Saint Patrick School is the oldest private school in the city of Fayetteville, North Carolina and in 2012 celebrated 75 continuous years of providing a solid Catholic school education to thousands of children.
Patrick Catholic School opened in 1937 as a parish ministry of Saint Patrick Catholic Church at 811 Hay Street with an enrollment of 33 students. Four Sisters of Providence staffed the two-story building which held three classrooms and a library on the first floor and provided living quarters for the sisters on the second floor. The backyard was used for recess and games. By the end of the first year, the school had grown to 50 students with one each in sixth, seventh, and eighth grades.
In 1954, the school moved to its second home on Ft. Bragg Road. Enrollment increased to 295, and the faculty increased from four to six teachers (5 sisters and 1 lay teacher). This second school was built on one floor with two classroom wings and living quarters for the sisters. By 1957-58 there were nearly 360 students and seven teachers at Saint Patrick. The Sisters of Providence continued to teach at Saint Patrick School until 1972.
At the beginning of the 1973 school year, the Daughters of Charity from Emmitsburg, Maryland, arrived. They included a principal and two teaching sisters. In 1981, the people of Saint Patrick Church started a fund drive to raise $400,000 to build an education center. This new structure would not only house the K-8 school, but provide facilities to accommodate Sunday School and Bible Study classes, adult education programs, Youth Ministry activities, and parish social activities. The construction of that facility began in November 1984 and was completed in December 1985.
It was the first time in its history that the school was located next to the church. When the school was on Hay Street, the church, now St. Michael the Archangel, was around the corner. When the school was on Ft. Bragg Road, it was up the street and around the corner. Saint Patrick Church moved to its current location on Village Drive in 1963.
The school moved into the Education Center on Marlborough Road in January 1986. This new building included one classroom each for grade K-8 (the seventh grade classroom was also the science lab), office space, teacher workroom, a staff lounge, three tutor rooms, a central gathering space (“the commons”), and a spacious Media Center with two reading rooms and a computer lab.
Since the fall of 1992, the school has been staffed entirely by lay people. In the summer of 1996 the entire campus, including the computer lab, was networked and upgraded incorporating the state-of-the art in computer learning. The lab includes 32 networked computers running Microsoft XP Professional operating system with the full Microsoft XP Office suite of applications: the standard of industry worldwide. In 2010, the operating system was upgraded to Microsoft 2010; This includes the world standard software; Microsoft Outlook, Excel, Word, Power Point, Front Page, and Access. Additional programs are available to support education in keyboarding and data processing, along with educational software to support reading, math, social studies, and science curriculum. In addition, each classroom has at least 3 computer workstations to support Accelerated Reader enrichment and for Internet research. The entire campus is wired for (broadband) high speed internet access which is available at every workstation.
In the fall of 1999, the Fine Arts wing of the school was completed. It consists of a pre-school room, a kindergarten room, a music suite to accommodate both parish and school music programs, an art studio, a large multi-purpose conference room, and an age-appropriate playground for the preschool and kindergarten programs. Moving kindergarten out of the main classroom wing allowed the seventh grade class to move into a regular classroom and also allowed the science lab to be used strictly for science classes and labs. The science lab was renovated in the summer of 2000, and is used by grades 1 through 8 to support a hands-on-science curriculum.
Within the last four years the school program has been expanded to include middle school soccer and basketball for boys and girls, and volleyball for girls. An extended care after school program from dismissal until 6 pm is also available.
The present staff consists of 14 full-time and 11 part-time lay personnel; the principal, a school secretary, 10 full time teachers for pre-school through eighth grade; six teacher assistants in pre-school through 8th grade, a music teacher, librarian, physical education teacher, computer teacher, art teacher, Spanish teacher, and three extended care staff.
All full-time teachers are certified by the state of North Carolina and meet all of the requirements for our accreditation with Southern Association of Schools and Colleges/AdvancED.