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Making the decision to send your child to private school takes thoughtful deliberation and extensive research. Many families choose private institutions for their rigorous academic programs, unique educational philosophies, or religious beliefs. At St. Luke’s Episcopal School, we recognize the sacrifice that parents make when investing in their child’s educational future by enrolling them in a private school. In an effort to help navigate the private school enrollment process, the education experts at St. Luke's have compiled a series of considerations to help guide your decision making process.
What type of school is right for your child?
Parents need to consider who their child is, as well as their academic and social emotional needs. Would your child flourish in a large class size, or would they benefit from specialized instruction? Does your child need academic support? Perhaps your child would flourish in a program that is child-centered or provides an enriched curriculum. Finding the best fit for your child will ultimately help you reach your most important goal: your child’s happiness.
What goals do you have for your child’s education?
Are you looking for a traditional educational experience, advanced academic program, or a more holistic approach to education? Private schools articulate their purpose and philosophy through their mission. Discerning parents should examine the mission of the school and determine if it aligns with the goals they hold for their child’s education.
What school is right for your family?
Certainly, the cost of tuition and fees is important for most families when choosing a school. However, there are private schools at almost any budget. Many schools offer robust financial support. Aside from finances, you should also investigate whether prospective schools offer additional services and support that your family may require. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 60% of households with children under 18 have two parents in the workforce. These complicated schedules require extended care for young children, after school enrichment courses, academic tutoring, and athletic/intramural activities for older children. Lastly, does the school community feel welcoming and supportive? The sense of community, parental participation and support should all be considered in this decision. You are choosing a second home for your child and ultimately, your family.
Why St. Luke’s Episcopal School?
St. Luke’s Episcopal School is a special environment, unlike any other school in the city of San Antonio. Our school embodies a holistic educational vision which attends to the growth of the mind, body, and spirit in a hospitable, inclusive Christian community. Students are known, loved, challenged, and nurtured by experienced educators who are deeply committed to each student’s growth and development. SLES offers a broad array of programs and opportunities in a safe and inclusive environment which fosters personal and intellectual growth, critical thinking, and a love of life-long learning. Our dedication to keeping class sizes small enables a level of individualized, personalized attention and teacher-student relationship that enhances authentic and deep learning.
Call St. Luke’s for a personalized tour, where you can witness our classrooms in action and interact with faculty and current parents. We strongly encourage you to visit us and experience all that St. Luke’s has to offer your child.
In the afternoon, you might see St. Luke’s Episcopal School (SLES) students sitting in middle level English teacher Jen Wentlandt’s classroom with their eyes closed, quietly breathing. This is exactly what they should be doing.
The new class, Health and Wellness is offered to all SLES 4th-8th grade students, who attend in small, multi- grade level groups. One of the great strengths and hallmarks of a SLES education is our holistic vision of educating the mind, body, and spirit of each child here. Our new, innovative Health and Wellness class embodies this integrated learning ethos. Once a week, students meet with Mrs. Wentlandt to learn about mindfulness, self-reflection, nutrition, peer relationships, conflict resolution, and practical skills for physical, social, and emotional well-being. Through class discussions, journaling, research, and documentaries, our students become better equipped to address the myriad of stresses and challenges of adolescent and adult life. This is one tangible example of the breadth and depth of a St. Luke’s education.
Studying mental health, mindfulness, and wellness has strong, long-lasting benefits for people of all ages, including young people. “The pre-teen and teen years are marked with significant and unique stressors, including identity and self image, peer pressure, parent and teacher expectations, social media, you name it,” says Mrs. Wentlandt. “Research shows that practicing mindfulness literally rewires the brain to become more powerful and able to concentrate. It can also decrease the likelihood of experiencing depression and anxiety.”
SLES students are experiencing positive results after just a few classes. “I love our class! Mrs. W has a passion for mental health and she puts a lot of thought into making sure we stay healthy. A healthy brain and a healthy heart will help us to be better and happier students,” says SLES 8th grader Irene Sheerin.
In recent years, a considerable amount of research and attention has focused on comparing the PK-8 school model with the elementary, then middle school format. What has emerged is evidence that the PK-8 model offers unique strengths for students during this period of considerable cognitive, physical, and social-emotional growth. At St. Luke’s Episcopal School (SLES), creating a nurturing environment facilitates the ability to provide a challenging, rigorous education. St. Luke’s prepares students with a solid foundation of learning skills and a strong knowledge base, ensuring a smooth and successful transition to high school. Our model also permits us to offer leadership opportunities to our Middle School students at a time when they are naturally developing these skills and need the exposure, encouragement, and responsibility that come with being the oldest students in a school. At SLES Middle School is not in the middle. Our sixth, seventh and eighth graders assume authentic leadership roles, which results in greater levels of confidence and self-esteem as they progress toward high school. As an Episcopal school, we value a truly holistic vision of educating the mind, body, and spirit, so developing leadership skills is an intrinsic part of our mission.
At St. Luke’s, everybody knows your name. There is a sense of belonging that deepens as a child grows from pre-kindergarten to eighth grade, both for the child and for the family. Parents at a PK – 8th grade school are more inclined to stay connected and involved beyond the elementary school years, a factor which correlates highly with student success. The school becomes a virtual neighborhood in which families raise their children together, creating enduring bonds with one another and with the faculty and administration. In a culture which often diminishes the joy and wonder of childhood in a rushed acceleration to premature adulthood, PK-8 schools provide a measured and secure place to navigate the challenges of adolescence and emerging adulthood.
Students and their parents have the unique benefit of choosing the right high school at the right time: when students and their families more deeply understand the student’s strengths, interests, affinities, passions and challenges. Throughout the eighth grade year, we communicate with students and their parents to help determine the best high school options for every student. One of the most gratifying experiences is to hear from our alumni as to how well they were prepared to flourish academically, socially, and emotionally, in high school and beyond.
We invite you to join us on Wednesday, October 16 for our Admission Preview starting with registration at 8:45 a.m. Parents will have the opportunity to hear from school administrators and tour our hilltop campus. If you are not able to join us on October 16th please contact Margaret Ann Casseb, Director of Admission, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 210.826.0664 ext.239 to schedule an individual tour.