Dear OLR Family,
We are excited to share some promising developments toward the launch of the Our Lady of the Rosary Upper School!
It was about a year ago that Fr. Longenecker began to feel strongly that a new Upper School might be needed to help more students receive a Catholic education during their formative high school years. Since that time, a team of dedicated parents and staff at Our Lady of the Rosary has been laying the groundwork to begin admitting 9th graders as early as the fall of 2018.
Before any new diocesan school may admit students, the Bishop must approve a formal proposal, which demonstrates that the plans for curriculum, staffing, and financing the school are sound. The proposal for Our Lady of the Rosary Upper School was submitted to the Bishop’s Office of Catholic Schools on November 10th. We anticipate receiving final approval early in the new year.
The Diocese has given us the green light to begin marketing the Upper School in earnest. Officially, our status is still “pending approval”, but we want to be ready with a strong start when the time comes.
Whether you are considering OLR Upper School for your children, grandchildren, or are just a supporter of Catholic education, we hope you will help spread the word about our exciting plans. Here are some FAQs to get you started!
OLR UPPER SCHOOL
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does Greenville need another Catholic high school?
– At present, St. Joseph’s Catholic School is the only option for Catholic secondary education. While many OLR students have gone there and found success, many parents believe a different model – more personal, less expensive – is needed to help their children reach their intellectual and spiritual potential. Just as students will one day choose the best fit among many different college environments, they should also be given real options for Catholic high school.
Where will the Upper School be located?
– On the campus of the current Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic School. The old church building is being rebuilt from the inside out to include new classrooms and additional meeting space. Classroom décor will be welcoming and beautiful, designed to foster truth seeking and relationship. We want the Upper School to feel like an extension of the home.
How big will it be?
– 20 students per grade is the target. Maintaining a family atmosphere is essential to achieving the mission of the Upper School. There will always be plenty of schools in Greenville that grow, grow, grow, large enough to field big time sports teams and produce 100-person musicals. But too often these modern high schools really become education factories in which students are reduced to their test scores and marketable outcomes. We’d prefer to be the school that stays small enough to know, love, and serve its students as individuals created in God’s image, each with a unique vocation and destiny.
What sort of curriculum do you envision?
– A fully Catholic, classically inspired course of study. All traditional courses – religion, English, history, science, math, Latin – will be taught as part of a core curriculum to create a “campus conversation”. The core curriculum will strive for content integration wherever possible. For example, students will take American Literature while studying U.S. History, while considering the moral implications of it all in religion class. Online platforms and college-based classes will allow students to personalize their course of study through electives and move at their own pace.
What will the instruction be like?
– Instructors will use the Socratic method to create a seminar atmosphere in which all students are actively engaged in every class. The teachers will be both content experts and loving mentors, invested in the students’ personal wellbeing and growth. All teachers will be practicing, faithful Christians, who challenge themselves to keep learning right alongside their students.
Will the Upper School offer any extracurricular activities?
– Of course! There will certainly be sports teams, theatrical events, choirs, and service clubs, plus other clubs developed to match our students’ evolving interests. However, the goal of our extracurricular program is not to create every possible club, but to carefully choose those activities that will foster personal growth and a culture of participation.
What type of student is ideal for the Upper School?
– The Upper School will be inclusive, like the Lower and Middle School divisions. We will welcome gifted students, learning disabled students, quirky kids, and normal students (whatever that means)! God has a plan for each of them. Shouldn’t we? But the OLR mindset is more about admitting families than simply admitting students. The ideal OLR family values Catholic schooling for its effect on the heart and soul as well as the mind. It desires knowledge and wisdom for their own sake, not simply as a path to college and a good career. It seeks to join an intellectual and spiritual community, not merely purchase an educational product.
Okay, all that sounds good. How much will it cost to attend?
– We are estimating $6,750 for OLR parishioners. A bit more for everyone else. The exact tuition is still being determined. For reference, most other Catholic high schools cost more than twice as much. Need-based financial aid will also be available.