March 1, 2010

Tomorrow is first day of school in newly consolidated Saginaw Area Catholic Schools

St. Helen and SS. Peter & Paul students will be welcomed into their new schools by principals, teachers, staff and students

SAGINAW — Saginaw Area Catholic Schools will begin the last quarter of the school year as a newly consolidated school system. Students from St. Helen and SS. Peter & Paul will begin their first day of class at either St. Stephen or St. Thomas Aquinas schools Tuesday morning, March 2. Parents are encouraged to walk their children to their new classrooms and then gather for coffee and fellowship.

It is estimated that approximately $750,000 will be saved annually, beginning in July 2010, through the school consolidation. Merging schools will position Saginaw Area Catholic Schools to be able to strengthen existing programs, maximize resources, expand academic offerings and secure the future of Catholic education in the Saginaw community.

Most of the students from St. Helen School will attend St. Stephen School and most of the students from SS. Peter & Paul will attend St. Thomas Aquinas School.

Principals, staff and parent volunteers have been working carefully to ensure a smooth transition for students. Staff resource and parent transition teams are meeting and will continue to meet throughout the school year. Open houses, school welcoming visits and orientations have all been held to familiarize families from St. Helen and SS. Peter & Paul with St. Stephen and St. Thomas Aquinas schools. Some students even became pen pals in the weeks leading up to consolidation.

In January, Saginaw Area Catholic Schools announced it would consolidate its four elementary/middle schools—St. Helen, SS. Peter & Paul, St. Stephen and St. Thomas Aquinas—into two buildings. The consolidation is part of an overall strategic plan to ensure the stability, excellence and future of Saginaw Area Catholic Schools. The last day of school at St. Helen and SS. Peter & Paul was Thursday, February 25. A scheduled winter break was held February 26 through March 1 for all Saginaw Area Catholic Schools students.

The Saginaw Area Catholic School system, which includes the elementary/middle schools and Nouvel Catholic Central High School, is home to nearly 1,300 students. School leaders, teachers and staff are committed to excellence in faith formation, academics, athletics, the arts and community service. The legacy of Catholic school education in Saginaw dates back to 1868.

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