At STS, students embark on an educational journey from the moment they enter school. At the heart of the program are our Guiding Principles. We believe that a child’s educational journey must be balanced between the academic and affective domains.
Within the academic domain, core knowledge, skills and understandings are developed across seven primary disciplines.
Within the affective domain we put nine core virtues into action.
We believe that certain skills transcend specific disciplines and grade levels. Therefore, five core learning skills are integrated throughout the curriculum: communication, technology, thinking, research, and self-management.
Academically, students are expected not only to acquire knowledge and skills, but to apply, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate what they learn. In support of growth of character and spirit, students engage in experiences that call upon them to explore, reflect, choose, act, and lead.
Community of Learners
A Shared Vision
Each classroom is itself, a community, connected by a sense of purpose, in a climate that is
communicative, disciplined, and caring, with occasions for celebration. Teachers, administration, staff, parents, and students are all in the process of acquiring new knowledge and skills every day. We work hard to nurture a learning environment in which ALL members of the school feel secure in taking risks, asking questions, and exploring new alternatives.
Students as Active Learners
The learning process is dynamic. Teachers balance a traditional approach to skill and knowledge acquisition with an inquiry-based model that recognizes the importance of students constructing knowledge and “learning by doing.” To support this guiding principle, class sizes are kept small so that students have maximum opportunities to interact with their teachers and one another.
Teachers as Leaders
Our most important resource is our dedicated team of educators who strive to implement an enriching curriculum that embraces core academics, the development of character, a broad exposure to the fine arts, and physical education. St. Thomas School is dedicated to providing the time and resources needed for teachers to be professionally renewed.
As a community of learners, teachers take significant leadership in researching, articulating, and implementing the program. Unique to St. Thomas School, the culminating research efforts are embodied in “foundation” documents within each discipline. The work isn’t finished (really, it never ends!), but we encourage you to read the various “foundations” to better understand the underlying philosophies and best practices within the various disciplines.
Foundations of The Early Learning Center
Foundations of Mathematics
Foundations of Service Learning
Foundations of Science
Curriculum with Coherence
All children are expected to become proficient and eloquent in the written and spoken word and in the language of mathematics. Students are expected to establish a solid understanding of core knowledge and skills within the various content areas, including language arts (reading, writing, speaking, and listening), mathematics, social studies, science, foreign language, fine arts, technology, and physical education. We organize core subjects within a framework of cross-disciplinary themes, which help students see connections across subjects and relate what they learn to life.
Core Learning Skills
We know that in addition to a solid foundation of essential knowledge and skills within all content areas, students must develop core learning skills in order to be successful as life-long learners and future leaders. We integrate five core learning skills throughout the curriculum: technological, social, thinking, research, and self-management. We integrate five core learning skills throughout the curriculum: communication, technology, thinking, research, and self-management.
We develop curriculum through a backward design model in which we identify desired results, determine acceptable evidence, and plan learning experiences and instruction. Through the process of curriculum renewal, we ensure that learning experiences are connected from year-to-year, gradually building a solid academic foundation and a positive, confident approach to learning.
Commitment to Character
Core Attitudes and Virtues
Our Chapel and Character program is unique among other schools. Beginning with our daily gathering in Chapel and then woven into daily school life, we explore world religions, identifying our human commonalities and diverse beliefs, and center on a clear set of core virtues: gratitude, responsibility, respect, courage, integrity, tolerance, compassion, perseverance, and generosity.
We nurture students' character and spiritual intelligence. The goal is to cultivate students' sense of personal and civic responsibility and an understanding of how their choices and ways of thinking are influenced by their peers, teachers, families, and their own inner voices. We strive to promote excellence in living, as well as learning.
Living with a Purpose
Character is taught both by word and deed. Through the curriculum, through school climate, and through service, students are encouraged to apply the lessons of the classroom to the world around them.