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Academy News

Campus Connections – November 2019



Dear Parents,

Novemberis traditionally the month in the Catholic Church when we pray for deceased family members, loved ones, and friends. As we celebrate Mass and pray, we will remember your loved ones who have gone onto heaven.

Sr Gail Donahue, CSJ, has returned to our Academy as our Guidance and Campus Ministry Coordinator. Sr Gail was the former principal of St Ann’s (now Neponset campus) and St Angela’s (former Mattapan campus), Board Trustee, Regional Director and Guidance Coordinator. She was one of our founders of our Academy. She will be a great religious presence at our schools and helping us to continue to maintain our Catholic Identity.

One of the hallmarks of a Catholic Education, is the opportunities we provide for our students to serve others. Our faith teaches us that we are called to love others above all else. Our students are planning many service activities during the week of November 3rd. The dioceses of New England are celebrating Discover Catholic Schools beginning November 3rd. Please look for the schedule of events in your principal’s newsletter for details. Also, please continue to share our Open House dates through your social media accounts and talk it up!

Our students are flourishing academically. This past September, our students in K2 to grade 8 participated in our first round of MAP testing. I am happy to report that over 68% of our students scored above the mean in Reading and over 88% Language! Over 42% of our students scored above the mean in Math. Our teachers are finding our new Math curriculum Bridges for K-5 and Illustrated Mathematics for 6-8 effective. They predict it will help our students show greater growth in January and May MAP testing. Our teachers are reviewing the data to better meet the needs of each student. Your campus principal will be sharing MAP data during parent conferences.

Our early childhood program continues to put children ahead of their peers in other schools. For the third year in a row, over 90% of our students in K1 were ready for K2 and students in K1 were ready for grade 1. Our students are entering our elementary program ahead of those who were not in our early childhood program!

Also 100% of our students who go onto Catholic high schools go to college! Our high acceptance rate to the exam schools also speaks to our strong academics and teachers!! Tell your friends and neighbors! We have openings in grades K2-8. Please contact your campus because there are waitlists in some grades! Remember, if you refer a family and they attend, you will receive $100 credit to your tuition.

For a third year, we are working with I2 learning in Boston. Our middle school students participated in STEM week. Our Science MAP scores were excellent- 75% of our middle school students scored above the National Mean in Science. Kudos to our teachers and students!

SJPIICA is a great place to learn because our students are known and loved!  Thank you for your continued support! During this time of Thanksgiving, I send my heartfelt thanks to your for choosing SJPIICA for your child’s education. I wish you all a Thanksgiving filled with family, friends, and God’s continued blessings and abundance.

Hispanic Heritage Month

To celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month, the Columbia Campus 6th grade students learned about cognates and learned some Spanish in Reading class. Students partnered up to identify cognates in short Spanish excerpts, and then together answered several English comprehension questions. We were fortunate to have our Spanish speaking students in the class read excerpts out loud so we were able to hear the correct pronunciation of the words. It was a great activity that showed off our bilingual students’ talents and emphasized how knowledge in other languages can expand your English vocabulary and reading skills. It also revealed that students knew a little more Spanish than they thought!

A Message from the Business Office

Tuition payments:
At this time 50% of your total tuition is due. If you are behind in tuition payments, you must contact the Regional Business Office located at 2200 Dorchester Avenue immediately.

Please note, tuition payments begin in July.  If you have missed any payments, you must make those payments online or by calling FACTS Management at 800-624-7092.  Any student with an outstanding balance as of Nov 1, 2019 must contact the business office to make payment arrangements.  Beginning Nov 1, 2019 is a payment arrangement is not in place with the business office students with past due balances will not be eligible for school activities such as field trips, sports, clubs and after school care.  Your child’s continued enrollment in the Academy is dependent on prompt tuition payments.  Please refer to the tuition policy on our website at and available in the Student/Parent handbook.

If your voucher is updated or renewed by your ABCD facility, please make sure that you fax, bring or email a copy of it to the Business Office.

If you would like to make an appointment with the Business Office, please call or email to make your appointments.

Tuition Payments: 617.265.0019 x 7004, 7202 or or
Vouchers: 617.265.0019 x 7004, 7202 or
Lunch Verification: 617.265.0019 x7007
Financial aid: 617.265.0019 x 7004, 7202 or


Campus leaders tour local Ivy League school

Lolek Leaders at Harvard

Our Lolek Scholarswere welcomed to Harvard Business School by the Academy’s Board Chair and Harvard Professor Kevin Mohan. They joined Mohan in his classroom at Harvard Business School in Allston and then crossed the river to the main campus in Cambridge for a tour. They ended their visit by attending W.E.B. Du Bois Medal Ceremonycelebrating black excellence and opportunity. This year’s recipients include Oscar-nominated actor Queen Latifah; Pulitzer Prize winning-poet Rita Dove; co-founder of Black Entertainment Television Sheila C. Johnson; Andrew W. Mellon Foundation president Elizabeth Alexander; artist Kerry James Marshall; entrepreneur and philanthropist Robert F. Smith; and Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution Lonnie G. Bunch III.

