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Growth for Our Youngest Learners

At the beginning of this school year, RCS celebrated a seven percent increase in enrollment, and our system continues to prepare for growth in the years ahead. This growth includes expansion of The Nest Preschool, with programs available at all five RCS locations beginning in the fall of 2022.

In addition to exciting new offerings among the three current locations, The Nest will also launch programs at the two other RCS campuses, Lourdes High School and the Co-Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist Middle School.

Lourdes will offer an innovative nature-based option for four and five-year-olds that is the first of its kind in Rochester. The Pre-Kindergarten curriculum will encompass learning and exploration that takes place through an outdoor play yard and garden area, as well as access to the St. Mary's University Cascade Meadows Wetlands adjacent to Lourdes.

“This program teaches our children how we are a part of God's astounding creation and that our role is to care for the many gifts God lovingly gives. It will incorporate nature, environmental, and animal sciences as well as STREAM activities,” said Preschool Teacher Rebecca Fratzke who, with Principal Mary Spring, is making preparations for the program at Lourdes.

The Co-Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist will provide an all-day program for ages three through five. The school has a childcare classroom that is used during Mass on the weekends and is fully equipped for the new preschool class. 

“The preschool expansion will help fill a need in the community. We believe there are many families that work downtown, and the location is very close to their workplace,” said Matt Langsdale, RCS Director of Academics and Principal at the Co-Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist.

New offerings at the current Nest locations will include an Early Preschool program for two-year-olds, which will be located at Holy Spirit Catholic School. Also, an all-day program for four and five-year-olds will be added at St. Francis of Assisi School. St. Pius X School will continue to provide programs for three, four, and five-year-olds.

RCS is eager to introduce these expanded options for The Nest, voted the Best Preschool in Rochester for two years in a row. Preparations are underway systemwide and include renovations to classrooms and other spaces in some of our school buildings.

Our schools are able to facilitate the growth of The Nest Preschool through the generous support of our community from the RCS Day of Giving this past February. The expansion allows RCS to offer more young learners an exceptional educational foundation in a school-based environment that aligns with the needs and values of families.

“Young families are seeking educational opportunities that are an extension of what they are teaching in their homes. Our parents are being intentional in studying preschool offerings and asking questions on curriculum, diversity, health and wellness, safety, and faith,” said Monica Steinmetz, Director of Admissions. “It is our goal to partner with parents throughout the educational journey of their child, beginning with the most formative years in preschool.”

Families with children of all ages are invited to a fun community event, hosted by RCS, featuring Tricia and the Toonies on June 7. The event is free and will provide opportunities to learn more about The Nest. For more information or to RSVP for the event, visit rcsmn.org/thenest.