SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Holy Name Catholic School Holds Open House
By Marie L. Monyak


April 24, 2006

Ketchikan, Alaska - Holy Name Catholic School located at 433 Jackson Street held their open house last Tuesday so that interested parents could explore the options available to them to fulfill their children's educational needs for the upcoming school year.

Children were treated to ice cream in the dining hall while their parents wandered from room to room, meeting with faculty, inspecting the classrooms and observing the many student projects that lined the walls, shelves and tables.

Established in 1946, Holy Name School in Ketchikan has offered an alternative to the public school system for 60 years. As HNS Principal John Dickinson said, "It's wonderful for parents to have options when choosing a school, the more options, the better."

jpg Holy Name Catholic School

Holy Name Catholic School
Photo By Marie L. Monyak

HNS offers kindergarten through sixth grade as well as preschool. For those working parents that must provide care for their children before and after school while they're working, HNS also offers extended-hours programs in both the morning and afternoon at a cost far below the average day care center.

While inspecting the school, the classrooms themselves were remarkable. Most noticeable at first was that the classrooms were spacious, bright and stimulating. The science lab and computer room are both modern and furnished with up-to-date equipment. Countless class projects were displayed throughout the hallways and in each classroom, instilling a feeling of self-worth and accomplishment in the students. Many of the classrooms were furnished with a reading area complete with sofas and chairs in addition to the student's desks. The atmosphere in the rooms spoke of excitement to learn and explore.

The second and most important element of HNS is the class size. One couldn't help but notice that there were only 12 desks in each room. With a student-teacher ratio of 1/12, personalized attention can be provided resulting in more productive and effective teaching.

According to their website, the American Federation of Teachers has long been a proponent of reducing class sizes in the public school system. Their research has shown that smaller classes raise student achievement, improve the atmosphere by lowering the noise level, have fewer discipline problems and enable teachers to know their students better and offer individualized attention.

If one needed further proof of the remarkable effect of the smaller class size, HNS Principal Dickinson said it best, referring to the Iowa Test of Basic Skills, "Of all our classes that were tested, we consistently scored well above average. As a group we were in the 60 to 70 percentile range."

When asked what he felt was most important for parents to know, Dickinson replied, "We have a dedicated staff with a small number of students along with the Holy Name community which supports the school and our Pastor, Father Pat Travers who is very supportive of childrens education."

Although HNS teaches Religious Education, students from different faith communities and church backgrounds are welcome. In addition to the religion class, the basic curriculum includes Language Arts, Social Studies, Mathematics, Science, Art, Computer Science, Library Skills, Family Life, Computer Science, Physical Education and Substance Abuse Awareness.

Rounding out their challenging curriculum, students are offered extra-curricular activities and special programs such as Music and Foreign Language. Field trips and community service are also available for the students to participate in. Bus transportation to and from school is provided by Laidlaw Transit and the school furnishes a hot lunch program.

Parents in Partnership (parents includes sponsors, guardians and caretakers) is the HNS program of parental involvement that includes active participation in their children's education and volunteer work as a means of involving the parents in the educational process.

For those parents wanting to provide their children with the best academic start in life and realize their highest potential, Holy Name Catholic School will provide just that, along with good study habits and personal accountability so that each and every child can grow in mind, body and spirit.

HNS is currently enrolling children for the 2006-2007 school year, for further assistance and tuition information you may use the link below to visit their website or contact the school directly by calling 225-2570.

On the Web:

Holy Name Catholic School

American Federation of Teachers

Marie L. Monyak is a freelance writer living in Ketchikan, Alaska.
A freelance writer is an uncommitted independent writer
from whom a publisher, such as SitNews, can order articles for a fee.
For information about freelance writing services and costs contact Marie at mlmx1[at]

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Ketchikan, Alaska