St. Bridget School sees huge growth in numbersArea News
-- Since 2007 St. Bridget Catholic School, 135 East Division St. in River Falls, has seen a 45% increase in enrollment -- going from 113 students to 164.
By: Jillian Dexheimer, Pierce County Herald
Since 2007 St. Bridget Catholic School, 135 East Division St., has seen a 45% increase in enrollment -- going from 113 students to 164.
Early projections for the 2012-2013 school year show enrollment increasing to 180 students.
St. Bridget Catholic School principal Sue Steckbauer attributes the increase to “…people becoming more aware, and an increased emphasis on the education we provide.”
“We have amazing teachers, we have a focus on student’s social skills, we have innovative programs such as 4K Spanish and we use innovative technology, such as iPads,” said Steckbauer.
St. Bridget Catholic School is a pre-K through 8 th grade parochial school, which touts small class sizes as one of its benefits.
“Smaller classes, usually 16 students, allow teachers to develop strong relationships and help each student,” said Steckbauer.
“If you ask our parents (why enrollment is growing) it is because the school has such a strong family feeling.”
With the close ties that are developed, teachers can monitor students’ success. If needed, they can recommend them for the in-house program GOAL (Growth Opportunities for All Learners,) which helps students whom have slipped behind.
“We try to catch students as soon as they start to show any struggle -- we work in small groups, then get them right back into their classroom,” Steckbauer said about the GOAL program.
Faith-based teachings and an emphasis on social etiquette are also some of the reasons that Steckbauer cites for the enrollment increase.
“As a private school we always have to stay competitive in technology and curriculum,” said Steckbauer.
To do just that, the school holds an annual gala to raise money for key projects.
In its eighth year, the St. Bridget Gala featured dinner, dancing, a silent auction and a live auction. With 300 attendees, this year’s “Mardi Gras” themed gala raised $94,000.
Highlights of the live auction included: top donation getter -- $6,250 -- Father Harris’ “wallet” which contained a collection of cash, gift cards, lottery tickets and next year’s gala tickets and the “Steckbauer Special”, where principal Steckbauer will clean and detail your car and then make you a BBQ dinner.
Each year all St. Bridget classes make items for the silent auction. This year the kindergarten class made a Lego table and many classes made quilts.
Every year the school designates a certain “pledge” project, where Gala attendees make cash donations to the fund -- of the $94,000 total, $44,000 was attained this way.
This year’s pledge was -- Learn, Play, Grow -- to add to the playground, technology, curriculum and endowment fund.
The fund will be used to add more iPads and update computers -- it will also add to the language and science curriculum.
Steckbauer is always amazed at the generosity of the attendees, “It’s meaningful to see everyone giving.”
The amount raised is a culmination of many smaller amounts, “We are successful because everyone gives what they can,” said Steckbauer.
“It really is a community event, where everyone pulls together.”
For more information on St. Bridget Catholic School call 715-425-1872 or visit www.saintbridgetschool.com .