy, contact us at or visit our website at

The Holidays- A Time for New Traditions

The holidays are right around the corner and that means spending time with family, friends, decorating, and enjoying a lot of delicious food.  Your family probably has some tried and true traditions you have followed year after year, but maybe this year it is time to spice it up with something new.   Blessed Trinity Academy has some ideas for new holiday traditions you can incorporate into your family’s Turkey Day festivities and preparation for Christmas this year.

Give Back

The holidays are the time to think of other people, especially those in need.  If your family hasn’t actively given back to their local community, let this be the year you start making a difference.  There are so many ways you can provide blessings to your community this Thanksgiving and Christmas. On a small scale, you can show appreciation for those around you by leaving some homemade treats on your neighbor’s doorstep. Or, you and your family can help those less fortunate by volunteering at a Thanksgiving food drive.  In addition many of the local parishes or community centers run toy drives to provide toys to children in need.  Taking a name from a giving tree can bring many blessings to local children who may have very little this season.

At BTA, we offer several opportunities for our families to donate to families in need.  This year we are collecting non-perishable items for a local food pantry.  We are also encouraging families to put together shoeboxes of essential items that will be sent to those in need in Appalachia.  

Move, Move, Move

The holidays are filled with food!  Everything from turkey to stuffing to pies to cookies are available from Thanksgiving through the Christmas holiday.  That makes it the best time to get your family moving. If your child gets antsy when sitting at the Thanksgiving dinner table for a long meal, you can try starting a new tradition that lets her burn off some of that energy before the big feast. A game of backyard football provides energetic fun for the whole family.  Or for a more challenging exercise, you and your child can participate in a Turkey Trot. These family fun runs are held the morning of Thanksgiving to give participants a chance to burn off some calories before they stuff their bellies with turkey. With a new, active tradition, your family can enjoy quality time away from the television this Thanksgiving.

Encourage Little Helpers

Cooking a holiday meal can be a big undertaking!  Often our holidays are filled with a Thanksgiving feast, baking cookies, or maybe a Christmas brunch.  This makes it the perfect time to encourage help from your child.  Let your whole family help out in the kitchen by giving each family member a dish or task to complete. Younger children can do small tasks, like mashing potatoes or sprinkling marshmallows on sweet potato pie. If your child is older, you can help her create an entire side dish or dessert. Baking is an important part of any holiday and is also a fun activity to do with children.  From getting math lessons when it comes to measuring or getting those creative juices flowing when it comes to decorating cookies, not only will you create a lot of great memories, you will also make your children feel a sense of pride and accomplishment when they see their finished product.

Blessed Trinity Academy has been helping children grow to their fullest potential and become leaders within their communities for the last five years. We offer unique and dynamic learning environments that engage students and encourage them to become confident and responsible adults. To learn more about what makes us different, contact us today.

We Can’t Do It Alone

School is back in session and there is a whirl of activity taking place both inside and outside the school walls.  A great way to show your child you are invested in their education is by getting involved in their school.  Children love seeing their parents at their school helping with different activities from classroom parties to the Book Fair.  Because of Covid last year, opportunities were limited for volunteering in most schools, however, this year more schools are allowing parents in their building to help with various things.  Schools, whether it be private or public, constantly need volunteers to help with school tasks, including planning events, chaperoning field trips, and organizing fundraising activities.  Parents are also needed to serve on committees.  At Blessed Trinity Academy, parent volunteers are essential to run our PTG (Parent-Teacher Guild), Athletics Association, and help with fundraising activities.

 Parent volunteers provide a huge relief and support to the community. A lot of the activities and opportunities provided for our children at school cannot be accomplished without the help of volunteers.  Get involved and demonstrate to your child the importance of getting involved and working together.

How to Get Started:

Most groups at school have monthly meetings that are open to all parents and staff. Attending one of these meetings is a great way to see how the group works and what activities they are putting together.  If you are new to a school, this is also a fantastic way to meet other parents at school.  

In addition, talk to your child’s teachers or the school principal.  Teachers and administrators are always grateful for a group of parents they can call on when things arise that they need help with.  They can also make suggestions of upcoming events that may need an extra set of hands. Some things that schools like BTA often need help with are:

  • Lunchroom monitors
  • Homeroom parents
  • Volunteers at class parties
  • Chaperones for Field Trips
  • Coaches for athletics
  • Assist or run after school clubs
  • Help at Book Fairs, Santa’s Workshops, Holiday Shops
  • Volunteer to be a board position on one of the committees
  • Coordinator a fundraiser
  • Be a science fair judge
  • Organize restaurant nights
  • And the list continues….

