It was an early September day in 1980 when Holy Family Regional School (HFRS) welcomed its first students to a new school formed by a group of parents looking for quality Catholic education for their children. Since then, the school community has grown to become a two-campus educational home for students in Young 5 through eighth grade. Students in Young 5 through third grade attend class at the North Campus in Rochester and students in grades four through eight, attend class at the South Campus in Rochester Hills. Holy Family Regional School serves as the largest elementary school in the Archdiocese of Detroit.
“Both campuses provide a unique culture,” says Principal Jon Myers. “At the North Campus, the teachers, administration and staff are able to interact with the children and their expectations are always age-appropriate. At the South Campus, we create an environment where students can become a little more independent. It’s really beautiful to see.”
The HFRS community is excited to celebrate its 40th anniversary this fall and honor the many families who have supported and nurtured the school over the decades. “As we head into our 40th-year celebration, the strength of our families’ commitment to Catholic education is why we continue to be so successful,” says Myers. “It’s really a strong community of loving friendships built by committed parents and their children.”
That inclusive feeling is exactly what Jeanette Izzi felt when her children started attending HFRS. “As a kindergarten mom, I was in awe of the women around me who volunteered as Eucharistic ministers and were sharing the body of Christ during a school Mass. I wanted to rise to the challenge and join them, and I did. Volunteerism is the heart of our school community,” Izzi says. She was an HFRS parent for 12 years, and then joined the staff as Director of Enrollment.
Academic excellence and religious formation
Built on a foundation of academic excellence, HFRS prides itself on the ability to meet the educational needs of each student. “Our dedicated teachers do a phenomenal job with classroom instruction, incorporating differentiated learning, challenging students to do the best they can. We incorporate technology widely and every student has a one-to-one device, such as a Chromebook,” Myers says.
HFRS engages students in a faith-filled, loving learning environment that challenges and prepares them to be active disciples in their communities.
Faith formation is an integral part of every school day at HFRS. Students start their day with prayer, attend Mass regularly, take part in the sacraments and participate in religion class. Additional faith formation activities, including grade level service projects and prayer services, serve to deepen relationships with Christ.
The solid foundation supports students long after they graduate from HFRS. Students go on to attend various Catholic and public high schools.
“We are always excited to see our students succeed in high school,” Izzi says. “It is a proud moment when our alumni are recognized as valedictorians and scholars of distinction upon graduation.”
Equally important are those acknowledged for being a true representation of HFRS. “Our alumni are leaders, faith-filled and mindful of others,” Myers says. When students leave HFRS and go out into the world, they are well prepared academically and spiritually. “Their communities provide glowing reports,” Myers continues. “We often hear, ‘It’s easy to tell which students attended Holy Family.'”
Life-long service to others
Students have ample opportunities to participate in many enrichment programs but perhaps more importantly, every HFRS student gives back to the community through service initiatives. Younger students read or sing to local senior citizens, they also make rosaries to share. Intermediate students write thank you letters to military service members and make toys for animals at the Michigan Humane Society. Middle school students take part in spring clean-ups through Angels’ Place, where an entire class will wash windows, cut grass or weed a garden. Students also visit The Solanus Casey Center in Detroit, connecting with patrons through lunchtime conversations. “The fact that we are faith-based means the service portion is so important,” Myers explains. “It’s truly part of the mission of the school to experience faith formation and service to others. Our students become disciples of Christ, His hands and feet, by serving others.”
HFRS is looking forward to the 40th Anniversary weekend in September to celebrate with alumni, current students, families, faculty and staff. It’s exciting to have the opportunity to welcome newcomers to the educational community, recognizing that the school, its supporters and volunteers, grow stronger with each new family that joins the fold. “When welcoming new families to our school, I speak from the heart,” Izzi says. “We are more than just a school community, we are a family, a holy family. I am a better person for having been a part of this family.”
Content brought to you by Holy Family Regional School. Learn more at holyfam.org, or contact the Enrollment Department at 248-218-4554.