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Bishop Caggiano’s Visit

Fairfield – Fridays at Saint Catherine Academy are usually very busy. But this Friday was even more so – we had two very special visitors come to share is a ‘typical’ day at Saint Catherine Academy. But as most visitors find out, there is no such thing as a typical day! Bishop Caggiano and Sr. Mary Grace Walsh, Superintendent of Schools saw firsthand what – and how our students learn.

By | May 9th, 2014|News|0 Comments

Trip to Mystic Seaport

Fairfield – “It was awesome!”  “I would recommend everyone to go see.”  “Our tour guide was excellent!”  The halls of Saint Catherine Academy echoed with excitement as the students returned from their field trip to Mystic Seaport in New London, CT.  Following a month long unit on CT history during the 1800’s, students and staff stepped back in history as they explored the village and ship yard at Mystic. James explained the figure head exhibit in detail. “We saw all different figureheads inside the building. These came from ships that are more than 100 years old. They were all different but had a woman on them. The tour guide told us that the woman was used to calm the storms.” When they came back, Mrs. LaPorta’s class researched figureheads and learned that each one was different because they represented the ship company and the cargo that the ship was carrying. During their visit, the students had the chance to board The Charles Morgan, a restored fishing vessel harbored at Mystic. There they learned about cod fishing and whaling. “They used whale blubber and oil from the whales,” reported Joshua, “and they used whale teeth to make pie crimpers.” The students split into two groups and had the chance to see what life was like in the seaport village during the 1800s. The tour included a typical home and the students watched a village woman back a cake over an open flame. The groups met up at the “Anchor Park” and learned that anchors were an important part of a boat because “the anchor stops the boat” reported James. Following a lunch on the village green, the students and staff posed for a group picture before

By | April 30th, 2014|News|0 Comments

The Mexican Fiesta Restaurant is open for business

Fairfield- Saint Catherine Academy students in Mrs. LaPorta’s Culinary class opened their restaurant today to all the students and staff. “This activity is a culmination of our unit on Food Industry jobs,” said Mrs. LaPorta. “The students learned about different positions, waiters and waitresses, cooks, busing, as well as common vocabulary associate with the food industry. They learned about different types of food and ultimately planned a meal and served it to their classmates.” In small groups, the students picked a type of food, in this case, Mexican and name their restaurant, The Mexican Fiesta Restaurant. The Mexican Fiesta Restaurant offered a special lunch menu that included a Breakfast burrito and blueberry-banana muffins. Students planned the menu, set the tables, prepared the food and served their classmates and teachers. Then there was cleanup that was also part of the experience. “The Culinary students then conducted a survey to learn more about customer interaction,” continued Mrs. LaPorta. Did the restaurant have a sign with its name on it? Was the server polite and answer your questions? Was the menu helpful in showing you what you would eat? How was the taste of the food? Did the tables look neat and clean? Overall the comments were very positive. “I liked the Mexican music.” “It was so nice seeing so many students working together.” “Nice work.” “The Culinary class did an excellent job in preparing and serving the food!” The second Culinary class will get their chance this week when they open “Bella Cibo” which means “good food” in Italian. The menu will include bowtie pasta and chocolate lasagna. There is a lot of excitement and anticipation for Restaurant Day.

By | April 4th, 2014|News|0 Comments

Diocese announces new St. Catherine Center for Special Needs

FAIRFIELD—The Diocese of Bridgeport has announced plans for the new St. Catherine Center for Special Needs to officially open in Fairfield on July 1, 2014. The new center will bring together services currently provided by the Ministry for People with Disabilities of the Office of Pastoral Services, a new Inclusive Support program for Catholic schools, and St. Catherine’s Academy, the Special Education School of the Diocese of Bridgeport.