These are some things to keep in mind while you are volunteering:

  • Only dedicate as much time as you are willing. Don’t be afraid to say no, and be clear about what you are able to do.
  • Any little bit makes a difference. Oftentimes some of the duties only involve making some phone calls or sending emails, things that can be done from home.
  • Start small — don’t offer to be the athletics or PTG president right away. Take on only as much as you are capable.
  • Talk to the teachers and students so you can find out what they need help with. You’ll want to make the most out of your time there, so select activities wisely.
  • Don’t give any special treatment to your child. You’re there for everyone, not just her or him! Limit your interactions and stay behind the scenes.

At Blessed Trinity Academy volunteers foster our sense of community and are essential in creating all of the wonderful experiences our students love so much.  If you are a school parents and are interested in volunteering your time, please visit our website or email Mrs. Edmiston at

If you are looking for a place where parents are welcome to be a part of your child’s education, contact us today!

By Meredith Kandravy, Director of Admissions and Marketing and Parent at BTA

It’s a long, long summer…

It is hard to believe that summer will be here before you know it.  And with that comes the endless question of how to engage my children in learning during those long summer months.  The summer slide is real and as a parent and a former teacher, I have always been aware of how quickly my kids can “check out” from anything academic. However, I have found a few easy ways to help keep them motivated during the summer so they are prepared to start the next school year.  Here are a few of my helpful tips:

  1. Read to your children every day for 20 minutes.  It is so easy to let a tablet, television or video game entertain your child during the summer.  I have been guilty of this many times, but reading is still a great way to actively engage their minds.  I always try to read “the classics” aloud to my kids during the summer.  I try to pick books that I loved as a child and usually they have the same appeal.  One summer we read “Indian in the Cupboard” by Lynne Reid Banks, and another we read “Island of the Blue Dolphins” by Scott O’Dell.  Even my thirteen year old still loves to be read to!
  2. Sign up for your local library’s Summer Reading Program and encourage them to read on their own.  Once again, reading is a great activity.  Our local library usually offers contests throughout the summer which encourages us to keep coming back for new books.  Not only do I read aloud to my kids, but I also expect that they will read silently almost everyday.  Now that they are older, there is a summer reading requirement for our school, however, when they were smaller our local library offered great motivating programs to encourage them to read throughout the summer.
  3. Math is all around you!  Those math facts, which they worked so hard to learn during the school year, can easily slip away during the summer without some practice.  It is easy to practice flash cards (which I have done), however, there are some simple and easy ways to help them use math in real ways. Cook with your kids and have them measure ingredients to work on fractions, have a lemonade stand to practice using money, take them grocery shopping–tell them they have $10 dollars to spend on 3 items and see how close they can get to spending it.  Our school uses Simple Solutions during the year as enrichment activities so I purchase the corresponding Summer Solutions books which have 30 pages of activities.  I offer incentives if they finish all 30 activities by the end of the summer.  It only takes a few minutes a day and keeps those math facts fresh in their minds.
  4. Sign up for a camp or two.  There are so many great camp options out there that incorporate learning in fun ways.  We have always enjoyed Camp Guyasuta’s STEM Adventure Camp.  Not only are the kids outside the whole day doing fun activities, but they also incorporate a STEM activity everyday.  This year BTA is hosting our first summer camp experience.  It is called “Mystery on Middle Road” and will involve engaging kids in fun ways with STEM activities, crafts, art, and other projects to encourage critical thinking skills.  For more information about our summer camp, visit
  5. If you take a vacation, learn a few new things about the places you are going to visit.  This is a great way to learn about history, geography, weather, and much more.  Recently my family visited Charleston, South Carolina, and although our family had visited the beaches surrounding the area for years, we had never done some of the historical tours available.  This time we signed up for a boat trip to see Fort Sumter.  It was fun to explore a place that had been like a second home to us and have my children see first hand how the Civil War started, which is something all of them have studied in school.

Summer is long and kids tend to be unmotivated the minute you mention “school” or “learning “. It is important to keep them engaged so they come back to school in the fall prepared to start a new school year.  If you are interested in signing up for BTA’s summer camp experience, click here. Need more ideas? Talk to teachers, friends, family and neighbors! They can be a great resource and provide recommendations based on their own experiences.

Mrs. Meredith Kandravy, Director of Admissions and Marketing at Blessed Trinity Academy

Is Private School Right for my Child?

