PK-8 Advantage

At Mother Seton School, we are small enough to truly know each of our children and families. Students from Pre-K through Middle School grow together as part of a strong community where they feel loved and safe. 

We believe the pre-K through eighth grade model is important because:

  • Students do better academically. Many studies show that students obtain higher achievement levels in pre-K–8 schools than in separate middle schools.
  • Our middle schoolers aren’t in the middle. As the leaders of the school, they know our younger students are looking up to them—and they rise to the occasion.
  • Our younger students have inspiring role models. Our Prayer Partner program pairs each younger student with an older student for activities throughout the year, developing strong friendships.
  • There are fewer discipline problems. Research shows that children in pre-K–8 schools have fewer behavior problems, higher self-esteem and better attendance than those in separate schools.
  • Making a major transition to high school prepares students for the later transition to college. They build resiliency as they move out of their comfort zone and adapt to a new environment.
  • Children grow up with positive influences. In contrast to a pre-K–12 school, students are less exposed to mature topics and inappropriate language.

Two centuries ago, Elizabeth Ann Seton and a small band of Sisters moved into the Stone House in St. Joseph Valley, Emmitsburg, Maryland, to formally establish the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph's.

Seven months later, on Feb. 22, 1810, the Sisters welcomed three Emmitsburg girls to their newly built school, St. Joseph Free School for Girls.

The school quickly evolved into St. Joseph's Academy and Free School. Mother Seton accepted girls whose wealthy families wished their daughters to be educated in a strong Catholic environment.

Thus was planted the seed that has grown to maturity as the Seton Legacy of Catholic Education. Welcoming all students regardless of ability to pay became a distinctive characteristic of the Seton Legacy.

As a pioneer in Catholic education, St. Joseph's Academy and Free School continued to grow, becoming the cradle of Catholic education for the nation.

St. Elizabeth Ann's all-embracing love of God and neighbor continues to thrive within its walls, now a school for boys and girls in pre-K through eighth grade. Solid academics are complemented by solid values: daily prayer, religious instruction, liturgy, Christian formation of students, service learning and outreach are integral to the educational program at Mother Seton School.