Saint Albert the Great School has joined the ranks of being one of the first schools in Ohio to adopt Social Sentinel, a service that scans daily social media posts – one billion to be exact – and alerts staff if any indicators of harm and violence are found.
School safety was just one of many items discussed by Principal Edward Vittardi during the annual State of the School Address held Sept. 27. Parents, building staff, support organizations and students filled Saint Albert the Great Catholic Church to hear Vittardi recognize the achievements of last school year and provide details on current and future endeavors. Pastor Edward Estok opened the evening with reflection and prayer.
Closed circuit cameras, a mass notification system, an electronic school dismissal manager, staff panic buttons and direct radio communication with the North Royalton Police Department are just some of the safety enhancements recently added to the Wallings Road parochial school, Vittardi noted. RAPTOR, a screening and tracking program, performs a criminal background check on all school visitors.
Enrollment was also a hot topic, with 924 students now attending the school. This is an increase of more than 220 students since the 2013-14 school year, Vittardi said. The school is also the lowest in the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland in tuition.
Regarding performance, Saint Albert the Great School students excel, with religious education test scores showing above national average results. More than 80 percent of students last year made the Honor or Merit Rolls and 12 eighth graders graduated with having earned straight A’s throughout their entire tenure at Saint Albert the Great School. Roughly 75 percent of yearly eighth grade graduates continue their studies at Catholic high schools, with Padua Franciscan High School, Saint Ignatius High School and Holy Name High School ranking supreme. Nearly 100 percent of graduating students receive their choice of high school. Last year’s graduating students received more than $517,000 in scholarships for high school, Vittardi said.
Several individuals were also highlighted for their accomplishments including milestone years in Catholic education and excellence in students participating in competitions, scholarships, charity and service projects and various awards. The school’s various partnerships, donations, scholarships and grants were also discussed. Accolades extended to the school as well, with Saint Albert recognized for the fourth consecutive year in The Plain Dealer’s “Top Workplace” program. The parochial school also earned the Ohio Department of Education Purple Star Award for commitment to military students and families.
The State of the School Address also provided details on permanent improvements including the new Learning Commons, Mustang Stable School Store, a mobile school store, a new Spanish room and Spanish teacher, painting in various school wings, the recertification of the school playground, the addition of spinner mats and the completion of more than 250 custodial requests. In addition, Eagle Scout Conner Mares performed needed maintenance to a painted outdoor map of the United States located in the parking lot.
A 55-inch touchscreen display kiosk will soon be up and running showing graduating classes and information about Saint Albert the Great School. Together with parents and staff, the school is also continuing its efforts to implement and enhance STEM programming. Vittardi also discussed the new bell schedule that allows for electives in grades 7 and 8, additional time for mathematics, multi-grade department meetings and STEM/makerspace time in all grades, just to name a few.
Pending legislative action, Saint Albert the Great will hold another significant and just plain fun title – the only elementary school in Ohio to have its own license plate.

Contributing Writer