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Diocese of Richmond to Establish Magnet Middle School

STREAM School at Former Benedictine College Preparatory to Accept Students for 2014-15 School Year

 

The Office of Catholic Education of the Diocese of Richmond will establish a Catholic co-ed magnet middle school in the Sheppard Street building recently vacated by Benedictine College Preparatory, Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo announced.

“Our desire is to create a uniquely excellent educational opportunity for middle school children in the greater Richmond community in a building that has been serving the youth of Richmond for one hundred years,” Bishop DiLorenzo said.

The school will be called Saint Katharine Drexel Preparatory, will focus on science, technology, religion, engineering, arts, and math. This STREAM magnet school will serve students in grades six through eight.

The Diocese’s education office will spend a year establishing its curriculum and preparing the physical plant for Saint Katharine Drexel Preparatory’s first class. It will begin accepting students for the 2014-15 school year.

The Diocese named Dr. Tracy Bonday-de Leon, also currently chief administrator at Blessed Sacrament Huguenot Catholic School in Powhatan, as project manager. Previously she worked as an administrator at Douglas Freeman High School in Henrico County.

“Saint Katharine Drexel  Preparatory  will offer students the opportunity to establish collaborative relationships, personalized experiential learning, and critical reasoning in math and science within a classical liberal arts framework and offer opportunities in the fine and performing arts,’’ said Dr. Bonday-de Leon.” All of these will be grounded in moral theology and religion, in the Catholic faith tradition.

“We think Saint Katharine Drexel has the potential to provide an exceptional, well-rounded program of study and cross curricular instruction in technology, humanities, arts, and faith development,’’ said Bishop DiLorenzo.

The new school will aim to serve a broad range of young people and boast a socio-economically and ethnically diverse student population. The school’s namesake, Saint Katharine Drexel S.B.A., was a nineteenth century Philadelphia-born philanthropist, educator and religious sister who founded numerous Catholic schools particularly for Native American and African American students.  She founded two schools in the greater Richmond area, St. Francis de Sales and St. Emma., which closed in the seventies.

While the education office establishes the school, the Diocese has offered a short-term lease of the building’s third floor to Richmond Prep, a Christian school serving elementary students. Ultimately, Katharine Drexel will educate about 300 middle schoolers.

 

CONTACT:  Annette Parsons

PHONE/EMAIL 804-370-9317 aparsons@richmonddiocese.org

 

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