Today, Hill is readying Caitlyn for her first day in the 4-year-old prekindergarten class at Guardian Angels Regional School, which will open Sept. 5 to students in Gibbstown, Paulsboro and Mullica Hill.
Gloucester County's burgeoning population necessitated the opening of Guardian Angels in the former St. Michael School building, Diocese of Camden officials said.
Guardian Angels will offer 3- and 4-year-old prekindergarten as well as kindergarten classes this year. Plans call for one grade to be added every year.
The school may eventually accommodate students through eighth grade and move to a larger building.
South Jersey parochial schools are introducing new programs, new staff members and even new classrooms in response to shifts in population and in educational philosophies.
In Westmont, Camden County, sixth, seventh and eighth graders at Holy Saviour School will use lockers, attend home room, and be able to select electives for the first time.
The change, which has been made at at least one other school, is an attempt to keep students from leaving the school to attend public schools, where middle schoolers generally have the same options.
"Our school board was looking at retention and recruitment," said Sister Janice Novak, principal of Holy Saviour. "Sometimes we lose students in seventh grade because their parents plan on sending them to [Haddon Township] high school, and they want some kind of transition for them."
Every trimester, Holy Saviour students will choose from old staples - computers, languages, art and music - and new offerings, such as floral design, consumer math, historical biographies, social outreach and culinary arts.
There will be other new aspects to parochial school education this year.
Thanks to an effort by the Diocese of Trenton, Burlington County parochial schools will have new report cards and a new school schedule this year.
Judith A. Caviston, superintendent of diocese schools, said schools would go from a school year divided into quarters to one divided into trimesters.
The new system, she said, offers more time for students and teachers to delve into the curriculum.
"We think it'll be a better educational experience for the students, and it takes into consideration the number of interruptions built into the school year," Caviston said.
The new report cards, which she said were designed to help teachers communicate better with parents, will feature letter grades plus comments in major subjects. In areas such as technology, art, music and world languages, students will be assessed on progress and will no longer receive letter grades.
A new, $7 million school will open in Manahawkin, Ocean County, also in the Diocese of Trenton, in November.
All Saints Regional School will serve students in Long Beach Island in the lower part of Ocean County.
Other schools face a more uncertain future.
The students, parents and alumni of Gloucester Catholic are still waiting for a decision on whether the high school, most of whose booming population travels from Gloucester County, will move out of its longtime home in Gloucester City, Camden County.
According to Andy Walton, a diocese spokesman, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio will decide Gloucester Catholic's fate in the next year.
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