HISTORY OF ST. VINCENT DE PAUL SCHOOL
His Excellency Bishop Albert L. Fletcher dedicated St. Vincent de Paul Parochial School (SVDP), the first and only Catholic school in Benton County, on October 29, 1957. Support for children and education by St. Vincent de Paul Church is evident by the 1992 completed construction project, which expanded the physical facility to include six additional classrooms, a gymnasium/auditorium, kitchen, cafeteria, and new administrative offices. Eight additional classrooms were added for the 2004-05 school year.
The school is built on a 7.5 acre plot (on the corner of 13th and Cypress Streets) in Rogers, Arkansas. The opening of the school was the culmination of four years of planning and fund-raising by the St. Vincent de Paul parish headed by Father Joseph N. Doyle. The original school facility consisted primarily of a parish hall, which was used as the church for a time, and four classrooms. In 1980, under the auspices of Pastor Monsignor John E. Murphy, an addition of approximately 5,340 square feet, designed for use as classroom space, was added to the initial 8,700 square feet.
St. Vincent de Paul School opened on September 3, 1957, with an enrollment of 50 students from throughout Benton County in grades one through eight. From 1957 through 1985, enrollment fluctuated from 47 to 102 students. In 1966, grades seven and eight were discontinued. Kindergarten was added in 1981. The seventh grade was reinstated at the beginning of the 1996-97 school year when the Rogers Public Schools adopted the middle school format for 6th and 7th grades. St. Vincent de Paul added an 8th grade in the Fall of 2008. Currently, the school serves approximately 330 students.
Two Benedictine Sisters from St. Scholastic Convent in Fort Smith initially staffed the school: Sr. Ann Michele and Sr. Rita Rose. Over the years, St. Vincent's has been blessed with many religious staff and school administrators. In May 1984, the Benedictine Sisters of St. Scholastica were honored for their many years of service with a Day of Recognition. In 1984, under the direction of Monsignor Murphy and Father Francis Malone, SVDP made the transition from a religious faculty and staff to an all-lay faculty and staff. A new era for St. Vincent's began.
Today, St. Vincent's continues to serve St. Vincent de Paul Church and Benton County with quality Catholic education. The school boasts a qualified and certified staff, an active Parent/Teacher Organization (PTO), a dedicated school board, up-to-date curriculum, an average 20:1 student-teacher ratio, a designated computer lab, classroom computers, smart boards, audio-visual equipment including flat screen TV/DVD, video and digital cameras, graphing calculators, a growing library, classes for enrichment and remediation, full-day Kindergarten, a Pre-Kindergarten program, a daily hot-lunch program, a climate-controlled environment, and a large playground and recreational area.
St. Vincent's most important contribution to its students is the Christ-centered atmosphere that enhances a quality academic environment. Children participate in prayer throughout the day, receive daily instruction in religion, and are provided opportunities to attend Masses and to receive the Sacraments.
St. Vincent de Paul School is an integral part of the parish it serves. As an extension of the family, the school seeks to develop young men and women of faith and endurance who have the courage to seek out and follow the truth. The school does this by giving students a quality Christ-centered, value-oriented Catholic education.