The school is a caring community that embodies the Gospel of Jesus Christ and teaches the faith and practices of the Catholic Church.
An educational ministry of the Diocese of Fall River, the school serves students and families of all faiths across Cape Cod, the Islands, and southeastern Massachusetts who seek distinctive co-educational middle and high school Catholic education. Through strong relationships and worthy example, the school recognizes students’ gifts, develops their potential, and inspires their pursuit of truth through faith and reason.
Our school embraces the teaching of the Catholic Church, which recognizes parents as the primary educators of their children. As such, it is important to articulate the mission, philosophy, and vision of the school so that parents can understand our approach and determine if the school best fits their family goals. Our school philosophy is based on five fundamental values.
A Community of Care and Concern
School culture and environment are premised on the idea that people learn best through relationships that are positive, encouraging, respectful, and professional. Therefore, the school retains qualified faculty and staff members capable of forming healthy relationships marked by mutual respect and shared goals.
Full Personhood under God
From Grade Five through Grade Twelve, we know that our most important charge is the full human formation of our students, who are created in the image and likeness of God. Such formation requires a program of intellectual, spiritual, physical, and social-emotional experiences that help students realize their worth and the central role of God in their creation, lives, and destiny.
Students deserve both robust academic challenges and robust support to meet them. The school offers a thoughtfully-developed curriculum based on the Catholic liberal arts tradition and inclusive of evolving STEAM approaches. When expectations are set high, and relationships of respect prevail, students tend to meet those expectations. In equal measure, support and appropriate accommodations are provided for student success.
Opportunities to Grow and Thrive
The school’s philosophy of challenge and support is equally operative in the athletic, performance, artistic, and other co-curricular endeavors. Students are provided opportunities and encouraged to explore new dimensions of themselves in an environment designed for appropriate risk-taking and growth. We believe in maximizing options and activities so that students are not “waiting in line” and as a result, more readily grow through new endeavors.
Spiritual Life and Christian Service
The school program is rooted in the Catholic Faith. We strive to know, love, and serve God, as Jesus taught, through prayer, worship, and service. In order to educate the whole child truly and to live our pilgrim journey on earth, developing habits of prayer, regular worship at Mass, and meaningful acts of Christian service are of ultimate value. Through prayer, worship, and service, students develop their spiritual dimension, actively engage with other persons in need, and prepare for their ultimate destiny.
St. John Paul II School is a Catholic, co-educational, 5-12 school marked by authentic Catholic Faith, excellence in programming, and strong relationships amongst students, families, and the school. St. John Paul II School maintains a stable enrollment of 450-500 students from Cape Cod, the Canal region, and the south shore area.
JPII appreciates the God-given dignity and potential for growth inherent in each student. Founded on a core, school-wide program of study skills and the traditional “liberal arts” values of speaking, reading, and writing, JPII students will branch out to specialized and individualized programs in sciences, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics. The school’s commitment to personal growth and development, seen especially in it’s three-year “Leadership Sequence,” is recognized as a signature program. Students meet the challenges of a preparatory education through individual student services, an inclusive faculty culture, and strong communication between home and school.
JPII’s campus ministry program and Theology classes transmit the truths of the Faith while guiding students to appropriate an authentic Christian vision for their lives through service, prayer, and reflection (“ever ancient, ever new”). The school’s sacramental life, Christian witness on campus, and local and global Christian service are evident and vibrant.
Lions athletics programs achieve on and off the field. “Off the field,” mission-driven, dedicated coaches lead student-athletes in prayer, worship, and Christian service. “On the field,” experienced coaches instill a culture of commitment and competitiveness while developing student-athletes who desire college-level play. The athletics staff minimizes injury. Field improvements to the school’s modest footprint enhance the program.
Recognizing that action and expression are fundamental to the human person, music, performance, and visual arts hold a privileged place at the school. The school’s performing arts and visual arts enjoy wide participation and community acclaim.
Enrollment and retention remain healthy due to the school’s mission, reputation, ability to provide financial aid scholarships, and focused efforts of the admissions team. The school’s annual development revenue helps bridge the gap between the actual cost to educate a JPII student and the school’s tuition rates. JPII supporters help secure financial aid funds so that all families seeking a JPII education see that it is achievable for them.
St. John Paul II School is recognized Cape-wide for its traditional, transcendent values and high-communication, caring culture.
“…this profile describes a real, lived description of the skills, qualities, attitudes, and knowledge resulting from the St. John Paul II School educational experience.”
Consider the following description a profile of the St. John Paul II School graduate. Not an idealized vision of the “perfect” students, but rather this profile describes a real, lived description of the skills, qualities, attitudes, and knowledge resulting from the St. John Paul II School educational experience.
The profile is comprised of five key facets of the human person; Intellectual Formation, Character Formation, Leadership, Christian Service, and Catholic Faith.
Catholic education on Cape Cod emerged in the 1990s and became fully established in the new century’s first decade.
As a result of the vision of founding pastor Rev. Edward J. Byington, St. Francis Xavier Preparatory School opened its doors in September 1996 to students in grades five through eight. In 2007, the long-standing dream of Cape Catholic secondary education became a reality as Bishop George W. Coleman dedicated Pope John Paul II High School in September 2007. Separately, St. Francis Xavier Preparatory School and Pope John Paul II High School established strong academics, arts, athletics, and spiritual life. “SFXP” and “PJP” grew in enrollment and reputation.
In 2013, Bishop Coleman unified the schools as one, grades 5-12 school administered by the Diocese of Fall River. In the ensuing years, identities previously separate grew together through shared programs, resources, staff members, students, and families. In 2021, the school adopted the name “St. John Paul II School” for the entire Grades 5-12 institution.
St. John Paul II School is accredited by the New England Association of Schools & Colleges (NEASC).