Nestled in the heart of the lower Hudson Valley, Dutchess County prides itself on bucolic scenery, four full seasons, and four excellent Catholic elementary schools. The word is out that Dutchess Catholic schools are THE places to be!
The Catholic School Region of Dutchess is comprised of Holy Trinity School in Poughkeepsie and the Holy Trinity Early Childhood Annex at St. Peter’s in Hyde Park, St. Denis-St. Columba School in Hopewell Junction, St. Mary School in Fishkill, and St. Martin de Porres Parish School in Poughkeepsie.
Throughout the pandemic, our Dutchess Catholic schools continued to thrive; reopening before our public counterparts, maintaining math and ELA progress, stabilizing and growing enrollment, and honoring Christ every day! Our relationships with local colleges are strengthening as we develop afterschool and marketing programs with Marist College, Vassar College, and Dutchess Community College. We continue to partner with the Mid-Hudson and Poughkeepsie Public Library Districts to offer literacy based programs for our students, such as the Little Read, as well as programs for parents and guardians.
Across all Dutchess Catholic elementary schools, our pastors and their associates have returned to our classrooms, teaching the Word, and modeling the goodness of Jesus. We have returned to practicing our faith together as school communities in daily prayer, and with prayer services, Stations of the Cross, Benediction, reconciliation services, living rosaries, and class and school-wide masses, and blessed to be able to celebrate 8th grade graduation mass again as a unified school community.
Like all New York schools, we were required to socially distance our students within learning spaces. Each Dutchess school addressed that challenge and their efforts resulted in the addition of new students, new programs, and additional classes when needed.
At Holy Trinity School, we saw the expansion of the school into two campuses, with grades 2 through 8 enrolled at the main campus on Springside Avenue in Poughkeepsie and PK3 through grade 1 enrolled at the Holy Trinity Early Childhood Annex at the former St. Peter’s School campus. This expansion allowed us to earn new UPK contracts with both Arlington Central School District and Wappingers Central School District, to add to our long established UPK program through Hyde Park Central School District. The Holy Trinity Early Childhood Annex is the home to ten Universal Pre-Kindergarten classes, with four additional UPK classes housed at the main campus! Timothy Cardinal Dolan visited both campuses, celebrated mass with the upper grades, and blessed our new Early Childhood Annex during the 21-22 school year.
St. Denis-St. Columba School continues to excel academically and added a second Kindergarten class to accommodate our families. They have embraced the use of IXL, and MAP Accelerator, interactive online learning programs that provide unlimited practice problems, with up to date tracking of each child’s progress. St. Denis-St. Columba School’s after school enrichment program has returned, with a focus on academic fortification, as well as fun and creative activity sessions based on students’ interests.
St. Mary School-Fishkill also continues to grow and provide an excellent faith-filled education to our students. Capital improvements, primarily to the “Little House on Campus”, allowed the school to expand their early childhood offerings to include a Universal Pre-Kindergarten class through a contract with Wappingers Central School District. The Little House, also provides space for special services sessions for students in need.
How did our Dutchess Catholic school students continue to excel through such a challenging time?
We never lowered the bar! Our teachers, staff, and school leaders continued to model kindness and compassion, provide a safe and secure learning environment, and enhance their own skills and knowledge bases to provide the best possible learning experiences for our students. This year, faculty and staff members participated in robust professional development sessions, both in person and on-line. In order to continue to grow our faculties’ knowledge of social and emotional learning, all educators participated in the Kognito, a practice-based digital program. Additionally, educators participated in several professional learning communities in order to develop the mathematical discourse in their classrooms. We are so grateful for their exceptional participation.
We encourage you to reach out to us and discover firsthand the Catholic school difference. We are changing the face of education, one child at a time. Please click here to find a Dutchess Catholic school or call 646-794-2885 to learn more. All are welcome!