The parish of St. Thomas the Apostle began construction on a school building in 1950 after nearly five years of fundraising and waiting for approval from the diocese. That year, Father Joe Smith made arrangements for the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary to come from the Midwest to teach in the new school. Like West Hempstead and the neighboring communities, the parish underwent tremendous growth during the following decade, which required it to build a new chapel and expand the school building to accomodate its growing student population. Today, the school educates more than 450 students in pre-school through 8th grade, and youngsters ages 2 to 4. The school's mission is to "to teach, build community and to serve." One unique way the school instills these lessons is through a state-of-the art technology program. This includes smartboards in every classroom and a media center that enables students to learn and interact with teachers and pupils from around the world. In the past, students have taken virtual field trips to rainforests, world-class museums and aquariums, classrooms in Pakistan and India, and an army base in Iraq, where they spoke to deployed U.S. soldiers.