ASK ME WHY! I SUPPORT ST. THEODORE CATHOLIC SCHOOL
SMALL CLASS SIZES WITH PERSONALIZED ATTENTION;
St. Theodore Catholic School benefits students by fostering academic excellence and high achievement, educating the whole child within a values-based setting and preparing youngsters for success in life. The School provides a caring, challenging, nurturing, safe, and secure environment for the Students.
St. Theodore Catholic School students are quickly integrated into a closely knit school environment that provides first-class learning opportunities. Class sizes generally average around 10 to 15 students per class. Students that start at St. Theodore generally stay from pre-k through fifth grade. This environment creates a school-wide comradery between students, teachers and staff.
“The children are expected to do the best that they can, and are challenged to reach their potential academically. In addition, they are expected to be respectful of their peers, teachers, and volunteers. Early on, students are presented with rigorous tasks, such as oral reading during Mass, technology integration in academics, and high behavior expectations inside and outside the classroom.” Kelly Goskeson, Parent
Following a long tradition in Catholic education, St. Theodore School provides four R's, rather than three -- Reading, wRiting, aRithmetic and Religion. Religion plays an instrumental role in school programing. This curriculum goes beyond memorizing the Saints and bible verses. Students are encouraged to live like Jesus taught, "Enlivened by the spirit of freedom and charity." Families and children of all faiths are welcome to learn how to be a person rooted in the community.
The Parrish priest visits each classroom on a weekly basis to expose students to the basic tenants of Christian faith. The school and church are closely connected in providing ample opportunities to instill Christian values into the daily classroom experience.
“As a veteran educator and a parent, I have seen and experienced what a faith enriched education can do for a student’s success. Faith builds community, and community builds young people with a strong sense of confidence and self-worth.
A faith-based foundation in education offers guideposts for young people that help them navigate the challenges that being a teen present. Lisa Hagen Alumni Parent
TOP-NOTCH & INSPIRING TEACHERS;
The teachers are the backbone of St. Theodore Catholic School. They have strong teaching credentials and take pride in being role models for the kids. You can learn more about the teachers at our website www.sttheo.org where you will find a biography listing of their experience and background. All teachers have continued training and certification in their field and we continue to develop new curriculum and educational opportunities for the children.
All teachers are required to participate in continued teaching enrichment activities and are rigorously monitored to ensure that all state teaching standards are being met.
As positive role models, the teachers read to the students on a regular basis. The classrooms are structured to have cooperative reading between grades: Pre-K and 2nd Grade (Reading Stars), Kindergarten and 3rd (Kinder Buddies), 1st and 4th (Reading Buddies). Students meet with each other once a week to have the older students read to the younger ones The teachers also implement fluency tests and reading logs to make sure they are continuing to read at home.
“Let us thank all those who teach in Catholic Schools. Educating is an act of love; it is like giving life. “Pope Francis.
“The teachers are awesome. I love the food. I love the cook, Jolene” “We have the best snow hill in town” 4th Grade Student
“I love the small class because we get one on one time with the teachers. I also like the great friends I’ve made” “We get to learn Spanish. All the teachers are nice. The students are kind to one another.” 5th Grade Student
CHALLENGING & TECH-ASSISTED CURRICULUM;
At St. Theodore Catholic School, students are provided with a diverse and challenging curriculum. The curriculum is kept up to date with new techniques and technology. Utilizing I-pad and smart board tools, the base curriculum is supplemented to keep today’s student engaged.Each teacher uses the computer lab and has access to smart boards. Each classroom has an I-pad or two for student use. The activities are age appropriate and vary according to the grade levels. Some of the activities include games that teach various skills, typing club, typing papers, research, and NWEA testing. The upper grades also learn how to make brochures and to create a PowerPoint presentation.
In a continued effort towards excellence, St. Theodore Catholic School is currently participating in a curriculum writing exercise in partnership with the University of Notre Dame. This professional and academic- driven curriculum development ensures on-going and engaged teaching techniques. New standards challenge students to greater achievement; and principals and teachers to create highly effective classroom environments.
St. Theodore School continually participates in review strategies to confirm that classrooms are meeting all State Standards and providing the best learning environment for students.
St. Theodore’s Catholic school’s curriculum prepared my daughters and their peers to face the rigors of academics, adolescence, and socialization. Even now, with one freshman and one junior daughter, they still refer to the tenants taught and practiced at St. Theodore’s.
EMPHASIS ON INSTILLING COMPASSION;
A Christ-centered curriculum encourages students to be engaged citizens as well as pursuing academic excellence. One simple example is the monthly letters written to parishioners that are in the nursing home. One day the fifth-grade class was walking to the post office to mail their letters. As the students left the post office, a woman stopped the students and informed them that her mother was one of the recipients of monthly letters. She told the students that her mother truly loves getting letter s from the students and looks forward to the monthly letters. She was very thankful and exited to share that with us.
