Our Learning Lab Gifted & Advanced students have worked with RuRu to create our school newscast, Dolphin Tales! Enjoy the February edition!
Learning Lab- Academic Enrichment & Resource
Hola, Amigos! (Foreign Language Instruction)
SMES Enrichment classes now include weekly Spanish lessons!
St. Matthew’s School is a ministry of the Episcopal Church and we recognize that faith development is important to each grade level. All students participate in daily devotionals. Ours is a Christ-centered school, steeped in the Anglican tradition, while remaining respectful of other religious traditions. Many days begin in Chapel for our students. Our custom is to worship together each Thursday and Eucharist services are held once each month.
At St. Matthew’s, spiritual ideas are presented in developmentally appropriate ways. The concept of God, the idea of love and the belief that each person is a treasured and special individual are highlighted. Children are encouraged always to seek after truth with integrity and compassion.
To encourage students to read, SMES uses the Accelerated Reader program. This program allows students to take a STAR reading placement test, and then choose a book at their individualized reading level. Students can read the book at their own pace, and then take an AR quiz on it. The computerized quiz scores the student’s level of comprehension.
Technology Across the Curriculum
At St. Matthew’s, technology is seamlessly woven into the learning process, enhancing curriculum across disciplines and grade levels, to provide students with the skills to use computer technology in ways that will benefit them now and in the future. St. Matthew’s is committed to providing students and faculty with tools that are representative of the technologically sophisticated age in which we live and maintains state-of-the-art facilities. Our computer and media center has individual computer work stations and a Promethean Panel. Interactive boards help teachers create dynamic multimedia lessons that excite and engage students. There is also a 3-D printer!
Through very generous donations from members of our parent and school community, St. Matthew's students have access to iPads. Teachers check out sets of iPads for small group instruction and projects. Middle School has a dedicated class set of iPads.
The full-campus computer network is equipped with a firewall to ensure our students can safely navigate the internet. Instructional computer classes at all grade levels allow students to explore a variety of age-appropriate software and learn the basics of Coding, keyboarding, 3-D printing, word processing, Microsoft PowerPoint, Excel and Publisher, Google platforms, multimedia presentations, and use of the Internet. Teachers in the upper grades incorporate research skills and projects that require library and computer lab use in their respective curriculum.
The prevalence of technology across the curriculum as well as students’ access to supplemental programs characterizes St. Matthew’s commitment to each student’s individual progress and success in core curriculum skills. St. Matthew’s continues to be committed to being on the cutting edge of assimilating technology into the classroom. Our Technology staff and Instructional Coach work together exploring ways to effectively use the quickly progressing tools of technology in our student’s daily school experience.
St. Matthew’s students receive art lessons every other week. Students use water colors, chalk, foil, crayon, paint and other media to create beautiful works of art.
St. Matthew's believes that a general appreciation for and love of music is developed at an early age and includes a fully developed Music Program for all students. Music concepts are further expanded upon in each subsequent grade, resulting in a full and comprehensive music education for each St. Matthew's student.
In the Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten Programs, instruction builds upon concepts relating to the elements of music: tempo, dynamics, rhythms, melody and time. Concepts are reinforced with singing, playing simple rhythm instruments and movement. The first through seventh grade program encompasses every aspect of music education: Music history, theory, ear training, instrumental training and music appreciation.
Students regularly attend STEM Lab to reinforce the science lessons taught in class. The hands-on activities allow students to apply methods taught and draw scientific conclusions.
Coding has been an important part of the SMES Technology program since we introduced it to our students in 2016. Starting in second grade, students learn the basics of block coding through Dash robots and other basic coding introductory activities. These robots are used through middle school to teach more advanced block coding skills like conditionals, variables, loops, etc. Beginning in third grade, students are introduced to a coding program that allows basic skills practice. These lessons are self-paced and as students progress, many middle school students begin to advance to higher level coding activities like Java Script, Python and HTML/CSS. Activities vary from simple step-by-step activities to learn beginner level skills to creating their own puzzles to solve. In addition, our middle school students participate in Hour of Code each year, along with other students worldwide. SMES even has two small drones that can be coded to perform basic flying functions. With the help of our new STEM partnership with Terrebonne General, we have plans to purchase more coding tools for our (non-readers) primary school students.
