Saint Benedict’s Preparatory School is an all-boys college secondary school in Newark, New Jersey, located on a 12 acres campus serving students in seventh through twelfth grades. Established in 1868 by the Benedictine monks of Newark Abbey, the school is guided by the sixth century Rule of Saint Benedict. It has been a part of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark for over 130 years. As of the 2013-14 school year, the school had an enrollment of 550 students and 33 fulltime classroom teachers.
78% of its students are African American or Latino, and more than half come from low-income families. It has a 98% graduation rate, with 85% of graduates going on to earn college degrees.
Last year (2016), CBS’ “60 Minutes” news program aired a feature on Saint Benedict’s, as correspondent Scott Pelley took viewers inside the unorthodox Preperatory School whose motto is “Whatever hurts my brother hurts me,” where the students are their own leaders and keep each other in line. It aired in March under the title “The Resurrection of St. Benedict’s.”
Now production company Film 360 (subsidiary of Management 360) has put into development a feature film inspired by the “60 Minutes” piece, which will chronicle the rebuilding of the 100-year old institution into what is has become today for its low-income, mostly African American and Latino students in Newark, New Jersey.
No other details on the Film 360 development at this time. Behind the scenes talent are being sought in order to package the project to shop around to studios.
The school was closed for the 1972–73 school year. Since its re-opening in 1973, the headmaster has been Fr. Edwin D. Leahy, O.S.B, who graduated from St. Benedict’s in 1963, and is responsible for the rebuilding of the school into the efficient program it is known to be today.
The 2014 feature documentary “The Rule” centered on Saint Benedict’s Preparatory School. Emmy-nominated, Newark-based filmmakers Marylou and Jerome Bongiorno directed the film, which was released theatrically, and was broadcast nationally on PBS.