Frequently Asked Questions – School

Why Saints Peter and Paul School vs. public school?

Saints Peter and Paul is proud to be a Catholic school with a legacy going back more than 150 years. Students from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade learn in a challenging and nurturing environment to be their ‘best selves.’ They are instilled with the Gospel values of faith, charity, and respect for others. They are encouraged to participate in a variety of interscholastic sports and service projects. Every student participates in the school’s STREAM (Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) academies. Well-rounded and academically prepared at their graduation, our students go on to attend the high schools of their choice.  

How does Saints Peter and Paul School curriculum vary vs. public school?

Saints Peter and Paul school follows the curriculum established by the New York State Board of Regents. Religion is both an academic subject and something students experience as they develop Christian values and enhance their relationship with God. We follow Diocesan Standards in Religion and in the teaching of our Faith. Faith is not only taught but modeled, practiced and applied in all aspects of our school day. In addition to Math, ELA, Science, and Social Studies, students in all grade levels (pre-kindergarten to 8) have classes in Art, Music, Physical Education, Spanish and Technology. Regents Algebra I and Regents Living Environmental are offered to advanced middle school students who seek to earn high school credits while in middle school. Students in grades 3 through 8 have the opportunity to sign up for band instrument lessons through the Paul Effman Music Co. Our music teacher teaches piano to those students whose parents want them to take lessons.

Are all of your teachers certified?

Our teachers are certified to teach in the grades and for the subjects they teach.

My child has special needs. Can you accommodate them?

In many cases, yes. Saints Peter and Paul School employs a Literary Specialist who, with feedback from homeroom teachers in grades kindergarten through 4 and periodic screenings, is able to identify students needing additional targeted instruction to strengthen reading skills. We utilize a Student Support Team process as recommended by New York State. Students who qualify may receive classroom accommodations through the 504-review process. The process ensures that students identified with learning challenges are provided with appropriate classroom accommodation even when their learning needs may not require direct support services. The Hamburg Central School District may provide direct support services to students as part of the Committee for Special Education process. Saints Peter and Paul School employs a full-time special education coordinator who works closely with families, teachers, and the Hamburg Central School District to provide for the student’s needs. Upon inquiry, a meeting is scheduled with the parents and principal. The special education coordinator will also review the needs of the student. Once the accommodations are identified and the school’s capabilities are assessed, an informed and fair decision can be determined. Please contact Sister Marilyn, principal of Saints Peter and Paul School to discuss your child’s needs, the school’s capabilities to meet them and to develop a plan.

As a prospective parent, how relevant are Saints Peter and Paul School’s Business First Ranking?

‘Business First Rankings’ are based on average scores from the New York State Testing program for students from Grades 3 through 8. The tests have a controversial legacy including the ability of families to have their children ‘opt-out’ of taking them. Unfortunately, Saints Peter and Paul has experienced high opt-out rates on students taking these tests. Given that only a subset of our students takes these tests, the value of these tests in determining how well our school educates our students is limited. NYSTP tests, internal tests, and assessments on how well our graduates are performing in high school are all taken into consideration to evaluate the quality of our academic program. The ‘Curriculum and Assessment Committee,’ which includes two Saints Peter and Paul School board members, the school principal, assistant principal, and two teachers, takes all these assessments under consideration in making improvements to both our curriculum and teaching methods.

Would any amount of my tuition dollars go to the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo?

No. In fact, tuition and fees paid to Saints Peter and Paul School covers only 59% of each student’s education. The remaining 41% is provided by Saints Peter and Paul Parish, the State of New York through reimbursement for mandated services, Saints Peter and Paul Parent Guild fundraising and from the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo in the form of Catholic Schools Tuition Grant Program and STREAM grants.   

Where do Saints Peter and Paul graduates go to high school?

Graduates of our most recent class attended St. Francis High School, Bishop Timon St. Jude High School, Canisius High School, Mt. Mercy Academy, Nardin Academy and St. Mary’s High School. Our graduates also go on to attend local public high schools such as Hamburg, Frontier, Orchard Park, and Eden.

I want my child educated at Saints Peter and Paul School but I’m not sure I can afford it. What are my options?

Saints Peter and Paul School is committed to making an education at our school affordable for our families. If tuition affordability is a concern, we strongly encourage applying for BISON Scholarship Fund assistance and for Saints Peter and Paul Tuition Angel assistance. Please see our Tuition Assistance page more information and application instructions.

Do I need to be Catholic to attend Saints Peter and Paul School?

No, we welcome students from all faith backgrounds.