St. Patrick’s School celebrates Catholic Schools Week

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Fr. Bill Bruner (front, just right of center) was the guest speaker during an assembly of St. Patrick School students and faculty Thursday. The first week of February is served as Catholic Schools Week across the nation.

The students and staff at St. Patrick’s School in Perry finished the celebration of Catholic Schools Week Friday with an afternoon of fun and games in the school gym.

A Teachers vs. Students volleyball match was held, with the Teachers claiming victory. Afterwards students were given free time to play in the gym, with refreshments served in the cafeteria.

Father Bill Bruner (left) visited with St. Patrick's School students Thursday during the celebration of Catholic Schools Week. St. Pat's middle school math and science teacher Tony Cosentino (right) is married to Fr. Bruner's niece, making Bill a "father" AND an uncle-in-law!
Father Bill Bruner (left) visited with St. Patrick’s School students Thursday during the celebration of Catholic Schools Week. St. Pat’s middle school math and science teacher Tony Cosentino (right) is married to Fr. Bruner’s niece, making Bill a “father” AND an uncle-in-law!

The school week kicked off Monday with “Crazy Socks” day, in which students were allowed to wear zany socks and were encouraged to brings new socks to the school that were donated to the local Clothes Closet.

Tuesday and Wednesday were cancelled because of the weather, but when classes resumed Thursday students were treated to a presentation and speech from retired priest Fr. Bill Bruner of Jefferson. Father Bruner is the uncle of middle school math and science teacher Tony Cosentino’s wife, Amy, making Bill both Mr. Cosentino’s uncle-in-law and “father.”

Students finished Thursday with “Read and Feed” time, in which each child brought a blanket or mat to the gym to rest on while having a snack and reading a book.

A grant from St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital allowed each student in grades K-5 (approximately 75) receiving a stuffed animal they could name and take home. Girls received stuffed bears and boys stuffed dogs. Each animal had the students’ name written on their tag.

Friday's celebration capping Catholic Schools Week at St. Patrick's School included a Teachers vs. Students volleyball match.
Friday’s celebration capping Catholic Schools Week at St. Patrick’s School included a Teachers vs. Students volleyball match.

There are currently 132 students attending St. Patrick’s School from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. St. Patrick’s is one of 17 schools operated by the Diocese of Des Moines. In the 2014-2015 school year 6,357 students attended those schools, which employ 430 full-time and 56 part-time teachers, generating a ratio of 15 students per teacher.

Some 6,568 Catholic schools — 5,368 elementary and 1,200 secondary — were instructing over 1.9 million students across the United States in 2014-2015. Of those schools, 2,044 had a waiting list for admission.

A total of 1.36 million students were enrolled in elementary schools and another 580,000 in secondary schools. Over 150,000 teachers are employed by Catholic schools in the U.S., which average a student/teacher ratio of 13:1.

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