“We are convinced that the Catholic school is called to foster the harmony of diversities.” It is with that stance that Pope Francis teaches us to discern what makes a school truly Catholic.
To offer a humanitarian education rooted in Christian principles that is inclusive and guarantees the development of citizens who are critical, responsible and conscious of their role in society, is a mission that requires a great deal of work, dedication and love.
St. Peter School, for instance, established in the city of Danbury over 100 years ago, fosters a quality education with solid Christian standards. It is a Catholic elementary school educating children ages 3 through Grade 8 with an emphasis on Catholic values and spiritual growth.
Faculty and staff, in partnership with parents, strive to inspire, nurture and challenge the students to be responsible citizens and disciples of Christ. There is nothing more noble than to build “bridges” and promote unity in the diversity existing in our society. Diversity is valued at St. Peter because the school is an authentic space that fosters socialization.
“Our school takes pride in our diversity. To give you an idea, in a class of 20 students, 8 are Brazilians. The Hispanic and Brazilian communities are very represented in our school, and we value individuality and respect the cultural heritage of our students. We demonstrate at all times that their culture is important,” emphasizes Vanessa Lopes, an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher.
The acknowledgment and concern about the students’ identity can be observed in different ways. As you walk in the school hallways, posters, informational content and alerts are provided in English, Portuguese and Spanish. There is a concern in making students as well as parents feel comfortable in the school.
“All information that we send out to parents is in English, Portuguese and Spanish. When students are arriving at school, we stand by the door and enjoy the daily contact we have with parents. We communicate in the language that the family feels more comfortable with. Parents don’t need to be afraid of things such as school meetings because there is always someone available to translate what the teachers are saying,” explains Lopes.
Through a faith-based character education, St. Peter School fosters academic excellence through a strong curriculum, with focus on the individual needs of each student. Teachers are available for extra help before and after school.
“Because it is a small school, we can identify the needs of each student. As soon as we recognize that a child has difficulties in certain subjects, we start review lessons to help and answer all the questions they have,” says Lopes. “As an ESL teacher, I help children every day. We have experiences with children that arrive in the country and don’t know English, or even children who were born here and learn English in school because the language spoken at home is different. We have a lot of experience in cases like that and we put emphasis in that area of learning English.”
Registration for St. Peter School is open. For more information, or to schedule a visit, please call (203) 748-2895.
St. Peter School strives to provide an exceptional and individualized educational program that fosters the social/emotional, physical, cognitive and creative development of each child. Registration of children of all races, cultural heritage, ability level and religious affiliation is accepted and encouraged.