The past year has given all parents time to reflect on their child’s education. The Covid crisis has brought about the stark reality that not all schools and all methods of learning are right for each child. As a result schools like Blessed Trinity Academy have seen a dramatic increase in enrollment not only because of the 5 day a week in school model, but also because of the faith that is present throughout the classrooms. I can’t tell you how many parents have walked through the doors this past year and said, “We have been thinking about Catholic school for awhile, but this was the push we needed to make the change.”

It can be an overwhelming and difficult decision to change schools. As a parent you may be thinking- what is the right school for my child? Will I find friends there too? How do I know if I’m making the right decision for my family? And it can be overwhelming to even think about starting the process. However, following these simple steps can make exploring a new school far less stressful.

Do your homework

Look at the school’s website, check out their social media, talk to your friends or friends of friends who attend the schools you are considering and ask for their honest assessment.

Tour the school

Hands down, the best way to get a feel for a school is to tour. What is the interaction in the classroom? Are students engaged? What is the pervasive feeling you get from the students and teachers? Could you see your child there? Schools often offer Open Houses throughout the year too. While a Open House is a great chance to speak more one on one with the teachers, I always recommend a private tour during the school day. This really gives parents a great feel of what the school day is like, how the teachers interact with the students, and the level of engagement the students have in the classroom.

Ask questions

Be prepared to ask questions about everything from how homework is handled and the school’s philosophy on discipline to uniform requirements and where students go when they graduate from the school. Also do not hesitate to reach out to the Director of Admissions or the school office with additional questions after you have visited the school. Often I find that questions come up about financial aid or busing or even athletics after families have visited.

Plan a Visit for Your Child

I always recommend a shadow day to families especially if you have a child who would be starting in 1st through 8th grade. Having your child spend a day or a part of a day in the classroom really gives them an idea of if they would fit in to that school’s environment. It also gives them a chance to meet other students in their potential class and an opportunity to meet the teaches. If you are considering multiple schools and think that your child would thrive in either environment, a shadow day can be the determining factor in your decision.

Pay attention to deadlines

Admissions offices have a plethora of forms to contend with for each student. Don’t let your oversight of the deadlines put your child at a disadvantage for being considered. In years past at BTA we have allowed students to enroll throughout the summer, however, due to Covid and the limitations on class sizes, there is a potential for a waiting list. If you know a certain school is where you want to be, do not wait to submit your paperwork.

Interested in exploring other options? Blessed Trinity Academy is currently accepting students for the 2021-2022 school year. Consider attending our Open House on April 21 from 6-7:30pm. Preregistration is required. Visit our website at to register. Or email to schedule a private tour.

Mrs. Meredith Kandravy, Director of Admissions and Marketing at Blessed Trinity Academy

It’s All About Preparation

As the Admissions Director of Central Catholic High School for the past 18 years, I have evaluated thousands of applications from prospective eighth grade students. Central Catholic is a unique community, not only because it is the only all-boys private school in the region and the first Catholic High School opened in the Diocese of Pittsburgh, but because we have evolved over the years into a school that encompasses all of western Pennsylvania. We draw students from over 50 different public-school districts. Our student-body is comprised of boys from multiple neighborhoods in the City of Pittsburgh, boys from nearly every municipality in Allegheny County, and communities in Butler, Washington, Westmoreland, Armstrong and even Lawrence County.  Students come to us from Catholic elementary schools, public schools, charter schools and independent private schools.  While every applicant is evaluated on an individual basis, it has been my experience that students applying from Catholic schools are differently prepared for success at the high school level.

Catholic school students have a  clear understanding that more is expected of them in terms of academic achievement, service to others, and being an active participant in the school community.  They understand that academics matter. Rigorous homework is not a new concept to Catholic school students. Students who decide to continue their education at a Catholic high schools benefit from having been held to a higher standard during their time at schools like Blessed Trinity Academy, where a strong moral foundation has been  established. This is not to say that students from other schools will not be successful, however the transition is greater and the gap in expectations is larger.  

One of the most concerning aspects of this global pandemic that we are in the midst of, from my perspective, is the loss of real educational progress that so many public elementary and middle school students are experiencing over the past 10 months.  Will future applicants be able to succeed at Central Catholic like the students that have preceded them?  

Fortunately, this is not a question I have to ask when an application from a Catholic school student crosses my desk because I know first-hand that Catholic school students have been moving forward. They have had the opportunity to be in-school whenever possible and that the remote instruction that has been offered parallels that which is happening in the classroom, ensuring success for all.  I know this to be true, not only because of my position at Central Catholic, but because my own children attend Blessed trinity Academy.  I am confident that they are receiving the best possible preparation for high school and beyond. 

