Students At Long Island Private Schools Learn Alongside Animals

NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — Students at some of Long Island’s elite private schools are doing their learning alongside gentle animals. It’s part of a philosophy to educate the heart as well as the mind.

Teachers’ pets, like a tortoise named Miguel, keep the hallways humming at St. Martin de Porres in Uniondale. Students pitch in by taking the animals for walks as well as feeding and maintaining their cages.

Headmaster John Holian told CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan that having the animals “makes it a family atmosphere, a family community here, and to us that is very important — that it is less institutionalized and more of a home.”

The Marianist Brothers also have animals roaming the halls at their Chaminade and Kellenberg High Schools, where peacocks and turtles raise their families in an outdoor classroom.

Brother Kenneth Hoagland, the Principal of Kellenberg High School, told CBS 2 that his school has its own zoo. Hoagland’s office features a dog, a parrot, and fish.

“The animals mainly represent how St. Martin cared about animals,” said one student.

The tradition of keeping the animals in school has become a core part of teaching the children caring, sharing, and responsibility.

The Marianist Brothers own the dogs and keep them at home when the school is closed. State law permits animals to be in schools as long as they are properly cared for.

What kind of pets does your school have? Let us know in our comments section below…

  • Brian

    Kellenberg, Chaminade & St. Martin’s are all private schools. Chaminade and Kellenberg are run by the Marianist brothers according to the story (which I think is incorrect, I think Chaminade is a Jesuit School). All of these children’s parents pay tuition in addition to their property taxes.

    • Tom


      Actually, Chaminade is not a Jesuit school. My two sons went there and it is a Marianist school, along with St. Martin’s and Kellenberg. There imust be a good reason why these parents pay property taxes as well as tuition at a private school. Maybe, there is something special that is offered there and they want their children to be part of that experience

  • G Smith

    WONDERFUL idea !! MORE schools should be looking iinto this concept – looks like a lot of happy & responsible children – & animals !!! Keep it up !

  • NYCsewer

    This is pretty stupid but you have to be to live and pay those taxes on Long Island.

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