St. Matthew’s Physical Education Program is designed to develop and strengthen the physical, social, and emotional needs of students through their participation in athletic activities.
The Physical Education Program encourages students to participate in and enjoy various activities and introduces skills and games to offer a better understanding of a particular activity. Students in first through seventh grade have physical education and health instruction four days a week. It is the primary goal of the Physical Education Program that each child enjoys every activity while participating in a socially comfortable atmosphere. Competition, winning, and losing have little emphasis within the parameters of the physical education curriculum. Fair play and good sportsmanship are expected in all activities.
Accelerated Reader (AR) and Freckle Math
St. Matthew's Episcopal School uses Renaissance Learning's Accelerated Reader (AR) program. The AR program allows SMES students to become proficient at reading at their own pace. The nature of the self-paced program provides students with an individualized enrichment experience. Accelerated Reader’s advanced technology helps enhance essential reading skills for every student by personalizing reading practice to each student’s current level and helps build a lifelong love of reading and learning. AR can provide daily information about a student’s reading and makes it easy to continuously monitor comprehension by providing immediate feedback on the reading and vocabulary progress of each student.
Through Freckle Math, students practice math skills and show proficiency by mastering skills at an individual pace. Technology allows for quick and easy scoring of math assignments. Similar to AR, Freckle Math is self-paced and provides students with an individualized enrichment experience.
Phase 5, the final phase of our Promethean Panel upgrade, is complete! SMES has been blessed to have the amazing support of family donors, SMES technology funds, grants, the Parent Association & Title funds to outfit every homeroom & Enrichment classroom with a board! A special thank you to Mrs. Lou Ledet (Jeanne-Claire’s Grandmother & Justin, Morgan & Logan’s Great-Grandmother) for donating 8 Promethean Panels and The Diebold Family for donating 3 Promethean Panels!
Interactive panels allow teachers to use a variety of visual methods to teach—from videos to maps to photos to PowerPoints. Rather than simply projecting these things, the board software allows students and teachers to interact with the visuals, including writing, drawing, and highlighting on top of images and words, as well as taking screenshots and manipulating them in various ways. The Promethean panels provide an excellent way to share the engaging, interactive Savvas math & science lessons too. Interactive panels also allow teachers to create activities or games for their lessons that encourage student engagement & participation. Multiple students can come up to the panel and use their finger or a stylus to answer the question. This might involve matching a word to an image, solving a math problem, choosing the right definition of a word, or countless other kinds of exercises. Built-in timers & random spinners are also used in a variety of ways to support learning in the classroom. When using individual devices, students can share their screens to the panel and show their work. There’s really no limit to what teachers can do with the panels...conduct science experiments, STEM activities, build an entire city, and much more!
Upper School students have the opportunity to participate in volleyball and cross-country in the Fall.
One focus at SMES is service learning. We encourage and provide opportunities for our students and faculty to give, share, and be people for others. Some of these opportunities have included a food drive, a coat drive, purchasing gifts to give less fortunate families a blessed Christmas, assembling bags for children in the hospital, Christmas caroling at local businesses, donating to Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Research, making ornaments and decorations for nursing home residents, and donating care packages for those in need, making cards for veterans, donating desks to a school in Uganda, and more.
Upper School students also have the opportunity to participate in 4-H Club throughout the year.
Rotary EarlyAct Club
EarlyAct is a service club for elementary students. The Saint Matthew’s club is sponsored by The Rotary Club of Houma. Ms. Phillips is the SMES Advisor. EarlyAct provides young students with the opportunity to gain and increase awareness and knowledge of their community and the world. EarlyAct teaches... Caring | Empathy| Respect |Responsibility |Tolerance| Citizenship |Friendship EarlyAct engages students in character-building activities which prepare them for leadership roles and to identify and carry out projects which benefit their club, school, community and international services. Our club will meet monthly, and we will also work on service projects and activities throughout the year.