Frequently Asked Questions
about St. Paul's Lutheran School
1. Do you have to be Lutheran to attend?
No, children of any faith are welcome to attend. St. Paul's desires to offer a quality Christian education to any family who would like to have that experience for their child. Our mission is to provide a safe, nurturing and structured environment for students to learn, make friends and live as disciples of Jesus Christ in this life and the next.
2. What are the qualifications of the teaching staff?
St. Paul's holds a Certificate with the Maryland State Department of Education. The State requires that all teachers of the basic core subjects hold a Bachelor's degree or an equivalent. The staff of St. Paul's meets and exceeds this requirement. One third of our teachers have Masters Degrees and all teachers are expected to be certified by the State of Maryland or working towards that goal.
3. How does St. Paul's compare to other schools?
That is a challenging question. Not because we don't do well, but because it is difficult to find a criteria. We do not take the same tests as the public schools. We use the Stanford Achievement Tests in grades 3-8. The Stanford is designed to measure individual student progress, not total school performance. However, we can say that
a. Most recent Stanford scores indicate that:
* Our school average score is in the 70th percentile which means that our score is the same or higher than 70% of the students who are the same age and taking the same test. Another way of stating this score is to say that our school average is in the top 30% of those taking the same test.
* The 50th percentile is considered average. 75% of our students score above this percentile.
b. Nearly all of our graduates are accepted at their first preferred high school.
c. Private high schools in the area state in letters from their administration that our students are well prepared.
d. Students attending public school generally report that they are well prepared and are able to get the classes they desire.
4. What is the student to teacher ratio?
The maximum class size for the three year old program and the four year old program is 20 students. The three year old program has two additional assistants and the four year olds have one assistant. The maximum number for Kindergarten is 24 with an assistant. Grade 1 has a maximum of 25 with an assistant for a portion of the day. Grades 2-8 have a maximum of 25 with no assistants.
5. Does St. Paul's offer a foreign language?
Spanish is offered on a weekly basis to students in grades K-5. Sixth grade students are required to take Spanish using Rosetta Stone. By the time a student graduates from the 8th grade the must have completed an addtional semester of Spainish.
6. Do Kindergartners learn to read?
Some Kindergartners will be reading before the end of Kindergarten. However, we do not "push" children to accomplish this goal at that age. Children develop in specific ways, but not all at the same time. Learning to read includes being able to follow directions, complete a task, the ability to focus and a certain amount of eye-hand coordination. Some children may not start reading until the First Grade but that does not mean they are "behind." It is similar to learning to walk or sit up. The child that walks early does not necessarily walk faster or better than the child who starts walking later.
7. How can the curriculum of St. Paul's be described?
A brief synopsis of the curriculum grade by grade is provided for interested parents. Our curriculum is determined by the teaching staff of St. Paul's. We rely on the various publishers such as Houghton Mifflin, Macmillan, etc. Our curriculum is also compared to the Maryland State Voluntary Curriculum. St. Paul's curriculum may have some differences from the Maryland State Voluntary Curriculum, but those changes are minimal. We want to provide academic success for all of our students and do accept students who may find our curriculum challenging. The key to learning is not in the curriculum but in the ability of the teacher to help each student learn. The support and involvement of the parents is invaluable.
8. Does St. Paul's offer gifted and talented programs?
In grades 3-5, an independent novel study program is offered for qualified students. The 7th and 8th grade math program allows qualified students to take pre-algebra and algebra. Grades 1-8 also use Accelerated Math which is a computer program that allows students to proceed in mathematics at their own pace. The same program can be used as a remedial tool. A similar program, Accelerated Reader is used to meet the various reading levels of students. Different leveled books are read and students take tests to demonstrate understanding. In other subjects, each teacher works to provide differentiated instruction that will meet the needs of the various students.
9. Does St. Paul's offer support for students who require it?
Yes, St. Paul's has a Student Support program that enables students who need additional individual help to receive it. In most cases, these students are pulled out of regular class at an appropriate time to work individually with the Student Support teacher or in a small group. Once a week, the Middle School offers a Math Lab for any student wishing to have additional help. St. Paul's is not able to meet the needs of some students who qualify for intense special education. In addition to academic support, St. Paul's has a school counselor for the elementary grades and the middle school grades.
10. What types of electives are offered for Middle School students?
Middle School students may sign up for Home Economics, Spanish, Art activities, Guitar, and a variety of off campus PE choices. Those PE choices include soccer, martial arts, volleyball etc.
11. Do students have access to computers and the Internet?
Yes, students in K through Grade 8 have a regular computer class in a lab setting. Pre-school children have computers in their classrooms. Students learn to use the computer as a tool. They learn keyboarding, word processing, spreadsheets, data bases and power point presentations. Internet access is permitted only at approved sites. The consequences for going to unapproved sites are significant.
13. What kind of extra-curricula activities does St. Paul's have?
There are after school choirs for Grades 1 through 8. In addition to choirs, there is a band program. Band lessons are given during the day, but the total band rehearsal is after school. In Middle School, there is an Art Club and a variety of intramural sports. The after school intramural sports include soccer, volleyball, football and basketball. St. Paul's also participates in an interschool sports program. There are also some after school intramural sports available to students in grades 4 and 5.
13. Are there opportunities for parents to volunteer?
Yes, teachers invite parents to help out in the classroom as needed. In most cases, it works best if a parent can come at a regular time and on a regular day. Classes also have room parents who assist with parties and a variety of other activities. There are also special events throughout the year when parents are asked to volunteer.
14. Where do students attend after they graduate from St. Paul's?
Many attend Annapolis Area Christian School, Archbishop Spalding, Seton Keogh, Mount St. Joseph or other neighboring Christian high schools. Some of our students enroll in Anne Arundel County public high schools.
15. What security measures does St. Paul's have in place?
All visitors are asked to provide their drivers' license which is then scanned into a data base for all sex offenders. Visitors are clocked in and return to the office to clock out before leaving. The two school buildings are enclosed with an access control system in place. Visitors have to ring a bell and are visible on camera before access is granted. All staff workers are required to wear an ID badge. Students practice fire drills as well as shelter in place and other emergency drills.
16. Does St. Paul's have uniforms?
Yes, students in grades K-8 are required to wear a specified uniform. All uniforms must be purchased from Flynn O'Hara in Glen Burnie. St. Paul's also has a uniform exchange where parents can turn in uniforms in good condition and other parents are welcome to re-use them.
17. Is there a Before and After School Care Program?
Yes, St. Paul's offers a Before and After Care program that is in compliance with all Maryland State requirements. Before School Care is available at 7 AM and After School Care is available until 6 PM.
18. Does St. Paul's have a hot lunch program?
Yes, a hot lunch is offered everyday. Meals include tuna, spaghetti, pizza, tacos, chicken noodle soup, cheeseburgers and other items. On Wednesdays, food from Chic-Fil-A is available for purchase. Milk and juice is available for purchase for students who bring their lunch. Parents can send in money to place on an account. As students receive their lunch the cost is deducted from the account.
19. How can I keep up with the assignments and the progress of my child?
St. Paul's has a web based school information system. It is located at www.fastdir.com/stpaulsgb. Parents receive a screen name and password to access grades and other information about their child(ren). A variety of information is placed on this website including class assignments.