City Lifestyle

Want to start a publication?

Learn More

Featured Article

Saint James School

It Takes a Village

For this month's Open House, we visit Saint James School in Basking Ridge, a Catholic, co-educational school serving students from Pre-K through 8th grade. Saint James has developed a reputation for having a strong academic program while also integrating exciting initiatives to enhance learning.

The robotics program at Saint James School was adopted to enrich the educational experience. Earlier this school year the fourth graders spent months diligently working on their own robots and learning the basics of coding, which culminated in the creation of walking robots. By instilling creativity, encouraging teamwork and fostering an ability to turn frustration into innovation, the Robotics Program helps prepare students for a demanding future.

Peer mentoring has become a cornerstone of the school. Younger students are paired with middle school students and the pairs work together on projects focused on S.T.R.E.A.M.—Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Art and Math—principles. This collaboration teaches students how to work and listen to each other. It gives the younger students a broader perspective of the world and allows the older students to take pride in being role models.  

Saint James focuses on developing character through their weekly “Hearts on Fire” virtue education curriculum. Students learn about and discuss a virtue, such as respect, kindness, honesty, patience, and self-control. Every week a student from each class is recognized for most exemplifying the virtue being studied.

 "Academic excellence is certainly a priority at Saint James. Because we are a faith-based, Catholic school, we also place an emphasis on teaching our students about God, stress ‘how’ to live our faith in words and actions, accentuate the practice of kindness and compassion, and create an environment that is safe and nurturing,” says the school's director, Sr. Joann Aumand.

Students are also encouraged to embrace a life of service and each class completes a student-led service project. 

“It is so important that we teach our students to be sensitive to the needs of others and to live a life that responds positively to those needs,” says Principal Sue Florendo.

The school is blessed with an active and supportive parish and Home School Association that works closely with the school to organize events and raise funds. Each year the graduating class receives an average of $400K in scholarships to attend the top private high schools in the state. 

The Saint James Parish pastor, Monsignor Sylvester Cronin, sees the close relationship between the Church and school, "It is often said that it takes a village to raise a child. In much the same way, the success of Saint James School is the result of the hard-working parents, alumni, and parish."

Schedule a tour at​​​​​​​