Universal Pre-K at Saint Columbkille Creates Opportunities for Students

Since 1901, Saint Columbkille Partnership School (STCPS) has been a cornerstone of Catholic education in the Allston-Brighton community. The administration, teachers and staff continually create a welcoming and inclusive environment for learning. STCPS is the only lab school in Boston offering a preschool through Grade 8 Catholic education supporting cutting-edge approaches to teaching and learning in the humanities, the arts, and the sciences against the backdrop of the Catholic intellectual tradition.

Starting in the 2023-2024 school year, the school is hosting Universal Pre-K (UPK) seats for K1 students (age 4 by September 1). This new partnership provides tuition-free K1 seats for Boston residents; access for all STCPS families to additional resources, such as social-emotional services; and coaching and professional development for early childhood staff. 

The UPK partnership shows how STCPS is living out its mission to educate students of all backgrounds in an environment that cultivates respect, mutuality and care. Employing Jesuit pedagogy, the school further prepares children to live lives of faith, service, and leadership for the greater glory of God and the betterment of society.

 “We continually seek ways to better live out our mission, and the UPK partnership is an excellent example of our focus on our mission,” says Ms. Jennifer Kowieski, STCPS Head of School. “Our commitment to Catholic education remains the same: we are dedicated to providing a high-quality Catholic education to students of all backgrounds.”

Hosting UPK seats in K1 classrooms requires a high-quality curriculum for K1 students. The school has already been using some of the curricular programs required, including the Building Blocks math program, while the Focus on Pre-K literacy curricular program is new. Additional early childhood professional development opportunities, including coaching by an early childhood expert, are also available. K1 teachers have met with UPK curriculum consultants and coaches, and they will continue to engage in professional development.

Overall, the goal at STCPS is to support the development of each child’s academic skills, physical well-being, social-emotional skills, and faith. In addition to a rigorous academic curriculum, the school works hard to provide leadership opportunities, social and emotional skill development, and physical exercise. Students experience a learning environment that emphasizes inquiry, independence and self-discovery.

“By partnering with UPK, we are supporting the belief that every child has a strong early childhood foundation,” says Mrs. Rachel Rumely, Director of Enrollment and the school’s UPK liaison. “We are also helping families stay in Allston-Brighton by making early childhood education tuition-free for K1, as the cost of living in Boston continues to increase.” 

The STCPS partnership with UPK created 26 seats in K1 classrooms, all of which are filled for the 2023-2024 school year, and also includes a waitlist. One family, who planned to wait until K2 to enroll their child, chose to enroll their children in K1 thanks to the tuition break. The program is available city-wide and lays the groundwork for future years of high-quality education for all students.