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Star of the Sea Makes the Grade

Some area residents think that the students at Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic School have more than others, but that's a misconception, says Sister Anne Landry, the school's principal.

"Sometimes people have the impression of a prize-winning school like this one as a school for the elite. But that's not true. Everyone is welcome," she said.

That's one of the reasons the U.S. Department of Education has recognized Star of the Sea as a "Blue Ribbon School." The honor recognizes private or religious schools that perform academically in the Top 10 percent among their counterparts throughout the country. But the school's diversity also was a plus.

English is not the primary language spoken at home for a number of students at Our Lady Star of the Sea. That could be viewed as a disadvantage but not at this school. It has made strides toward closing or narrowing the achievement gap. In a statement, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said the work of Blue Ribbon Schools "reflects the conviction that every child has promise and must receive a quality education."

Our Lady Star of the Sea is one of six Catholic schools in the Diocese of Bridgeport to receive the recognition, and it is among 50 private schools in the country to be so honored.

The curriculum at the kindergarten through Grade 5 school consists of reading, math, languages, arts and daily instruction in religion. Prekindergarten classes focus on prereading, prewriting, speaking and listening skills, motor abilities and social skills. Landry credits the teachers and parents — and the students themselves — for the school's success.

The students' thought and creativity can be seen throughout the school's hallways, where class work is posted along the walls.

"This is a wonderful school," said Landry. "I'm always in amazement when I walk through the halls."

The school is holding its fall fair, a major fundraiser, on school grounds today from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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