Summerville Catholic opens its doors to inclusive learning

SUMMERVILLE — Paul Schroeder, principal of Summerville Catholic, provided the following information.

History: Summerville Catholic was founded in 1984 and we will celebrate our 25th anniversary next year. The school began as a lower elementary building, with a middle school, library and multi-purpose great room added in the fall of 1989. Two modular classrooms were added in 1999 and in 2006 to accommodate student growth. We are currently working on a master plan for future growth and possible expansion.
Principal: Paul Schroeder.

Number of students: We have 322 students enrolled with a goal of 400.

Faculty: The school has 26 full-time faculty members and one part-time member. We also have four full-time assistants and a full-time inclusive education teacher.

School motto: Celebrating a Tradition of Excellence Since 1984.

Grades: K-4 through eighth-grade.

Hours: 7:50 a.m. to 3:10 p.m.

After-school program: Before-school care begins at 6:30 a.m. The after-school program runs until 6 p.m. and offers homework and playtime. Dance, Mad Science and the Fun Bus are offered as extra activities for additional charges.

School meals: Students eat in the great room or outside under a pavilion with picnic tables. Food is provided by various vendors. Parents can order food for lunches every month via an on-line menu.

School colors: Blue and white.

Mascot: The Seahawk.

Sports: The school offers soccer, baseball, basketball, tennis, golf, volleyball, T-ball and softball. Some students are on the junior varsity teams at Bishop England High School.

Foreign language: Spanish is taught in all grades.

Advanced classes: Eighth-grade students may take Spanish and algebra for high school credit.

Academic teams: Math Counts.

Facilities: Summerville Catholic is located on a 12-acre campus and has a tremendous grassy area where students play.

Community projects: Our school has adopted St. John School as our sister school. We also are involved in Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child.

Biggest change over the years: We have made emphasis on the technology program of the school. New computers were purchased recently and we enhanced the overall computer curriculum and their use within the classroom, giving every classroom internet access. The school’s Web site was overhauled four years ago and averages over 5,000 hits per month. We have gone to a paperless weekly newsletter that is sent via e-mail to all families.

What sets us apart: Summerville Catholic is a student-oriented community. We believe in the uniqueness and dignity of every student and that every student can learn. We are also a family-oriented school where parents are involved in their children’s education. We have made a commitment to assisting students with learning difficulties by providing full-time staff for inclusive education. Last year we re-structured our junior high into a house system of homerooms named after six patron saints. Each house has sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders in them.

Wishes for our school: That the school will continue to grow in its pursuit of educational excellence and our ever-important Catholic identity.

Our parish: St. John the Beloved under the leadership of Msgr. Christopher Lathem. We also have students from St. Theresa, St. Thomas and Immaculate Conception.

One change we would make to our school: Six additional classrooms and a gymnasium.

How we demonstrate the Catholic faith: Students from the junior high houses help serve lunch twice a month at Neighborhood House in downtown Charleston.

Our top awards or honors are: Students annually earn approximately 50 percent of the top awards in the Citadel’s Annual Bridge Competition. Students also have earned the Presidential Academic and Physical Fitness awards and the S.C. Governor Citizenship Award.

Music/art programs: Chorus and after-school art clubs.

Average scores on the IOWA test: Above national average.

What percentage of students are Catholic? 88 percent.