Catholic High School

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COLUMBIA- For the 64 students at Father Tolton Regional High School, today was more than a regular first day of school. Today marked the very first day of classes for Columbia's first ever Catholic high school.

Aside from religion, Fr. Tolton Regional Catholic High School has a very different environment then the schools in Columbia Public School District. Of the 64 students, 52 are freshman and 12 are sophomores. There are only nine teachers, promoting a very independent, one-on-one learning style.

Students will participate in an all school mass once a week on Mondays, but have the option to  participate in a daily mass every day before school.

The cirriculum will include a required theology course, but is very similar to a regular high school in other aspects. Aside from the regular subjects of math, science, English, and social studies, students will also be able to take physical education, music, art, and even a foreign language.

Student tuition varies depending on their families involvment in local parishes. For students whose family is actively involved in a local parish, tuition is $5,900. For students whose family is not actively involved in a local parish, tution is $7,900. The difference in tuition costs between each type of student comes from donations set out by local parishes.

The school is also working to promote an environmentally friendly atmosphere. Each student will have their own laptop for use in and out of the classroom. The students will have most of their books on their laptop in electronic form.

Currently, the students are attending class in the Nursing Education Center and other buildings on Columbia College's campus. Faculty members say that they hope to move into their permanent facility in about four to six weeks. Their new building will be off of Highway 63 on Discovery Parkway.