Education at St. Nicholas is a fusion of academic rigor with spiritual and emotional guidance. Working in concert, these three dimensions complement each other. The St. Nicholas curriculum supports and encourages intellectual curiosity and personal responsibility and recognizes each student as a uniquely talented individual.
“There is an interplay between all disciplines - a symbolic play - where critical thinking develops. St. Nicholas understands the importance of integrated learning and through this special program of interdisciplinary study, our children emerge as socially and intellectually competent individuals.” - - St. Nicholas Parent
St. Nicholas School is academically strong. Central to a child’s learning is a curriculum of core subjects. Language arts, social studies, math, and science are taught daily in small classroom settings that encourage investigation, inquiry, and collaboration. Building on this firm pledge to core learning, interdisciplinary units are also central to the course of study. Language arts can be found coordinated with social studies, and science education is always blended with mathematics instruction. Furthermore, foreign language, music, physical education, and art are essential components to the curriculum while technology is integrated across all disciplines. This comprehensive and far-reaching curriculum ensures that the St. Nicholas’ educational program is unparalleled in content and approach. In all curricular areas, St. Nicholas students meet or surpass national standards and benchmarks.
The St. Nicholas classroom allows for teachers to respond to each student’s varied learning style and intellectual development. Class time is structured, allowing for optimal involvement between teacher and student. St. Nicholas teachers are facilitators who support students from an internal framework that builds personal responsibility and enthusiasm for learning.
“An innovative learning environment that is personal, supportive, and focused on the individual student ensures successful educational outcomes. The St. Nicholas program is an integrated disciplinary program that provides both students and faculty with an opportunity for increased interaction and shared inquiry.” - - The Reverend Janice Robbins, Chaplain Emeritus
One distinctive feature of the curriculum is the absence of number or letter grades. Rather, individual communication between students, teachers, and parents provides focus on each student’s needs and strengths. Parents and teachers along with students themselves work in partnership and consultation to ensure that each child is having academic success. Monthly conferences with each family along with semi-annual written evaluations provide parents with timely updates on progress of their children.
“ Most importantly, St. Nicholas’ curriculum fosters a love of learning in an atmosphere that encourages children to take pride in their discoveries. The environment is not competitive and children learn within the security of self-paced classrooms. ” - - St. Nicholas Parent
Another difference in the St. Nicholas educational approach is integrated age-mixing in non-core classes. In these special educational opportunities, children are encouraged to share their skills and mentor one another. And lastly, the most obvious variation at St. Nicholas is the absence of the traditional grade level. Instead, St. Nicholas students advance year-to-year to the next “level” as opposed to the next grade. Preschool students begin their educational career in PK3, then Level 1, eventually progressing to Level 7, which is the equivalent of Grade 5.