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News Story

February 6, 2024 – De Smet Jesuit High School in St. Louis County, Missouri, has received approval from the Archdiocese of St. Louis to launch in August 2025 an academic program serving boys in grades 6, 7 and 8.

This announcement follows many months of research as part of a contracted comprehensive feasibility study, inclusive of conversations with parish elementary school pastors and other stakeholders in the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

“We began exploring the need for a Jesuit, Catholic school serving grades 6, 7, and 8 last spring during our strategic visioning process,” said Fr. Ronny O’Dwyer, SJ, president of De Smet Jesuit. “We know that ages 11-14 are pivotal years for faith formation and character development, and we specialize in these areas because we know how boys learn.”

Father Ronny O’Dwyer, SJ, president of De Smet Jesuit High School, announces to the student body that the school will expand in 2025 to include middle school-aged students.

“I am pleased to approve De Smet Jesuit High School’s vision to augment its educational ministry to grades 6, 7, and 8,” said the Most Reverend Mitchell T. Rozanski, Archbishop of St. Louis. “I am grateful for De Smet’s leadership in our Archdiocese to conduct the extensive research and dialogue necessary to strategically address the important mission of Catholic education. Administrators from De Smet Jesuit will work closely with the Office of Catholic Education and Formation to ensure strong collaborative planning.”

“This is an exciting time of growth for De Smet Jesuit,” Fr. O’Dwyer said. “We just accepted our largest freshman class in six years and broke ground on the first phase of our new campus master plan.”

De Smet Jesuit will begin the search for an administrator immediately. Specifics about the program and admission process will be available by June 2024.

A video announcement and additional information are available at

Read the story in the De Smet Jesuit student paper.