St. Patrick School in Anamosa is celebrating Catholic Schools Week Jan. 27 through 30.

Catholic Schools Week (Jan. 27 — 31, 2020) is a national celebration of Catholic education. It is an opportunity to recognize the importance, the value, and the contributions of Catholic education to the Church and the world. St. Patrick School observes the week Masses, open houses and other activities for students, families, parishioners and community members. Through these events, St. Patrick School celebrates the value Catholic education provides to young people and its contributions to our church, our communities and our nation. This year’s theme is entitled “Catholic Schools: Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed.”

St. Patrick School, serving Anamosa and surrounding communities since 1944, is open to all families desiring a faith-filled education. We offer a rigorous and relevant curriculum designed to support academic excellence in accordance with the values of the Catholic Church. Given our commitment to Christ-centered learning, PK-6 students are offered programs rooted in moral, spiritual, and intellectual values. Through prayer, service and leadership, students are empowered to succeed in and out of the classroom.

What sets St. Patrick School apart is its Catholic identity and the role Jesus Christ plays in our lives. At St. Patrick School, children and faith are valued above all else. Students learn the value of service to others in relevant, real-world situations such as being cantors, lectors and servers at mass, collecting food for the food pantry, serving on student council, and performing service in the community. All students from kindergarten through sixth grade attend weekly mass and receive daily religious instruction.

Catholic values permeate the school and curriculum. Students become active and responsible members of the community, always operating upon the foundation of God’s teachings, and from the parents, teachers and parishioners who model these behaviors. Students participate in daily prayer, weekly liturgy and the celebration of the sacraments of the Catholic church. Students develop self-respect, self-discipline and the Christian morals that are respected and valued in the larger community.

St. Patrick School sets a limit of 20 students per classroom to increase individual attention to children and their learning needs. St. Patrick School has a reputation for having excellent test scores and top high school placement where many students go on to serve as officers in the National Honor Society and Student Council. St. Patrick School offers 1:1 iPads for kindergarten through sixth grade students and a 3D printer for third through sixth grade students. There are multiple tuition assistance options available and tax-deductible tuition options through the Iowa 529 Plan. Preschool through third grade has a limit of 16 students and often there is a preschool waiting list, so please contact the school at 319-462-2688 to get on the list to receive enrollment information next month.

St. Patrick School is incredibly grateful for the support of services provided through the Iowa Department of Education, Grant Wood AEA and the Anamosa School District that includes Title I, Individual Education Program, English Language Learners, speech and transportation. The Archdiocese of Dubuque offer education consultants who provide professional development support and training for the many changes we see in education. This year, a needs assessment revealed a shortcoming in reading curriculum. As a result, the St. Patrick School Board, Alumni Committee, many parishioners and a special family of donors pitched in to purchase a brand new kindergarten through second grade reading curriculum that offers over 1,900 books and instructional materials to students and teachers.

Catholic schools in America have a 99 percent graduation rate with 85 percent of the graduates attending college. Based on the national average of $12,054 of public school per student cost, Catholic schools provide $24 billion in savings to the nation. Catholic schools are not just for Catholic families: about 50 percent of students at St. Patrick School are non-Catholic Christians. Family income should not impede anyone wanting to enroll a child at St. Patrick School because tuition assistance resources allow all families to have a comfortable, safe environment for their children to earn a top notch education. Do not hesitate to give us a call or stop by for a tour.

Student Tuition Organization (STO) applications are now available for families of children who plan to enroll at St. Patrick School next fall. STO is a charitable organization representing all of the Catholic K-12 schools in the Archdiocese of Dubuque. The STO receives voluntary cash contributions from Iowa taxpayers and allocates those funds in tuition grants to Iowa school children, who in turn, use those grants to attend one of the schools represented by the STO. STO is able to fund tuition for families at 400 percent above poverty level and up to 95 percent of tuition. St. Patrick School also has private donors who assist families with tuition. Please go to the school website for information – Free and reduced lunches are also available through the National School Lunch Program.

St. Patrick School is grateful to our parish and community partners who help us in a variety of ways. These partners include St. Patrick Parish and councils, St. Patrick School committees, PTO, Anamosa Fire Department, Anamosa Police Department, Jones County Sheriff’s Office, Anamosa State Penitentiary, Anamosa Public Library, Anamosa School District, Iowa Statewide Voluntary Preschool Program, Cedar-Jones Early Childhood Iowa, Junior Achievement, Campaign for Grade-level Reading, Fidelity Bank, Citizens Bank, Fareway, Rogers Concrete Construction, St. Patrick Alumni Committee, Faith Formation Leaders, Knights of Columbus, VFW, VFW Auxiliary, Mike’s Kids, College for Kids, Rockwell, Dubuque Racing Association, James B. and Melita McDonough Foundation, Archdiocesan Education Grants and many private donors. We are incredibly grateful for these partnerships and the wonderful people representing them.

We are grateful for the community support of school activities and our annual Spring Gala event that will be held on March 28 this year at the Wapsipinicon Country Club. We are grateful for all of our faith leaders who help us grow closer to Jesus. We are grateful for the positive culture and climate of St. Patrick School that has been maintained through the tremendous energy and dedication of our staff, our parents and our parishioners. We will continue to raise the bar for success in academics, community involvement, spirituality and a shared purpose which has guided my leadership of St. Patrick School from the beginning: a relentless commitment to putting children and faith at the center of our work in education.

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