Academic excellence, spiritual formation is at the heart of a St. Joan of Arc Catholic School education

Published 10:34 am Wednesday, August 3, 2022

LAPLACE — “A good school provides a rounded education for the whole person. A good Catholic school, over and above this, should help all its students to become saints.”

The wise words of Pope Benedict XVI are at the heart of St. Joan of Arc Catholic’s school mission – The Pursuit of Excellence Through Christ.

While the past two years have presented a global health pandemic and life-altering hurricane, SJA students have continued to find a safe, loving place to thrive academically, grow spiritually and develop life-long friendships right here on the corner of Fir Street and West Fifth in LaPlace.

SJA has been a leader in Catholic elementary education in the River Region for over 60 years, and in the face of unprecedented events, SJA students have proven that they are not surviving – they are thriving.

Five members of SJA’s graduating class of 2022 were awarded scholarships to St. Charles Catholic High School, while another earned a scholarship to Mount Carmel Academy. Our graduates consistently go on to excel in high school, such as Kamryn Scales who was recently named Cabrini High School’s Class of 2022 salutatorian.

Several recent SJA graduates have been student of the year nominees at their respective high schools, while others have joined the ranks of the 30 Plus Club at SCC – a group of elite students who have scored at least a 30 on the ACT.

And because the spiritual formation of our students is at the heart of everything we do at SJA, our leadership and staff continue to find new ways to incorporate values of our Catholic faith into class time and weekly schedules.

A weekly Mass gives the students time to reflect and be grateful to God for their blessings, while daily religion classes explore the doctrine and history of Catholic beliefs and help students put faith into action by being altar servers, choir members and liturgical readers.

There is prayer throughout the day at school, and students learn how to be the hands and feet of Jesus by participating in Thanksgiving food drives, missions collections and various other class and club service projects. Faith comes alive to our school community through events such as our Living Nativity, Living Stations of the Cross, All Saints’ Day Mass and other liturgical celebrations.

In addition to academic excellence and spiritual formation, SJA students are presented with a wide array of extra-curricular opportunities including but not limited to volleyball, basketball, cross country, baseball, softball and flag football. This year the cheerleading program will be expanded with the addition of a Pep Squad, which will give our first through fourth grade students an opportunity to cheer on their fellow Vikings.

Community service options at school include student council, whose members this past school year raised thousands of dollars for missions. Service learning projects are also available at SJA, and this year our students will also be offered the chance to join a robotics club and 4H.

The SJA community comes together throughout the year for special celebrations that make our school like no other. These joyous events connect students, their families and our River Parish neighbors. These traditions include our spring fair, Octoberfest, Christmas programs, Catholic Schools Week events, Grandparent’s Day, Fun & Fitness Day and Krewe Jeanne d’Arc Carnival Ball. These traditions are made possible by the extensive network of church parish partners, community volunteers and SJA parent organizations such as HASA and the Men’s Club. New this year to the SJA community will be the addition of a Grandparent’s Club.

The 2021-2022 school year saw the addition of a school nurse and counselor to the SJA faculty, and our athletes shined in every area – most notably when the varsity boys basketball team won the River Parish Catholic League Championship.

“As principal of St. Joan of Arc, I know firsthand the amount of love and dedication each and every teacher and staff member pour into our students all year,” SJA Principal Jenny Poulos said. “Our students are reaching new academic milestones, growing in their faith and developing a community here at SJA. We invite everyone to come and experience the SJA Viking difference.”

For more information about St. Joan of Arc Catholic School, visit or call 985-652-6310 to schedule a private tour.