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The BPJ Difference
by Lynda Wright, Principal
When I was driving home one day last week, I noticed some signs in my neighborhood that said: School Zone/Drug Free Zone. You may have seen these signs around your neighborhood - especially if you live close to one of your town’s public schools. These signs let us know that a school is nearby and that weapons and drugs are not allowed in these areas.
I would like to put up a sign to indicate the presence of our Catholic School, Blessed Pope John XXIII Academy. My sign would read: Christ-Centered Zone. Rather than acknowledging the absence of something, I would proclaim the presence of the living Christ who resides in every student, every parent, every teacher, every administrator, and every priest who is associated with our school.
Anyone who has visited Blessed Pope John XXIII Academy recognizes the unique atmosphere that permeates our whole school. Those not familiar with Catholic schools find ours to be very different but very pleasing in every way. Blessed Pope John XXIII Academy is a faith community joined together through our belief in Jesus and to live our lives in a manner pleasing to him. We are brothers and sisters in Christ. Because of Christ’s presence within us and our reverence for Christ’s presence in others, Blessed Pope John XXIII Academy is a Christ-Centered Zone. There is no place for guns, gangs, drugs, prejudice, disrespect, dishonesty, or abuse. Blessed Pope John XXIII students work hard to bring Christ’s presence into the world.
Blessed Pope John XXIII Academy students come mostly from our West Orange community (about 70%) but there are many other communities represented as well - some even travel from as far away as Morris County - drawn, no doubt, by the excellence of our reputation. Almost 70% of our students are practicing Catholics. Our students have Religion classes every day and attend Mass once a month and on Holy Days.
The foundation of the identity of our school resides in the belief of Christ’s presence. This is the real difference between our school and the public schools. Our students see Christ in themselves and in everyone they meet. Our school is filled with the radiance of God’s Grace.
You may have noticed that our school has the word “Academy” in its name. We have been given approval to be an academy by Archbishop Myers and the Schools Office because we teach special skills and subjects during our regular school day. In addition to fulfilling all the requirements of the Newark Archdiocese and the New Jersey Core Curriculum Standards, we offer an enhanced curriculum in World Language, Math and the Fine Arts.
Our Talented and Gifted program (TAG), under the direction of Mrs. Margaret McNamara, is available to qualified students. All students are invited to participate in Science Fair, Catholic Challenge, and various other academic competitions and contests. Our instructional modalities include technology integration throughout the curriculum, group and project learning, cooperative learning, differentiated learning, direct instruction, and inquiry learning. We strive to help each student develop their own unique path to learning. We have crafted a safe and loving community that celebrates the growth of our students.
Blessed Pope John XXIII Academy is a total formation school! From our Tiny Blessing Pre-school to our Eighth Grade, we integrate Catholic values and teachings into every subject every day. Our daily Religion classes, taught by teachers who are Catechists, address the academic, sacramental, and spiritual preparation of our students. Students attend Mass monthly and on Holy Days and Priests from Our Lady of Lourdes, Saint Joseph’s, and the Augustinian Recollects provide monthly opportunities for our students to make Reconciliation. We believe that academic growth must be paralleled with spiritual growth to ensure the optimum development of our students. Blessed Pope John XXIII Academy students are the future of our society. We want that society to be founded upon the principles that Christ lived, for he is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
If you are looking for an educational alternative to your child’s present school, please consider our parish school, Blessed Pope John XXIII Academy. If you do not have a child who could attend our school, please consider being “an angel” to help someone who desires a Catholic education but cannot afford it. Please contact the Principal at 973-731-3503, for registration materials or to make a gift to help some deserving child.