Last Catholic school in Litchfield County starts school year

Father Emmanuel Ihemedu, pastor of St. John Paul the Great Parish in Torrington, opens the ‘FORE the Children’ golf tournament with a prayer at Torrington Country Club August 31. Photo by Jack Sheedy.
Father Emmanuel Ihemedu, pastor of St. John Paul the Great Parish in Torrington, opens the ‘FORE the Children’ golf tournament with a prayer at Torrington Country Club August 31. Photo by Jack Sheedy.
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TORRINGTON — St. John Paul the Great Academy started its school year on Tuesday, Sept. 8.
The school, located at 360 Prospect Street, is the last Catholic pre-kindergarten to grade 8 school in Litchfield County.
In June, St. Anthony School in Winsted closed after operating for 155 years.
According to Principal Edward Goad, enrollment at the school is now at 131 students, up by 33 students from the previous school year.
“We have a small number of students in each classroom, so we can return to a five days a week schedule for the school year without going into any cohorts or half days due to COVID,” Goad said in an interview with The Winsted Phoenix. “I think we have a great community here at the school and we are starting the year in a positive direction.”
This is the first year as principal for Goad, who said that he was welcomed to the school with open arms.
“Before we started the school year I met with all of the families here, including the parents and the students,” Goad said. “They all told me that if there was anything they could do for me, they would be happy to do so. This school has such amazing people because everyone has a passion for wanting the school to succeed and we want to build a school community with happy students. We want the students to tell stories about everything positive that happens in this school building.”
The school offers unique programs via a STREAM curriculum where students in multiple grades are grouped: 1st and 2nd grades are grouped in a lower primary program, while 3rd and 4th grades are grouped in an upper primary program, 5th and 6th grades are grouped in an intermediate program, and 7th and 8th grades are grouped in a middle school program.
“This type of program gives students the benefit of having the same teachers for two years in a row,” Goad said. “It gives the teachers the benefit of learning the student’s strengths and weaknesses. Also, the teachers can work on the student’s weaknesses and develop their strengths, so they can continue to progress. Our teachers all have a passion to lead students in the right path. They want to teach their students based on academics and faith, along with how to be a good person in today’s society.”
For more information on St. John Paul the Great Academy call 860-489-4177 or email SaintJohnPaulTheGreatParish@gmail.com

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