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St. Mary School Crossroads Christian Elementary School garlic and onions they grew in the garden. The Kindergarteners grew oats, ground them into flour, and made pancakes for their entire class. “They can appreciate what goes into producing their food,” Esparza said. “It gives them a much bigger picture. Plus, it’s a great laboratory for science…all of those ideas are important for kids to understand.” One of Esparza’s favorite memories of her time at St. Catherine School happened during the garden’s construction phase. When it was time to add the topsoil, the delivery truck had no direct access to the garden, so thousands of pounds of dirt were deposited 15 feet away from the garden plot. It fell to Esparza to deliver the soil where it needed to be. As she began the arduous task, the recess bell rang. Students immediately rushed over to her, asking if they could help. “So pretty soon, you’ve got eighty or ninety kids helping you move dirt…we moved all of it,” Esparza said. “Those kids went home with dirty socks, and dirty shoes, but they contributed.” Although the Catholic Diocese of San José does not participate in national school rankings, students at St. Catherine take part in STAR testing. According to Esparza, “Forty-nine percent of our students score in the top quartile for reading, and sixty-three percent are in the top quartile for math.” Private schools like St. Catherine depend on tuition and donations to fund their operations. Esparza noted that the Pacifi c Point Christian School GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN school’s tuition, which is approximately $7400 per year, is the fifth lowest among San José diocese elementary schools. “We can do that because we have a full school, we run a tight ship, we have excellent fundraisers, and it all comes together,” Esparza said. For parents who want their children to be educated in a forward-thinking school grounded in Catholic values, St. Catherine of Alexandria School may be a good fit. St. Catherine of Alexandria School is accredited by WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges) and WCEA (Western Catholic Education Association) and follows the Diocese of San Jose and State of California education directives. St. Mary School St. Mary School was founded in 1871. Pamela Greteman joined the school as its principal in 2015. She knew she’d found her place the fi rst day she walked on campus. “I had students politely walk up to me, want to meet me, reach out their hands, introduce themselves,” Greteman said. She found it “astounding” to see such respectful behavior on campus. St. Mary School serves students in Kindergarten through Eighth Grade. The school established 4- and 5-year-old Kinder programs in response to parents’ requests. Current enrollment is 265. Middle school classes are “maxed out” with an average of 36 students per class, whi H[\\[[\ܘY\]\YH  Y[\\˂'\[\x&\HZ[[X]HX\\\ۜXB]^[[HXY]H][ۈHZ[H\\]BY[8'Hܙ][X[ZY X\H\[\[Y[Y^ Y[\][ۈY[B[\ˈܙ][X[ܙY]Y[HXX\[ܙXH\]HX\و]Yܝ ']8&\[^\[ۋ]\H[YHH[[\K8'Bܙ][X[ZYو\&\\ܛHXX[[K[]Y[X\ۙXZ\ۈY[HX^\[Y[˂'^x&]H^XYHH]ؙ\Y\8'Hܙ][X[YY Yܛ\XY[ZX\H[[Y]YX\\[SKUQT M™Z^KBL