This is National Catholic Schools week and also the kick-off of the 100th anniversary of the wonderful Catholic School that my children attend. We are truly blessed to have found this school, especially since I had never planned for my children to attend a non-public school. Here’s the short version of the story of how we came to Catholic Education.
First and foremost, I am a “public school” girl. I grew up Catholic, and LOVE to go to church, but I attended public school, and then became a public school teacher. My mother is a public school teacher, as is my husband’s mother, and three of his aunts. I never even considered sending my children to anything other than a public school… That is, until my son attended first grade. There is a big long story about why we felt that our public schools were a poor choice for him, which includes (but not the only reason) the HUGE class sizes in the town where we live. We did complete one year of public school in town, and when we got the class list for the next year, which had 36 student names on it, we scrambled around to find a school that would work better for our family. Unfortunately, many private schools in our area did not have openings as June is awfully late to be looking for a private school for September… I called St. Augustine in Andover, and not only did they have an opening, BUT even though I called the office something like 5 times in one day with random questions, I never got the impression that they were rolling their eyes at me :) (although I am positive they MUST have been, they never let on!!).
I love the fact that they spend time each and every day TEACHING and MODELING about how to simply be a good person, how to be kind, how to reach out and help others, how to share your talents, and how to appreciate the talents of others. It’s part of the curriculum, and not something children get by seeing what other people do on TV or even out and about around town. The teaching staff is dedicated and wonderful. They go above and beyond to be sure that each child uses their talents to the best of their ability. If you are considering a private school, St. Augustine School in Andover is a wonderful place. It’s not just the smaller class sizes, but the attention and care for each child that makes the difference. They have a very well-rounded curriculum, which includes music, art, computer literacy, and languages. (I also want to point out that I don’t teach in the town we live in… If I lived where I teach, we probably would not have had to make the same choice, but, everything happens for a reason). The school has an open house this week, and would love to hear from prospective families. You don’t need to be Catholic to attend the school, and you also don’t need to be a member of the St. Augustine Parish to send your children there. There are about 450 students in the school, grades prek-8 with 2 classrooms of each grade. Teachers work together and really make it feel like a huge family!
Happy Catholic Schools Week!