St. Saviour

St Saviour Elementary School Struggles With Decision

In Take Action Now on May 31, 2009 at 11:45 am

St. Saviour Elementary School is located at 701 8th Avenue in Park Slope Brooklyn. It’s a school that just recently celebrated its 100th anniversary. It is fully enrolled, has an excellent academic record, and is financially solvent. Considering the state of Catholic Schools in Brooklyn, this is a major accomplishment in itself. Mr. James Flanagan has been the principal for 26 years. He’s a strong leader and well loved by his staff. He’s due to retire in four (4 ) years which makes this whole needless divisive episode all the more troubling to the parents. The school has strong alumni support and relies on fund raising to refurbish and renovate the school, including a large sum of money that was recently raised by an independent group called Friends of St. Saviour to replace the out-dated library with a comfortable and modern new facility. The one constant has been James Flanagan, who has served as principal at St. Saviour’s for the past 26 years.

There is a lot of energy and support in the community for the school and Principal Flanagan’s contributions cannot be underestimated. The school is not a drain on the Church’s finances. It makes one wonder, what the real driving force behind this decision is? Fr. Murphy’s decision is even more troubling given the fact that he has openly admitted to having not stepped foot in the School for over two years and earlier this year, when asked directly by a parent why he doesn’t visit the school, advised that he doesn’t go to the school because it “drains” him.

Faced with the continued non-responsiveness of the Diocese, the parents have now begun to hold peaceful protests in front of Saint Saviour’s rectory between 1:00 PM and 2:30 PM to let the public know what is going on. See “Dates and Times” in lower left box of homepage.

Note: Bishop Caggiano has started to respond to parents and has stated he has no authority over this situation. As a result, it appears only the Bishop can intervene.


  1. Originally printed in the 2007 Historic Journal Celebrating Past, Present, and Future of St. Saviour Elementary School

    Standing The Test of Time
    By Gail Harvey, Assistant Principal
    As we celebrate St. Saviour School’s birthday, we reflect upon all the wonderful elements that enrich it every day. With a thriving enrollment of 445 students and a waiting list for potential new enrollees, St. Saviour equips its students with the educational tools needed for the future. This wonderful institute of learning affords the students excellent opportunities to enrich their knowledge and utilize their potential to their fullest capacities. Following the guidelines and standards of the New York Department of Education, our students perform well on standardized tests, meeting state standards and exceeding them. We are proud to say that one-third of our graduates attain scholarships to fine schools.
    Our students in Grades 5-8 have the privilege of studying French, and Grades K-8 attend computer classes to supplement the curriculum and strengthen technological skills. Some of our eighth grade students have earned the privilege of attending French classes in St. Saviour High School and studying literature with the principal, Mr. Flanagan. St. Saviour also offers enrichment opportunities through an electives program in Grades 6-8 that offers such courses as Chorus, Drama, Art, Chess, Robotics, Word Puzzles, Debate, Scrap Booking and Newsletter. Our school was also one of the pioneer schools to offer a gifted program, the Explorers of Learning, that is affiliated with the diocesan Aquinas Program. For the past twenty years, this program of study has challenged students to research such topics as the history of Central Park, presidential inaugurations, global warming, landmarks of Park Slope, immigration, the medieval world, the papacy and novel comparisons. The results of their study projects were displayed and reviewed at the Diocesan Expo in May 2006, receiving cheers and applause.

    There are many spiritual activities to enrich the soul as well. The students attend Mass weekly, serve as faithful altar servers and lectors, participate in morning prayer and seasonal prayer services and help raise needed funds for worthwhile causes such as Bright Christmas, aid to Darfur and Doctors Without Borders. Our Confirmandi are involved in service projects to assist the needy and those in the hospital. Our students are learning to live the Bible and not just read it. St. Saviour School enriches and enables the spiritual, academic and social lives of the students so that they can become the very best they can be.

  2. “Looking Forward: Stepping into the Future”
    By James J. Flanagan, Principal
    A passage originally published in the program of the 2007 Centennial Celebration of St. Saviour Elementary School
    As we at Saint Saviour Elementary School look to the future, many wonderful visions come into view. We see the Class of 2007, a group of wonderful boys and girls, joining recent graduates and continuing the wonderful education they received at Saint Saviour. We see these young men and women and classes following them going into the future prepared to make a difference in a world starving for dignity, caring and competence.
    Our students will continue to learn that God loves them with an everlasting love. They will continue to be carefully prepared for Holy Communion, First Penance and Confirmation. They will continue attending weekly Mass to deepen their appreciation of this powerful prayer. Their Religion lessons, taught by competent and dedicated faculty, will provide them with a solid knowledge of their faith.
    Our teachers will continue to prepare their students for the challenges of the business world. Our teachers will continually work on integrating technology into their daily lessons. Our state-of-the-art Computer Laboratory will serve as a resource for teachers and students, who more and more will take charge of their technological learning. Our staff will be focusing on meeting the varied learning styles present in each class.
    Our Home School Executive Board will continue to lead our parents in attaining a proper sense of ownership of our school. The Board will lead our parents in becoming appropriately involved in their children’s learning through enthusiastic support of our dedicated teachers, who challenge our students to be all that they can be.
    Our Alumni Association will be revitalized by the Reunion Gala. An annual Alumni Day will occur in the very near future highlighting various years at a time. The school will welcome contact and visits by our alumni.
    Our students will remain the happy children of God that the teachers and I encounter daily. They make coming to school a worthwhile and joyful experience.

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