Philosophy, Beliefs and Guiding Statements
"St. Mary's International Middle School uses developmentally appropriate pedagogy to challenge students to discover their passions, to pursue excellence and to commit to a life of service for the 21st Century."
Students: Students at the St. Mary's International Middle School are challenged academically, physically, social-emotionally, and creatively. Developing healthy peer relationships is central to what we hope to accomplish in the middle school and drives many of our activities and programs. Students are involved with learning outside of the classroom and develop an understanding of the Japanese culture through language instruction and through study away programs sponsored by the school.
Teachers: It is acknowledged by administrators and by teachers that the quality of instruction in the classroom is the single most important factor related to student achievement. Teachers at St. Mary's International Middle School are passionate about teaching, are experienced with middle level education, are committed to life-long learning and professional development and are knowledgeable about content and pedagogy appropriate for middle school students. Teachers are supportive of a Middle School Philosophy and program and are flexible about educational innovation. St. Mary's Middle School teachers are committed and effective with collaborating with students, parents and with colleagues.
Middle School Program: The middle school program is challenging and developmentally appropriate. There is a high level of sensitivity to individual needs that are supported through our learning support, English as a learned language and counseling specialists. Commitments to be connected to our host culture and to service learning are integral components of our overall program. The curricular program is supported by the co-curricular program that provides many opportunities for our students to be involved with school activities outside of the regular classroom. Teachers work to provide assessment processes that are varied and attempt to build on students' strengths while, at the same time, work toward improving weaknesses. Christian values are the foundational piece of the instructional program and all students take a class in Catholic Study, Ethics or World religions.
School Environment: The middle school environment is well maintained and is both physically and psychologically safe. There is no tolerance for harassment or ridicule in any form, and any kind of bullying behavior is dealt with severely and with a clear sense of urgency. The overall atmosphere is friendly, inclusive and welcoming to all boys from all faith traditions and backgrounds. The learning environment is extended beyond the walls of the classroom and into the local and international community with the hope of building a sense of a global community.
The faculty and staff review the philosophy of the school on a regular basis with the expectation of keeping it current, relevant and consistent with research and best practice around middle level education. The ability for teachers, students and parents to articulate and communicate the philosophy of the middle school program is essential for building a high functioning middle school. It is the intention that all changes within the St. Mary's International Middle School are filtered and gauged through this philosophical lens and measured against these belief statements.