Foreign Language Instruction
St. Matthew’s School is a ministry of the Episcopal Church and we recognize that faith development is important to each grade level. All students participate in daily devotionals. Ours is a Christ-centered school, steeped in the Anglican tradition, while remaining respectful of other religious traditions. Each day begins in Chapel for all students. Our custom is to worship together each Thursday and Eucharist services are held once each month.
At St. Matthew’s, spiritual ideas are presented in developmentally appropriate ways. The concept of God, the idea of love and the belief that each person is a treasured and special individual are highlighted. Children are encouraged always to seek after truth with integrity and compassion.
To encourage students to read, SMES uses the Accelerated Reader program. This program allows students to take a STAR reading placement test, and then choose a book at their individualized reading level. Students can read the book at their own pace, and then take an AR quiz on it. The computerized quiz scores the student’s level of comprehension. AR quizzes can be taken in the student's classroom, library, or computer lab either before school or during recess breaks.
Students attend library class twice a week and are taught basic library skills. Other skills taught are: How to search for books using the computer; how to use reference books such as dictionaries, thesauruses, encyclopedias, almanacs, etc.; the difference between genre’s such as fiction, non-fiction, poetry, folk tales, fairy tales, autobiographies and biographies; learning the different parts of a book, such as table of contents, copyright, chapters, etc. Students in grades four through seven also receive study skill lessons.
Technology Across the Curriculum
At St. Matthew’s, technology is seamlessly woven into the learning process, enhancing curriculum across disciplines and grade levels, to provide students with the skills to use computer technology in ways that will benefit them now and in the future. St. Matthew’s is committed to providing students and faculty with tools that are representative of the technologically sophisticated age in which we live and maintains state-of-the-art facilities. Our computer and media center has 22 individual computer work stations and a SMARTBoard©. Interactive whiteboards, which help teachers create dynamic multimedia lessons that excite and engage students, are present in every classroom and the library.
Through very generous donations from members of our parent and school community, St. Matthew's students now have access to iPads. The seventh graders will each have their own iPad to use while on campus. Teachers in Pre-K through 6th grade check out sets of iPads for small group instruction and projects.
The full-campus computer network is equipped with a firewall to ensure our students can safely navigate the internet. Instructional computer classes at all grade levels allow students to explore a variety of age-appropriate software and learn keyboarding, word processing, Microsoft PowerPoint, Excel and Publisher, multimedia presentations, and use of the Internet. Teachers in the upper grades incorporate research skills and projects that require library and computer lab use in their respective curriculum.
The prevalence of technology across the curriculum as well as students’ access to supplemental programs characterizes St. Matthew’s commitment to each student’s individual progress and success in core curriculum skills. St. Matthew’s continues to be committed to being on the cutting edge of assimilating technology into the classroom. Our Technology Administrator and Curriculum Coordinator work together exploring ways to effectively use the quickly progressing tools of technology in our student’s daily school experience. The computer lab houses a laptop cart containing 20 laptops available to all students. Teachers sign up for classroom use and students complete work such as research, word processing, and use of educational websites to enhance learning.
St. Matthew’s Episcopal School has contracted with Brushworks Academy and Creative U to teach our students art lessons. Once a month, students get one hour of instruction. Students use water colors, chalk, foil, crayon, paint and other media to create beautiful works of art.
St. Matthew's believes that a general appreciation for and love of music is developed at an early age and includes a fully developed Music Program for all students. Music concepts are further expanded upon in each subsequent grade, resulting in a full and comprehensive music education for each St. Matthew's student.
In the Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten Programs, instruction builds upon concepts relating to the elements of music: tempo, dynamics, rhythms, melody and time. Concepts are reinforced with singing, playing simple rhythm instruments and movement. The first through seventh grade program encompasses every aspect of music education: Music history, theory, ear training, instrumental training and music appreciation.
Students regularly attend science lab to reinforce the science lessons taught in class. The hands-on activities allow students to apply methods taught and draw scientific conclusions.
St. Matthew’s Physical Education Program is designed to develop and strengthen the physical, social, and emotional needs of students through their participation in athletic activities.
The Physical Education Program encourages students to participate in and enjoy various activities and introduces skills and games to offer a better understanding of a particular activity. Students in first through seventh grade have physical education and health instruction four days a week. It is the primary goal of the Physical Education Program that each child enjoys every activity while participating in a socially comfortable atmosphere. Competition, winning, and losing have little emphasis within the parameters of the physical education curriculum. Fair play and good sportsmanship are expected in all activities.
One focus at SMES is service learning. We encourage and provide opportunities for our students and faculty to give, share, and be people for others. Some of these opportunities include a food drive, a coat drive, purchasing gifts to give less fortunate families a blessed Christmas, assembling bags for children in the hospital, Christmas caroling at local businesses, donating to Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Research, making ornaments and decorations for nursing home residents, and donating care packages for those in need.
Accelerated Reader (AR) and Accelerarted Math (AM)
St. Matthew's Episcopal School uses Renaissance Learning's Accelerated Reader (AR) program. The AR program allows SMES students to become proficient at reading at their own pace. The nature of the self-paced program provides students with an individualized enrichment experience. Accelerated Reader’s advanced technology helps enhance essential reading skills for every student by personalizing reading practice to each student’s current level and helps build a lifelong love of reading and learning. AR can provide daily information about a student’s reading and makes it easy to continuously monitor comprehension by providing immediate feedback on the reading and vocabulary progress of each student.
Through Accelerated Math (AM), students practice math skills and show proficiency by mastering objectives at an individual pace. Technology allows for quick and easy scoring of math assignments. Similar to AR, AM is self-paced and provides students with an individualized enrichment experience.
Both AR and AM are incentive based. Students earn bonus points and rewards for reaching designated quarterly goals.
Upper School students participate in 4-H activities throughout the year. St. Matthew's also offers the Cloverbud program for third graders.