Seton Catholic Preparatory, the East Valley’s only Catholic high school, will welcome back students Aug. 8 for the 2018-19 school year with most other high schools beginning around the same time. Catholic elementary schools largely resume Aug. 7.

Some school marquees and literature still tout open seats too. Check with your nearest Catholic school and apply for scholarships by Aug. 17.

Some 605 students will fill Seton’s classrooms and hallways. It’s a slight increase over last year that school officials attribute in part to “the Blue Ribbon effect.” Last year, Seton Catholic was named a 2017 National Blue Ribbon School in the “Exemplary High Performing” category by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Blue Ribbon Schools Program.

“Being named a National Blue Ribbon School affirmed our commitment to academic excellence, which prompted more East Valley parents to consider Seton,” said Principal Victor Serna. “We’re no longer the East Valley’s ‘best-kept secret,’ which is a good thing for families looking for a high quality education for their children.”

This past year, Seton increased its presence in the community by stepping up its involvement in business and civic organizations. In June, the Chandler Chamber of Commerce recognized Seton Catholic as the 2018 Medium Business of the Year, and Seton hosted the East Valley Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s July meeting.

Seton’s outreach is not limited to Arizona’s borders. This school year, it will continue its partnership with New York-based UTP High Schools to attract more international students to its campus.

“If I had to describe Seton in a word, it would be ‘wonderful,’” said international student Hailey Tran, who graduated in May after being placed at Seton through UTP.