The student news site of De Smet Jesuit High School

The Mirror

Upcoming Games
The student news site of De Smet Jesuit High School

The Mirror

The student news site of De Smet Jesuit High School

The Mirror

Polls
Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

De Smet to add 6th, 7th, and 8th grades in fall of 2025

President+Fr.+Ronny+ODwyer+S.J.+announces+to+the+faculty+this+morning+that+De+Smet+will+begin+serving+students+in+6th%2C+7th%2C+and+8th+grades+beginning+in+the+fall+of+2025.
Kevin Berns
President Fr. Ronny O’Dwyer S.J. announces to the faculty this morning that De Smet will begin serving students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades beginning in the fall of 2025.

After a long collaboration process with the Archdiocese of St. Louis, De Smet Jesuit has been granted permission to launch an academic program for grades 6, 7, and 8 starting in August 2025. 

De Smet Jesuit President Fr. Ronny O’Dwyer S.J. told the faculty this morning before school, then announced it to the student body in a video message during homeroom.

The idea was first initiated by Fr. O’Dwyer and members of the strategic planning committee last year who were tasked with discerning “Where is God calling De Smet?”

“We asked the community to engage in prayerful reflection around this question,” Fr. O’Dwyer said. “It involved us listening to teachers, students, board members, alumni, parents, and the whole community.”

The process was also done in the context of “All Things New” which has the goal of restructuring parishes and schools in the St. Louis area. This prompted Fr. O’Dwyer and the administration to ask the Most Reverend Archbishop Mitchell T. Rozanski if an academic program for boys in grades 6, 7, and 8 would be helpful within the landscape of Catholic education in the area.

“The Archbishop [Rozaksnki] asked us to study that potential impact,” Fr. O’Dwyer said. “We did that and after reviewing the results of the study, he agreed that beginning a program like that could benefit students and the entire area.”

I am grateful for De Smet’s leadership in our Archdiocese to conduct the extensive research and dialogue necessary to strategically address the important mission of Catholic education. Administrators from De Smet Jesuit will work closely with the Office of Catholic Education and Formation to ensure strong collaborative planning.”

— Most Reverend Archbishop Mitchell T. Rozanski

The study also showed that the expansion would have negligible effects on parish elementary schools and would even attract growing interest from parents of public school students.

The announcement starts a long planning process that will be done in coordination with the Archdiocese of St. Louis. 

“I am grateful for De Smet’s leadership in our Archdiocese to conduct the extensive research and dialogue necessary to strategically address the important mission of Catholic education,” Most Reverend Archbishop Mitchell T. Rozanski said. “Administrators from De Smet Jesuit will work closely with the Office of Catholic Education and Formation to ensure strong collaborative planning.”

Plans for the program are in the early stages, but some decisions have already been made. The enrollment will be around 60 students per grade, the admission process will begin in August 2024, and classes will start in August of 2025. The school will immediately begin a search for a Dean of Grades 6, 7, and 8.

The program’s name, tuition, and many other details will be released at a later date, but for now, Principal Kevin Poelker is thrilled about the decision.

“I am really excited to be working collaboratively with the Archdiocese and to be working  on something new that might be able to serve the community better,” Mr. Poelker said. “We have an opportunity to really make a connection with young men in the development of their personal faith, and provide academic rigor and access to a college prep curriculum at an earlier stage.”

There is one big goal and challenge that De Smet President Father O’Dwyer has for the new program, its teachers, and students: Excellence.

“Excellence in teaching, excellence in handing on our faith, excellence in the retreat programs,” Fr. O’Dwyer said. “We have to make this program the best that it can be.”

 

View Comments (3)
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Luke Koenig, Editor-in-Chief

Comments (3)

All The Mirror Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • T

    Thomas ZinkFeb 8, 2024 at 8:15 am

    Wonderful article about a historically important development – not only for the De Smet Jesuit Community, but for the families of the St. Louis Metropolitan Area and the Archdiocese. “Come Holy Spirit!”
    Thomas K. Zink, MD
    De Smet Jesuit Alumni

    Reply
  • J

    Julia MizeFeb 6, 2024 at 10:44 am

    Excellent article Luke! Very informative and written very well. Congrats!

    Reply
    • D

      Dohaap GosarlarFeb 6, 2024 at 2:00 pm

      I coulnd’t agree more!! Me boy will be attending in the coming years!

      Reply