By | March 14th, 2014|News|0 Comments

June 1st Annual Scholarship Dinner

Our Annual Scholarship Dinner is an evening to celebrate the year, recognize significant contributors—of both time and talent to our mission and raise money for scholarships for students who attend Saint Catherine Academy. This year we will gather on June 1 under the tent at Fairfield University beginning at 5pm with cocktails and good company. Dinner will follow. Bishop Frank Caggiano will address the crowd following dinner. The theme of this year's dinner is "Grow with Us" and the format of the dinner will change. Instead of a live scholarship auction, Committee volunteers will be manning a flower mart all evening giving attendees a chance to purchase flowers in different dollar amounts to be donated to support the scholarship fund. This should prove to be a fun and exciting evening as we fill the flower boxes on the stage with 'scholarship' flowers. In addition, we will present the story of Saint Catherine Academy, a video presentation prepared by students and a teacher from St. Joseph's High School. It promises to be a wonderful evening! Anyone interested in donating auction items or sponsoring a table should contact Dinner Chairs Nancy Fontana at or Chris Herman at

By | March 7th, 2014|News|0 Comments

Irish Eyes are Smiling

Fairfield- “Jump in, kick out, hop step 1-2-3-4. Jump in, kick out, hop step 1-2-3-4.” The sounds of dancing feet and laughter filled the gym at Saint Catherine Academy this week as the students were treated to a dance demonstration by some Irish dancers from The Pender-Keady Academy of Irish Dance. After the performance, the SCA students got a chance to try some steps themselves with Erin Pender-LeVine leading the way. The students had a chance to see and experience the intricacies of the fine art of Irish Dance. “We try to offer our students opportunities to experience their community,” commented Helen Burland, President of SCA. “Sometimes that means traveling to a program or event, sometimes the event comes to us. Our educational program values developing interpersonal skills as well as independent living skills; all of which need to be taught and practiced,” continued Burland. “When people are willing to come and share their talents, we all are richer for the experience.” Cece Donoghue, School Advisory Board member organized the visit that brought four middle school girls (one is Cece’s daughter) to perform at Saint Catherine Academy. “St. Catherine Academy provides us with an opportunity to give back to our community,” says Erin Pender-LeVine. “I can’t think of a better way to build a bridge of fellowship, faith and compassion than spending a morning with our friends at SCA and sharing our love of Irish dance with these amazing students.” Next stop is the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade in Bridgeport where our students will join the Catholic School Division and march. This year, they will have some new dance moves to showcase!

By | March 4th, 2014|News|0 Comments

Lessons in Teamwork

Fairfield- “The best part of the project was working with Josh!” explained James, a student at Saint Catherine Academy. “We are doing this for the School Sisters of Notre Dame and it is fun,” added Joshua. Teamwork was the theme of the day at Saint Catherine Academy. We started the day with a mailing project to help the Advancement Office for the School Sisters of Notre Dame. Sr. Maureen Ulatowski, SSND, on staff at Saint Catherine Academy coordinated this project with Leslie Lopez in the Advancement Office for SSNDs.  Boxes of cards, envelopes and inserts arrived and the students and staff worked together to assemble complete packets ready to be mailed. This involves fine motor skills like folding as well as sorting and collating skills. Following this project, the students and staff gathered in the gym with several volunteers, Sr. Leonora, Michele Quinn and Nancy Murphy to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for Merton House. The third Friday of every month is fondly called PB and J Friday. We partner with volunteers from Malta led by Judy Miller and make 300 sandwiches for the lunch crowd at Merton’s. This is our sixth year and we have made well over 15,000 sandwiches. The tasks are complete; the skills have been developed and practiced but the most important lesson of the day is that it is fun to work together and do a great job!

