St. Philip’s Philosophy
The mission of St. Philip’s School and Community Center is to enhance the lives of children and families regardless of economic background but with particular emphasis on low and moderate income families, through educational excellence, Christian principles, and compatible community services.
The philosophy of St. Philip’s School is to accept students from a range of abilities and backgrounds, recognizing each child as a unique creation entitled to love, respect, and opportunities for safe and challenging passage through the early years. The school’s small class sizes and varied educational techniques enhance and develop the unique learning style of each child and aims to install and strengthen qualities that promote a secure and responsible adult life.
The philosophical grounding of the community center programing is with an aim to prepare vs. repair. There is an intentional attempt to avoid programing that is corrective in nature. The community center takes on an approach of
collaboration with likeminded entities to attract services that meet the needs of our area residents.
St. Philip’s Statement of Values
Educational Excellence: providing the strongest possible academic background and the richest possible academic experience
Educational Opportunity: providing access to an excellent education for children including those for whom such access would not otherwise be possible financially
Christian Education: providing a religious environment for personal growth shaped by the spirit of Jesus Christ
Self Esteem: maintaining an atmosphere that develops and strengthens each individual’s sense of self worth
Personal Development: helping to strengthen each individual spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually
Ethnic Awareness: helping to foster and nurture cultural and ethnic awareness and pride bridging racial barriers: teaching and demonstrating the value of diversity in the community and teaching the humanity and brotherhood of all people
Community: working to impact and improve the lives of people through social services, enrichment programs, and recreational activities with special focus on low and moderate income families
The core curriculum is enriched with specialty programs such as Spanish, music, physical education, chapel, art, library, and theater. Technology is appropriately integrated at all levels through our Early Childhood computer labs and technology courses for Kindergarten through 6th grade. Each classroom is equipped with interactive technology to enhance our students' understanding of concepts covered in class. Through our project-based learning curriculum, students in all grade levels are challenged to become not only problem solvers, but to be problem seekers that are able to contribute to their community by making a difference. Additionally, the curriculum has a strong emphasis on 21st century skills where collaboration and critical thinking are essential components to the learning process.
The Early Childhood department educates children from pre-kindergarten through kindergarten (ages range from two through six years of age. The classes are self-contained.
The overall Early Childhood program is directly connected to the mission of the school to strive to transform the lives of children and families. Families are encouraged to be an integral part of the classroom experience through various
volunteer opportunities and academic support responsibilities.
The goal of the program is to provide students with a comprehensive curriculum and a dynamic preschool experience while preparing them in the following developmental areas: language, communication, math, science, critical
thinking, social, emotional and physical development.
Learning takes place in a nurturing environment designed to educate the whole child. The students engage in a variety of hands-on activities and lessons across all academic areas while being encouraged to explore, create and think critically. The teaching methodology evolves and adapts to the changing needs of the students.
The Lower School educates students from first through third grade. In second and third grades, students move between two core subject teachers, one teaches math and science, while the other teaches Language Arts-Reading and Social Studies. In addition to the core content areas, students travel to other teachers for specialized classes including Art, Music, Spanish, P.E., and Technology.
Lower School is a time of explosive growth. The program builds on the skills mastered in early childhood by focusing on more formal/traditional study and independence. Hands-on learning activities and centers are consistently incorporated, but they are fused with other traditional methods for teaching and learning. The classroom consists of a more structured learning environment. Students spend more time at desks and/or tables, and the amount of direct instruction is increased. Classroom rules and instruction are designed to ensure appropriate routines and materials are used and followed. Learning activities are designed to promote critical thinking skills that become habitual and automatic.
Teachers use methodology and materials to help students learn information accurately and more rapidly. Learners are taken through the steps of learning systematically and intentionally, helping them to see the purpose and result of each step. Teachers explain exactly what students are expected to learn, demonstrate the steps needed to accomplish the task, and provide opportunities for useful practice. Students are motivated to examine the information, learn the vocabulary, memorize the rules, and recite the material learned. Through repetition and narration, students demonstrate their comprehension of the subject matter.
The goal of the Middle School Prep Program is to provide the academic and social foundation needed to transition from an elementary school environment into a larger and more independent setting. Students are taught to be inquisitive and seek knowledge through opportunities that transform them into creative, and confident individuals.
The program includes Communications (Reading, Language Arts, and Writing), Math, Science, and Social Studies as the core classes with additional classes in Art, Music, Spanish and Latin, Technology, Physical Education, and Library.
We facilitate long-term, student-designed projects (Project Based Learning-PBL) that promote active, inquiry-based learning. Students are guided through a process of questioning, challenging, and problem-solving real-world issues that are presented in the curriculum, forging tangible self-to-text connections. At this level, students are aware of their own strengths and weaknesses and begin to take ownership of their path.
Students in Middle School continue building on the foundation set in earlier grades. They express mastery of skill and understand how to apply complex analysis to tasks. We teach these students to engage skills such as confidence, optimism, organization, time management, problem solving and self-advocacy. Courses like Financial Literacy, Leadership, and Entrepreneurship and Innovation empower students to be courageous and collaborative servant-leaders. Students are given the freedom to customize their path. The program introduces AP courses, includes additional offerings like Latin and Athletics, and incorporates extracurricular opportunities like Journalism and Debate.
Teachers work to ensure that lessons incorporate multiple intelligences and allow for creativity as well as verbal and written expression. The program is enhanced with research projects, the infusion of Fine Arts and Technology within core class instruction, and team building activities. Students gain a clear understanding that learning involves the interweaving of all content areas. Graduating eighth graders are provided a clear path to high school, carrying with them a generous portfolio of lessons and abilities.