When searching for the right school to send your children, fewer words will give a parent more peace than these. When speaking with Jayne Cook, mother of a pre-school student at St. Francis Xavier Jesuit Elementary School, those words tumbled off her tongue as she enthusiastically described her experience as a St. Francis parent.
As with any pre-school program, there is a balance between structure and understanding the capabilities of a young child. From this parent’s perspective, the pre-school program at St. Francis has struck that balance. Though in its own infancy – the pre-school program is but six years old – the teaching and administrative staff at St. Francis has devoted their attention to fine tuning the program. Three levels of pre-school programming are offered to ensure a nurturing environment that effectively addresses the level of learning each distinct student brings the classroom. Students progress from “Three-year old Pre-school” to “Four-year old” and then, when ready, on to Kindergarten programming.
Parents of the youngest of students seek an environment where their child will be nurtured, but also where they will learn at an appropriate pace. With so many schools in the Phoenix area, how to make the decision? For Jayne, “We wanted a school with strong academics, but more importantly, we wanted a school that also teaches kindness and compassion for others from a young age, and consistently emphasizes that philosophy throughout the grade school years. It was clear to us that St. Francis was the choice.”
As it has been for generations. “We’ve been here for many, many years – my mom Kathleen and all of her siblings attended St. Francis, both my husband Bill and I attended St. Francis, and my husband’s cousin, Josh, attended St. Francis. When you include our children, we’ve been here for four generations.”
And, though the school may have changed – all new facilities as part of a Capital Campaign — the community has not. “We see our friends dropping their children off and staying for Pledge and Prayer; a daily tradition that I experienced and wanted for Kennedy.”
That’s a foundation that certainly can feel like coming home.
Q. What is your favorite part of attending SFX?
A. My favorite part of SFX is …everything!
Q. Who is your teacher? What makes her a great teacher?
A. Mrs Clark is my teacher. She is a great teacher because she is kind and beautiful and because she knows a lot in her brain to teach the kids.
Carter: (4th grade)
Q. How long have you been attending SFX?
A. I was in the very first pre-school class at SFX and now I have started 4th grade in my 6th year here.
Q. What is your favorite subject to take?
A. Math, PE, and Social Studies.
Q. How do you help in your classroom?
A. I try to be a leader and when someone needs help I am always there for them.
Dylan: (2nd grade)
Q. What is your favorite thing about attending SFX?
A. I love it because kids are working hard to be kids for others.
Q. Who is your teacher? What makes your teacher a great teacher?
A. Mrs. Sundberg. Because she teaches in a fun way.
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