Mr. Brian Miller

Admissions Director of Central Catholic High School

BTA Parent

The Meaning of a Catholic Education

Each year Catholic schools across the country take one week to celebrate all of the wonderful things that make our schools special. This year Catholic Schools Week runs from January 31st through February 7th. The week is filled with service, games, community, and a whole lot of fun. It also marks the time where we kick off the enrollment period for the next school year. We start the week by getting the word out about our schools by participating in masses at several parishes that support our school and end the week with an Open House for prospective families. The week is always something that our students, faculty, and families look forward to and talk about for months and even years after. My husband often fondly recalls great memories from Catholic Schools Weeks from his own Catholic school experience. If you attended a Catholic school, you know what I am talking about.

We celebrate a weekly mass together as a school community every Friday at 9am. Even though Covid has made it challenging for the whole school to be together in the same room, mass has continued with one class physically in the church leading the mass and the other classes watching the live stream in their classrooms. Last year we were fortunate enough to be together in church and we ended our Catholic Schools Week with a special all school mass. During the mass then 8th grader, Mia Flaherty (BTA’s Class of 2020), reflected on her experience in Catholic school. Below is what she read during the mass which expresses how a Catholic school education has benefited her.

What Catholic Schools Mean to Me

By, Mia Flaherty

Catholic schools have almost always been a part of my life: Most of my relatives went to a Catholic school at one point in their lives, my grandmother was a teacher’s aid at one, and I have been enrolled in a Catholic school since preschool. Catholic schools are different from other schools, and not just for the obvious basis in religion. One of the goals for Catholic Schools’ Week was to serve, and I think that Catholic schools accomplish that better than any other school. Just look at what we have accomplished in the last week. We raised four hundred and fifty-five dollars for Project Bundle-Up, we collected over a thousand dollars, wearing crazy socks and hats for sock it to cancer, we made three hundred sandwiches for the Red Door Project, we hosted breakfast to say thank you to safety personnel, and we collected eight hundred food items for the North Hills Community Outreach. Catholic Schools always embody the motto for Catholic Schools Week. We learn, we serve, we lead, and most importantly, we succeed. 

Anyone who went to the eighth grade graduation last year would know of the mass of awards and scholarships that were handed out. What I think is most important about going to a Catholic school is knowing that there is a bright future ahead of you. When you graduate you are confident that your teachers have filled you with all the right knowledge, taught you how to work independently and how to collaborate, and filled you with a new and deeper appreciation for your faith. In the words of a great writer, “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”

Blessed Trinity Academy is hosting an Open House on February 7 from 12-2pm. If you are interested in seeing what a Catholic school education could offer your family, you can register at Space is limited.

Mrs. Meredith Kandravy, Director of Admissions, Blessed Trinity Academy

Excerpt By Mia Flaherty, Blessed Trinity Academy Class of 2020, currently a freshman at Oakland Catholic High School.

Reconciliation and Advent: A Time for Preparation and Forgiveness

Advent is a time to prepare our hearts for the miracle of Jesus’ birth. We ponder the wonder of it all and wait with anticipation and hope. Similarly, we find that Advent is a wonderful time to receive God’s love and forgiveness in our lives. What better time for children to reflect on their Savior, and hope and repent as they prepare to receive the sacrament of First Reconciliation. 

I feel blessed to have the opportunity to prepare the Blessed Trinity Academy 2nd graders, my homeroom students, for this amazing sacrament. I instill upon them that we have such a loving and forgiving God who by the reconciliation of Jesus, accepts us for who we are. During this time of preparation we talk about the importance of making good and loving choices. We put up a “loving choices tree” in our room and the children get so excited to add a leaf every time they find themselves making a loving choice, like helping a friend in the classroom. Through our writings in our daily Jesus journal, the children ask God for help. They also express how much they love and appreciate Him. Often they tell Jesus how much they are sorry for the times that they have hurt others and express their gratitude to Him for being so forgiving. “I truly love reading their reflections.” Another activity we do in our class is make a prayer rug.” When they are finished the children take it home and find a special place to examine their conscience and talk to Jesus.   

Reconciliation is what Jesus does in our lives. He died on the cross for us so we could be reconciled to God our Heavenly Father. Our job is to receive that gift and strive to have a forgiving heart towards others and be gentle with ourselves, just as Jesus did. May our Savior be magnified during this holy season and reconcile us all to our Heavenly Father.

By Mrs. Margie Heasley, 2nd Grade Teacher at Blessed Trinity Academy