We want to thank the three-year old teacher, Mrs. Sheppard for her loving care of our grandson. He has learned so much, especially a love of books. This very experienced teacher provides a well-rounded preschool experience.
The teachers are well-qualified and work hard to provide a positive learning experience. The small class sizes and the challenging curriculum lead to excellent ITBS scores, but more importantly, students learn to love learning.
The teachers at St. Thomas encourage students to do their best and not compare themselves to others. Collaboration teaches children to work together, learn together, and help others learn, too. Students learn that if they don't know something well, their teachers will support them until they have success.
Children at St. Thomas are treated with respect, and the school fosters that attitude towards others. Students learn to listen when others speak, to accept differences, and to follow the rules of the classroom and school. The Golden Rule is alive and well here.
Because of the small class sizes, teachers have time to model caring and compassion for their students. At St. Thomas, children participate in service-learning activities that teach compassion and outreach into the community.
St. Thomas has a number of good things about it - small class sizes, an amazing playground, and the number and variety of extracurricular activities all make St. Thomas an appealing option. However, at least at the lower grades, you should steer clear if you have a child, especially a boy, who is immature or unruly. The teachers in the lower grades do not have the classroom management skills or patience to work well with children who don't delight in pleasing adults and doing seatwork.
My child attended St. Thomas from age 3 through fifth grade. My husband and I are advocates of both public and private and never expected to stay through the private school years. However, we did continue after preschool. For our family and for several others, private school has provided a family atmosphere and a genuine one-on-one elementary education both spiritually and academically. We are not of the Episcopalian religion, but St. Thomas embraces and respects different religions. My oldest has gone on to the public school nearby and loves it--at St. Thomas she also scores in the grades 13+ on the ITBS test. She qualified for advanced Math, Reading, and Language at the public middle school and is thriving. She learned great organizational skills from her teachers over the years and we are blessed to have had St. Thomas in our lives. Our youngest still attends, and we know it is providing her with a good education. No school is perfect, but for us, this school has been a blessing.
My daughter is finishing her fifth year at St. Thomas and I wanted to take a moment to share what a blessing the school has been in our lives. I used to teach in a public school and I am constantly amazed at how much personal time St. Thomas teachers pour into the students and school. My daughter has flourished with the smaller class sizes and has the confidence to try new things. Her teachers have been stellar - she scored 13+ in many areas of her Iowa tests. We toured other schools and I've had friends recommend their child's school but I have yet to find one that provides the small, innocence-protecting, faith-based environment we have received at St. Thomas. I rarely put my seal of approval on anything as important as a child's education and emotional well-being, but I would not hesitate to recommend St. Thomas. We love it.