FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Is St. Theresa School (STS) affiliated with a particular local Catholic parish?

St. Theresa School is a ministry of Saint Theresa Parish and the Diocese of Arlington.

How many students attend STS?  What grades does STS accommodate?  How many classes are in each grade?

There are 485 students enrolled in the current school year, in grades K-8.  Each grade has two classes.  We offer full day kindergarten.  Currently we do not offer a Pre-K program.

How many students are currently in each class and what is the maximum number allowed in each class?

Our student to teacher ratio is 11:1.  Class size is limited to 30 students.  Each Kindergarten class has a full time instructional aide and each class in grades 1-3 have part-time instructional aides.

What are St. Theresa School’s educational goals?

St. Theresa School maximizes each child’s potential.  We are a parish school, not a prep school; we are a Catholic school, not a private school.  St. Theresa School welcomes all the children of the family and the parish to become part of our learning community, and we embrace children with a wide range of academic abilities. We support our children early along so that they will be prepared to deal with diverse academic environment and take full advantage of their different learning styles.  Most students learn how to have their needs met and discard regular daily or weekly support sessions before they reach middle school.  Every student is expected to give his or her best to his or her studies.  St. Theresa  School prides itself in preparing our students for a successful high school career.

How does the school teach moral values and spiritual truths?

St. Theresa School, as every school in the Diocese of Arlington offers daily instruction in our faith.  Students prepare for the sacraments of First Penance and First Communion in second grade and Confirmation throughout seventh and eighth grades.  But this didactic approach is not what St. Theresa School is known for, it is the daily living of our faith in all we do and say.  Students develop a strong moral compass and sense of individual responsibility by relating to others in a manner that reflects their Catholic upbringing.  All students, grades 1-8, attend weekly mass.  All School Masses are held on First Friday, Ash Wednesday and Holy Days of Obligation as well as many other special days on the church calendar.  We begin each morning in community prayer.  Each class begins with a prayer, and our day ends in a prayer.  Prayer services are often held for specific intentions, the school prays the rosary together at various times, and all students attend Stations of the Cross on Fridays during Lent.  The Pastor and Parochial Vicar visit in classrooms, especially in the middle school, to discuss relevant issues and church doctrine.

What curriculum opportunities are there for high school placement?

Spanish is taught to all students from kindergarten through grade eight.   Students enrolling in Catholic high schools may then take an exemption test for high school Spanish I.  If the student passes, he/she may enter Spanish II freshman year.  Those going to public high schools do not need a test to be placed in Spanish II.  Two levels of algebra are taught in the 8th grade.  One is adequate to take the SOL for Algebra I.  Students who are going on to Catholic diocesan high schools may qualify for the more difficult level of algebra and take the algebra exemption test for diocesan high schools.  Geometry is offered for students who have successfully completed Algebra I in seventh grade.

To which schools do graduates go?

St. Theresa School graduates attend many Catholic high schools, including Bishop Denis J. O’Connell, Paul VI Catholic High School, Gonzaga College High School, Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School, Oakcrest, St. John’s College Prep and Georgetown Preparatory School as well as the local public high schools.

How does school prepare the students for family and civic life?

St. Theresa School students develop a strong sense of social justice during their stay here.  They respond to crises vigorously and speedily.  When natural catastrophes such as hurricanes or earthquakes hit in any part of the world, St. Theresa students immediately begin their fundraising efforts.  When social crises arise, students respond by praying and sending condolences.

More important, our students model their primary teacher, Jesus Christ, by being ever aware of their role in the global community.  Individual children often set in motion fundraisers which are supported by the entire school community.  A third grader initiated a coin drive which provided several thousand dollars to family who had lost everything during Hurricane Katrina.  A seventh grade student heard that the victims of the shootings at the Amish school house had no insurance for psychological counseling and spent weekends baking apple pies for a donation, as well as raffling off an Amish quilt.  The same boy raised money in the same way for a younger student’s motorized wheelchair.  The entire community rallied to provide a ramp for this student as well.  The fifth grade class spearheaded a clothing drive which ended with a sixteen foot truck being driven to a distribution center in New Jersey after hurricane Sandy.

Every fall, St. Theresa School has a food drive which provide huge amounts of food to local families for Merciful Harvest.  At Christmas, our students provide gift cards to support local families through Divine Mercy.

We support the diocesan school in Banica, Dominican Republic, as well as donating to Missionary Childhood Association (formerly Holy Childhood), Muscular Dystrophy, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, and many other charities.  Our students prepare to take their roles as caring and sensitive members of the global community, and realize that, as individuals, they have the power and responsibility to improve the lives of others.

How does the school compare to the competition (private and independent schools)?

St. Theresa School graduates select their high schools – not the other way around.  Once in their high schools, students report that they have been well prepared for the challenge, and large numbers are listed on their high school’s honor roll.  We are proud to compare the education received at St. Theresa School against any other school in Northern Virginia.

What practices or programs are in place to meet individual difference or special needs?

Many students learn differently or have physical differences.  At St. Theresa School, faculty, staff and students do not consider differences to be limitations.  Our support staff works with all involved in a student’s education to see that he/she is offered the least restrictive physical environment and an educational environment which supports the student’s learning style.  Staff holds meetings to develop and revise individual student success plans when necessary.

What are the teachers’ qualifications?

St. Theresa School’s teachers are certified and licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia, either through the Virginia Department of Education or through the Virginia Catholic Education Association.

How does the school handle discipline, including bullying?

It is conceivable that bullying may never be eradicated, especially in middle schools.  However, St. Theresa School has a strict discipline code which includes zero tolerance of physical violence, bullying, and cyber bullying.  Teachers and administration respond swiftly to any reported incidents.

Is financial assistance available?

St. Theresa School participates in the Diocese of Arlington’s financial aid program, which is based on financial need.  Families may apply online.

Does the school offer other classes?

Basic instruction and vocal music is provided for grades K-8.  Instrumental music is offered in grade 4.  Students may also participate in chorus starting in grade 3.  In addition to daily curriculum instruction, students have Art, Computers, Library, and PE once a week.

What other extra-curricular activities are available at STS?

Student Council, Drama, Karate, Volleyball, Yearbook, Altar Servers, Basketball, Chorus, Band, Pro-Life Club, Altar Society, American Heritage Girls, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Jr. Legion of Mary and art classes.

Does STS provide academic support for students who need it?

St. Theresa Catholic School recognizes the beauty and potential inherent within each student.  In an effort to foster continued growth, the school embraces the challenge to provide assistance to serve students with special needs according to the resources available within the school.  STS employs Resource Teachers who provide academic support to students who demonstrate a need for additional help.  They will also provide guidance for parents during the child study process.  Evaluation and testing is not offered on site, but is available through the Loudoun County Public School (LCPS).  Students who qualify through the LCPS may be eligible to receive additional services through them.

Does STS provide transportation?

No, parents are responsible for the transportation of their students to and from school.  Many families carpool and others have their children enrolled in an after-school childcare center which provides the transportation.

Does STS have an After-School Program?

Yes, STS offers an after school program which goes until 6:00pm each day that the school is in session.  Parents need to provide transportation for their child from the program.  Our program is licensed through the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Does STS offer hot lunches?

Yes, we offer hot lunch that is purchased a month in advance.

Does STS have an uniform?

Yes, there is a school uniform dress code which is required for all students in grades K-8.  This information may be found in the school handbook under the Parent Resources menu on this website.

 

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