It’s been said that the past gives lessons, the present gives opportunities and the future blesses you with both. At St. Mary School in Aberdeen, families experience the traditions of a nearly 100-year-old Catholic school mixed with current best practices in education to prepare the future leaders of Grays Harbor. The school offers preschool through eighth grade learning that blends diversity, individuality, academic excellence and a welcoming faith-based environment for students of all backgrounds. St. Mary School accepts inquiries year-round and will hold an Open House on August 23 with tours, information and ways to learn more or enroll your student.
Blending the Old and New at Aberdeen’s St. Mary School
St. Mary School has been in the same location since 1926 but has roots stretching back to 1890 and the nuns of St. Rose Academy. Generations of students still return to 518 North H Street for events like Oktoberfest, bingo night and their Spirit Auction, says the school’s Advancement Director Pete Scroggs. Teachings embrace core subjects like math, reading, writing and science. Kindergarten through 8th grade students attend Mass together once a week and students learn about Catholic moral and social teachings. Students still wear uniforms to promote equality and unity – and also simplifying morning routines for families – but they’re very much a vital, 21st century institution.
The school’s building received a major remodel approximately five years ago and features brightly lit classrooms, the latest technology and both interior and exterior security. Students represent a variety of faith and cultural backgrounds and call all corners of Grays Harbor County home.
While in class, St. Mary attendees have access to iPads and laptops, and extracurricular programming like honors choir, drama and science and leadership camps. Their student learning expectations encompass becoming a lifelong learner, responsible citizen and Christian role model. Parents also agree to volunteer at the school, which not only sets an example of community involvement for their students, it also helps parents get to know each other and be aware what is going on at school.
“St. Mary School has been an extended family for us,” says current parent Molly Bold. “We love the school and have four kids attending this year. Not being Catholic and wary of the financial commitments, we were unsure if it was the right place for us- we were wrong! SMS has proven to be worth every penny. Most importantly, the school has fostered and grown our faith as Christ is at the heart of St. Mary School.”
Learn More at the St. Mary Open House on August 23
The upcoming open house for prospective students and families takes place on Wednesday, August 23. Tours in English run from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and in Spanish from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. There will be teachers and current students available, with their families, to answer questions or talk about favorite parts of the St. Mary’s experience.
Scroggs says that they accept applications year-round on a space available basis. Families seeking tuition assistance are encouraged to apply as early as possible after the upcoming year enrollment opens in March. Questions about the process are always welcome.
“There are two very common misconceptions that people have about St. Mary School,” says Scroggs. “First, many people think that they must be Catholic, and second, they assume that tuition is unaffordable. While St. Mary’s is definitely steeped in the richness of the Catholic faith, our student body comes from a wide spectrum of both faith and cultural backgrounds. And regarding tuition, we are blessed to have generous donors that provide scholarships to make tuition more affordable.”
St. Mary School Welcomes Everyone to Join the Family
There are even preschool and pre-Kindergarten offerings for 3- and 4-year-olds. These run Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. This provides a smooth, consistent transition for students moving from play to learning.
To learn more, check out the school’s Admissions portal where you can find additional information, ask questions or schedule an in-person tour. You can also call the office at 360.532.1230 to make an appointment. While on the website, check out their links for additional information about academics, support and family resources. Follow the school on Facebook for events, activities, reminders and student spotlights.
“One of the great things we get to see at St. Mary’s is the mixture of the past, present, and future,” says Scroggs. “For instance, it’s not uncommon to have someone who went to school here 50 years ago come back to watch their grandchild take part in a school play or concert. And it’s also fun to see high school and college students come back to visit their teachers and talk about their future plans and dreams.”