What do you think sets St. Patrick–St. Vincent Catholic High School apart from other schools in the Solano area?
St. Patrick–St. Vincent Catholic High School (SPSV) has been serving Solano County for nearly 150 years, with that comes rich traditions that we honor and strong ties to the Solano community. Many of our alumni and student families go back several generations and include prominent families and individuals that helped establish the Vallejo/Benicia/Fairfield area. Throughout all of these generations, we’ve challenged our students to seek the truth, to share their gifts with others, and to be responsible citizens.
What does it mean to be a Catholic High School?
As a Catholic High School SPSV’s home is the Catholic Diocese of Sacramento, and as part of the larger Church community we are anchored in the traditions of the Dominican Sisters and the Congregation of the Irish Christian Brothers--the religious orders that founded the two schools that became St. Patrick–St. Vincent Catholic High School. Students attending SPSV, regardless of their faith background, have the opportunity to develop a deeply personal relationship with God, understand Catholic teachings, and participate in Catholic liturgy and prayer. As a result, our student body lives out the social and moral teachings of the Church by advocating for one another and the community as service-minded men and women of character and faith.
How is diversity important to the identity of St. Patrick–St. Vincent Catholic High School?
At SPSV we celebrate all types of diversity within our Catholic community. Members of all faith backgrounds are welcomed to attend SPSV. It is a part of our mission to enrich the lives of non-Catholic students with new experiences in spirituality, community, and social justice, as these students, in turn, enrich our school. Furthermore, we pride ourselves on serving students of all racial, ethnic and economic backgrounds, whether they are from the Diocese of Sacramento, the surrounding counties, or even from abroad.
In addition, our academic programs are inclusive and support a wide range of learning styles and needs. Some students will enter with a strong scholastic history; others will need additional academic and social support in order to deepen their development. All students have the opportunity to draw on the faith, knowledge and strength of our teachers, counselors, and staff to define and achieve success.
How does St. Patrick–St. Vincent Catholic High School help develop well-rounded individuals?
Our faculty, staff and I strongly encourage students to get involved in our impactful Campus Ministry program, our large roster of athletic teams, our wide variety of school clubs, and our vibrant visual and performing arts community. We consider these opportunities as a way to deepen and complete the high school education experience. They help all of our students find their place in our community. There truly is some way for each student to express themselves and discover their talents at SPSV.
What do you think incoming families are most surprised to discover about student life at SPSV?
I think some families that are new to Catholic education or new to the Solano area may initially come to SPSV because they are looking for a safe place to send their kids. Not to say that we don’t pride ourselves in the physical and emotional safety of the students, but families are often surprised to learn the value of choosing SPSV goes far beyond a safe environment. Families new to Catholic education discover the personal attention that each student receives and the relationship we create in order to help them reach their full potential. When they see our new makerspace, our school garden, learn about our retreats or Visual and Performing Arts program and the breadth of all of our co-curricular activities, we raise the expectation for the whole family of what this high school experience will lead to here at SPSV and in their future.
You mention safety as a reason some families apply or choose SPSV, in the wake of recent school tragedies and scandals how do the staff at SPSV and the Diocese of Sacramento work to protect the students?
We have several levels of protection to provide a safe environment for our students to learn and grow. To start, every faculty and staff member has to complete a full DOJ background check completed by LiveScan, before anyone is allowed to work or volunteer on campus they complete an extensive online training course which is renewed every three years. The program provided by the Diocese of Sacramento called Safe Haven and you can learn more about it on their website. We routinely practice earthquake and fire drills, active shooter scenarios, and instill an “if you see something, say something” culture that encourages all students to advocate for themselves and others whether they are here or in other activities in the community. Creating a culture that recognizes the human dignity of each member begins with instilling in the students a sense of value and an appreciation for the talents and gifts they have to share and a true appreciation for their classmates. We cannot promise our process is perfect, but we are diligent in our efforts to secure everyone’s physical and emotional safety.
How can families learn more about St. Patrick–St. Vincent Catholic High School and whether it is right for their student(s)?
If you are considering applying to St. Patrick–St. Vincent Catholic High School, please explore our website to discover more about life at the school and the process for entering. But don’t stop there, contact our Admissions Department to request a tour or our registrar to set up a Shadow Day on our campus. The school directory is here. Students applying from overseas can get more information here.