Blessed Sacrament Catholic School
By Debbie Lagestee
Upon entering the doors of Blessed Sacrament Catholic School, there is an immediate sense of welcomeness and inclusion. This 74-year-old school is rich in tradition yet keeps pace with the tools and curriculum of modern-day education. Principal Corinne King leads 32 staff members and 250 students from K3 (3 year olds) through 8th grade with the support of Assistant-Principal and School Counselor Tina Moore. Sally Bendt, a life-long Charlestonian, is the school secretary. She greets visitors, students, staff, and faculty alike with her cheerful personality and wealth of knowledge. Blessed Sacrament Catholic School is situated next to its namesake church on Savannah Highway. The school has been a long-standing mission of the Parish under the guidance of Fr. Arnulfo.
Blessed Sacrament is proud to have 3 and 4 generations of families attending the school. The transgenerational nature helps build relationships within the school and the community. Several faculty and staff members who attended the school have come back to teach or enroll their own children, including Mrs. Moore and Mrs. Bendt. Charleston transplants are welcomed with open arms. Mrs. Bendt says, “We are a family. New students transitioning do very well, and our students are very accommodating. They like welcoming new students.” The love and pride they have for their school have no boundaries. It’s a place with shared values, and lifelong friendships are formed.
Principal King often feels inspired working with children and their families. She explains, “After selecting a pediatrician, the next big decision for a parent is where to send their baby to school. I enjoy supporting parents through the process and watching our students thrive at our school. It’s a place they can trust with their children. It is equally rewarding to work as a collaborative team with teachers and parents to help students who may have been struggling to find success.” At the entry-level of K3-5, the main focus is nurturing social-emotional development. It is a low-tech learning environment, understanding the basics of following directions and personal awareness. The 2nd – 8th graders transition to 1:1 technology without sacrificing the need to master interpersonal skills. Students are encouraged to develop strong communications skills, gain confidence when speaking to adults and grasp conflict resolutions skills. Beginning in 6th grade, students participate in an academic, religious class. The 8th graders have the opportunity to earn high school credit in Spanish and Algebra. Class size averages 16 students per class, allowing for personalized attention.
The K5 wing is currently undergoing renovation, creating a more extensive and brighter space. The new classrooms will be equipped with interactive flat panels to increase student engagement and collaborative learning. The middle school is upstairs furnished with rooms designed specifically for middle school learning, including their own science lab. The school offers Action Based Learning, which emphasizes an activity to reinforce the taught academic skill. This approach has proven that the link between movement and learning is beneficial to the students’ overall learning experience. It increases retention, and the students gain a deeper understanding of the subject matter while simultaneously using both sides of the brain. All students participate in music, art, and gym once per week and have recess daily. Basketball, tennis, and volleyball are offered as extracurricular activities.
The school’s mission statement is “Blessed Sacrament Catholic School is focused on educating each student by emphasizing our Catholic faith and upholding academic excellence through engaging the mind, challenging the body, and enlightening the soul. “The faculty and staff endorse this philosophy wholeheartedly. Assistant-Principal Moore states, “I am privileged to share our faith with our students, watching them grow from 3 and 4-year-olds to high school. It’s an honor.”
“If you have never considered a Catholic education, I encourage you to visit and learn more. Even if not Catholic, many families want their child to be in a school environment where they will come to know Jesus and know they are greatly loved. Your child will be known and supported to reach their fullest potential”, said Principal King. For more information, visit the website or call to make an appointment to book a tour of Blessed Sacrament Catholic School.