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Facts About St. Helen School
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- Since its opening in 1954, St. Helen School has strived to promote the spiritual and intellectual development of every student.
- Students are educated in the Catholic faith, are prepared for the sacraments, and attend weekly Mass.
- There are typically two classes for each grade K-8; Kindergarten is all day.
- The average student-teacher ratio is 23:1.
- Transportation is provided by Beavercreek, Mad River Local, Fairborn, Huber Heights, and Dayton school buses; we also serve all areas of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
- In addition to the K-8 teachers, St. Helen employs teachers for art, music, physical education, computer lab, and the library/media center.
- Support services include on-site tutors, guidance counselor, speech therapist, and a nurse.
- Facilities include the classrooms, gymnasium/cafeteria, art room, music room, science lab, computer lab, library, and spacious property for outdoor activities.
- Students participate in many extra-curricular activities including scouts, CYO sports, choir/band, science fair, archery, Youth of Tomorrow (YOT), JOOI club, many after-school clubs, community service, and more.
- Enrichment activities include visiting authors, speakers, performing artists, and educational field trips.
- Special programs include Choral Adjudications, Science Fair, Spelling Bee, Geography Bee, Everybody Counts and Archery Competition.
- Visit our Staff/Classrooms page to learn more about the teachers and staff.
St. Helen parish is a daughter parish of Holy Family Parish. In the
late 1940’s the area east of Smithville Road was rural, but it was rapidly
becoming a residential area. Archbishop Alter authorized the
development of a new parish whose west boundary would be Smithville Road.
In 1953, Msgr. Charles Ertel, Dean of the Dayton Deanery….. introduced Father James Krusling whom Archbishop Alter appointed on August 17th to establish a new parish.
Msgr. Ertel…..stated that the Hollenkamp family had established a burse of $6,000 in honor of Helen Hollenkamp, which would be available to the parish – thus the name St. Helen Parish; also Sacred Heart Church had donated $6,000 for this parish.
Authorization was received to build ten classrooms and a hall which would serve as a temporary Church, as well as the cafeteria and gym, and the East Wing to be a temporary convent or housing the teaching Sisters. The initial cost of school and equipment would be approximately $370, 000.
1954 Ground breaking for the school was March 14th. Parishioners became involved in completion of the school building and furnishings. Over 500 desks had been acquired which needed refinishing and put on runners. Heating, plumbing and wiring was installed in the Convent section, the intercom and public address system was installed, walls were sealed and painted, windows washed, floors polished and desks put in place.
The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur will be teaching at St. Helen School. Sister provincial notified the Pastor that there will be six Sisters assigned initially.
The school was built for a maximum of 500 students. By August 1st, well over this number had registered and there was a waiting list for 1st and 2nd grades. Two rooms on the second floor of the Convent section were converted into classrooms and the Sisters would reside on Park Road. School opening was Sept. 7th with 528 students in the ten completed classrooms. Grades 5-6 and 7-8 were on half day sessions for six weeks. The cafeteria would not be open for six weeks.
1955 In September school opened with 658 students. On December 12th, permission was given to add four classrooms and offices to school.
1956 School opened with 898 students and the Smith Building was purchased to provide three classrooms and a lunch room.
1958 Plans for the Church are proceeding with seating for 1100 persons, plus classrooms on the ground floor. Cost is $310,385.
1965 Two additional classrooms opened in the Smith Building.
1966 The State of Ohio began providing transportation of children to and from school.
1968 The school library was finished at a cost of $2,000. Again, work done by parishioners.
1971 To help defray expenses of Catholic education, it was necessary to charge tuition -- $100.00 for the first child, $75.00 for the second, $50.00 for the third, with a maximum of $225.00 per family.
1978 This is the Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Jubilee Year. August
was the grand celebration of the Anniversary. On August 18th, feast of St.
Helen, Msgr. Krusling, our founding Pastor, was principal Celebrant at Mass,
with present Pastor and former Associates concelebrating. Charter members
of the Parish were special guests. August 20th, Sunday afternoon,
Archbishop Bernardin was principal Celebrant at Mass, with Msgr. Krusling, Msgr.
Amann and former Associates concelebrating.
-- Excerpts from 25 Years of God’s Blessing St. Helen Parish
2010 We’ve not built any additional classrooms, but many rooms have undergone reconfigurations. The library has been moved several times as has the cafeteria. There is now a stationary computer lab, an art room and a music room. (Only the gym/auditorium/cafeteria has escaped an identity crisis!) The classrooms have phones, TVs, DVD players, and computers. The two lap top carts, one in each building, are in constant use. Six SMARTBoards will be arriving as school starts in the fall with four more to be installed by Christmas. Technology is here to stay.
2011-2012 We have added four more SMARTBoards. There is now one SMARTBoard per grade and one for the Music Room. The laptops in the Main Building have been replaced with "notebooks" - the students have taken to them handily. In addition to after-school Study Club sessions, other "clubs" available to our students include: Archery, Art, Drama, French, Spanish, Gameboard (including Chess!), JOOI, Stacking, Writing, and YOT.
Weekly Mass, prayer services, classroom prayer, religion classes, sacramental preparation and service are still the “constants” at St. Helen School. Our students have opportunities to minister as servers, cantors, lectors, Eucharistic Ministers as eighth graders, choir members and accompanists. The rich faith life of the parish continues today and nurtures all within this community.
As always, we say: St. Helen, pray for us.