Signature Programs

A Catholic education goes beyond academic excellence and develops the spiritual dimension of every human being. Through the creation of school signature programs, students can explore interests outside of the basic curriculum.

A signature program integrates a specific focus or distinguishing theme with the skills, concepts, and instructional strategies that complement the basic curriculum. The theme or focus becomes the vehicle for teaching and provides students with a fresh, interesting, and challenging academic experience. While each Catholic school develops supplementary programs to the basic curriculum, the Archdiocese of Baltimore has formally developed the following signature program initiatives.


The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) instructional/curricular model emphasizes science and math and incorporates greater use of technology in the classroom to inspire interest in STEM vocations. Students benefit from a curriculum that integrates computer technology and technology teaching tools, an advanced math track, science labs, and partnerships with businesses and/or universities. Through this instructional model, students explore design concepts, develop adaptability, and learn how to embrace life’s greatest questions and challenges through creative solutions. STEM programs are found throughout many of our elementary and high schools. Our goal is to prepare students for post-secondary study and the 21st Century workforce by inspiring interest in STEM careers.

Dual Language

Archbishop Borders School, a Pre-Kindergarten through 8th-grade Catholic school in diverse southeast Baltimore, offers a dual language program that works to produce graduates with complete fluency and literacy in both English and Spanish. This particular model, which blends native English-speaking students with native Spanish-speaking peers, has been nationally recognized as the most effective approach to bilingual education.

Archbishop Borders is one of 11 schools nationwide participating in Boston College’s Two-Way Immersion Network for Catholic Schools (TWIN-CS) Program. This cohort of schools receives training and design to build two-way immersion programs in their schools. More information about TWIN-CS can be found on their website. According to the National Dual Language Consortium, “Dual language programs foster bilingualism, biliteracy, enhanced awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity, and high levels of academic achievement.” These attributes strengthen our children’s academic and professional opportunities in an increasingly globalized economy and society.

Community Schools

The three community schools in the Archdiocese of Baltimore are an essential ministry. These programs place an integrated focus on academics, services, support, and opportunities that lead to improved student learning, stronger families, and healthier communities.
Archbishop Borders
, Cardinal Shehan, and Mother Mary Lange Catholic School
all benefit from the support and collaboration of the Department of Catholic Schools, Loyola University of Maryland, and the Women’s Education Alliance. We are committed to strengthening these schools as they provide a Catholic education to children in Baltimore and support the essential role of parents and guardians as the first and primary teachers. The leadership of the community schools welcome the investment and philanthropy of those who share their mission and vision.