St. Patrick Catholic School

122 West Street, Portland, MI   (517) 647-7551

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is St. Patrick School accredited?


    Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Grand Rapids receive their accreditation from the Michigan Association of Nonpublic (MANS). Schools are on a five-year cycle. In the fourth year of the cycle, schools evaluate themselves and prepare evidence to prove they are meeting the standards necessary for accreditation. In the fifth year, a site team consisting of administrators and teaching staff members of the Diocese visit our school for two days. They review the self-study and the evidence presented and they also spend two days on campus.

    The site team sends us a copy of the final report and let us know whether or not we are recommended to remain accredited. We received recommendation to be accredited.


    Our most recent accreditation was done during the 2015-16 school year.

  2. We are not Catholic. Can my child still attend St. Patrick School?

    St. Patrick School is open to all. One does not need to be a Catholic to send their child to St. Patrick School. About 3% of our students belong to other Christian denominations. One does not even need to be Christian to attend school at St. Patrick School.


  3. Do St. Patrick School teachers meet state certification standards?

    The simple answer is yes they do, but there is more to it than that. Teachers at St. Patrick School are expected to be certified and highly qualified in the area they teach, and to be practicing Catholics. If there are no applicants who meet both of these requirements, exceptions may be made to this rule.

    • If we do not have a qualified candidate who is Catholic, we would give precedence to a member of another Christian denomination who has a strong, faith-filled background assuming they meet the rest of the qualifications

    • If a non-certified teacher is hired, they must submit a plan that shows how and when they will be receiving certification. This plan is submitted to the Michigan Association of Nonpublic Schools in our annual report.

    The only exception to this is a religion or theology teacher. There is no state certification to teach religion or theology. Instead, we have other qualifications and they are expected to receive Master Catechist Certification through the Diocese of Grand Rapids.

  4. Does St. Pat's participate in a Shared Time Program with the public schools?

    Shared Time is an agreement between a public school district and non-public school. This agreement provides for private school students to take non-core classes taught by teachers from the public school district. The public school district pays for their teacher to be in the private school. The public school receives funding from the state for the shared-time students.

    The private school must request an agreement with the public school in whose district it is located or with any public school district in which it is contiguous. A private school may have an agreement with more than one public school district.

    the same class (grade level and subject) must be offered to the public district’s students at a site within the public district in order for them to provide a teacher at the private school for that same subject. There are some other logistical items that may include scheduling, staffing, travel time, etc.

    St. Patrick School has Shared Time agreements with Portland Public Schools in Art, Physical Education, and secondary computers. SPS also has a Shared Time agreement with Pewamo-Westphalia Community Schools in elementary computers and music.

  5. Do the teachers have to meet any specific requirements to teach at the private school?

    A. Shared Time teachers are supposed to meet the required guidelines for teaching in the public district. They should be certified and highly qualified in the area in which they teach just as they would be required to do to teach at the public school.

  6. What is the dress code for St. Patrick students?

    St. Patrick School students are required to wear school uniforms.  The complete Dress Code is available on the school website.

  7. What is the tuition at St. Patrick School?

    We work hard to keep our tuition levels affordable, and have succeeded in staying well below the levels charged at Catholic High Schools in Lansing and Grand Rapids.  Tuition rates for the current school year are available on the website.

  8. Where can I find the current school calendar?

    We use Google Calendars to keep track of most of our schedule and activities.  Click on the calendar on the right side of the home page.

    You can also find a pdf version of the general school calendar on the Documents and Forms page, located under the About Us tab.

  9. How well do St. Patrick students do on standardized tests?

    St. Patrick elementary students are tested each year, using MAPS Testing.  Our students consistently score in the top 25% in the nation.

    Our high school students take the same tests that the students in the public schools take.  Formerly they took the MME (Michigan Merit Exam) and the ACT (American College Test), and scored consistently in the top levels.  In recent years, our students have scored the highest of any school in Ionia County, in the complete geographic area around Portland, and in the CMAC. 

    All schools in the state are currently transitioning to the SAT tests.

  10. Where can I find a current athletic schedule?

    We will publish the current athletic schedule as soon as it has been finalized.  At that time, a link to the complete athletic schedule will be available by clicking on Athletics then choosing Athletic Schedule from the drop down menu Individual sports schedules will be published on the indivual sports pages.

    Wallet-size sports schedules can be picked up at the school office, at Westside Grocery and at the Portland Federal Credit Union at the beginning of each sports season.

  11. I need directions to St. Patrick School.

    Coming from the east:  Take I-96 west to Exit 77.  Turn right onto Grand River Avenue and follow it approximately 1 1/2 miles.

    Coming from the west:  Take I-96 east to Exit 77.  Turn left onto Grand River Avenue and follow it approximately 1 1/2 miles.

    The school is located at the corner of Grand River Avenue and West Street.  Enter the building through the main school office entrance, located off the parking lot behind the church.

  12. I need directions to an athletic event.

    Football:  Varsity games are played at Portland High School, located at 1100 Ionia Road.  All 5-8 games are played at Father Flohe Field, located across the street from St. Patrick School.

    Basketball:  Varsity/JV games are played at Portland Middle School, located at 745 Storz Avenue.  Freshman/Middle School and elementary games are played at St. Patrick School, 122 West Street.

    Softball/Baseball:  All games are played at Father Flohe Field, across the street from St. Patrick School.

    Volleyball:  All games are played at St. Patrick School, 122 West Street.

    Track:  Track meets are held at Portland High School, 1100 Ionia Road.

    Bowling:  Matches are held at Meadow Bowl Lanes, 7888 East Grand River Avenue.

    Golf:  Matches are held at the Portland Country Club, 4901 Divine Highway.

    For complete information, please use Google Maps.

  13. When are the various committee meetings held?

    School Board meetings are held approximately every six weeks in the Parish Hall.  For a current schedule and complete information, please visit the School Board webpage.
    Athletic Association meetings are held on the 1st Sunday of the month at 6:30 p.m.. in the Parish Hall.   For complete information, please visit the Athletic Association webpage.
    PTO meetings are held on the third Wednesday of the month at 6:00 p.m. in Room 116 unless otherwise noted.  For complete information, please visit the PTO webpage:  http:/

    Minutes from the meetings are also available on the same webpages.

  14. Where can I find a handbook?

    The school and athletic handbooks are available on the Documents and Forms page of the school website.

Back to top