News & Stories

Academy News

Campus Connections – October 2019


Dear Parents,

The school year is off to a great start. Students and teachers are excited to be back and there is a tangible joy and life in our buildings! God’s spirit is alive in the eyes and hearts of our children.
Each day, we teach our children to be strong and loving leaders but also peaceful and unifying Christians. This is evident by the joy, caring and kind actions of our faculty, staff and students. You are part of our Academy family and the more that pray, the more the world changes so please pray our Peace prayer with us at home or at work.

Loving Savior, you send me out to restore peace: with my family, with my friends, and with my classmates. And with your guidance, I will know how to be a peacemaker. I can be courageous when it comes to reconciling with others. Please give me your gift of peace and may we all be united in your as we seek a better world. AMEN

Our Academy continues to shine academically! We had a very successful year of MAP standardized testing! Nationally, over 80 % of our students mean scores beat the National Mean in Reading and Language. We showed great growth in our mathematics but only half of our students beat the national mean in mathematics, and we are not satisfied. We have introduced Bridges Mathematics to grade K2 to 5 and Illustrated Mathematics for the middle school math program. Each program follows the Massachusetts Mathematic standards but provides a more rigorous and engaging curriculum for our students. We piloted the Bridges program in six classrooms last year with great results. Through a generous donor, we were able to purchase this program for K2-5. Illustrated Mathematics has been used by many districts who use Bridges. It is a strong compliment to Bridges. So far, our teachers and students are enjoying this program and we expect great results. Currently, grades K2-8 students are finishing up their first standardized testing benchmark. This September MAP testing will be our baseline for future testing. We are excited to delve into to the data and grow as teachers to continue to challenge and educate each child.

For the second year in a row, over 97% of our K1 students tested ready for Kindergarten and over 90% of our K2 students tested ready for grade! Our early childhood teachers are delving into their own data and working with their mentors to continue to grow and give our little ones a head start with reading, numbers and social skills. We have a few openings in our excellent early childhood program! The Academy is alive and thriving.

May God continue to bless you and your family. Thank you for your continued love and support of our schools.

Celebrating peace with Mayor Walsh

Pinwheels for Peace

The Lower Mills Campus was delighted to have a visit from Mayor Marty Walsh on Friday, September 20th. Walsh, a graduate of St. Margaret’s School (which is now our Columbia Campus), joined students for their morning assembly and then accompanied two classes in planting their pinwheels for peace. Pinwheels for Peace is an art installation project started by two art teachers, Ann Ayers and Ellen McMillan, who teach at Monarch High School in Coconut Creek, Florida, as a way for students to express their feelings about what’s going on in the world and in their lives. The project was quickly embraced by their students and the entire school community. The Academy has been participating in the project for the past 10 years across its campuses. Mayor Walsh continued his morning visit reading to an early childhood classroom, pictured above, and visiting a variety of classrooms throughout the school.

A Message from the Business Office

Happy Fall and we hope this new school year is off to a wonderful start!  Please remember to contact the Business Office with any questions or concerns regarding your tuition or payment plan.

FACTS Payment Plan:
All families in the Academy must be enrolled in the FACTS payment plan. More information about the FACTS Payment Plan application can be found on the home page at  You may also access FACTS through your ParentsWeb account. If you need to change the bank information, make telephone payments or need access to the payment plan account, please contact FACTS directly at 800-624-7092.
Tuition payments:
If you are behind in tuition payments, you must contact the Regional Business Office located at 2200 Dorchester Avenue immediately.  At this time 40% of your total tuition is due not including any scholarships and financial aid received.Please note, tuition payments begin in July.  If you have missed any payments at this time you must make those payments online or by calling FACTS Management at 800-624-7092.  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.Vouchers cover extended day care, but do not cover after school clubs or Fine Arts registration and instruments. We are offering extended payment options to voucher families interested in signing up for after school clubs or Fine Arts.  Please contact your campus extended day coordinator or the business office for more information.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

The “I” in Kindness

Columbia Campus

Students at the Columbia Campus returned to school this year to find a new mural encouraging them to “Be Kind.”  Visitors, students and teachers alike have posed with the mural created by Academy art teacher  Tricia Gately.

Bridges to Math

Neponset Campus

Students in Miss Ghostlaw’s third grade class, top left and right, learned how to use measuring tapes to measure in centimeters. The Neponset Campus third graders then went on a scavenger hunt around the room to measure different objects! Students love working on new, hands-on math problems with our Bridges curriculum (K-5). Teacher use a discovery based method to teach mathematical concepts and apply them to real world scenarios

Inventions and Connections

Lower Mills Campus

By Rhonda Eaton
So what if it’s only September? Grade 5 is up to their brain cells in Invention Convention! We have studied some of the most important inventions in American history. We know how phones have improved from the 1880’s to our present-day cell phone. We know that music has always been important to kids throughout the ages, but kids could not always carry their favorite tunes with them in their pocket! Mrs. Eaton had a Walkman and a Boombox! Did you know computers used to be big enough to fill a room?
Grade 5 students searched Room 248 for any inventions they could find, and then they discussed how school would be without them. Everything in our room is an invention! Ms. Warshafsky invented the process of how we stand in the gym for prayer and how we exit to go into our classrooms. We know that a procedure created which makes something easier is an invention, so our principal is an inventor! We talked about the inventors of everything from underwear to the Barbie Doll! Next comes the Marble Run to prepare us for the Engineering and Design Process; after this it’s time to begin our prototype for our own invention designs! Our second Invention Convention will be in November; be on the lookout! Last year was a great success!


By Deborah O’Sullivan
Pre K-A has started the year off making new friends, learning to share and having lots of fun! We’re talking about ways we can respect Jesus and blessing ourselves at prayer time.  The weather has been beautiful so, we’ve had plenty of recess on our playground.  Our favorite book so far, The Nuts Sing and Dance in Their Polka Dot Pants by, Eric Litwin, we sing and dance to the song several times a day!  We look forward to many new and exciting experiences and long lasting relationships with our SJP school community.


Awards and Alcolades!

Congratulations to Lower Mills Principal Lisa Wharshafsky who was recipient of the Sean Bunn Inspirational Leadership Award in recognition of her leadership in education and serving an inspiration for the youth of Boston. Principal Wharshafsky received the award at the 17th Annual Community Fellowship Luncheon hosted by the Boston Red Sox and Boston Area Church League at the Back Bay Hilton Hotel in Boston. The Boston Area Church League is a faith-based organization founded to provide resources and mentorship to youth through the disciplines of athletics, education, health, nutrition, training, and the arts. At the start of the Red Sox game, our very own Ms. Beth Sheeehan was on the mound to throw out the first pitch.

And congratulations to the Academy’s Director of Advancement Marie Louise Greenidge who will be receiving Bishop Healy Award during Black Catholic Ministries’  26th Bishop James Augustine Healy Award Dinner on November 23rd.

Lunch Reminders

Remember to order your lunch through EZ School Apps.  All of our lunch menus and transactions will be completed online this year.

Healthy Snacks:
Please be sure your scholar brings a healthy snack to school each day. We recommend fruits, vegetables, pretzels, hummus, and yogurt!