Prep Talk

An Update from the President

Posted September 24th, 2013


Dear Members of the Prep Community,

I hope this letter finds you and your family in good spirits and in good health. I want to take this opportunity to tell you about the beginnings of the school year and a special event which will occur in October. Academic Year 2013-14 welcomed 165 members of the Class of 2017 to the Prep. These new members of our community and their families were initiated into the Prep by means of several programs. The Parent/Guardian Orientation Program, conducted during the month of July, provided six sessions to learn about the Prep which included presentations on academics, athletics, student affairs, development, and parent engagement, as well as getting to know the leadership team of the Prep and those staff members with whom their sons will interact each day. The orientation of families concluded with a Garden Party on the Monastery grounds which enabled parents and guardians to meet other families who share the experience of partnering with the Prep in the education of their son.

The Brotherhood Ceremony, the rite of passage for a freshman into the Prep Community, was a wonderful welcoming of the Class of 2017 by students, faculty, and staff. Each freshman was paired with a senior as his “go to” person and mentor. In the past two weeks, the freshmen and sophomores met with their Unitas Advisors, who are members of the faculty, to assure a smooth transition into the culture of the Prep as well as initiating the preliminary processes of envisioning a post-Prep life in higher education.

The past year has been at time of preparation for the Prep for the Visiting Team of the New Jersey Association of Independent Schools (NJAIS) and the Middle States Association (MSA) to spend four days on campus, October 8-11, 2013, to review our self-study. The Prep has been accredited by the Middle States Association of College and School Commission on Secondary Schools since 1983 and has been reaccredited every ten years since that time. Every aspect of the school, starting with its mission and philosophy and the school and community it serves, has been reviewed. The Self-Study document (available for your perusal here) will assist the group of twelve distinguished educators to determine if the Prep has met the criteria of the 64 “Standards of Excellence” in order to be accredited.

At the conclusion of the Team Visit, the Chair of the Visiting Team will provide the NJAIS Board of Trustees and the Prep with commendations and recommendations that will assist the school with its strategic plan for the next five years. In the Spring of 2014, the Prep will receive a very detailed formal response from the Visiting Team which will delineate the accreditation status and commission an action-plan to address recommendations.

Let me take this opportunity to thank you for your support and cooperation with the many endeavors and programs of the Prep. Your involvement in the academic, spiritual, athletic, and fundraising activities of our school have brought us to this moment when the future of promise for the Prep is seen as unfolding before us. How fortunate we are to have a partnership and shared vision for the good of yours sons and what they will bring to our world.

In Augustine,

Fr. Donald F. Reilly, D.Min., O.S.A.

Photo Caption: St. Augustine Prep President, Fr. Donald F. Reilly, O.S.A., D.Min., left, is pictured with Dr. Peter Lewis, chair of the NJAIS Visiting Team.