2023 State of the School
January 6, 2023
St. Mary's Parents,
As we recognize St. Mary’s 45th year, there is much to celebrate. As we look forward, there is much about which to be excited. In a word, the State of the School is strong.
St. Mary’s celebrates the uniqueness of each child and serves as stewards of their intellectual curiosity, faith, and passion for discovery. Our work is more than building knowledge; it is building people who are ready for the world ahead of them.
We know there are many ways that St. Mary’s is already doing this well, and, we are called to evolve in ways that ensure we continue to lead with our strengths and build upon them. We are continuously informed by research that helps us better understand how the brain works, how children learn, and how to routinely improve upon the design of our learning environment to serve each learner in it. We are, at our core, child centered and learner centered.
The opening of our 4 new classrooms, storm shelter, restrooms, private Early Childhood drive and parking lot is in our near future. The hidden time capsule we created in the fall will be part of this structure for many years and each of us will fondly remember where we wrote our name behind the wall.
Our development and advancement efforts are reaching new heights.
The Annual Fund is at historically high numbers due to the generosity of this great community. Our overall gift size has increased by 31%. Faculty and staff giving is at 100%. I am excited about the trajectory of our efforts in this arena, and it is clear that the St. Mary’s community is eager to support the growth of the school through greater engagement and philanthropy.
We are excited to be supporting and enhancing our programs through these generous gifts. These gifts dramatically change the experience for our students, and they enable us to augment our programs, attract and retain the best teachers, develop our resources, and improve our facilities. We look forward to a night at Remington Park on March 4th enjoying our Annual Beau Geste Gala.
We have been keenly focused on growing our music program.
St. Mary’s fine arts program remains an integral aspect of a student’s journey, and we remain committed to supporting the growth and development of the music program. We have added recorders and piano lab to our curriculum to further enhance your child's musical experience.
Mark your calendars for May 12th to attend our 3rd, 4th and 5th grades musical; Wizard of Oz. This is an every-other-year hallmark for our oldest students and one they eagerly anticipate and work so hard towards.
Technology plays a vital role in the current and future lives of our students.
We have expanded our one-to-one technology devise program to include all the students first through 5th grades. To give you some appreciation for the size of this operation, our Technology Director manages 138 iPads, 30 chrome books, 21 interactive boards, 74 computers and 2 3D printers.
St. Mary’s use of technology will continue to evolve and it will always be utilized to augment our curriculum, facilitate student engagement and learning, and prepare our graduates for their life journey.
Each year, our 1st through 5th grade students take the Iowa Test of Basic Skills. The gift of a full St. Mary's experience, and students participating in their Capstone Year as 5th grade students, is evident in these results.
Over the last 5 years, our 5th grade students tested, on average, two full years ahead of grade level.
All grade levels, in all subjects, average above grade level scores every year. Below please find the breakdown of where our school averaged in relation to grade level in 2022.
2022 School-Wide Testing Results:
Reading: 1 year, 4 months over grade level
Language: 1 year, 6 months over grade level
Math: 1 year, 4 months over grade level
Social Studies: 1 year, 4 months over grade level
Science: 1 year, 7 months over grade level
We are proud of the role we’ve played in transforming lives for the last 45 years, and we are grateful for our current successes. We continue to focus on curriculum, extracurricular programming, the student experience, and relationships.
Most importantly, we believe in supporting students through the development of programs that enable students to realize their potential, with adults committed to creating pathways for student success, and in an environment that nurtures the mind, body, and soul.
I am blessed to lead a school committed to knowing children and I am grateful for the support of our parents who extend their trust to us each and every day. We strive for excellence in all we do by challenging the mind, inspiring the soul and building character.