History of St. Mary Magdalen School

Since 1963, Saint Mary Magdalen School has been offering the highest quality Catholic Education to the families and children of Oakville, Connecticut and the surrounding towns. This is the story of Parish and School community that is dedicated to provide the “best” in Catholic Education to meet the needs of the children and families it serves.

Originally established in 1957 by the Sisters of Charity of Saint Louis as a Catechetical center and kindergarten with six classrooms and an administrative office, St, Mary Magdalen then was reorganized as a junior high. Grade Six was opened in 1963 and Kindergarten was discontinued. Grades Seven and Eight followed in 1964 and 1965 respectively. The first eighth grade class graduated in 1966. The sisters remained at the school until 1981 at which time the first lay principal was hired.

In 1983, the first school board was established and their plan was to expand the original building to accommodate a shift to a Kindergarten through a Grade Eight Elementary School. SMMS was able to establish the area’s first full day kindergarten in September of 1984. The school was able to add additional grades each year. During the 1990s the Junior High Model was phased out and the school shifted to a full elementary program. Also during this time financial challenges led to increase parent responsibility for school funding and the end of a parish subsidy.

Growing steadily, in 1993 pre-school classes were added to meet the needs of parents to provide a nurturing and religious education for three and four year olds. A building expansion was started in 1995 to allow the completion of a Pre-Kindergarten through Grade Eight School. In 1997 SMMS graduated its first class of students to attend from Kindergarten through Grade Eight.

Beginning in 2000, the school continued to grow spiritually, academically and physically. The school was able to provide “state of the art” technology opportunities for children from Pre-K to Grade Eight. A building expansion in 2002 saw the addition of an outdoor pavilion to provide a protected venue for school and parish activities.

In 2006, the school embarked on its most aggressive project – to expand the building to include an expanded early education center, a library/media center, a gymnasium, and additional offices and classrooms. Ground was broken in February 2007 and the school succeeded in raising $1.2 million. The expanded pre-school program opened in September of 2008 and the gymnasium was used for the first time in December of 2008 for our annual Christmas program.

St. Mary Magdalen continues to provide the finest in Catholic Education to our students. SMMS has a vibrant pre-school program that includes dedicated Pre-K 3 and Pre-K 4 classrooms. Art, Music, Physical Education and Spanish are provided by specialized instructors. An intervention teacher collaborates with classroom teachers to provide support. Programs include Junior and Senior Choir, athletic teams, band, clubs, and a Summer Camp for SMMS students. We have a digital media resource room that include IPads and Chromebooks, a Fine Arts Room, a modern Science Lab, a TV Editing Studio with the ability to broadcast live to classrooms and the community, and a modern playground complete with trike track, playscape, and basketball court.