Faith Formation and Academic Excellence Since 1955
On September 26, 1955, St. Catherine Labouré School opened with an enrollment of 153 students in the first through 8th grades. Four Daughters of Charity staffed the new school: Sister Blanche, Sister Laurentia, Sister Victoria, and Sister Anne of Francis.
The school day began with Mass and classes started at 8:45 A.M. A cafeteria was opened after a few months and the playground was equipped through donations of the Daughters of St. Catherine and the men's club.
On the afternoon of November 26, a fire started in one of the upper level classrooms being used for storage. The damage was estimated at approximately $3,000.00.
In August of 1960, work began on the first addition to the school. This consisted of six new classrooms, a larger and much-needed principal's office, a teacher's lounge, and additional toilet facilities, the work continued throughout the entire 1960-1961 school year. That year there were 460 students attending the parish school, and a temporary partition was put up at one end of the cafeteria to provide a classroom for the 8th grade. The new addition was completed the following September, in time for the start of the 1961-1962 school term.
The 1962-1963 school year began with 560 students in attendance. At this time, Sister Emily O'Flaherty, D.C., arrived to take over the job of principal and to supervise the introduction of an experiment departmental program in the upper grades (sixth-eighth). Under the departmental system, each of the upper grade teachers specialized in a particular subject area, and taught all of the grade levels in his or her subject. This system is still in use today.
In the winter of 1967, the 8th graders took upon themselves the formation of the first student council, and school newspaper.
Two of the sisters were replaced with lay teachers in the 1971-1972 school year. This was the beginning of the reductions of religious as teachers at St. Catherine Laboure and a continuing increase in school costs. This reducing of numbers continued for the next couple of years until the number of Daughters of Charity serving in the school, reached three. St. Catherine's began a kindergarten class with the 1977-1978 school year.
Sister Maureen selected an interim Board of Education replacing the Education Committee for the 1978-1979 school year. The following year saw the first elected Board of Education for the parish.
A study and visit made through and by the Daughters of Charity community in the spring of 1981 evaluated the presence and apostolate of the sisters in the school. Their presence would soon be terminated. Because of the increase in cost of operating the school, there was emphasis put on each family contributing their fair share to the financial running of the school through their Sunday envelops. Lay leadership and lay teachers replaced the sisters in the school. Although the sisters were sorely missed, the commitment and involvement of the laity was commendable. They brilliantly defended the faith and fostered a catholic environment that continues to the present.
In 1999 work on the Vision 2000 project began. The project was completed late in the year 2001. This project included the addition of an improved church entrance, a new gym, additional classrooms including a computer lab and air conditioning for the entire school building.
In 2001-2002 the school added a full time nurse to the staff. In the 2002-2003 school year a full day kindergarten was introduced and a full time technology coordinator was hired. The school presently enjoys double classes of grades K-8. Full time teachers serve in the Art, Music and Physical Education departments. In addition we hail a strong Resource Program and we offer Spanish to all grades K-8.