Blessed Sacrament is a multi-generational school

CHARLESTON — The following information about Blessed Sacrament School was provided by Sister Judy Holler, SSCM, principal.

History: Blessed Sacrament School opened in September 1948 with a kindergarten class and grades one and two. In June 1952, ground was broken for a new building which was completed the following year. The facilities added five new classrooms, an assembly room, kitchenette and convent. The main school building and convent were dedicated in September 1953 and sixth-grade was added. The Sisters of Sts. Cyril and Methodius have served Blessed Sacrament School as principals, faculty and administrative staff since its founding.

Principal: Sister Judy Holler, Sister of Sts. Cyril and Methodius.

Number of students: 430, with a capacity of 500.

Faculty: The school has 27 full-time and four part-time teachers, eight teacher’s assistants and a guidance counselor.

School motto: God’s Love for All.

Grades: K-4 through eighth.

Hours: 7:40 a.m. to 2:40 p.m.

After-school programs: Before-school care starts at 6:30 a.m. Afternoon extended care offers study and play time, gymnastics, dance, Little Picasso arts, karate, Beta Club, and band and choir. It closes at 5:45 p.m.

School meals: Students may bring lunch from home or purchase the hot meal that is brought in daily.

Colors: Blue and white.

Let us brag: Blessed Sacrament is particularly blessed through the commitment of parents, parishioners and friends, as well as the devotion of faculty and staff, which is demonstrated by the success of the Home School Association. Our parents support the school as volunteers, and our teachers have shown their dedication by treating each child as a unique gift from God. They give the extra effort to develop students’ individual talents to the highest potential.

Our parish: We serve the families of Blessed Sacrament and St. Joseph parishes and the surrounding area. Msgr. Joseph Hanley is pastor and Father Noel Tria is parochial vicar of Blessed Sacrament Church. Father Gabe Smith is pastor of St. Joseph Church.

Sports: Sports programs are organized at the parish level. Blessed Sacrament teams are the Little Bishops and their colors are green and white. St. Joseph teams are the Cougars with maroon and white colors.

Music and arts: Band and orchestra are offered at the school in conjunction with Leonards School of Music. We also have children’s choirs, and participation at all grade levels in music and arts programs.

Foreign language: French is taught beginning in third-grade, and eighth-graders may take it as a high school credit course. Spanish is taught starting in sixth-grade.

Advanced classes: Both algebra and honors French are offered in eighth-grade for high school credit.

Facilities: Major renovation and modernization of our school’s physical facilities started in 1998 to provide the necessary student-friendly environment. The most recent projects include a new Early Childhood Development Center for kindergartners, and a state-of-the-art technology and fine arts wing with music, computer, art and physical education facilities.

Wishes for our school: Blessed Sacrament would like to meet four major goals: increase and maintain enrollment at capacity; maintain a quality faculty and staff; complete the renovation of our physical facilities; and keep pace with developments in classroom technology with the addition of advances such as Smart-Boards.

What sets us apart: The unique history of our school is enriched by dedication and  innovation that will ensure the quality of education at Blessed Sacrament. It is the history of the multi-generations of families whose children have continued the traditions of the school, as evidenced by the number of parents who are alumni.

Community projects: Students undertake a community outreach initiative each month: a letter writing campaign to thank public servants at Thanksgiving; a choir performance at the Alzheimer Association at Christmas; a Share the Warmth program to collect hats, scarves, gloves and warm socks to share with other children; both Math-a-Thon and Trike-a-Thon to benefit St. Jude Hospital; collecting pennies during Lent for Heifer International, which purchases livestock for third world countries; and the upcoming Jump Rope for Heart day.

Awards: 20 students in our seventh-grade were designated as Duke University Talent Identification Program scholars. Other awards and recognitions include: Knights of Columbus scholarships for stewardship achievement; outstanding eighth-grade scholars recognition by Bishop England High School; Daughters of the American Revolution essay contest winners; placement in the diocesan Lowcountry spelling bee; and first place in the City of Charleston Christmas Tree Decoration Contest.

Average scores on the IOWA test: Our students consistently score above national averages in all areas, and the increment above national average increases at  higher grade levels.

Alumni of note: Msgr. Hanley was part of the first graduating class in 1955.

Percentage of students who are Catholic: 83 percent.