Choosing St. Aloysius Academy
One St. Aloysius Academy mother shared that her second grade son turned to her one afternoon and proclaimed, "Mom, this is my dream school!" What factors would lead a seven-year old boy to love his school that much? The number one factor is relationships. Teachers at the Academy establish positive, trusting relationships with each individual boy and understand that those relationships must precede student engagement and subsequent achievement. As Marvin Berkowitz, a professor of ethics and character education has stated, "The primary influence on a child's character development is how people treat the child".
St. Aloysius Academy is a private, Catholic, single gender academy that understands how to engage boys spiritually, academically and socially. Students at St. Aloysius Academy learn in an environment that promotes self-awareness and self-reflection.
The Academy shines academically. The U.S. Department of Education awarded St. Aloysius the National Blue Ribbon of Excellence award in 2008. The Academy qualified for this prestigious award because its students perform in the top 10% in the nation on standardized testing. Students regularly receive high school scholarships and are accepted to the high school of their choice, and eventually to top-ranked colleges and universities. The smaller class size leads teachers to a clear picture of a boy's incremental progress and subsequent differentiation of teaching methodology and assessment. An above the crowd academic achievement is in part possible because faculty infuses curriculum with active learning opportunities such as collaboration, role playing, games, open inquiry, and drama. These are best practices in the education of boys.
State-of-the-art technology helps to bind all of this together. Each classroom is equipped with an electronic whiteboard and computer. The Academy facility includes a multi-media center housing two technology labs, a dynamic library and science lab. In addition, students have access to laptop computers, iPads and ChromeBooks in the classrooms.
Extracurricular activities enhance learning at the Academy. The music program is known and revered throughout the Philadelphia area. In addition to weekly music class for all students, the Academy offers piano and instrument lessons, a junior and senior band, a marching band, a jazz band and a percussion ensemble. The well-rounded sports program includes soccer, flag football and basketball clubs in K-4. There are Junior Varsity and Varsity teams in football, soccer, basketball, track, baseball, lacrosse and tennis. Both of these programs contribute to a tremendous sense of community and pride among St. Aloysius students and their families. After school clubs are also offered throughout the year and range from chess to rockets to pottery. The Academy offers before and after school care.
Boys at St. Aloysius Academy do not have to wait until high school before they lead. Fifth graders hold positions on the Leadership Council. Students plan and execute school-wide initiatives. Big brothers mentor little brothers as they read together or make meals for a parish in the city. The whole school cheers on second graders as they put on a basketball dunking exhibition in the gym. Leadership Council members direct the Academy every morning with prayer and announcements. Eighth graders are "top dogs" and receive special privileges that define their status as "seniors". Boys know each other by name whether they are in first or eighth grade. They form relationships that last a life time. The camaraderie helps the boys build a sense of belonging and personal identity.
Students learn to lead at St. Aloysius, and they learn to serve. The Academy's social justice curriculum was acknowledged by Today's Catholic Teacher for its "Excellence in Promoting Catholic Identity". This curriculum complements the PAWS program -- Peace, Awareness, Witness, and Service. A peace pledge is recited together each morning acknowledging respect for everyone's differences and applauding everyone's talents. Peace agents are chosen monthly at each grade level. By the time of their eighth grade graduation, St. Aloysius students know their place in God's world, and how they can be leaders in bringing about a more just society through 21st century skills of critical thinking and problem solving, communication, collaboration, and creativity and innovation.The Academy's guiding philosophy is based on the spirit of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary -- love, creative hope and fidelity. Sister Stephen Anne shares, "We embrace the idea that we are part of something bigger than ourselves. It's the whole concept of community where you can make a difference."
"With all of the excitement and commotion surrounding the end of the year and graduation, Ellen and I felt like we did not get the chance to properly thank you for everything you and Sister Judith, and all of the teachers at St. Al's did for Jack. As I sit here, I am not sure I can find the words that sufficiently capture the impact you and St. Al's have had in the development and growth of Jack as a student and as a person. Sometimes, it is best to just look at the result. I know that Jack is the best student and the best person he can be and that is because of the teaching and the support and the love he received at St. Al's. I know that Jack is an incredibly happy young man, and that is because you and the St. Al's family instilled in him a great sense of confidence, purpose, kindness and humility. As parents, we feel like St. Al's was the greatest gift we could ever have given our child, and I don't know what else to say other than thank you.
To prove this point, one quick story. This morning I was dropping off some forms at Jack's high school for an end of summer trip that all incoming freshman have to attend. There was a ninth grade teacher in the office and she started asking about Jack. She asked where he went to school and when I said Saint Aloysius she grabbed my arm and with complete sincerity said, 'Saint Aloysius kids are my favorite kids.' She then said, 'They all come here completely ready for ninth grade, but more importantly, they are the nicest and most respectful kids you will find anywhere.' She finished by saying, 'I don't know what they do there, but they should bottle it.' I simply responded, 'I know exactly what they do there', and then stealing a line from my old friend Coach Irvine, I said, 'It really is a little slice of Heaven.' Thank you for letting Jack grow up in that 'little slice of Heaven'. Thank you for everything." Bill and Ellen Fitzpatrick, parents of Jack, Class of 2016
St. Aloysius Academy | 401 S. Bryn Mawr Ave., Bryn Mawr, PA 19010 | Phone: 610-525-1670