Holy Child School at Rosemont
Rosemont, PA

The Value of Our Preschool-Grade 8 Program

By: Christine Dymek,
Director of Admissions and Marketing

One of the things I have loved most about my career in admissions is the opportunity to spot emerging trends as they form. While families are consistently drawn to excellent academics, small class size, individual attention, and-- in our case--a community rooted in the Catholic faith, I find that each generation of parents seek in our school a specific quality that is a reflection of the times. Through the years, we have seen the quest for cutting-edge technology, campus safety, a curriculum free of a standardized test requirements, a commitment to STEAM education, the guarantee of a full-time nurse on staff; and to all these, Holy Child has “fit the bill,” so to speak.

These days--perhaps in response to increasing awareness of childhood stress and its consequences--the majority of families respond most strongly to my description of Holy Child as a place where children can stay younger longer, where they are encouraged to live, explore, and enjoy the “full blessings of childhood.” In a world where academic pressure is felt at an increasingly young age, parents are actively seeking a school home that allows their child to experience the joy of exploration and learning in an age-appropriate manner, as we do here. And in what I interpret as a backlash against the pressures of social media, they are also looking for a curriculum that limits technology (and screen time) in the Early Childhood years while responsibly increasing exposure as children mature through Lower School and Middle School.

Through my time with them, parents grow to fully understand the value of a preschool-Grade 8 program in which students develop greater academic, social, and emotional development through the continuity of teachers, classmates, programs, and expectations. This model sets us apart, particularly in the Middle School years. Studies show that Middle School students typically behave differently in a preschool-8 setting, serving as role models and protectors during a socially vulnerable time. They have the freedom to act their age without the expectation of acting as they perceive older high school students should behave. Moreover, they are supported by a faculty that can focus its entire expertise, energy, and professional understanding on developing “the whole child,” and who know each student well enough to understand when stretching beyond their comfort zone can be encouraged. This intentional commitment to a program that culminates in Grade 8 contributes to our success in graduating well-prepared, self-assured, compassionate students who go on to enjoy tremendous success in their high school of choice.