Welcome to St. Thomas Aquinas Grade School,
In 2003, St. Thomas Aquinas Grade school opened its doors to less than 180 students in Pre-school – 8th grade. The pre-school only had a total of 14 students when the school opened. This year, our school opened its doors to over 420 students including 63 students in our pre-school alone. A vision was created and executed by Fr. Kieran Kleczewski,V.F. and many leaders from both the parish and school who full-hearted believe in the mission of Catholic education. Despite expansion during the most arduous economic times, the journey to double our enrollment as well as maintain high academic standards and programing was achieved. Today, we have an impeccable reputation as being one of the top Catholic schools in the valley. Our faculty maintains the highest of academic standards as 85% of them hold a Master's degree. It is expected by next year, enrollment will reach capacity with double classes in grades K-7th grade. In May of 2016, we look forward to promoting our first doubled 8th grade class.
Along with enrollment expansion, we have accomplished expansion of our curriculum programming including Scholastic Reading Counts, EGUMPP, an on-line grammar program, music, an award winning art program, and soon, we will be adding STAR math assessment program as well as TURN-IT-IN which encourages proper writing skills in the middle school. We are continually improving our technology plan to enhance our students learning.
Along with curriculum programming, St Thomas Aquinas has a strong vision for offering extra-curricular activities. Along with athletics of football, basketball, volleyball, baseball, and softball, we offer Robotics, which has achieved going to the State championship for 3 years, Violin Club, Honors Choir, Chess Club, Young Rembrandts, Math Counts, NJHS, Student Council, and Service Club, which accumulates over 1400 hours of service in one year from students in grades 6-8th grades, as well as our students are active in our parish ministries of altar serving, lectoring and music cantors.
Our greatest accomplishment throughout this journey of expansion is building our Catholic identity every day to make sure our students understand and accomplish the ideals of being good stewards of our faith. We encourage our students and families to model discipleship through our Schoolwide Learning Expectations. We promote our Catholic faith through prayer and studies starting the moment they start in our pre-school program. Our spiritual journey is a daily work- in- progress. We are committed to our student's spiritual development along with their academic one. We are blessed at STA to have just opening a 1200 square foot art room that allows for art to be taught in K-8th grades. We have the Catholic Art Tradition (CARTT) program that teaches our Catholic faith through art. An emphasis in exposing our students to art has evolved as part of teaching the whole child. Students in grades 6th -8th also have a professional artist who teaches the basic skills of art every week.
We thank our parishioners for their continued prayers throughout our journey. Their support with CEA, the Catholic Education Arizona tax credit program is critical. This program is instrumental in assisting our families with their financial obligation.
Please join us at Mass every Thursday morning and 3rd Sunday at 9:00 AM Mass. St. Thomas Aquinas Grade School is alive and growing every day – we are blessed.
Mrs. Cynthia Scheller