“Dear young people, the church expects great things of you and your generosity. Don’t be afraid to aim high.” Pope Francis.
BUILDING SELF-CONFIDENCE THROUGH PUBLIC SPEAKING AND LEADERSHIP;
St. Theodore students have a reputation for confidence in public speaking and community leadership during and after their time at the school. All students participate in mass and are often given many opportunities to appear in front of groups.
“St. Theodore works on key life skills by building self-confidence through public speaking and leadership skills as part of a normal routine. Public speaking for my children will be so much easier because of their expanded comfort zone. This give me comfort knowing they won’t go through the same stress and anxiety I have.” Mark Goskeson, parent
FOCUS ON PREPARATION FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL;
At St Theodore Catholic School, great emphasis is placed upon preparation for middle school. Kids from all over Freeborn County are put together in one school for the first time and this can be an overwhelming transition. Fifth grade graduates have already been provided with many of the tools necessary to be successful. For example, there is a focus on mastering organizational skills and self-starting on homework assignments. Students are held accountable for timely and accurate work.
St. Theodore students are also acclimated to Southwest Middle School through tours, classroom practice activities and maintaining connections with the prior year alumni – instilling in the students the value of keeping connections to St. Theodore graduates through-out their lives. Attending St. Theodore Catholic School can help alleviate a lot of unknowns of transitioning to Middle School. In fact, the students even learn the practical lesson of opening their lockers using the combination method – a surprisingly stressful experience for many students.
"My son was a student at St. Theo from k-6 grade. I feel he received an excellent education and has been on the A honor roll in public school so he was certainly well prepared. I believe he has a stronger sense of responsibility to the community and others around him due to the emphasis placed on God and our responsibility to our neighbors." Anonymous Survey Respondent.
WELCOME A DIVERSE COMMUNITY OF CHILDREN OF ALL FAITHS, NATIONALITIES AND ECONOMIC BACKGROUNDS;
Catholic schools have a long tradition of providing educational opportunities for all faiths (over 10% of our students were not Catholic) and all economic backgrounds. Last year alone, the school granted over $40,000 in tuition assistance to its students. This program is designed to provide all students with the benefits of this education. This program rivals any in the area. Assistance is tied to the free and reduced lunch program qualifications. Forty-eight percent of the students qualified for this program for the 2013-2014 school year.
Over 25% of our student population is Hispanic and our programs embrace this cultural uniqueness through classroom and church-related learning opportunities.
NWEA TEST RESULTS ABOVE NATIONAL AVERAGE IN EVERY GRADE AND EVERY SUBJECT;
St. Theodore Catholic School participates in measures of academic progress through the Northwest Evaluation Association (“NWEA’s”). Students in grades 1st through 5th are tested twice a year in the areas of Reading and Math. Kindergarten students are tested once a year. Grades 3rd through 5th are also tested for Language Arts and Science. These results are then shared with each family receiving a customized report for their child.
Teachers are also provided with a personalized summary for each grade which assists in customizing their lesson plans for the current students. By testing twice a year, teachers and parents receive feedback to celebrate improvements and supplement in areas in need of improvement. Each school also receives an average score by grade and the students’ performance is compared to a nationwide average.
In the fall of 2014, the St. Theodore grade norms in 1st through 5th grades beat the national norm in every category in every grade. In math, 67% of the students were at or above the national standards; Reading 69%; Language Arts 86%; and Science at 82%. Previous year results have been similar and often better results – often into the high 80’s in multiple subjects.
“For us, it is important that our child’s education is tracked through the testing process. We like the feedback throughout the year and feel this is an important tool for us to work with the teachers in customizing our child’s learning. Our entire school is testing above average in every category – that’s awesome!” St. Theodore Parent.
EXTRA ACTIVITIES SUCH AS SPANISH, ART, SCIENCE FAIR, SPELLING BEE AND MUSIC.
All St. Theodores students receive unique programs in Spanish, music and art -- as well as advanced experiences through field trips and the spelling bee. St. Theodore students also continue to lead the pack in the local science fair competition. Students continue to perform acts of kindness through various activities, including regular contact with senior citizens at the nursing homes, tree planting and other acts of kindness.
Monthly, the Parents and Kids Eat Together (PAKET) program occurs where parents and students share lunch and exchange information. The school community considers our children our greatest treasure and allows families to spend time with others that feel the same way.
“I like teaching my friends from other schools Spanish.” Morgan Goskeson, 6yrs old
“When Kids on the bus see my uniform, they ask me if we learn more than just religion. I explained to them that not only do we have the normal classes, we also have Spanish, Music and Art classes – they responded, “We want those classes too.” Avery Benda, Fourth Grade.