As with all aspects of a STS education, four Guiding Principles are at heart of everything we do. Our Commitment to Character is woven into daily school life. 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. We believe in 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.
With our Guiding Principles in mind, students work closely with their teachers, parents, and the broader community to be stewards of their environment and their community.
Stewardship for the Environment
Stewardship for the environment takes several forms. Here are examples of the School’s most significant green efforts:
- LEED® Gold certified campus: Perhaps the most concrete example of the School’s commitment to a sustainable future, the campus is the first in the state of WA and the second in the U.S. to receive Gold certification under the LEED for Schools program. Be sure to read more about our extraordinary campus.
- A commitment to reducing paper consumption: Through the use of technology such as document cameras, SMART boards, and laptops, printing is reduced.
- Creation of a “Green Committee.” Members of the faculty, staff, and administration serve on this committee, with a commitment to discover opportunities to advance and implement various sustainable initiatives.
- Implementation of a student-led recycling program: Several years ago our own students took the initiative to research and implement a recycling program. Based on student research, community education, implementation, and monitoring, STS now boasts a school-wide recycling program.
- Designation as a Washington Green School: Again, due to student efforts (and teacher guidance!), the school became a designated green school in 2010.
- Implementation of a composting program: Once recycling was underway, students turned their attention to the development of a composting program.
- Energy Star certification: St. Thomas School received notification from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that our school has been awarded Energy Star recognition because of the exemplary performance of our facility. This award is particularly meaningful because it reaffirms the School’s ongoing commitment to reducing energy consumption, which not only protects the environment, but keeps energy costs under control as well.
Stewardship in the Community
Service learning and community service activities take place at all grade levels. Service learning is a specific process through which students not only “give back,” but engage deeply in their own learning as well. The primary concept is that through service learning, learning is reciprocal. Here are examples of the School’s service learning and community service activities:
- Each year STS students conduct a food or clothing drive to benefit a local non-profit.
- CampFair, the Northwest’s largest fair for local and regional camps, is a massive community service program. Taking place annually, this is one way STS “gives back” to the local community. Check out this year’s event!
- Each year our students research not-for-profits and present their findings to the entire school community. Based on student votes, one not-for-profit is selected and 10% of all net proceeds raised in the annual Walkathon are donated directly to the company. In this way, students not only give back, but apply important research, presentation, and math skills, while also determining strategies for assessing not-for-profits and the work they do.
- Think Pink! STS students are well-known for developing a passion for a particular cause. In our student-centered environment, students are encouraged to dig in and make a difference. Recently, students took it upon themselves to start a lemonade stand to support the fight against breast cancer.
We encourage you to read more about the various service learning and community service activities that take place.