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.
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.
The School Director, Dr. Debra Root is just fantastic! Not only is she an excellent teacher-educator, but a wonderful communicator and manager of her staff. We are very fortunate to have her at St. Thomas.
St. Thomas Episcopal School offers a supportive, caring environment in which children can learn about how to develop their gifts and talents while learning in classrooms with small student/teacher ratios. The school offers special classes in art, music, Spanish, computers, physical education, and Bible education. As the new principal of the school, I have been welcomed by the students, parents, school staff, and church staff. Exciting things are planned for St. Thomas including a robotics club for upper school, inquiry-based science and science note-booking, incorporation of curriculum for gifted education, and a multifaceted language arts program. We offer summer camps and after school enrichment that is open to the public. Children have opportunities to visit our library for pleasure reading and research. Parents are an important part of the school and have an active Parent-Teacher Fellowship. The church considers the school a very important ministry at St. Thomas.
Our child has completed the Gift of Time program. We are amazed how he has grown academically, socially, and spiritually. This school is setting a solid foundation for our son's academic years. We are indebted to the wonderful teachers and staff who give of themselves, in order, for their students to succeed. This is all coming from an 18 yr. public school veteran. We have decided as a family the finacial commitment to have our son attend St. Thomas Episcopal School is worth the investment.