Holy Angels Academy Expands

June 7, 2011 Updated Jun 7, 2011 at 1:16 PM EDT

By Jaclyn Asztalos

June 7, 2011 Updated Jun 7, 2011 at 1:16 PM EDT

Buffalo, N.Y. (WKBW) - One Catholic school is getting a whole new group of Angels.

"Holy Angels Academy is on the brink of changing Catholic education in Western New York. We're opening a sixth, seventh and eighth grade middle school, single gender, for girls," President of Holy Angels Academy Joan Thomas said.

School officials held a press conference with Holy Angels President Joan Thomas to talk about the middle school, named Holy Angels Prep, and its uniqueness.

"We are the only single gender middle school attached to a single gender high school," Thomas said.

Thomas said the girls would have one-on-one attention with small classes sizes. Although the building will be attached to the high school, the girls will be separate of older students to preserve the middle school feel.

"The goal of our school is to prepare young women for a college preparatory high school. We want to give parents the option of choosing a very small, 15 to 20 girls per class, very select group of girls not for everybody," Thomas said.

The launch of the middle school comes just about a week after the Catholic Diocese announced changes with their strategic plan for Catholic elementary schools in the region. Superintendent of Catholic Schools Dr. Rosemary Henry said the middle school complements their plan.

"We think it is so critical for our high school leaders and elementary schools to work collaboratively as we strengthen the schools in our Diocese. This very exciting program will certainly help to strengthen our schools," Henry said.

School officials said because of the small class sizes, admission will be competitive but they are taking applications. They plan to open the doors in September of 2012.