- MAPS testing and scores. Over 5 years ago, St. Paul's was on the leading edge of academic testing. We decided to make the move from "high-stakes" or state testing (also known as summative testing) to interim testing (MAP) because MAP testing shows our teachers what students know and what they are ready to learn. MAP testing mearsures the same content and is based on the same standards as other testing, but MAP helps our teachers personalize lessons for their students.
- Combined Classrooms & Student Teacher Ratio. In a May 18th, 2015 article, Dr. Ronald E. Riggio, Ph.D. wrote about the numerous benefits to students in combined grades.
- Combined class students are less competitive with one another and more cooperative than students in same-grade classrooms.
- Because children learn at different paces, younger children gain self-confidence and maturity by being exposed to older students; older students learn to be positive, mature role models for the younger students.
- Younger children are more mature and ready to "stretch"; older students have demonstrated a pattern of good behavior and social skills.
- Children may benefit by having the same teacher over two years, as the teacher comes to know the students' abilities better.
- Research also show there's no difference in academic achievement between children in combined classes versus straight grades.
- Students in combined classrooms tend to take greater personal responsibility for their learning.
- There is greater peer-to-peer learning in blended classrooms.
- Students develop friendships across grade levels and combined classrooms instill a greater sense of responsibility for one another, and a better sense of community. As one teacher tells her students, "we are like family who cares for one another."
"Why Children Might Benefit from a 'Combination' Classroom" by Dr. Ronald E. Riggio, Ph. D. May 18, 2015
Our teachers are skilled at combined classroom teaching. Because of our low student-to-teacher ratio, each student at our school receives all the individual attention that they need. And for those students who may need some additional tutoring or special education care, we have skilled professionals who travel to our school, on a weekly basis as needed, to give those students that extra help they need.
- Curriculum. We are proud to provide our students with a classic and traditional education. Because we are a private education institution, we have the ability to look for the BEST curriculum for our students. While at the same time keeping up with new educational needs such as focused education in the STEM areas (science, technology, engineering and math).
- Spelling Bee. Our top spelling participate in both the county wide spelling bee and the ESLVA spelling bee.
- Math Bee. Every fall, students 3rd - 8th grade participate in an area Math Bee. The Math Bee consists of individual contests, team contests and a relay.
- Out-of-the-box learning. Another benefit of being a private school and our wonderful parental support, is our flexibility to give our students hands-on learning experiences. Instead of just reading about it in a book, we get out there! We learn about native Nebraska wildlife at the Wildlife Safari Park, all the marvelous creatures our Lord created at the Omaha zoo, our state's military history at Fort Atkinson, conservation at Two Rivers State Park, local government at the State Capitol, dramas at the Rose Theatre and many more.