AT SAINT LOUIS CATHOLIC SCHOOL WE AIM TO FORM CHILDREN IN WISDOM AND HOLINESS.
Education with a Purpose
At St. Louis, we believe that the purpose of education and of life ought to drive every decision and lesson. We see our students first and foremost as human beings, made in the image and likeness of God, and called to share in the Divine Life, and we see our task as helping to train them for Heaven. Lesson plan objectives are based not first of all on what “students will be able to do”, but rather, on what “truth students will behold.” We seek to form students who have the wisdom to be able to see the good, the holiness to love it, and the eloquence and skill to be able to share it with others.
We view education as a unified enterprise, the goal of which is not to communicate knowledge of isolated “subjects,” but to train the mind in wisdom. To that end, we seek to integrate our curriculum so that the student grasps the relationships between different areas of learning, and the relationship of everything to God: our first beginning and our final goal.
Our students do not just encounter God in religion class, but rather our Catholic faith is woven into each subject area at St. Louis. St. Ireneaus of Lyon explains that the glory of God is the human person fully alive. At St. Louis, God is glorified when our students embrace the fullness of their very being through learning mathematics, science, history, literature, the arts, and athletics. The academic disciplines and extra curricular life of St. Louis help them to reach their truest selves as being in the image and likeness of God.
Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition are integrated throughout the curriculum at each grade level. Frequent and faithful participation in the Sacramental life of the Church is integral to the life of the school. Students attend Mass as a school each Friday and celebrate Catholic Devotionals each Monday. The fullness of the faith is celebrated in an age-appropriate manner, but never watered down.
Formation in Virtue
We believe that education should train not only the mind, but also the character, and should form not only good scholars, but also good men and women. The seven virtues serve as a road map on the path to become more like God, and the discussion and practice of the virtues forms an integral part of life at St. Louis School. Students focus on one of the virtues each month and study the saints who have lived lives of virtue.
Emphasis on Critical Thinking
At St. Louis, we strive to give our students the skills they need to think and express themselves with precision, clarity, logical rigor, and persuasive power.
Project Based Learning is a key method used by teachers at SLCS to implement the curriculum. Students work on a project over an extended period of time that engages them in solving a real-world problem or answering a complex question. They demonstrate their knowledge and skills by developing a project or presentation for a real audience. As a result, students apply deep content knowledge as well as critical thinking, creativity, and communication skills in the context of doing an authentic, meaningful cross curricular project.
Another key method used by teachers at St. Louis is the Socratic Seminar. Socratic Seminars seek to foster critical thinking through dialogue and the asking of questions, giving students opportunities to engage intellectually with their course material and with each other. Socratic seminars help students to develop clarity and precision of thought, as well as confidence in the art of reasoning.
When they reach 5th-8th grade, students have the opportunity choose electives to cultivate these critical thinking skills. Our STEM elective as well as 21st Century Ponderings highlight these methods and touch on real world issues and problems.
Finally, at St. Louis, students in the 7th and 8th grades are given the opportunity to formally study logic. This study sharpens the ability of students to reason well and helps to prepare them to approach any subject that may be part of their academic journey in the future.
St. Louis Catholic School's curriculum systematically covers all the objectives of the state curriculum, the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). These skills can be viewed on the Parent Resource tab of the TEKS Resource Site.
St. Louis works to meet the needs of all of its students through comprehensive and challenging academic programming in a Catholic environment. St. Louis Catholic School offers an array of electives and interventions at the Middle School level, including Spanish, French culture, Logic, psychology, study skills, art, band and choir. The Elementary program, in addition to instruction in language arts, math, science, social studies, and religion, also includes art, music, Spanish, and physical education.
Teachers at St. Louis are provided with the training and professional development to stay up to date on instructional methods and content using evidenced based best practices.
Technology as a Means, Not an End
At St. Louis our focus is equipping students with an ability to order things correctly, including an ability to put science and technology at the service of man and of God, not the other way around. We do this by embracing the good of technology, which can and does serve our purpose, and our teachers and students utilize it in many ways.
Our students have 1 to 1 access to ChromeBooks in grades 3-8 as well as iPads in the primary grades. Teachers utilize interactive Promethean Boards.
All students in the Diocese of Austin take a nationally normed standardized test that measures achievement of basic school skills in key academic areas. Historically the diocese has used the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS). St. Louis students perform very well and consistently score above the national average. Also, at certain grade levels, students take the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT), a nationally normed test that measures reasoning abilities and problem solving skills. The CogAT is a good predictor of an individual student’s potential for success in school. St. Louis students tend to score in the average to superior range in ability.
In the 2018-2019 school year St. Louis will pilot the ACT inspire for the Diocese of Austin.