ST. CLOUD - The Catholic schools in the St. Cloud Diocese are getting ready for next week's 40th Annual "Catholic Schools Week".

Superintendent Linda Kaiser says prior to the 1960s the schools were run mostly by nuns, and they did most of the fundraising for their schools.

Kaiser says it's more expensive to operate the schools today, because they have to pay the lay teachers.  She says they just have two sisters who are principals in Cold Spring and in Freeport, and 83-year-old Sister Suzanne teaches computer class in Freeport.

Spokeswoman Alice Coundron says they're running a Diocese-wide essay contest, with students having a chance to win ipads for their school. She says they've had 32 ipads donated so far, but that's down from the 38 they received last year.

Coudron says they're also asking for cash donations for their scholarship initiative.

Coudron says the average cost for tuition in the elementary schools is $2,000 a year.

There are 29 elementary schools, and two high schools, in the St. Cloud Diocese.  Over 5,000 students combined are enrolled in those schools.

The schools in the Diocese are much older the the Diocese itself.  The first school dates back to 1949 in Long Prairie, while the St. Cloud Diocese wasn't established until 1889.