About St. Paul Lutheran School
Looking for tennis sweaters and Hum V's? Sorry, you won't find them here. St. Paul is a school for everyone. Our parents are regular people who want to make a difference in their children's lives. They know:
- A child's earliest years mean the most.
- An excellent academic program is measured in terms of quality instructional time, not in expensive material items.
- Knowing God gives children a moral compass that will serve them throughout life.
- Role models matter. Teachers modeling great behavior help children become great people.
- Parents make a difference. A parent is the most important part of a child's life.
We pour our resources into what really counts - quality time.
When you walk into a big school you usually see an art room, a music room, a gym, a lunch room, etc. in addition to classrooms. While these rooms look nice, they don't contribute to quality learning time. At St. Paul, we've chosen to focus on what counts.
- We hire fantastic teachers and keep them. Most of our staff has been at St. Paul for over ten years.
- We use the best instructional materials available. Our teachers are always searching for better curriculum, instructional tools, and learning activities.
- We ensure learning is age appropriate. For instance, preschool through grade 1 students do not have computer time - they focus on building knowledge and social interaction. Grades 2-5 use the computer lab for keyboarding, composition, and research. Our monitors are "old style" as the glass is more durable than newer screen material, but the computers are modern. Grades 2-3 write pen pal letters by hand to build penmanship skills; however, 4th and 5th graders correspond via email.
- We incorporate technology in ways that enhance learning. Each K-5 classroom is equipped with an overhead projector and MimioTeach interactive system. These tools improve student engagement and provide an essential audio/visual experience for building understanding in core concepts.
- We make one-on-one time a priority. Kids have lots of teacher interaction throughout the day to ensure they are learning.
- We focus on the whole child and help kids learn while growing into the best people they can be. Developing a good character and sound moral values, learning about and trusting in God, taking responsibility for ourselves, and being independent are just as important at St. Paul as academic development.
We know our students are learning and growing.
Our students score at or above state testing standards. To see how St. Paul students' scores compare with their peers, click here. Public middle school teachers tell us our students enter sixth grade at or above grade level. Parents of St. Paul alums comment on how prepared their children were for the social and emotional demands of middle school. Our students are strong in character and faith and do well in middle school and beyond.
We don't have a playground by choice.Discussions with school occupational therapists have revealed that playgrounds limit the social development of children. Students on playgrounds don't interact with their peers and don't participate in cooperative play. They also don't engage in developing fine motor skills through activities like dribbling a ball, playing catch with a friend, or jumping rope.
Our kids go out for recess everyday. They interact with their peers. Teachers actively participate in recess time and encourage engagement and activity. Our kids have lots of fun without a $50,000+ jungle gym. They are learning too while enjoying the freedom of creativity that comes with open space and a fantastic imagination.
After school, many parents opt to give their children play time at nearby Austin Park. Teachers also take students to Austin Park (a short walk from school) for special recess time. So there are many opportunities for playground time in and outside the school day for kids who love to run through a fort, swing, and slide.
Our parents choose what their children eat for lunch.Have you seen what is on the National School Lunch Program's menu? Unfortunately, many of the entrée options are high in sodium, high in fat, and low in nutritional value. Our parent-teacher association provides hot lunch once a week and our school has 5 microwaves so that kids can have warm ups for lunch. Kids who eat healthy meals make better behavior choices and are better learners. By opting out of hot lunch, we give parents the opportunity to choose healthy foods their children enjoy.
We'd love a gym, but...
We're short the million dollars it would take to build one. It's a big investment for a small school. Our parents have requested that our tuition stays low and that we focus on providing an outstanding learning experience in a Christian environment. They know their children don't need all of the extras public schools tend to provide to learn and be happy, capable young people.
St. Paul Lutheran Church has operated a preschool since 1967. In 1998, the church opened an elementary school with Kindergarten and 1st grade and then added two grade levels each year through grade 5. The 2012-2013 school year is St. Paul's fourteenth year of operation. The students represent a variety of faiths, and some students are not affiliated with a church. The 2012-2013 enrollment is at 63 students. The student body consists of 9 three-year-old preschoolers, 12 four-year-old preschoolers, 9 kindergarteners, 8 first graders, 11 second graders, 6 third graders, 5 fourth graders, and 3 fifth graders.
