At St. Thomas School, our day-to-day decisions, policies, and programs are based on a core set of guiding beliefs. These beliefs provide a framework designed to help us thrive as a community. Our goal is to provide a learning environment that nurtures our students and celebrates their accomplishments. In order to do so, we believe we must set forth clear expectations and essential principles that help shape the school as a vital, growing community of learners. Please take time to read our Guiding Principles, returning to them often to gain a deeper understanding of St. Thomas School.
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 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.
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.
Parents as Partners
Parent involvement in school life is an honored tradition at St Thomas School. We know that a healthy, respectful partnership between home and school is a critical element of a solid elementary education. The school takes seriously its role in providing parent education and encourages all parents to work within a collaborative, positive framework. We have an unwavering commitment to nurturing a highly professional environment in which all members of the community are bonded through mutual respect, responsibility, and collaboration.
Climate for Learning
The Joy of Discovery
Learning is a joyful enterprise! Children are naturally inquisitive and possess an internal motivation to learn about their world. Children are actively engaged in the classroom, making discoveries and reflecting on their own learning.
We have a commitment to hiring outstanding educators who love to teach! Inspirational teaching begets inspired learning. St. Thomas School cherishes a climate in which creative thought and unique solutions are celebrated!