Character

St. Thomas School’s focus on character permeates school life – all day, every day. We nurture students’ character and spiritual intelligence in accordance to our core virtues: gratitude, responsibility, respect, courage, integrity, tolerance, compassion, perseverance, and generosity.

Service Learning

The St. Thomas School service-learning program puts our core values into action. Through the program we challenge students to contemplate how they can impact their world in a positive, meaningful way—at any age and at any time. These elements of character become particularly relevant in a 21st century context. We are committed to developing responsible citizens of a global society who strive to make a difference throughout their lives.

Service learning is more than volunteerism. Students work closely with their teachers at St. Thomas School to develop service learning activities that integrate meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience. Service learning at STS allows students to:

  • Apply academic, social, and personal skills to improve the community.
  • Make decisions that have real, not hypothetical, results.
  • Grow as individuals, gain respect for peers, and increase civic participation.
  • Gain a deeper understanding of themselves, their community, and society.
  • Develop as leaders who take initiative, solve problems, work as a team, and demonstrate their abilities while helping others.

Please read our Foundations of Service Learning for more information on this subject.

Chapel

Although non-sectarian - meaning we do not adhere to a particular religious belief or tradition – St. Thomas School is steadfastly committed to the development of the whole child. We gather each morning for Chapel, where time is set aside for listening and doing the important “inner work” or reflection that allows us to bring deeper meaning to our lives.

As we learn together and teach one another, St. Thomas School:

  • Strives for justice and peace among all peoples, and respects the dignity of every human being
  • Works to be a comprehensive, inclusive community with respect for all beliefs
  • Values reason as a way to true understanding
  • Embraces honor, tolerance, and intellectual curiosity
  • Provides a safe and open community in which students can wrestle with the big questions that life presents.

By coming together every day, either as an entire school or by division, we strengthen the social and emotional bonds among all students and teachers. By creating a learning environment that is calm, centering, and peaceful, we establish a culture of trust and support. This is a place to take risks, ask questions, and explore! What an extraordinary way to begin each day!

Chapel serves several purposes:

Community & Belonging

The commitment to Chapel on a daily basis is intentional. We believe that by coming together every day, either as an entire school or by division, we strengthen the social and emotional bonds among all students and teachers. By creating a learning environment that is calm, centering, and peaceful, we establish a culture of trust and support. This is a place to take risks, ask questions, and explore! What an extraordinary way to begin each day.

Exploring Essential Questions

Chapel encourages students to reflect on questions that have long been of central importance in human life: Who am I? What is the nature of the universe, of God, and humanity? How do we strive together to lead a good life? What is our relationship to the natural world? What makes life worth living? How do values and beliefs shape history and current events? How do I know that I am valued and loved? How are world religions similar and unique? What are my roles and responsibilities in the community and the world? How do I understand and practice the Core Virtues? How do I make choices and understand the consequences of my decisions?

Through the readings of great children’s literature and religious texts, we explore these “big questions” and revisit topics as students grow in their capacity to understand concepts, engage in discussion, and deepen their understanding. Sacred texts, music, ritual, and prayer enrich the experience. We use Chapel to explore questions of faith, morality, and ethics, and forms of worship and celebration.

Understanding World Religions & Core Virtues

Chapel teaches students about the religious traditions of the world, about approaches to spirituality and ethics, and raises important issues in school life. This is at the heart of global citizenship. Can one truly be educated without understanding one’s own faith and the religious practices of others? Don’t our children need a lens through which they can interpret and understand the influence and inter-relationship of religion in current and historical events? St. Thomas School’s Core Virtues provide a common ground for much of the Chapel experience. We seek to develop a strong community through the exploration and commitment to a set of common values among all members of the school community.

Leadership

STS places great value on the development of leadership skills. At STS, leadership embodies many skills and perspectives. Leading in service to others, facilitating discussions and decisions, and contributing to group processes are valued leadership qualities. Chapel provides students with opportunities to practice public speaking, while developing confidence in front of a large audience. The older students play more significant roles in leading and planning Chapel for the entire school, as well as the Middle School.

We commit to character education, guiding our students to have a deep appreciation and awareness for all those around them, so that they may learn to live, lead, and serve with integrity, generosity, and compassion.

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