Academics

St. Matthew’s is dedicated to scholarship and an enriched academic environment that strives to help each individual reach his or her fullest potential. Our optimal class sizes provide intimate learning environments that allow teachers to encourage strengths, strengthen weaknesses, and instill in each St. Matthew’s student a love for learning and the joy of discovery.

Our curriculum is approved by the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education and emphasizes reading, language arts, math, science and social studies. Our faculty and administrators bring credentials, experience and a deep commitment to nurturing, inspiring and guiding young people.

Please visit the Admissions page for more information about the admissions process and tuition. http://stmattsschool.com/admissions

Lower School

Lower School

The Lower School curriculum reflects our strong belief that each child is unique, with his or her own pattern and timing of growth and development. Children acquire the skills for which they are developmentally ready, and young children learn best through active involvement in a nurturing environment. St. Matthew’s provides such as environment through educational experiences that stimulate learning in all developmental areas -- physical, social, emotional, and cognitive. We emphasize critical thinking, decision-making, and problem-solving. Within a Christian environment, students work toward individual responsibility, independence, self-confidence and self-esteem and the ability to work within, and interact with, the group.
Instilling in each child a love for learning and a love for self is what the St. Matthew’s Lower School experience is all about. Our mission is to help students become competent, confident life-long learners, who are responsible, contributing citizens to the communities in which they live. We believe children need a strong foundation in basic academic skills. Curiosity, eagerness to learn, capability for self-direction, and self-confidence to persevere, create, and make decisions are equally essential to the learning process. We recognize the values of respect, responsibility, and compassion as guiding principles for our school community.

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Upper School

Upper School

St. Matthew’s Upper School strives to meet the unique needs of pre- and early adolescent young people within the framework of the purpose of the school as a whole. We believe a curriculum for this age group must allow for, and indeed treasure, the individuality of each student and teacher. We do not see this particular time in life as one to be endured, but rather a time to be celebrated.
We recognize that young people learn best when they are totally involved in the material or process to be learned. Each St. Matthew’s teacher strives to create motivational learning experiences within the classroom. We also recognize our students’ varying learning styles by insuring that each lesson contains components which will reach each student.
Positive physical development is an important component of positive attitudes and self-image. Physical education classes four days each week provide a safe environment for this development. The program fosters a sense of fair play and sportsmanship, commitment to a team, and development of individual skills.
Our program supports students in the transition from the “home” of the Lower School to the Upper School in an appropriate and healthy fashion. Each grade level’s organization is a stepping stone in this process. We believe parents are an essential part of the team that facilitates each Upper Schooler’s journey. We expect a partnership with parents to form a safety net for our Upper Schoolers. Parents help with service, class activities, and outings. Our “open door” policy encourages collaboration with faculty and administration to meet individual student needs, and parents supporting parents through this potentially turbulent time in a child’s life can be invaluable.
We are dedicated to maintaining standards of excellence for our students without creating undue stress in their lives. This is becoming more of a challenge in today’s world and one which requires cooperation and coordination between home and school. In this age of the “hurried child”, we hope to be a place of caring, joy, and safety.

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Learning Lab

St. Matthew’s Episcopal School is pleased to offer an intervention program for your children. This research-based program is designed to assist learners in strengthening their language/reading performance by targeting skills specifically designed for them, such as: phonemic awareness; phonics; oral reading; fluency; comprehension; and vocabulary. Through this program, eligible students receive additional academic support with personalized intervention strategies to strengthen their academic success.
"I like being a student at St. Matthew's because all of my teachers love and care for each one of us as if we were their own."
— SMES Student

Common Core State Standards

The Common Core curriculum seems to be a concern for many parents and educators throughout the area schools, both public and private. With that in mind, it is appropriate that we issue a statement on our beliefs and methods of teaching our students at St. Matthew's Episcopal School.

Publishers of current student textbooks address core standards that all students must achieve before advancing to the following grade, and these standards are the same for all students throughout the United States. As an approved school, we at St. Matthew's must also purchase our textbooks from publishers that address the Common Core Standards; however, just because the textbooks are aligned with the Common Core, it does not mean that we follow the dictates of the publishers in all areas. Here at St. Matthew's, our teachers use the textbook as a guide to the material to be presented at each grade level, but our teachers go beyond the core standards by using differentiated instruction, individualized small group teaching, and project based learning which addresses all types of learning styles and levels of learning. By incorporating a variety of techniques and levels of difficulty in lesson presentations our teachers meet the needs of all students. Teachers at St. Matthew's are constantly looking for higher leveled materials and a variety of method and lesson presentations to prepare their students for the future. As a private independent school we have the flexibility to teach our students on their level, to enhance the curriculum to make it challenging, and to provide for the individuality of students which makes learning fun.

Yes, we do address Common Core at St. Matthew's but we do so much more; we teach our students to think, to accept differences in each other which allows a diversity of teaching and learning techniques, and we teach students not a program.