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St. Pat's celebrates Catholic Schools Week

Maria Annen, Henry Burns, Catherine Stewart and Abbi Faust take a break from tubing during CSW sno-tubing last year.

Next week St. Patrick School students, parents, faculty and staff will celebrate Catholic Schools Week. Catholic Schools Week, the annual celebration of Catholic schools and their contribution to their communities and the nation, is set for Jan. 29 through Feb. 4. The theme this year is "Faith, Academics. Service," which highlights the mission of Catholic schools to provide a faith-based education that stresses the importance of service while preparing students for future success. Over 2 million students attend the nearly 7,000 elementary, middle and secondary Catholic Schools in the U.S. Across the country, these schools will observe the week with special activities and Masses.

St. Patrick School will join in the celebration with special events planned throughout the week. All are welcome to attend a school open house on Sunday, Jan. 29, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. A soup and pie social will be held after the open house, from noon - 2:30 p.m. in the St. Patrick School gym. Events during the week will include a prayer service, a celebration Mass with students from all the Catholic Schools of St. Croix County, a parent/student lunch day, and a fun day of tubing at Badlands Sno-Park.

The first St. Patrick School in Hudson was dedicated in 1889. The two and a half story red brick building was constructed at a cost of $7,000. It was located on the east side of Fourth Street, between St. Croix and River streets, the site of the present St. Patrick School. Prior to construction of the school, classes had been taught at the church.

First teachers at the school were the Sisters of St. Francis of La Crosse. In 1905 the Fond du Lac based Sisters of St. Agnes took charge of teaching at the school, an association that lasted nearly eighty-five years. The original St. Patrick School building was razed in 1953 to make room for a new school building that in addition to classrooms included a gymnasium, kitchen and convent. In 1966, another 11,000 square feet of classroom space was added on the north side of the existing structure. In 2002 another addition provided eight new classrooms, a cafeteria/multipurpose room, storage and an activity/band room. Also that year, the portion of the school built in 1953 was gutted and renovated to house a new main office, a music room, an art room, a new media center, a computer room, and new kindergarten and kindergarten readiness classrooms.

Today there are over 300 students in grades pre-kindergarten - eighth grade attending St. Patrick School.