The success of Upper School campus is built on the philosophy that all children can learn and thrive in an environment where excellence in teaching and a love of learning is fostered.
Here, our 3rd through 8th-grade students share a campus that includes the main educational building, the gymnasium, athletic fields, the St. Dominic building serving as a space for electives, clubs, and tutoring, and our beloved St. Thomas Aquinas Church and parish hall. Two distinct wings within the main facility provide a natural divide between the intermediate grades and the middle school grades. Common areas include the cafeteria, art and theater wing, playground/athletic field, gymnasium, our extensive Upper School library and the Church.
Students connect as one community at all-school activities and events. Parishioners, students and parents gather together for Upper School Community and Holy Day Masses. Pep rallies are a school favorite as the students, teachers, and parents cheer on our Middle School student-athletes in over 13 different sports. Other school-wide events include Blessing of the Animals, campus-wide STEM fair, Catholic Schools Week Open House and Art Show.
Students embody our service motto "Know it. Show it Live it." throughout the year. Dollar Dress Days, provide students with the opportunity to forgo the STA uniforms and dress down in exchange for donations to a variety of causes and charities in our neighborhood and abroad. Can food drives, Manna bags, students continue to learn the importance of serving others. School-wide events such as Catholic Schools Week, Kindness Week, sporting events, fall Carnival, STEM Fair, author and artist visits also bring opportunities for school-wide participation and fellowship.
Lastly, a professional student services team including a Certified Academic Language Therapist, Registered Educational Diagnostician, a Licensed Professional Counselor, Registered Nurse and Dean of Students supports our Upper School students. Upper School campus faculty is comprised of PE teachers, art teacher, music and musical theater and drama teachers, Spanish teachers, computer lab specialist and our teacher-librarian also round out a teaching and support staff of over 59 at the Upper School campus.
We invite you to delve deeper into our two different divisions and experience how St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School equips our students to become tomorrow's leaders.
The emphasis of the 3rd-5th grade curriculum is educating the whole child. While offering an excellent academic program in core subjects, Religion, Math, English, Social Studies, and Science, St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School also emphasizes art, music, drama, physical education, technology, and foreign language.
At this age, teachers move toward cooperative learning activities including group projects where students work together to solve problems and apply new concepts. Curriculum is enhanced with additional outside educational resources. A dedicated Computer technology lab, additional computers in the classrooms, as well as one-to one devices in the classroom for specific assignments becomes the launch pad for developing 21st century research skills for continues academic growth.
At the Lower School they learn to read but as our students move to the Upper School they read to learn. Our intermediary program provides our students opportunities to shine in a safe and nurturing environment.
The 6th - 8th grade years support an emphasis on high school preparedness. As students continue to grow academically, they enhance their skills through critical thinking, creativity, communication skills and collaboration with others.
Creativity through preparation and inquiry. Critical thinking through integration, problem solving and logical thinking. Communication for data and information collections, argumentation and presentation and collaboration for teamwork and investigative skills.
Middle school teachers focus on student differentiation emphasizing individual learning style and learning strengths. Project and assignments are driven by student choice and interest.
Parent partnership is very important at this age.
A growth mindset is cultivated based on student engagement Middle School students take ownership of their learning through student engagement and supported by tools including a strong aligned curriculum, dedicated teachers, and supportive environment necessary to succeed and soar.
Educating the whole child academically, spiritually and socially requires a collaborative effort among teachers, parents and students as a school-church community. This partnership is a necessary component for student success.
- Jen Watts, Upper School Principal