Confidence, Character, and Community
“My two children are very different. They have different learning styles, different interests, and different work habits. Somehow SMCDS is the right school for BOTH of them. I am amazed at what the teachers are doing. Its simple remarkable.” – Mother of SMCDS students in grades 7 and 4, following a Parent / Teacher conference in 2014.
The greater mission of an extraordinary education is to develop and nurture “the whole child”. You will see this concept addressed repeatedly in private and progressive education, but what does it really mean?
Our children are on a path to enter a global economy. The level of success our children reach, will be highly influenced by the level of education they receive. In this progressive world, children will need to be highly creative, great communicators, critical thinkers and excellent problem solvers.
For generations an old paradigm of education has been implemented and continued with little regard to the success of that system in an evolving world. The core concepts of, reading, writing and arithmetic are as important as ever, but by themselves will leave the individual woefully unprepared to compete in the 21st century, both professionally and personally.
It is clear there are basic tenets that must be fulfilled in order to provide the optimal learning psychology, culture and environment. Deficiencies in any one of these principles will serve to reduce the potential level of success and happiness of that child. We always want to create a healthy learning culture that is both sustainable and self perpetuating.
Students must be healthy. Students do better in school and are more engaged when they feel healthy and energetic. They achieve higher grades and test scores. Students miss fewer classes and are less likely to engage in behaviors that will hurt them. Increased energy and vigor translates to a greater and more fulfilled learning experience.
Students must be safe. Students who feel safe are more comfortable and relaxed. They are more engaged and can concentrate at a much higher level. Students who feel safe connect more readily with other children, their teachers and learning in general. Students in schools with bullying problems, violence or unfit teachers, are more likely to experience depression, anxiety, loneliness or exhibit bad behaviors. A safe environment begins to take on a warm and supportive “family” environment.
Students must be engaged. Students who are integrated in the school and material are more motivated and feel valued as contributors. A circular learning relationship with teachers and other students lends itself to a complete and social education. Healthy interaction as well as a sharing of experience and knowledge sets the student up for success in the dynamic and fluid work environment of tomorrow’s workplace.
Students must be supported. When students feel supported, they feel valued and important. Feeling supported gives meaning to their study and to them. A nurturing environment allows the student to work hard, take risks and push themselves. Emotional learning and development is crucial to overall success, both in the short and long term.
Students must be challenged. As a result of continued research, it can be safely stated that nearly 50% of high school students indicate they are not challenged in most of their classes. The result can be boredom, apathy, drop outs or a general loss of enthusiasm. The challenged child is the successful adult. Being challenged creates and builds problem solving skills, independent thinking, motivation and ambition. The rewards of success in the classroom pay dividends as these values become inherent in the child for the rest of their life.
At St. Michael’s, our mission is to develop and nurture the whole child. This involves activities that stretch well beyond the classroom. Every environment – from the classroom, to the playing field to the Library – helps to enrich each student’s life.
Our students participate in a myriad of enrichment activities, including…
- Art programs
- Athletic programs
- Community service
- Extended school
- Health and wellness
- Science exploration
- Technology programs
We invite you to explore the different areas of focus and to get excited about all the possibilities that are available.