Onslow County Catholic School will provide secondary education

The Infant of Prague Catholic School will soon welcome pupils in grades 9-12 for the very first time and will be the only Catholic school in Onslow and surrounding counties to offer secondary education.

The Infant of Prague Catholic School is currently located at 501 Bordeaux Street in Jacksonville and has been open since the 1950s. Principal Jennifer Feldhaus said an increase in enrollment led to the need for another facility.

“When we started looking for another facility, we looked at mobile classrooms, we looked at expanding into our current campus footprint, but it was a double expansion,” Feldhaus said. . “We needed to add additional grade levels, which meant we needed another kindergarten class and another first grade class because we had so many students on waiting lists. But we also needed to add grades 9 through 12 in order to have a high school offer for our families in the area.

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That’s why the school bought a building on Anne Street, which Feldhaus says is perfect. The new campus will house students in grades 5 through 12, while the current campus will house kindergarten through fourth grade. Feldhaus added that the split will allow their current facilities to expand and have more classes.

“There has been great interest in a Catholic secondary school,” Feldhaus said. “The closest to us is in Greenville. When we look at high school options for our families in the area, our families want a quality education. They look for accredited schools and we maintain the same accreditation as Onslow. County Public Schools do.This means our teachers are licensed, there are ongoing improvements and processes, and our students will be able to graduate from North Carolina upon graduation.

Feldhaus said the increase in enrollment came not just from the Jacksonville community, but also from the military community and surrounding communities. She added that the school had families traveling from Sneads Ferry, Hampstead, Swansboro and others seeking the Catholic option in education.

The new campus is expected to open to students next August, according to Feldhaus. She said registration starts in February and takes place online.

“It’s a wonderful property,” Feldhaus said. “The Chapel is perfect as our students participate in the celebration of Mass and the building was previously used for a Sunday School program. Renovations include the expansion of classrooms and there is a change in occupancy to that it’s being brought up to code for school occupation. It’s very exciting.”

The new location for the expansion of the Infant of Prague Catholic School in Jacksonville.  This new building will house students from grades 5 to 12.
One of the rooms in the new building of the Infant of Prague school which will soon be transformed.

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Feldhaus said there are many reasons why enrollment is up, but one of the biggest factors is the North Carolina Opportunity Scholarship. According to the North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority, the scholarship is a program that helps families who earn below a certain income pay for tuition and fees at participating non-public or private schools.

Infant Of Prague is one such school.

“We see where now, Catholic schools and private schools that weren’t an option for families before, it’s in their consideration,” Feldhaus explained. “And we often see that with first-time parents, those parents who are starting school with their kindergarten. They’re looking for an education in a safe space.”

For those interested in learning more about Infant of Prague and keeping up to date with progress on the new campus, visit their website, Facebook page, or call 910-455-0838.

“The expansion of Infant of Prague Catholic School to include secondary classrooms and additional elementary classrooms will truly provide families in our community, as well as surrounding communities, with access to quality Catholic education and long-term,” Feldhaus said.

Journalist Morgan Starling can be reached at [email protected]

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