To furnish students with an outstanding Classical education informed by the wisdom of the Catholic intellectual and spiritual tradition. We provide a rigorous Liberal Arts curriculum that gives our students a firm foundation in faith and morals. By these means, we strive to form students who have a genuine love of God and the Church and who are prudent, compassionate, kind, courageous, and generous in their service of one another and to others.
Fides et Ratio
Meaning “Faith and Reason,” our motto extols the integration of these two human faculties to form the completeness of knowledge that man needs in order to know both himself and his maker. Our motto is taken from Pope Saint John Paul II’s 1998 Encyclical of the same title. While Pope Saint John Paul II brought new awareness to the idea that human beings need both faith and reason to understand the cosmos and their place in it, this is an ancient theological concept. It is expressed, with different emphases, by such towering figures of Church History as St. Augustine of Hippo (354 A.D. to 430 A.D.), who declared credo ut intelligam — “I believe in order that I may understand,” and St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033 A.D. to 1107 A.D.), who described the Christian life as a state of fides quaerens intellectum — “faith seeking understanding.”
We are committed to Classical education.
As a Catholic school, STCS strives:
- to impart a robust knowledge of the Catholic Faith through the study of Sacred Scripture Liturgy, Theology, and moral reasoning
- to cultivate a deep love for God and His Church
- to introduce students to the practice of the spiritual and corporal works of mercy
As a Classical school, STCS promotes:
- Liberal Arts education
- a literary approach to learning marked by the Great Books tradition
- extensive Music education
- a Latin-centered curriculum
- an engaging Art instruction program for all grades
- Physical Education and sports as vital to the goal of educating mind, heart, and body
Wisdom and Wonder in Teaching and Learning
The academic program at Saint Theresa Catholic School is framed within our Wisdom and Wonder approach to instruction. STCS faculty are masters of the content they teach, and conduct lessons in ways that are designed to connect with students’ sense of enquiry and wonder about the world around them. Our educational aims are intentionally characterized by an effort to have each subject presented in its full, living context, rather than being reduced to a lifeless analysis of mere data or other information removed from its original setting. This is why our students encounter Latin first as a conversational language, and only later engage in translation of selections from Julius Caesar, Cicero, and Saint Augustine. When most middle school students begin to explore the life of insects, they are often presented with the specimen of a dead cricket to study. Every child knows, however, that live crickets chirp, leap, and eat. At STCS, students work together in teams to build insect habitats to sustain at least three generations of crickets, discovering far more about these insects than the features of an exoskeleton. Instead, students learn about an array of information that defines the essence of crickets, as they contemplate optimal food, light, life cycle, moisture levels, temperature, noise levels, space requirements, and surfacing in habitat designs.
Consistent with the Wisdom and Wonder approach to teaching and learning at STCS, core subjects are integrated and mutually reinforcing. For example, instructors organize literature selections to complement the sequential teaching of History. In Grades 4-8, students trace the history of civilization from the dawn of time through the early 21st Century while reading literature from each era to make that period come alive. Grade 5 students explore the Greek and Roman Empires while reading Rosemary Sutcliffe’s Eagle of the Ninth, a novel that traces the wanderings of a fictional legionary in Roman Britain. Students in Grade 8 study the Civil Rights movement in mid-20th Century America while reading Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. In each case, characters living in a certain era give students a fuller realization of what life was like at that time. This structure encourages students to glean multiple, coordinated insights into concepts, movements, and principles that a disaggregated approach does not yield. Ours is an approach to educating a child that connects with his or her innate desire to know more about the world and results in an openness of mind and enrichment of soul as topics are viewed as having many facets and dimensions. This method completely surpasses the ordinary utilitarian approach of many schools, where students are told simply that they must learn a concept simply because they will need it to be admitted to the next level of education, whether high school or college.
As a classical school, instruction in core classes combines a mimetic method with a Socratic approach to engaging students. In mimetic learning, students move “from the known to the unknown,” as new concepts are introduced through close comparison with more familiar objects or ideas. The Socratic conventions of question-and-answer, analogy, debate, and defense of viewpoint ensure that students are always active learners in building their store of knowledge and in forming their character. Assessment involves not only summative exercises through quizzes and tests, but also formative experiences, such as informal classroom debates that challenge students in their understanding of fundamental concepts. This method ensures that an STCS student can think clearly, analyze closely, and make wise decisions and healthy choices, not merely repeat the ideas of others.