Saint Nicholas Academy is a Catholic school created through the cooperation of the founding parishes in the South end of Louisville. The school was created to assure quality, affordable, Catholic education based on the values of Spiritual formation, Nourishment of character and Academic excellence.
Saint Nicholas Academy is the culmination of four main schools that merged to become one regional south end school. These schools include: Saint Thomas More, Most Blessed Sacrament, Sts. Simon and Jude and Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
In 2004, after many discussions at the Region 3 meeting, it was decided that there was a need to form a regional school due to budget concerns and declining enrollment. The process began with the appointment of three parish representatives for each of the four parishes. They were charged with the duty of writing bi-laws and interviewing and consequently the hiring of a Head of School.
After the hiring of the Head of School, applications were accepted for two site principals and all teaching and staffing positions for the new school. New groundwork was laid with the implementation of a two campus school, the first of its kind in the Archdiocese. The two campus school presented new challenges and new opportunities. The 2004 school year was one of many meetings and written communications to all families to begin the groundwork of building a new community and at the same time allow a grieving for their loss of their parish school.
Planning for renovations and upgrades, ordering supplies, texts, phone service and equipment, installing a telecommunication system and ensuring that both campuses have equal and/or comparable educational opportunities for both campus sites and accommodating a larger enrollment was a primary concern. Communicating the philosophy of total school planning, ensuring that level & grade teachers plan and act as one is an on-going effort.
The 2005-06 school year began with a Panther Athletic Association and Parent Teacher Organization in place. Athletic teams for all sports were offered to all students with the help of the Panther Athletic Association. The Parent Teacher Organization was instrumental in promoting the spirit of St. Nicholas and assisted in creating an inviting atmosphere that the administration and school board wanted to promote.
The Saint Nicholas Academy School Board’s role changed from promoting and representing the needs of their parishioners to promoting and representing the needs of St. Nicholas Academy. While this seems easy, the change in philosophy was hard work. The SNA School Board has worked very hard and we are proud to say they have served the needs of the families and students of SNA unselfishly.
SNA Finance Committee and the Head of School have worked diligently to ensure the financial stability of SNA. St. Nicholas’s mission to provide affordable Catholic education has driven the finance committee to make sure that there is $100,000.00 set aside as an endowment for tuition assistance.
The SNA School Board continues to be challenged by the opportunity to look to the future and share in the vision with a consideration of the changing demographics. An additional challenge is developing a recruitment strategy, fundraising for the endowment to ensure our mission and capital improvements and long term maintenance upgrades.
Saint Nicholas Academy currently has 425 students. The students come from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds and are ethnically diverse as well. The administration and staff are committed to transporting the students back and forth for community building, field trips, liturgy and leadership training opportunities for the grade level and for the total school. The cost of transporting students is built into the budget. Co-curricular and extra curricular activities are offered. The offerings for these activities are many and varied and made possible through the generosity of our teaching staff.
The formation of St. Nicholas Academy as a regional school has been a great and noble adventure. There was no model and no standard to work from. Looking to the future, St. Nicholas Academy’s administrators initiated a new model for the Parent Teacher Organization. Currently, the PTO was reformed into the Parent Volunteer Organization with a mission of stewardship and service.
In coordination with this change a new school wide initiative of service is being implemented. Research strongly suggests that children thrive best when they feel capable, caring and connected. The three things we have chosen to focus on this year support students in all of those needs. Our Discipline with a Purpose program will work all year on teaching students the self-discipline skills they need to feel capable.
In addition, our PeaceBuilders program works to develop an ability to care for others. And finally the “Step by Step Stewardship Program” supports self-discipline, caring for others and stewardship or being connected to the greater community.
The public relations committee is focusing on promoting our Catholic Identity and establishing the school as an educational beacon in the Archdiocese. New data driven educational initiatives are being implemented: the STAR program, Accelerated Reader,along with improvements in the use of technology.