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History

Teddy & Lindy Kelly, a school day in 1959Holy Child Academy is part of the Holy Child Network of Schools, encompassing 12 centers of learning in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and California. The Society of the Holy Child Jesus and the Holy Child Network of Schools were founded by Cornelia Connelly, a convert to Catholicism who opened her first school in 1846. While her ideas on education were seen as bold and revolutionary a century and a half ago, they are widely accepted today: that children learn best in an atmosphere of love and warmth rather than sternness and repression; and that the teacher-student relationship should be modeled on that of the parent and child.

Our Holy Child School is the fulfillment of a dream of three Long Island families that their young children could receive a Catholic education close to home. Together they purchased the former Bliss estate in Old Westbury and deeded it to the Society of the Holy Child Jesus. After the manor house was modified to hold classrooms, offices, a cafeteria, a chapel, and a convent, the school opened its doors to 44 children on September 15, 1959.

Taught by sisters of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus, this first student body grew in “age, grace, and wisdom,” like the Holy Child, and the school thrived. Nearly 50 years later, our 14-acre campus holds two classroom buildings, O’Sullivan Hall and the newly renovated Dolan Family Early Childhood Center. The mansion that held the original school was renamed Connelly Hall in honor of our foundress. Two graceful and highly functional additions to the building are the Lourdes Garcia Conservatory, overlooking the athletic fields, and the Mother Mary Gabriel Library.

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