In the early 1900s, Father Peter Fuengerlings, pastor of Holy Family Church, believed the future belonged to children and education was of the utmost importance. He asked the Missionaries of the Most Sacred Heart Sisters in Reading to establish a parish school.
In September 1910, the sisters opened the doors of HFS with 40 students on the second floor of the church on Center Street. The sisters resided in quarters on the second floor adjacent to the classrooms until a convent was built in 1928. That second floor school was replaced with the current HFS building on November 16, 1954.
In 1956, a gymnasium was added to the school, and it continues to be used extensively for local sports and drama programs for the school, the parish and Catholic Youth Activities.
HFS carries on the mission of Catholic Education with 26 lay faculty. Within the school there are 17 classrooms, a library, an art room, a gymnasium, a music room, a computer lab, a resource room and a medical suite with a full-time nurse. There is also a beautiful chapel, where our faculty meets every morning for prayer before their school day begins.
Missionaries of the Most Sacred Heart priests have supported the mission and maintained the school buildings, playground and grounds, with the cooperation of many dedicated and generous parishioners, alumni, parents, and benefactors.
In the 2021-2022 school year, total enrollment (K-8th grade) was 172, with an additional 19 children in Pre-K, 4 years old, five days a week program. The Pre-K student-teacher ratio is 10:1 while the average K-8th grade ratio is 18:1.
Mr. Derek Peiffer is the principal of Holy Family School. Mr. Peiffer comes to us with many years of educational experience. He earned his Bachelor's Degree in Secondary Education from Kutztown University and his Master's Degree from Lehigh University in Educational Leadership and Superintendent Eligibility. Mr. Peiffer's teaching career started at Sacred Heart School in Allentown where he taught 6, 7, and 8th grade classes. He then moved to Emmaus High School where he taught social studies. As an administrator, Mr. Peiffer served as an Assistant Principal at Quakertown Community High School. He then led both Milford and Strayer Middle Schools as their principal for 14 years. Prior to coming to Holy Family, Mr. Peiffer served as principal at his home parish of St. Thomas More. Mr. Peiffer is thrilled to be part of the Holy Family "Family."
HFS students have not only done well academically in the IOWA and COGATS testing, but in fact, last year with our 2020-2021 IOWA scores, in-school learning produced strong gains in academic growth. This growth was even more evident with the recently published report on learning loss produced by McKinsey and Company, a global management consulting research team that examined the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on education. According to McKinsey and Company, students across the nation experienced a learning loss of 4 months in reading and 5 months in mathematics for the 2020-2021 school year. A Wall Street Journal article published October 28, 2022 reported the National Assessment of Educational Progress' data showed “the divergence between Catholic schools and public ones is so great that if all U.S. Catholic schools were a state, their 1.6 million students would rank first in the nation across the NAEP reading and math tests for fourth and eighth graders.” Full Score's 2021-2022 standardized test scores showed that students at Holy Family far exceeded a full year’s growth in reading and math. (See graphic below).