By | February 21st, 2014|News|0 Comments

Visit with Notre Dame High School Students

Fairfield – Students from Notre Dame High School spent the morning at Saint Catherine Academy as part of their day of service. The morning included with some lessons on Internet Safety, gym activities, snack and board games.  Jeanna from Notre Dame started with the important message, “You can have fun on the internet, you just have to be careful and safe.” Using a SMARTboard, the Notre Dame students demonstrated how to adjust personal settings on their Facebook page. It is an important for all young people to learn because privacy is something that should not be taken for granted. “The day was really interesting, “added Jonathan, a Saint Catherine Academy student. “ I learned that you can block people you don’t know on Facebook.” “Don’t talk to people you don’t know on the internet because it could be dangerous,” reported Kelly, another student at Saint Catherine Academy. The most popular activity of the morning was a very spirited game of Dodge Ball followed by a snack. The students all agreed that it is fun to have a day that is different than their typical day. “I got to meet some great new people,” said Mario, from Notre Dame. Both groups had a chance to share what their typical day looks like. “Culinary is one of our subjects,” said Jonathan. ” I wish we had a chance to learn how to cook,” added Brianna, from Notre Dame. During a game of Bingo, everyone was trying to get to “Bingo” first! A lively game of “Zingo” was going on in another room. Days like these are beneficial to both student bodies with Saint Catherine Academy students having the chance to interact with typical peers while students from

By | February 11th, 2014|News|0 Comments

Professional Development Focus

FAIRFIELD – “What is behavior?” began Allison Summer, M.Ed, BCBA of The SEED Center for Social Enrichment and Educational Development. “When we understand that all behaviors are exhibited for a reason, we are able to reinforce appropriate behaviors and end negative behaviors,” she continued. This workshop on “Reinforcement Theory” is the first of 6 planned professional development days funded by the Robert G. and Marguerite M. Derx Foundation. Topics including “Errorless Teaching Techniques”;  “Assessment Tools”; “Applied Behavior Analysis and Data Collection”; “Assistive Technology Support for Students on the Autism Spectrum”; and “How to Write Effective Behavior Plans” will provide the teaching and support staff at Saint Catherine Academy with a strong foundation for meeting the needs of the students enrolled at the Academy. In 2012, the State Department of Education approved the Academy’s proposal to begin accepting students on the Autism Spectrum who also fit the profile of students who have been effectively served at the Academy since it opened in 1999. “Students who are motivated to learn and benefit from small group instruction thrive at Saint Catherine Academy,” says Sr. Marilyn Muldoon, Principal. “Our program meets the needs of students who benefit from a functional academic and life skills curriculum. These students gain confidence as they develop valuable skills aimed at preparing each of them for independence.” These professional development workshops are scheduled to be completed in the 2014-15 school year and correspond with individual teacher and staff goals as well.  At the end of the first workshop, everyone was excited to tackle the next topic!

By | January 30th, 2014|News|0 Comments

Saint Catherine Academy Christmas Pageant

FAIRFIELD – “Now, I’m finally ready for Christmas because of what I saw here,” Bishop Frank Caggiano said to the more than 250 in attendance at the Saint Catherine Academy Christmas Pageant this morning. “That was the most authentic and moving expressions of what Christmas is that I have ever seen,” he said, with the cast of “The Christmas Message” on the stage behind him and family and friends in the audience. “The children have given us a great gift that shows how much our God loves every one of us, and that we need never be alone,” the Bishop said before joining the cast for a picture taking moment. Helen Burland, President of Saint Catherine Academy said the annual Christmas Pageant is an opportunity to show off the talents of the students who preformed, sang and narrated the play written by Sister Eileen Boffa, RSM and directed by Sister Cheryl Driscoll, RSM. The entire school staff also assisted in the production. Jonathan Teixeira narrated the pageant and read Nativity accounts from the Gospel of Luke. James Barry played Joseph and Mina Deorio represented Mary. With dramatic lighting and a bright star provided by the Quick Center of Fairfield University, the cast sang a number of songs including “Joy to the World,” “This Little Light of Mine,” and the Prayer to St. Francis, “Make Me a Channel of Your Peace” During the Pageant, the children told the audience that the meaning of Christmas is that a loving, gentle and peaceful Jesus has come into their lives and will always be with them. “This is my favorite time of year,” said Burland, “because we get to give back to those of you who have been so

By | January 7th, 2014|News|0 Comments