Over the years, Lacordaire Academy has been recognized for its academic excellence and offering a values based curriculum that encourages every student to reach his or her potential. After 98 years, Lacordaire still boasts a challenging curriculum that continues to meet the needs of our students, however, the delivery of the curriculum and classroom resources have evolved. Teacher centered practices have been replaced with inquiry and project based learning, and every classroom has the latest technology and access to WiFi. Initiatives such as Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (S.T.E.M.) and S.T.E.A.M. (just add an A for Arts) incorporate all the latest best practices as dictated by the latest educational research. Our tradition of a values based, challenging college preparatory curriculum and our belief that all students can reach their potential and find success have remained constant for nearly a century.
Philosophy: Lacordaire is still committed to the total development and education of its students, regardless of race, creed, ethnic or socio-economic status. We endeavor to unite our students in respect and concern for themselves and others. We hope that each student becomes strong in faith and spirituality and is prepared to share the Gospel message of peace and justice through example, word and service. We strive to assist in our students’ physical, emotional, and intellectual growth and are committed to developing lifelong learners who lead with conviction, compassion, and intelligence.
Fun Lacordaire Traditions: In addition to a rigorous curriculum, the Academy celebrates certain traditions that speak to Lacordaire’s sense of community, commitment to faith, the environment, and the Arts, as well as its desire to make learning fun!
One Acts: Juniors and Seniors compete in theatrics every fall in One Acts. Student performances include one comedy or dramatic piece and one musical selection. Performances are judged by theatre and performing arts faculty, but direction and staging of the production is entirely run by the students.
Mission Bazaar: The Upper School students work together to create a wonderful Christmas bazaar with games, prizes and great food. Each grade competes to raise the most money for a particular cause or charity and a portion of the money raised goes to that cause. This is a favorite tradition among the students and families of Lacordaire.
Christmas Pageant : Students in grade one re-enact John’s gospel during the Academy’s Christmas liturgy.
Christmas Play: Grades 5 and 6 perform a Christmas themed play each December. The production includes song, dance and colorful costumes.
Shakespeare Festival: Students in grades 7-8 read one Shakespeare play a year and then form Acting Guild that performs the comedy selected that year. They perform one or two scenes at Drew University as part of the Shakespeare competition.
Earth Day: Students participate in a day of hands on activities directed to learning about and safe guarding the environment.
Science Fair: Grades 3-8 participate in our annual Science Fair which further enhances their scientific awareness. Grades one and two complete class projects for the science fair. Judges who work in the field of science as reseachers, educators, chemists and the like judge students on their understanding of scientific concepts, creativity and knowledge of the science behind the project.
Intersession: This is a week at the end of January during which Upper School students take a break from traditional classroom settings. Students in grades 9 and 10 stay on campus and take courses in areas of their interest, such as French cuisine, Criminal Science Investigation, Film, Quilting and more. Students in grade 11 leave campus for an internship in a field that interests them, such as medicine, law, fashion, animation and education. Seniors work on internships or their Project Justice hours. (See campus ministry for details.)
Catholic Schools Week: This is a weeklong celebration of faith and education at the end of January. Activities include: Academic Bowls, Talent Show, Ring Ceremony, Special Crafts or Assemblies, Multicultural Banquet, Guest Speakers, Famous Biographies and Saints Presentation and a special liturgy.
Ring Ceremony: Grades 7 and 11 receive school rings during separate assembliesto which family and friends are invited. Students celebrate faith and school spirit.
Kindergarten Graduation: This special event marks the completion of Kindergarten. Students perform a short play complete with song. After the show, children don caps and receive diplomas. Then families watch a slide show of photos from the year.
Awards Day/Promotion: Certificates of promotion and special honors are presented on the last day of school at a school assembly. Eighth and Twelfth graders have special commencement ceremonies and related activities such as 8th grade liturgy, Baccalaureate mass and dinner.
Christmas and Spring Concerts- Family and friends are invited to these special musical evening events in which all students participate as part of our choral program. Grades 5-8 combine the Christmas play and concert. Students in grades Pre-K to 4 participate in the Spring musical and combine debuts from the dance program as well.
Spring Musical: Upper School girls try out, rehearse, and produce a Spring musical each year. Students work on stage crew and in custom clubs, as well as design and create sets for the production. Lacordaire has a strong tradition of excellence in the Arts and the musical is a large part of that tradition.
May Crowning: Second graders lead the Lower/Middle School in prayer and song following Lacordaire Academy’s celebration mass for second graders who received First Eucharist through their parish.
Math Activities: Students in Pre-K–8 participate in the math marathon, a day of math games and challenges to hone skills and develop higher level reasoning. Other special math days are World Math Day, Pi Day, 100th Day of School, and Math Super Bowl, which vary from year to year.
Olympic Day: Team play and athletic prowess provide a fun-filled day for students in grades Pre-K-8 in mid-May or early June.
Project Justice/Cap Stone Project – This is a graduation requirement for Upper School Seniors. Students complete service hours at various organizations including schools, food banks, nursing homes and special care facilities for people with disabilities. During the last week of school, seniors present on their experience as a student of the Academy and during Project Justice.
Blessing of the Animals: Students bring their pets to be blessed in front of the St. Francis garden.Student council leads the ceremony with prayer.
Rose Ceremony: Our seniors compose a brief note of appreciation and present their mothers with a rose as a token of love, respect and admiration of all that they do to support their daughters. This emotional evening is hosted in our Lacordaire chapel.
Sacramental Program: Students in second grade receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation in the convent. Although students are prepared to receive the Sacrament of First Eucharist, they must make that sacrament in their parishes. Later in May, Lacordaire recognizes our communicants with a special liturgy and celebration in the chapel of the Mother House.
Living Stations of the Cross: Students in grades 3 and 4 join our Preachers in narrating and performing the Stations of the Cross. This moving presentation reminds us of the sacrifice made on our behalf and connects each station to a young person’s life.
Big Brother/Big Sister: In the Lower/Middle School our Middle School boys and girls are paired with students from the Lower School. At the Halloween parade and picnic, Mission Bazaar, Earth Day Celebration and the Spring Barbeque, older students assist younger ones. Often our littlest students look for the “Big” during the day just to exchange hellos. In the Upper School Upper Classmen are paired with Freshmen and Sophomores so that there is always a friendly face to find in the crowd or a peer to go to for advice. This program helps to create the family atmosphere for which Lacordaire is known.