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St. Patrick’s School enlightens minds

ONEIDA — The theme for this year’s celebration of Catholic Schools Week, Catholic Schools Light the Way, is perfectly suited to St. Patrick’s School in Oneida.

“We are very pleased with the theme of this year’s celebration,” said Principal Peg Brown, adding that St. Patrick’s School has been enlightening children’s minds, hearts and souls for more than 85 years.

Once again this year, St. Patrick’s School will put its own twist on the Catholic Schools’ Week theme so that each of the classrooms can use the week for some fun learning projects.

This year, St. Patrick’s will incorporate “Lighting The Way Through History” as its theme of the week’s celebration. Each classroom will focus on a specific area of history and work on an extensive project to be presented during the week.
“The students really look forward to these Catholic Schools Week projects, even though they are so much work,” Brown said. “They have so much fun, they don’t realize how much they are learning.”

Each classroom, from pre-K through Grade six, has chosen a specific area of interest to research in the school’s technology lab and then prepare presentations that will be given during Catholic Schools Week. The classes will focus on famous
inventors and inventions, U.S. presidents, the Underground Railroad and
constitutional freedoms.

The week-long celebration of Catholic Schools Week also has many fun activities for the students and their families including scavenger hunts, a sledding party, movie day and more.

This year the school will also offer a special program to students and their families featuring reading specialist Ginny Pendleton who will present an entertaining program to help parents instill a love of reading in their children. Pendleton will also guide parents in determining age-appropriate books that their children will love.

There will also be opportunities for spiritual reflections throughout the week including a prayer service that will kick off the celebration. The service will be led by the school’s pre-K class. There will also be a celebratory Mass on Friday, at 9:45 a.m. at St. Patrick’s Church.

Brown said St. Patrick’s School, which serves children in Madison and western Oneida counties, is enjoying another solid year as more and more new families join the school family.

“Our pre-K program which accepts three, four and five year-olds has been a wonderful alternative to families who want their youngster to experience an age-appropriate academic program,” Brown said.

St. Patrick’s is now in its third year of offering a pre-K program, which has attracted many new families, but the school is also seeing more and more transfer students each year as word of its academic excellence and individual attention spreads.

“This year alone we welcomed three new fifth graders to our school,” Brown said, adding that many times parents transfer their children from public schools because they want the structure, small class size and Christian values that St. Patrick’s offers.

“As we celebrate yet another Catholic Schools Week we are very aware of how much we have to be thankful for,” said Brown. “With the help of a generous community, involved parents and dedicated faculty and staff, St. Patrick’s School is thriving.”

Brown said she is confident that St. Patrick’s will continue to light the way for children for many, many years to come.

For more information on St. Patrick’s School, please call Peg Brown at 315-363-3620.

Open House will show all St. Patrick’s has to offer

Parents throughout Madison County and western Oneida County will have the opportunity to learn more about St. Patrick’s School, Oneida, during an Open House Saturday, Feb. 2, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the school on Elizabeth Street.
There will be a kids’ carnival with games, bounce house, book fair and more held in conjunction with the open house.

St. Patrick’s School is the only elementary school in Madison County to have earned the prestigious Middle States Accreditation. “We are extremely proud of this accomplishment and honor,” said Principal Peg Brown. “To be accredited by the Middle States Association, a school must prove that it meets or exceeds the association’s demanding standards that cover everything from academics to the many services a child may require.”

St. Patrick’s students traditionally score higher on the state’s ELA and math exams and the principal said the small class size and individual attention each child receives play a big role in the students’ academic success.

In addition to its high academic standards, St. Patrick’s also has high expectations for the students’ behavior and moral values.  “Our school is very structured,” Brown said. “The students know exactly what behavior is expected of them and that we will not tolerate disrespectful behavior to anyone, a fellow student, a member of the staff or a visitor.”

The pre-K program was added three years ago, and it has been very popular with parents who can select from a variety of schedules to meet the needs of their child. The program is not a babysitting program, Brown said. “It is an age-appropriate academic program and we have found that students who attend our pre-K program are very well prepared for kindergarten.”

Each year St. Patrick’s School welcomes new families who enroll their children in the school’s pre-K or kindergarten program as well as many new families who transfer their child into the school’s first through sixth grade programs.

“We have many students who transfer from another school because they needed a change, or more structure or more individual attention,” Brown said. “We have had many success stories over the years of children who have just blossomed at St. Patrick’s.”

The Open House will feature faculty-guided tours as well as information on registration, busing and tuition assistance programs. Families are also invited to enjoy the carnival and book sale that will be held in conjunction with the event.

Families who are unable to attend the Open House, may call the school at 315-363-3620 to schedule a private tour or for more information.

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