In a recent interview with the preschool class of four year olds it was discovered that learning is quite challenging for these youngsters. They expressed excitement over their favorite centers; playdough, dinosaur figures, the big building blocks, doll house and writing. "Writing is hard," Annistan said, "lowercase a is really hard but I learn it from my teacher." Mrs. Schimmoller had to grin as the students spoke about the difficulties of writing their own names. The individual attention students receive in our preschool builds confidence for future learning.
"Ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened" (Mt. 7:7-8). Here at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School we understand the importance of prayer in the spiritual formation of a child and provide a Christ-centered education that focuses on the formation of the whole child; spiritually, intellectually, physically and emotionally. Each school day begins and ends with prayer, placing every child in touch with God, their creator who loves them unconditionally. We believe prayer is the foundation and springboard to success when combined with hard work. Prayers of praise, thanksgiving, intercession open the minds and hearts of our students, both mentally and vocally to God’s plan for their lives. Prayer instills in them a love for God and neighbor.
The entire school comes together for the celebration of the Holy Mass once a week. They are provided with opportunities to pray the rosary, the Angelus, Divine Mercy Chaplet, spend time in Eucharistic Adoration and to receive the sacrament of reconciliation on a regular basis. It is our hope that once they leave St. Francis School they continue practice their faith, keep strengthening their relationship with God and become role models in their communities. We welcome to our school students of all faiths. We trust that every student at St. Francis School is brought here by Christ and His mother, Blessed Virgin Mary. “Let the Children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt. 19:14)
Fr. Jose Thomas Mudakodiyil
We are a community of learners. Our community is built on social interactions between buddy classes and mutual support. Older students act as mentors to younger students by helping them evaluate and complete projects but also celebrate their learning when projects are finalized. Classes complete major units of study and then invite the student body to attend a demonstration event such as the Wax Museum, the Zoo, Mission Control or the Pond.
Assemblies also build community. Our pep Rallies encourage our student athletes and give academic recognition wrapped up in fun. The rallies are designed and implemented by the Leadership class. We gather to honor traditional prayer practices during the major liturgical seasons. Experiencing a variety of traditional practices and prayers allows our students to choose the devotions that will help them grow spiritually throughout their lives.
Our school garden binds us together. As each class attends a course in the green house, they get to see the changes and progress made by the other students. Stewardship of the earth in a social setting builds critical life skills which are developed further in our ONREP (Oregon Natural Resources Education Program) focused events. Each grade level has a landmark outdoor learning event that enhances their understanding of the effects of good stewardship on the earth.