Our parents and student take pride in SMP. Please read in their words, why St. Mary's Prep is a special place.
"This year I entered the seventh grade. I have been going to St. Mary’s Prep for eight years now and have welcomed new friends and have said good-bye to others. Entering seventh grade knowing I’ll graduate next year is sad but, makes me reflect on all the memories and the journey it took to get here.
One of my favorite memories is when we all did the Thanksgiving play and said what we were thankful for. I also like when we go to church. I’m so thankful to go to a Catholic school. It has been amazing growing up with such wonderful friends. St. Mary’s Prep is like a second family and leaving next year will be hard. In the end, I’ll miss St. Mary’s but I’ll start a new important chapter in my life with new friends and a whole new journey."
Liturgical experiences are part of the school year. Each grade from 2-8 prepares the First Friday Masses and Holy Day Liturgies. Through prayer and instruction, students come to realize the needs of others in the global community as well as our local community. Mission collections for specific needs are made periodically, and students are encouraged to help others through sharing their time and talents with those in their local communities.
“What I love about St. Mary’s Prep Catholic School is that we get a great education, we get to make friends with many different people, and that we can all be ourselves in our own ways!”
St. Mary’s Prep is a S.T.E.M School in the Paterson Diocese. The curriculum includes Religion, Language Arts (Reading, Spelling, English, Penmanship, Spanish), Mathematics, Science/Health, Social Studies, Music Theory/Singing, Physical Education, Computer Education, and Art, as well as character education.
“The thing I like about St. Mary’s Prep is that the 7th and 8th Grade have a Beta Club and they raise money for good causes like Cancer Awareness and STOP Hunger. I think that is very nice because they think about other people before them. We do dress downs to raise the money and I know some others schools do not raise money to help other people in need.”
The Beta Club is organized to offer opportunities to students and teachers to discuss and carry out plans for improvement of school life. The Beta Club will assist the principal in organizing, maintaining, and expanding school activities.
“St. Mary’s is special because we are able to have computer class. Also our school has fun activities.”
St. Mary’s Prep is equipped with a 24 work station computer lab. All students PK3 through 8th grade visit the lab once a week. The classroom is equipped with an interactive Smartboard and a 3D printer. Students in PK3 through Transitional Kindergarten are taught how to use the mouse and navigate the desktop. Keyboarding skills are taught to students in grades Kindergarten and up. Students are also taught to use: Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. They are also introduced to coding, 3D printing and Google Docs.
“The thing I like about SMP is how the teachers help me learn fun things and learn a lot about God in Church. The teachers also help us study and learn right from wrong. I love SMP!!”
Each day starts with prayer in the gymnasium. All children from Trans-K through 8 have Religion classes regularly. Each class helps to develop the child’s understanding of the Roman Catholic faith and traditions. Christian values, as well as a deepening faith in Scripture and Doctrine, are central to the curriculum.
“The thing I like about SMP is that we have fun events. One fun event is Fun Day and another is the SMP 5K.”
St. Mary’s Prep holds an annual 5K Run/Walk in September. HSA is responsible to raise $110,500 through various fundraisers; Super Cash Raffles, Cash Card Program, Tricky Tray, Designer Bingo, Spirit Wear, Box Tops, Scholastic Book Fairs, and 5K Run.
“I like Show and Tell!”
The Center for Early Childhood Education at St. Mary's Prep provides a safe, friendly, nurturing environment which supports a child's wants and needs. We offer an opportunity to develop their natural creativity and a love of learning. Each day is balanced with opportunities for discovery and generous outdoor playtime.
“I like recess, gym class, and you get to go to our classes together with our friends.”
Each class, from Pre-K-3 through Eighth Grade, is involved in exercise and age-appropriate physical activities. The Pre-K through Grade 2 students are currently working on locomotor skill development, eye/hand coordination, eye/foot coordination, and gross motor skills. Grades 3 through 8 are currently developing an understanding of team sport and lead-up activities.
We decided to enroll our children at St. Mary's Prep for the sole purpose of a faith based education. The school has exceeded our expectations. St. Mary's Prep has enriched their lives spiritually, socially and academically. This couldn't have been done without the genuine caring of the staff who have taken a personal interest in our children. We also love the family atmosphere at St. Mary's Prep. As our participation in the school continues to increase, it becomes more apparent that this is not just a school but more like an extended family."- Mary and Doug Kelson
"I send my child to St. Mary's Prep for an education that will prepare her for the next step and a value system that will prepare her for life." - Maureen Boulanger
“From Kindergarten through 8th grade, St. Mary's Prep has given our children the education and spiritual guidance we expected. Our 2 oldest boys (both graduates of St. Mary's) entered the public school system in the 9th grade. We found that they were well ahead of their peers academically; they both graduated high school in the top 12% of their class, each having a graduating class of over 400 students. We attribute their academic success to the firm foundation they were given at St. Mary's Prep.
Our youngest child is in 5th grade and following in his brother's footsteps, academically. He also has the added bonus of having learned to play the piano beautifully through the excellent music program at the school. The smaller classes allowed our boys to get a more personalized education.
Religion and academics were not the only benefits of attending St. Mary's Prep. The students all walk away from the school with incredible self-esteem. Each student is given an opportunity to shine; the students learn what their God-given gifts are and how to share them with others.
We could have easily sent our boys to the public school in Denville but we've seen the fruits of our decision to pay extra for a Catholic school education in the way our two oldest sons excelled in their High School and college careers.” - Stephanie and Augie Benfante
"Our daughter was enrolled at another Catholic school in the area for 2 1/2 years. She was not happy. She was very bored academically. We felt she needed a more challenging curriculum. My husband and I feel the most important gift you can give your child is an education.
So we went school shopping. We looked at several other Catholic grammar schools. We chose St. Mary's for a number of reasons. The main reason was the academics, along with a strong curriculum, good values, and respect are taught. Out of all the schools she visited, she loved St. Mary's. She came home last February and said, "Mommy, I want to go to school there" and not once did she change her mind. I met some of the parents at the end of the year and felt very welcomed.
St. Mary's has a full science lab, library, beautiful computer lab, sports, after school activities, and music. None of the other schools we attended offered or had many of these things.
Compared to some private schools, it was the number one quality school we visited. Not just the school itself, but the families that make up the school are just as important.
We were looking for a topnotch Catholic school that was equal to a private school like Peck, Pingry or Far Hills Country Day, and St. Mary's is right up there with them. After being there for 6 months, I can say, academically, it's topnotch.
My husband and I are very happy with the school in many ways. We switched churches as well, and are very happy at St. Mary's." - Lorraine K. Brayton
"We chose St. Mary's Prep to prepare our children for the future with a quality education both spiritually and academically. We have our oldest son attending Morris Catholic High School and have found that St. Mary's prepared him well for the challenges of a very reputable high school." - Denise and John Baier