Letter from the Principal
I would like to welcome you to Holy Spirit Regional Catholic School, serving The Catholic Community of both Holy Spirit and Good Shepherd Catholic Churches.
Holy Spirit Regional Catholic School had humble beginnings as a four-classroom school in September of 1960; under the leadership of Reverend John A. McGonegle and staffed by the Sisters of Mercy. In the years since we have grown to over 450 students; which now includes classes ranging from 4 year old Pre-Kindergarten to eighth grade. We also offer a family-friendly atmosphere that promotes and encourages each child to fulfill his or her own potential.
We are staffed by certified professionals, many of whom hold Master Level Certification, this allows us to offer academic programs in excellence at both the Elementary and Middle School levels. Our students receive a solid, faith-filled, academically challenging foundation to prepare them to continue and encourage further studies throughout life.
We are very proud of our students’ accomplishments. Ninety percent of our students continue their secondary education at Saint John Paul II Catholic High School. Ninety-five percent of our graduates go on to post-secondary education; with many receiving scholarships at this level.
In holding with our mission statement, “to provide an education strongly rooted in Catholic values, reflecting each student’s unique qualities and promoting excellence in the whole person”, Holy Spirit Regional Catholic School also offers a range of excellent extracurricular activities and clubs. All of our students have the opportunity to participate in various service projects though-out the year, as a way to encourage compassion in service for others. Additionally, we hold our students to a higher level of expectation in their behavior and academic achievement, requiring all to uphold and adhere to The Honor Code.
Together we, parents, teachers and staff, will work to support and encourage the faith development of our students and their involvement with the Christian atmosphere that exists at our school. It is our desire to create a sense of belonging that will help nurture each child’s growth socially and academically; and help to create a sense of self-respect and accountability.
I invite you to explore this information packet to learn more about the Holy Spirit Regional Catholic School experience – a foundation of values that will endure a lifetime.
Beth Mattingly, Principal
Holy Spirit Regional Catholic School is one of two Catholic Elementary Schools in the city of Huntsville under the auspices of the Diocese of Birmingham. This school serves a highly technical and professional community, which expects quality in education: NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command, U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command, their sub-contractors, as well as many medical professionals. All of these entities and many more contribute to the expectations of educational excellence in Huntsville.
This is a private, non-profit, parochial school accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI) since 1998. In 2013 Holy Spirit Regional Catholic School was named a 2013 National Blue Ribbon School by the Department of Education. There are two classes per grade, kindergarten through eighth and one Pre-K class. Currently there is a student/teacher ratio of 22:1 with an average class size of twenty-four students. All twenty-nine faculty members hold a B.A. or B.S. degree and 42% hold a Master’s degree.
Holy Spirit Regional Catholic School has approximately 450 students. Currently 49% are male and 51% are female; 78% are Catholic, 22% are non-Catholic; 81% are Caucasian, and 19% are other. 79% of Holy Spirit School families are members of either Holy Spirit or Good Shepherd Parishes in Huntsville, Alabama.
The faculty and staff of this school emphasize a caring, disciplined environment fostering personal and academic growth. Each student is a child of God bestowed with gifts and talents; it is the purpose of this school to promote excellence in the whole person. Students are encouraged daily to practice self-discipline and responsibility. The school has many stakeholders. It is the combined efforts of these many stakeholders that allow the students at Holy Spirit Regional Catholic School to experience a living faith and academic success.
Accreditation is a voluntary method of evaluating, verifying, and improving an institution’s quality. Holy Spirit Regional Catholic School has been accredited since 1998 by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI). Founded in 1895, this organization accredits schools and school systems in 30 states, the Navajo Nation, the Department of Defense Schools and Latin America. Holy Spirit Regional Catholic School is a member of the Diocese of Birmingham, Alabama, a school system which stimulates and supports improvement and effectiveness throughout the system.
In order for schools to be accredited, each must meet high standards that are research-based and apply to all schools within the 30-state region. These schools must also engage in continuous improvement and demonstrate quality assurance through external review. “The standards require that a school has a clear vision and purpose; has effective and responsive leadership; has a rigorous curriculum taught through sound, research-based methods; collects, reports, and uses performance results; provides adequate resources and support for its educational programs; and values and communicates with its stakeholders.” Considering and applying the standards listed, the School’s Improvement Team (SIT) at Holy Spirit Regional Catholic School implements an ongoing improvement plan, Constructing Foundations for Spiritual and Academic Success.
The primary focus of the school’s Improvement Team is continuous school improvement. Since 1998, the SIT has been entrusted with the responsibility to ensure that Holy Spirit Regional Catholic School is in compliance with the standards imposed by SACS CASI, and to prepare and organize the school’s faculty and staff to update and write the school’s improvement plan. Hence the team meets regularly to review, critique, and update or revise actions implemented.
Promoted by SACS, the Diocese requires that the SIT evaluate the progress of the school’s continuous improvement using the Standardized Assessment Report (SAR) annually. Every five years, a quality review team (QAR) from the Diocese visits and recommends the school for re-accreditation.
For more information regarding SACS accreditation, please go to the accreditation web site.
Holy Spirit is a Blue Ribbon school! What is a Blue Ribbon school? A Blue Ribbon is an award given by the United States of Education, the highest honor an American school can achieve. In the U.S, there are over 132,000 schools with 286 elected each year for the Blue Ribbon Award. Holy Spirit was elected in 2013 for a National Blue Ribbon School.
The mission of Holy Spirit Regional Catholic School is to provide an education strongly rooted in Catholic Values, reflecting each student’s unique qualities and promoting excellence in the whole person.
Our vision is to challenge students to be faith-filled individuals as they discover and utilize their gifts and talents through academic success and service to others.
Holy Spirit Regional Catholic School opened in September 1960 under the leadership of Reverend John A. McGonegle, and was originally staffed by the Sisters of Mercy. Through the years additions were made to the original four-classroom school building. A kindergarten was added in 1978.
On November 15, 1989, a devastating tornado struck at 4:37 in the afternoon, destroying Holy Spirit Church and School. Holy Spirit Regional Catholic School was rebuilt and reopened. In August 1990 (exactly 30 years after the original school building was opened), a new, much larger school building was occupied.
Since that time there have been two more major additions to the school building. These consisted of 8 more classrooms, an auditorium, several meeting rooms and a youth room. In 2013 we opened our 1st Pre-School class for 4 year olds.
Today, enrollment is approximately 450 students with an average teacher to student ration of 22 to 1 for kindergarten through eighth grade and 18 to 2 for our 4yr old Pre-K.