Saints Francis & Clare Catholic School recently graduated its first 8th Grade class, six years after opening its elementary school. The nine graduating students joined SSFC this year when the school added grades 6, 7, and 8. The 8th grade students, along with 4 other students in 7th grade, were nicknamed The 87’s. They joined the 6th grade class to complete the middle school section of SSFC.

SSFC Grand OpeningHighlights of the students 8th grade year included a weeklong study trip to Washington, DC, participation in a faith retreat, marching in the St. Patrick’s Day parade in downtown Indianapolis, and taking leadership roles in the school’s  May Crowning Ceremony. After graduating, students will be heading to various high schools including Roncalli, Bishop Chatard, Center Grove, Whiteland, and Warren Central.

Awards Given

  • Emma Balzer: SSFC Christian Leadership Award ($200)
  • Annie Richardson: The Roncalli High School Leadership Award ($1000)
  • Joe Taylor: The Dick Smith Memorial Scholarship ($250)

Of the original 34 students who began school at SSFC in 2006, there are currently 21 who will enter 6th & 7th grade next year. Principal Betty Popp explains the original group has expanded. The demand for our school is increasing. Next year, every inch of the school will be in use as they are near capacity in some grades and added a second 7th grade class. Growth and improvements have always been part of the school every year. Next year, we will be moving from the 1:1 laptops to 1:1 iPads for students in 4th-8th grade.

Before the school was built, a steering committee was formed to assess the parish’s need and desire for a Catholic elementary school and an intensive feasibility study was conducted. Archbishop Daniel Buechlein, O.S.B. charged Pastor Fr. Vince Lampert with building the school. Parish priest Fr. Vince Lampert says, the first graduating class is just the beginning. Fruits of school will be realized in years to come as students enter into service and live out a commitment to the gospel values that have been instilled in the them through the school.

SSFC Class of 2012

Front Row: Bethany Rodriguez, Sarah Cavender, Emma Balzer, Joseph Taylor, Jessica Wells, Erica Szczechowski, Annie Richardson, Kelsey Smock, Madison Kristel Back Row: Rob Richardson, President; Betty Popp, Principal; Fr. Vince Lamper, Pastor; Fr. Anto Peterraj, Associate Pastor; Steve Hodges, Deacon

Fr. Lampert also says the school would not be possible without support from the church and the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, Our church community has supported the school prayerfully and financially to get it off the ground. We were growing so quickly that another expansion was needed. The archdiocese generously set up a loan for the second expansion during the rough economic climate. We are so thankful for everyone who made this possible. It is truly a testament that God is good.

Timeline

2006-07 

  • 34 students Kindergarten & First Grade
  • Classes held in parish meeting rooms
  • Mid-semester, New School Building Open

2007-08

  • Added Preschool & 2nd Grade
  • Built All Saints Football Field

2008-09

  • Added 3rd Grade
  • Built New Playground

2009-10

  • Added 4th Grade
  • Groundbreaking for Addition of Gym, Cafeteria, and 14 Classrooms
  • 1:1 Computers for 4th grade students and older

2010-11

  • Added 5th Grade and 2nd sections of 1st & 2nd grade
  • Partnered with Crabapple Creek to create Crabapple Creek at Saints Francis & Clare

2011-12

  • 362 Total Enrollment
  • Added 7th & 8th Grades

Saints Francis & Clare Catholic Parish is the spiritual home of more than 1,200 families. Saints Francis & Clare School Ministry, with the support of the parish, opened their doors in August 2006 to 34 children. Since that time, the school has experienced tremendous growth – more than 360 students during the 2011-12 academic year. These families seek a well-rounded Catholic education experience through religion, academics, fine arts, technology, and physical education. More information is available at www.ssfcschool.org and www.francisandclare.org.

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