Catholic Identity

WCEA (Western Catholic Educational Association) Identity Rubric

||| Factor I. The Catholic Identity of the School

St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic High School, approved by the Local Ordinary, His Excellency Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron, OFM Cap., D.D., provides authentic Catholic teaching and opportunities for community worship and participation in the Sacraments, and promotes evangelization and service to the community.

•    A Mission Statement and a Philosophy Statement which indicate the integration of the Roman Catholic Faith in all aspects of school life.
-   The Mission and Philosophy Statements clearly indicate the integration of the Roman Catholic Faith into all aspects of school life.

MISSION
St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic High School is a Catholic co-educational high school offering a college preparatory academic program that challenges and develops its students to become moral and productive citizens with global perspectives firmly rooted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ through the teachings of the Catholic Church.

BACKGROUND and PURPOSE
The concept for St. Thomas Aquinas was formed by a group of Catholic families who value the quality of a college preparatory education and desire an equally challenging and fulfilling faith education for their children.
Like all families, they wanted their children to be part of a school where curiosity, talent and discipline are equally valued and nurtured, where every child is recognized as an individual, and where tolerance and acceptance are promoted regardless of differences in ethnic, cultural or other socio-economic backgrounds and spiritual traditions.

St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic High School invites young scholars who will:

•    Apply intellectual skills and Gospel values
•    Seek knowledge and Truth equally
•    Think, discuss, and examine critically

St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic High School offers:

•    A positive and dynamic Catholic learning environment
•    Small classes with a low ratio of students to teachers
•    Qualified, experienced and innovative team of educators

•    Provision of regular opportunities for the school community to experience prayer and the Sacraments.

-    The whole school community is involved in prayer experiences and the reception of the sacraments on a regularly scheduled basis. The administration provides other prayer and retreat opportunities for students and school personnel.  The following information provides an in-depth look at the opportunities provided for all St. Thomas Aquinas student body, faculty, and staff:

•    Monthly celebration of the Holy Eucharist for the whole school community at San Juan Bautista Parish Church on the first Friday of each month at 7:45 am.
•    Masses are arranged for special liturgical celebrations (e.g., beginning of the school year, inauguration of the school, Ash Wednesday, Archbishop’s visit).
•    Daily mass at 12:15 p.m. at San Juan Bautista Catholic Church on campus.
•    The school community celebrates the Feast of St. Thomas Aquinas on January 28.
•    The on-campus prayer garden is open all year round and available to the school community to pray to the Stations of the Cross on Fridays of Lent as well as.
•    The school year always starts with the faculty and staff annual spiritual retreat.
•    Freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors participate in annual spiritual retreats.
•    All first period classes begin with a daily prayer.

•    A Religion curriculum and instruction that is faithful to Roman Catholic Church teachings meets the requirements set forth by the USCCB.

-   The Religion curriculum and methods of instruction are current with the requirements of the archdiocese and the USCCB.
•    The school offers Religious Studies for all grades.  The curriculum follows the standards set by the Archdiocese of Agaña and are aligned within the teachings of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC).

•    The Local Ordinary approves those who teach the Catholic Faith (Canon 805), and their formation for catechetical and instructional competence is ongoing.

-    There is a program of catechetical certification, approved by the archdiocese, for the ongoing catechetical formation of all school personnel.

•    All faculty members teaching at St. Thomas Aquinas have been approved by the Archdiocese of Agaña.  A program of catechetical certification as part of the staff professional development has been provided by the administration.  This includes the following:

Year 2008-2009

1)    Annual Faculty and Staff Retreat (August, 2008, Leo Palace Resort)
2)    The Liturgical Year (Staff Professional Development, January 2, 2009)
3)    Annual Catholic Schools Conference (January 30, 2009, Hyatt Hotel)
4)    The History of Christianity (Staff Professional Development, February 2, 2009)
5)    Mary, Mother of God – Marian Doctrines (Staff Professional Development, February 2, 2009)

•    Approximately 90-95% of the faculty and staff attended different staff professional development trainings.
Year 2009-2010

1)    Annual Faculty and Staff Retreat (August 14-15, 2009, Mt. Carmel Retreat Center)
2)    Faculty/Staff Professional Development (January 19, 2010)
3)    Annual Catholic Schools Conference (February 5, 2010)


•    Maintenance of an active partnership with parents whose fundamental concern is the spiritual and academic education of their children.

-    The administration has provided formal and informal opportunities for parents to meet with teachers in order to keep parents apprised of their children’s progress in the spiritual and academic education.

•    The website is updated on a daily basis.
•    St. Thomas Aquinas uses a web-based school management program accessible by parents and students.
•    Parents participate in the Eucharistic Celebration followed by an Honor Roll Award ceremony each quarter.
•    In all school activities there is a high degree of parental involvement. Various events include: Eucharistic Celebrations, Open-House, Christmas Program, Talent Night, Global Issues Conference, Science Fair, Strategic Planning, History Fair, Parent Teacher Conferences, and Mock Trial Competitions.

•    A service-oriented outreach to Church and the civic community after the example of Jesus Christ who said, “I have given you an example so that you may copy what I have done to you.” (John 13:15)

-   The school provides many opportunities for students to be of service to the Church and the civic community. Student participation in cause-oriented activities of the Archdiocese of Agaña  include:

(1)    Walk for Life – October 5, 2008 and October 11, 2009.
(2)    W.A.V.E. – No to Casino  -  October 29, 2008
(3)    Cleaning of the Environment (during Students’ Hike) – December 12, 2008

•    A group of students attended the Senate hearing on Anti-Abortion Bill on October 28, 2008.  One student testified for the passing of such bill.
•    Students gave used clothes and other items to the Advent fund-raising of the Social Services of the Archdiocese of Agaña.
•    Students raised funds for the Annual Lenten Mission Campaign of the Archdiocese of Agaña.
•    Drive for Children in Need in the Philippines (Sponsored by the Archdiocese of Agaña), October-November 2009.
•    Concert Fundraiser (Relief Fund for Victims of Flood in the Philippines), November 8, 2009.
•    Big Brother Big Sister, STA Chapter: tutoring and mentoring program to Agueda Johnston’s middle school students.

•    The use of signs, sacramental, traditions, and rituals of the Roman Catholic Church.

-     The use of the religious signs, sacramental, traditions, and rituals of the Roman Catholic Church is prominent throughout the school.

•    Each classroom/office has a crucifix on the wall.
•    A dove symbolizing the Holy Spirit is on display in the school lobby.
•    All first period classes begin with a prayer.
•    The school’s daily bulletin, Novus, includes weekly prayer and quotation from its patron saint, St. Thomas Aquinas.
•    All faculty and staff meetings start with a prayer.
•    All advisory board meetings start with a prayer.

•    All school personnel are actively engaged in bringing the Good News of Jesus into total educational experience.

-    Most school personnel are actively engaged in bringing the Good News of Jesus into the total educational experience.

•    The daily gospel is read in all Religious Studies classes.
•    Biblical quotations are written on boards.
•    The school’s daily bulletin, Novus, includes weekly prayer and quotation from its patron saint, St. Thomas Aquinas.

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