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St. Thomas Aquinas

3741 Abrams Road
Dallas, TX 75214

Phone:
(214) 826-0566

Website:

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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based, Teacher-Led

From the Director:

Play-based with some structure best describes our program. However, a combination of all three are implemented when appropriate. We want the children to enjoy learning and while play is important, we want children to be well prepared for success in Kindergarten.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

  Play- based mostly teacher led not formally in curriculum conducive environment
Language       more

More Information

  • Tracing paper and other writing instruments
  • A well-stocked bookcase
  • Handwriting without Tears (prewriting curriculum) and LEAP Program (curriculum enrichment)
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
  • Manipulatives, counters, games, scales, growth charts, measuring tools, computer programs
Time & space more

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  • Calendars and clocks
  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • Maps
  • Building blocks
Sci. reasoning/physical world more

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  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
  • Pets for children to watch and care for
  • Computer programs, sand and water tables, nature walks
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
  • Music teacher, CD's and player in each room
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
Physical activity more

More Information

  • A playground with climbing equipment
  • Bean bags, balls, and other objects that children can throw, kick, and play
  • Tricycles
  • Enough room for children to move around and play and a suitable indoor alternative to the outdoor playground on rainy days
  • Sandboxes and/or water stations for play
  • Sandbox outside with sand toys and sand trucks, adjacent field for ball/parachute play
Other subjects taught Catholic Faith and Traditions in the classroom and weekly Prayer Service in the church.

From the Director:

The areas of the curriculum are introduced and initiated by the teacher. Concepts are supported and enriched with age-appropriate props and enrichment activities and learning materials in the corresponding play center to reinforce the teacher-led instruction. The children are given the freedom to choose centers and the activities in those centers.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School strives to achieve academic excellence for all students in an atmosphere of Christian compassion and respect. Each child is considered a gift from God. Every child's spiritual, academic, physical, cultural, and social development is viewed as a shared responsibility of the child, the parent, and the teachers. St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School is committed to educating all children of parishioners who desire a Catholic education. St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School seeks to develop the highest possible level of potential in each child, both as a person and a Christian. The needs of the individual and their potential for good will be considered foremost in each decision and policy of the school

A Typical Day

Opening circle time: songs, prayers, calendar, weather, storytime with discussion, sharing (each child has an opportunity to talk about anything they choose), teacher describes what the center activities are for that day.

Center activities: free choice and free play, during "center time" the teacher will have the opportunity to work with small groups or a specific skill, which allows the teacher to observe each child on an individual basis.

Class snack is provided and served in the classroom.

30 minutes of outside physical play.

Whole group activity such as playing a game together.

Closing circle: storytime, prayer, song, and dismissal.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

Parent orientation; (2) Parent-Teacher conferences per school year and any other time a conference is requested by the parent, teacher, or director. Counselor observation and parent-counselor conference, PK progress reports, teacher observations, teachers maintain a file on each student in their class and save samples of their work, which they share with parents during the year. Preschool newsletter, home (family) projects.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Sit on the board of trustees
  • Hold social events at the school to build community
  • Fundraise
  • Are required to make donations ourselves
  • Are able to visit the school anytime we want
  • Go on field trips
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Receive newsletters

Modes of Communication

  • Notes
  • Phone Calls
  • Voice Mail
  • Email
  • Special Meetings
  • Two or More Regular Conferences
  • Drop-Off
  • Pick-Up
  • Regular newsletter/printed updates circulated to the whole school

Separation

Separation is Handled through:

  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Extra staff dedicated to handle separation
  • Abbreviated schedule at start of school year

Handling Separation: From the Director

No afternoon program during the first week of school.