By Guest Blogger Melissa Kinsley, Director of Marketing Communications & Admissions
Choosing a school for your child can make your head spin. Whether you’re a first time parent who’s first foray into the school search is finding a nurturing and academic preschool or you’re a seasoned parent who’s youngest child is approaching middle school and large classes make you and him/her uneasy about his/her ability to succeed, the choices can seem overwhelming. Trying to determine the best fit for your child can feel daunting to even the most seasoned parent. If you’re looking for a school that educates the whole child—mind and spirit—in a close-knit community, you may be looking for St. Leo Catholic School.
Established in 1953, St. Leo Catholic School serves students in Preschool-8th Grade. St. Leo focuses on rigorous academics, personal responsibility and service to others in light of the Gospels. St. Leo is a faith-based school rooted in the traditions and teachings of the Catholic Church; however, students of all faiths attend the school. A core teaching is a respect for other beliefs and perspectives; so everyone is truly welcome and feels at home at St. Leo.
Their half-day preschool program serves up an academically enriching curriculum in a nurturing atmosphere. Preschool curriculum includes Circle Time, Learning Centers, Zoo Phonics, Religion, Spanish, Fitness and Music. Pre-Kindergarten includes all of the preschool classes plus Computer and Library. Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten have a Lead Teacher and an Assistant Teacher which equates to a 7:1 student-to-teacher ratio. Starting fall 2016, the school is expanding its exceptional preschool program to offer a Flexible 5 Day Program from 8:30 am to 11:30 am. Parents may register for T/TH, M/W/F, Monday-Thursday or Monday-Friday programs. Early Drop-Off and Lunch Bunch will be offered 5 days a week for an additional fee. Pre-Kindergarten continues its 5 day-a-week program. Preschool accepts potty-trained children who are 3-years-old by August 31. Pre-Kindergarten accepts children who are 4-years-old by August 31.
Across all grades, St. Leo offers a faith-based liberal arts curriculum emphasizing literacy through phonics, grammar and handwriting, math and science proficiency, exposure to three foreign languages, music/art appreciation and teamwork through their athletic program. Students partake in weekly services, a variety of field trips that encourages hands on learning and clubs like MathCounts and Robotics that help extend the curriculum. The student to teacher ratio in the elementary and middle school is 15:1. St. Leo has one grade per class which enables the faculty to get to know the students not only on an academic level but a personal one as well. Each teacher strives to challenge and to offer additional help as needed. St. Leo has a Guidance Director and Resource Teacher to address the needs of students including those with learning differences. Our curriculum is geared towards creating a learning environment where all learning styles foster and grow.
In K-5th grade, students are exposed to Spanish, French and Chinese. In Middle School, students select one of the three languages offered to focus on for three years. Additionally, Middle School has small math and science classes (15 per class on average) which enable students to ask questions in a nurturing environment and to use manipulatives in math and take part in hands-on labs for science.
In addition to a strong curriculum, there is a focus on service to others. Students take part in a pen pal program with Senior Citizens, “Caring Friends,” and a peer-to-peer mentoring program, “Prayer Partners,” that encourages friendship and mentoring among the student body. The Student Council leads Outreach Initiatives that encourage service to the community and the world. Each class identifies their own service project and structures their outreach initiative to help alleviate the need they see in the world. For example, the Fifth Grade’s Lenten Outreach Program is Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Rice Bowl Program which exposes students not only to the needs of other countries but also the unique cultures throughout the world.
St. Leo Catholic School has a strong Athletics Program that encourages teamwork and sportsmanship. They participate in Piedmont Elementary Catholic Schools Athletic Association (PECSAA) and compete against Triad Catholic Schools in Track, Volleyball, Basketball, Golf and Cheer. Students can participate in the track program as early as Kindergarten. The rest of the sports are offered starting in 5th grade with 5th and 6th grades comprising Junior Varsity teams and 7th and 8th comprising Varsity.
With their focus on academics, service and sportsmanship, St. Leo prepares students for not only their future academic challenges in high school but also for success in life as students develop a keen understanding of the need to be a contributing and responsible citizen of our world and our nation.
To learn more about how St. Leo Catholic School prepares students for success in the classroom and for life, schedule a tour today by calling Melissa Kinsley, Director of Marketing, Communications & Admissions, at 336-748-8252. Now accepting applications for the 2016-2017 school year. All are welcome.
*Sponsored by St. Leo Catholic School