Welcome to the Lower School
At the Lower School, we emphasize development of the whole child, building confidence and skills in a safe and nurturing environment. We make it a priority to offer the support necessary to develop the whole child – academically, socially, emotionally, physically and spiritually. We build a strong foundation on which children can grow as confident and capable students. We celebrate the individual learner by differentiating instruction to meet the diverse needs of our students. We cultivate spiritual awareness and development and infuse faith formation across domains. Living the hope expressed in the prayer of St. Thomas Aquinas, we strive to help the children live as responsible, generous and honest students.
Experienced, caring and compassionate teachers make the difference. With a focus on developmentally appropriate best practices, such as differentiated guided reading, the use of manipulatives in math, hands-on science lab experiments, an emphasis on student-produced activities, and a loving and logical approach toward discipline, we help students reach their greatest potential. Students are well supported by a talented student services team including reading specialists, a school counselor and school nurse. PE, art, music/drama, Spanish, computers and library are important elements of the well-rounded experience for students at the Lower School.
At the Lower School, all classes in PK through second grade began using the PATHS program (Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies) for social-emotional learning. Evidence-based and designed by clinical psychologists and child development experts, PATHS helps students build essential skills, such as increasing self-control and developing empathy for others. Each teacher received training and taught the curriculum to their homeroom classes. Lower School Counselor/Learning Specialist Padmini Dayal continued to teach the curriculum during Distance Learning. We were very happy with how the children embraced the skills and we saw them using them on their own and even reminding each other when working through challenges at school. We believe these important skills will produce long-term benefits for students’ overall well-being as well as for their academic success.
Graduation looked a little different but we hope our students still felt special as they drove through our celebration line and had their photos taken with their graduation caps on, proudly displaying their certificates. As the kindergarten team and specials teachers waved good-bye, the first grade team was there to welcome them to their new adventure…first grade!
On Grandparents Day we shifted to align with the celebration of Catholic Schools Week, we tried some new things this year, including a moving performance of Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World,” by our PK students. Many happy tears were shared that day when it is estimated that the Lower school hosted at least 300 visitors.
Lower School Math Wizards
St. Thomas Aquinas Lower School was the number one school in the STATE for the month of May in First in Math. That means that our K-2 students solved more problems correctly while using Firstinmath.com than all the other K-8 schools in the state of Texas - quite an accomplishment! In total, our K-2 students solved more than 1.9 MILLION math problems so far this year. Students can continue to play through July 31.
All Saints Mass
Second grade is such a vital year for faith formation. Second graders, who usually experience their First Reconciliation at the Lower School, had their first confessions heard at the church in the confessionals. A wonderful reflection of our commitment to preparing saints and scholars is the saints unit of study. Each student selected a saint to study and researched, reported on, and dressed as their saint, culminating in the All Saints Mass for Upper School students, hosted by our second graders.
First grade celebrated Texas Independence with our annual Texas celebration, just before heading out for spring break. The kids dressed up in Texas-themed garb, and shared and tasted all things Texas as a first grade family.
First grade held their annual fairytale ball but with a twist. It was full of dancing, fairy tales, and laughter. Our fairytale unit was raised to an extreme level complete with fairy tales from STA royalty and the opportunity to bake amazing cookies with television’s “Top Chef” contestant Casey Thompson, (Mrs. Thompson’s daughter), starring in the baking videos straight from her kitchen in Sonoma, California.
We believe in the importance of school as a place where teachers love coming every day to teach and students love coming every day to learn; the Lower School culture is decidedly student-centered.
- Lauren Roberts, Principal
is located at
6255 E. Mockingbird Lane
Dallas, Texas 75214