St. Paul operates as part of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod school system and is accredited by the New York State Education Department. Students participate in state testing throughout the year. St. Paul students meet or exceed state academic standards. From 2005-2011, of students tested (grades 3-5), 89% met or exceeded standards on the state English Language Arts test and 92% met or exceeded standards on the state Mathematics test. From 2007-2011, 100% of students tested (grade 4) passed the state Science test. From 2007-2009, 100% of students tested (grade 5) passed the state Social Studies test (this test was discontinued due to state budget cuts). Public middle school teachers have noted that St. Paul students typically enter sixth grade at or above grade level with strong moral values and a good character.
School classrooms may have up to 20 students. Currently, St. Paul is implementing a multi-age classroom model, with grades K and 1 working collaboratively in the first classroom, grades 2 and 3 in the second classroom, and grades 4 and 5 in the third classroom. The school employs four full-time teachers, one part-time foreign language teacher, and two teacher aides. Teaching assignments are as follows:
- Mrs. Ann Werk - Principal, Grades 4-5, Music
- Mr. Jason Clark - Grades 2-3, Physical Education
- Mrs. Janice Shetler - Grades K-1
- Mrs. Deb Porter - Preschool, Art
- Ms. Theresa Gorecki - Foreign Language (Spanish)
The mission of St. Paul Lutheran School is to enable the families of the community to know Jesus as their Savor by providing a Christian educational environment that fosters academic excellence. St. Paul teachers connect Christian education with academic instruction each day. Every morning, teachers meet for devotion to prepare for the school day and pray together. Mrs. Werk leads them in her role as principal and pastor's wife. Each Monday, teachers and 4-year-old preschool through grade 5 students gather for chapel with Pastor Allen Werk. Tuesday through Friday, K-5 students gather at the beginning of school to review their weekly Bible lesson and pray. Grade 2-5 students have their own Bibles and memorize a weekly Bible verse as part of their memory work. Before snack and lunch times, students pray. Students are also encouraged to use God's teachings to guide their actions. Kindness and generosity are talked about and modeled by teachers, quarrels are settled by forgiving each other, and the Ten Commandments provide students with a moral compass for daily living.
St. Paul's Christian education program is joyful. Prayers are fun and include songs and hand or arm motions when appropriate. The music program includes uplifting, Christian songs that are enjoyed by the students. Each year, the school's Christmas and spring programs combine theatre and song to share God's love and Bible teachings with an audience of family and community members. Students also sing as part of St. Paul church services for special events.
Students are encouraged to attend church services with their family members at their family's church. Families who are not affiliated with a church are invited to attend St. Paul as welcomed visitors. Church is presented as a place to talk with God, to hear His word, and to be strengthened by His love. Students tend to be active in their churches and encourage family members to be involved at church as well.
Students are given opportunities to help with mission work throughout the year. Chapel offerings are used to support local mission activities. Students and their families also collect items to donate to families in need. Each Christmas St. Paul adopts a family through the Salvation Army and provides them with Christmas gifts and food for their pantry. Students also pray for their teachers who travel for missionary work each year. They volunteer in the community as well when opportunities are available.
The school facility is comprised of classrooms and work spaces within the church and adjacent building known as Memorial Hall. The church includes classrooms for grades K-1 and 2-3 along with a computer room, lunch room, teacher resource room, and library. The church sanctuary also hosts weekly student chapel time and serves as the performance stage for the school's Christmas play and spring program. Memorial Hall offers preschool and grades 4-5 classrooms along with space for music instruction. Art and foreign language (Spanish) are offered inside the classrooms or lunch room as activities require. Physical education takes place outside in the paved parking lot or adjacent lawn area or inside the lunch room during inclement weather.
St. Paul's 2012-2013 school year budget is about $160,000. This figure covers staff, curriculum, supplies, and other costs associated with running the school. Facility costs are covered by the church as are costs that would be incurred by the church in its typical operation (such as custodial and secretary wages). In 2011-2012, the school raised about 70% of its budget through tuition and fund raising revenue. The church pays the remaining portion of the budget. The school continues to strive toward becoming self-sustaining and covering a majority of its expenses.