The Lolek Leadership Society is comprised of ten middle school students from across the three campuses of Saint John Paul II Catholic Academy. At the start of each school year, teachers and principals nominate students based on qualities of leadership and a commitment to helping others. The Lolek Leadership Society students possess the following characteristics and are committed to expanding these traits:

  • They are optimistic and articulate; they demonstrate interpersonal skills;
  • They are “outward thinkers,” socially aware and protective of the dignity of others;
  • They are problem-solvers who are ready to work and willing to persevere;
  • They are reliably responsible for setting examples that reflect the Academy.


Please mark your calendars our Chrismas Shows!

  • Columbia Campus
    Tuesday, December 10, 2019
    9:00 am
  • Neponset Campus
    Grades 2.9 – 1
    Wednesday, December 11, 2019
    9:00 am
  • Neponset Campus
    Grades 2 – 8
    Thursday, December 12, 2019
    7:00 pm
  • Lower Mills Campus
    Grades 2.9 – K2
    Wednesday, December 18, 2019
    9:00 am
  • Lower Mills Campus 
    Grades 1 – 8
    Wednesday, December 18, 2019
    6:30 pm

First Chapter Fridays

Middle school students at Lower Mills are ending each week with an interactive reading/writing workshop called First Chapter Fridays. Students spend part of each Friday in their ELA class listening to the first chapter of a growing assortment of high-interest young adult literature. After listening to the chapter, students respond to a prompt in their writing journals that encourages them to make connections between their own lives and the passage they have just listened to. Some of the titles that have been introduced in this way include: The Thing about Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin, Ghost by Jason Reynolds, Free Lunch by Rex Ogle, and Max Einstein: The Genius Experiment by James Patterson. Students are encouraged to borrow any book that interests them–to date all are being read and each has a waiting list!

It’s Kinetic!

Students in grades K1 – 4 at the Columbia Campus, above, are often busy getting their hands dirty! Every week the students undergo a new hands on challenge with a science focus. STEM classes in October focused around the theme of mixtures; and what makes up a mixture. To end the unit, they made Kinetic Sand. Students had an amazing time mixing the ingredients together to make the perfect consistency.

STEM week was celebrated across all the campuses! At left below, Lower Mills Campus students talked about their STEM week work during a visit from Patriots Deatrich Wise Jr. and Derek Rivers. At right, Neponset Campus students mapped out their circulatory system with life size diagrams.

Feast of Saint Francis of the Assisi

In celebration of the Feast of Saint Francis of the Assisi, Fr. Brian Clary blessed the live and stuffed animals of students at our Neponset Campus at St. Ann’s in Dorchester on October 4, 2019.

Fire Safety Month

Across the three campuses, students were taught by fire professionals about the importance of fire prevention and safety as part of Fire Safety Weekand Fire Prevention Month.

At the Lower Mills Campus, the Early Childhood classroom students were excited to meet Firefighter Hegarty, pictured above, from Boston Fire Department. At the Columbia Campus, Firefighter MacKinnon, pictured at right, introduced students to fire equipment. The firefighters were happy to hear students were able to answer lots of questions, and asked some great ones as well.



Artists of the Month

Congratulations to our Columbia Campus seventh grade classfor their collective artwork, pictured above!

And congratulations to artists Janessa Estavo, Lower Mills Campus Grade 6, clockwise from top left below;  Gabriel Rivera, Lower Mills Campus Grade 3; Juan Vazquez, Neponset Campus Grade 2; and Merilyn Miranda, Neponset Campus’ Grade K2.


Our Neponset Campus Students did a fabulous job at their first Cross Country meet vs Saint Agatha’s in October! Our very own Cian Hegarty got second place!

Pumpkin Patch – K1 teachers at Lower Mills set up a pumpkin patch for the three K1 classes at Lower Mills Park next to the school! They had a pumpkin patch area with 60 pumpkins, a story area and a snack and play area.


Patriots Visit
New England Patriots’ Deatrich Wise Jr. and Derek Rivers visited the Lower Mills Campus last month. They visited a STEM class, read to students and spoke to 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students about the importance of perseverance, faith and being true to yourself!