Holy Family Academy of Van Zandt County will be starting classes for students in Pre-K through third grade this coming August in Canton. The school will serve the three Catholic parishes in Van Zandt County and those in nearby areas. Holy Family Academy will operate as an independent, nonprofit corporation governed by a board of five Catholic lay people. The school is not a parish-based school and does not receive financial support from any parish or the Diocese of Tyler.
Planning for the school began in July 2021, and Bishop Joseph Strickland blessed the school site in October 2022. Provisional accreditation with the Education Department of the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops is anticipated this coming August. As such, religious instruction at the school will be subject to the norms and vigilance of Bishop Strickland, according to the provisions of the Code of Canon Law. A local Catholic pastor will serve as spiritual adviser to the Board of Directors, and of course, the school will be open to students of all religious traditions.
The Board of Directors has been working closely with Dr. Darbie Safford, the superintendent of schools for the Diocese of Tyler, since last fall. Academic instruction will follow the approved curriculum of the Diocese of Tyler and reflect a traditional or classical approach to education. The goal is to develop strong basic skills for all students in reading, writing, math, and science, while discovering the wonder of God’s creation. The school will also offer parent education classes in a variety of topics, determined by the school’s Parent Advisory Committee, and take part in inter-faith dialogue and support community-wide prayer within the total Christian community.
The 10,400-square-foot school building was formerly a Baptist church center and has been under major renovation since last November. It now includes six large classrooms, a reception and office area, staff lounge and work area, a kitchen and lunch area, commons area, gymnasium, restrooms, and storage areas. The Pre-K and K-3 outdoor play areas will be fenced, and the overall facility will have controlled access. Building renovation and site development are still in progress.
The school will host a community-wide open house event in June to showcase the school facility and to introduce school staff. A major garage sale will be held in the school gymnasium on May 5-6.
Visit holyfamilyvzc.org for more information.