Academics Come First at STAA
St. Thomas Aquinas Academy is accredited by the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and the Wisconsin Religious and Independent Schools Accreditation. Teachers are qualified, dedicated, and either licensed or working toward their license. Our curriculum is standards-based according to the Department of Public Instruction for the State of Wisconsin. All subject areas include implementation of Catholic teaching themes. Several instructional strategies are used as well as a variety of ways to assess student performance.
As part of our ongoing commitment to quality education, we have implemented Project Lead the Way's Gateway to Technology program. By engaging in hands-on real-world projects, students understand how the skills they are learning in the classroom can be applied to everyday life. The program is taught to all middle school students as part of our math, science, and computer curriculum.
To recognize student achievement, students in grades 4-8 who earn a grade point average of 3.0-3.69 will be placed on our honor roll. Students who earn a grade point average of 3.7-4.0 will achieve High Honors.
Students in grades K4-2 will be graded as S (satisfactory), P (progressing), or N (needs improvement). Students in grades 3-8 are graded on the standard letter grade scale.
The Wisconsin Forward Exam, MAP assessments, and Fountas and Pinnell assessments are administered regularly to help assess performance at each grade level. Grades K-8 are tested and scores are compared with the previous year on a longitudinal data score sheet. Additionally, a Reading Readiness Test is given to K4 students.
Overall, our students in grades 3-8 have tested 50-60% Proficient or Advanced in Reading and Math on the Wisconsin Badger and Forward Exams.
Our Report Card
STAA received its first report card from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) in fall 2017. All public schools, public school districts, and private choice schools receive report cards from the DPI. The report card provides a snapshot of the school's overall performance and includes data across four priority areas (Student Achievement, Growth, Closing Gaps, and On-track and Post-secondary Readiness). View STAA's report card by clicking the following link or copy and paste the URL in your browser: https://dpi.wi.gov/accountability/report-cards.
There are plenty of opportunities for students to participate, lead, and personally grow. We're all important players on this team!
Family activities take place once a month. Every “family” has a child from each grade level and participates in activities based on different themes throughout the year. It could be based on our school theme for the year, a holy day of obligation, a religious holiday or feast day, or based on the theme for that month’s prayer service. These are great opportunities for older students to work closely with the younger students in a fun learning environment.
Project Lead the Way
Project Lead The Way provides a comprehensive approach to STEM Education. Through activity-, project-, and problem-based curriculum, PLTW gives students in our middle school a chance to apply what they know, identify problems, find unique solutions, and lead their own learning. Students not only complete in class projects, they also compete in local engineering fairs and competitions to show off their skills and put them to great use. Students in 7th and 8th grade participate in this program.
The STAA student council is very active in providing the student body with stewardship opportunities and fun school activities throughout the year. They coordinate our Generous Jean Day (donating money or goods for local charities), food pantry drives, Catholic Schools Week activities, fun holiday activities (costume contest at Halloween and ugly sweater contest at Christmas), and bake sales, among other activities.
Our peer mediators are students who sacrifice their school free time to act on behalf of their fellow students in mediating conflict. They walk the playground at recess to help solve problems and settle disagreements in a positive and constructive environment. They also visit classrooms to help provide mini-”workshops” on good behavior and expectations when asked. Each mediator is trained and eager to be of assistance when we call on them.