Welcome to Pacelli Catholic Schools! For 148 years, Catholic schools have been a hallmark in Portage County, providing an outstanding education based on demanding academics and strong teaching of the Catholic faith. Students who attend our schools are well prepared to not only be strong, successful citizens, but young adults who live their faith and make a difference in the world.
On September 8, 1873, Holy Redeemer Mission was founded and staffed by the School Sisters of Notre Dame. It was on that same day that Reverend Russel delivered a “most impressive lecture” about the “advantage of a Catholic school and the duty of parents to see that their children receive a religious education.” He went on to extol the merits of the Sisters, who left all, sacrificed every comfort in this noble cause of Catholic education in Stevens Point.
Over the years, Catholic schools in our community continued to grow and flourish. St. Peter School began in 1887. St. Joseph School opened its doors in 1890 and was followed in 1925 by St. Stanislaus School. St. Bronislava established a school in 1914 which was destroyed by fire in 1936. With the support of a community capital fund drive, a new St. Bronislava School building was again opened in 1994.
In 1922, the Sisters of St. Joseph opened the first Catholic high school in the area, St. Joseph Academy, which was the forerunner of Maria High School. This was also the first private high school in the area. The first Catholic boys high school was established in 1947 at St. Peter Parish. Due to a switch in jurisdiction from the Green Bay to the La Crosse diocese, St. Peter High School was terminated at the end of the school year.
Pacelli High School started in 1955, temporarily housed at the St. Stanislaus Grade School until the high school construction was completed, officially opening in September 1956. The school was built in honor of reigning pope Eugenio Pacelli (Pius XII) and would be staffed primarily by a religious order of men, the Christian Brothers. Pacelli and Maria high schools merged in 1970 and operated as a dual campus for two years. At that time, the Pacelli building was sold and the whole school moved to the Maria campus, where it continues today as Pacelli High School.
The Stevens Point Area Catholic Board of Education was formed in 1967 and was the first of its kind in the state overseeing the schools. Pacelli Catholic Schools (PCS), formerly Stevens Point Area Catholic Schools (SPACS), today continue to provide quality, Catholic education to this community.
In 1986, consolidation of all schools took effect after a great deal of study, coordination, pain and cooperation by many people. A study was done by the Central Wisconsin Small Business Development Center, a unit of the Division of Business and Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, and gave some recommendations for long-range facility use. The team looked at a total of 16 scenarios of combining and eliminating, one by one, and finally got to three workable solutions. Each was studied from the standpoint of building capacity, faculty and educational quality, and parish needs. On November 4, 1986, consolidation was approved, resulting in the creation of St. Peter Middle School (grades 6-8), and making St. Stanislaus and St. Stephen/St. Joseph schools elementary schools (K-5). Consolidation brought good things to our system such as an exploratory art program at the middle school, along with a campus ministry. Home economics and industrial arts can be incorporated and students attend those classes at Pacelli. This resulted in better utilization of teachers and resources giving students more opportunities.
In the year 2000, a number of committees reviewed the process of restructuring the schools, balancing out class sizes. The result was elimination of some of the larger classes and it allowed room for new families by creating an early childhood center (preschool) at St. Joseph and combining and restructuring St. Stanislaus (K-2) and St. Stephen (3-5) schools. This allowed the sharing resources more efficiently, both in terms of materials as well as people. Other areas that were improved were libraries, Home & School Associations and Hot Lunch programs.
On July 1, 2015, Stevens Point Area Catholic Schools was renamed Pacelli Catholic Schools. After the thoughtful planning and execution of a successful capital campaign, another restructuring of the schools was deemed necessary to maximize efficiency and effectiveness of our educational programming. This resulted in the relocation of the Pacelli Catholic Schools Tim Copps Early Childhood Center (childcare & preschool) to St. Stanislaus Church (Holy Spirit Parish) enabling growth and expansion, consolidating to two elementary school locations – Pacelli Catholic Elementary School-St. Bronislava (3K-4) and Pacelli Catholic Elementary School-St. Stephen (K-4), and moving grade 5 to join grades 6-8 at Pacelli Catholic Middle School for the start of the 2017-2018 school year.
To this day, Pacelli Catholic Schools continue their rich heritage, providing quality education and enriching the lives of many, all thanks to the dedicated members of religious orders who founded, expanded, and shared their Catholic values with our community.
COMMISSION OF CATHOLIC EDUCATION
The Pacelli Catholic Schools Commission of Catholic Education provides input and guidance on various topics and issues for Pacelli Catholic Schools. Regular members of the Commission include the Pacelli Catholic Schools Dean, supporting Pastors, school administrators, and representatives from supporting parishes.
The Pacelli Catholic Schools Commission of Catholic Education meets the first Wednesday of each month, except July and August. Visitors are welcome but must give at least 24 hour notice of attendance to the Chair and President. Visitors or members wishing to submit items for discussion may do so with a 5-minute per person time limit.