• Jewels Bernthal

Five Questions to Ask when Considering a Private Elementary School for your Child

Updated: Oct 19

Is a Bay Area private school the best fit for your family?


So you're looking to find the right school for your child, which is one of the most important decisions a parent can make, especially since children learn and thrive in different environments. We may not be able to help you with every aspect of that decision, but we can help you determine if St. Stephen is worth a closer look. We have provided "Five Questions" you may ask yourself as you evaluate your child's future.

By the way, I'm Jewels, the School Administrator here at St. Stephen Lutheran School. Having been raised attending a Lutheran grade school and Lutheran high school myself, I personally see the value of a Christian education and upbringing. As the Bible says in Proverbs 22:6, "Train up a child in the way he should go and when his is old he will not depart from it."


Having a personal relationship with the Lord has great value, not only because of what it means for our eternal life, but also because it affects our choices and behaviors as we live out our faith as Christians. I think Galations 5:22-23 says it best, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and self control." In this world, we are constantly tempted by the desires of our sinful nature which are harmful to us and those around us ("selfishness, rage, hatred, jealously envy and the like" see Galatians 5:20-21). It is so important to establish a firm foundation of faith at a young age in order to equip ambassodors for His service, and empower them to proclaim Jesus as their Savior!

Without further ado, let's jump into the five questions...


 

1. Would Your Child Thrive in a Christian School with a Family Atmosphere?


Different children learn and grow in different environments, but every child needs to feel nurtured, special, and safe at school. Jesus loved children and said "Let the little children come to me!" (Luke 18:16). We strive for that type of Christ-like environment, where each child is welcome, loved and valued. Students with unique gifts or learning challenges are given individualized attention, and presented as opportunities for growth. Mutual respect, kindness, forgiveness, and self control are taught and lived out by our students and staff. We believe our students thrive here because they are living out their faith, in the loving care of their Savior, Jesus Christ.



2. Are You Seeking a Christ-Centered Alternative to Public School?


"Building a Foundation for Life" is our school motto. This means our school is built on a strong spiritual foundation and a strong academic foundation. Through our religious curriculum including: Daily morning devotions, Catechism and Bible History class, Praise and Worship sessions, we are preparing your child for this life and the next. This curriculum instills Christian character development, which testifies to our reliance on Jesus Christ as our Savior and the Bible for our secure source of truth. As our school was established in 1995, we continually adhere to standardized yearly testing (through the Iowa Assessments) to assure that we maintain above-average test scores which testifies to the superior quality of our long-standing academic program.


"We got our start at St. Stephen!"



3. Would Your Child Benefit from a Customized Education?


Some children are gifted and need an extra challenge. Others have difficulty with the basic curriculum. Still others have specific learning challenges, socialization problems, or even physical impairments. Luckily, there are many ways to learn (visual, auditory, or kinesthetic). At St. Stephen our small class size and low student-to-teacher ratio allows for a custom curriculum and personal attention where it's needed. We're able to accommodate for extra challenges and extra gifted students alike.



4. Is Private School too Expensive for Our Family?


St. Stephen Lutheran School is a ministry of St. Stephen Lutheran Church and charges substantially less than many comparable Silicon Valley private schools. Refer to our Admissions Webpage for tuition and annual fees.




5. Can a Small School Offer Enough to Keep My Child Stimulated?


St. Stephen promotes volunteer and parental involvement to ensure a broad variety of subjects and ongoing activities. Each week we have volunteers from our school and church family come in to help monitor lunch and recess. Occasionally we have parents who teach Mini-Classes based on their specific careers and unique skill sets. Off-site volunteering is also available for parents to be drivers and chaperones for our monthly field trips. Beyond that, we offer exciting activities such as our annual basketball tournament in Wisconsin, annual Run-A-Thon, annual Spring Fair, and more. We continue to expand our offerings to welcome parent's ideas and involvement. You can read more details by visiting our Activities webpage.




 

Hopefully this blog got the wheels turning to determine if a Christian education is an important factor for you when choosing a school. St. Stephen School provides a comprehensive and balanced education that is both Biblically-based and academically sound. At this time we are accepting Online Applications for grades 1-8. We'd love to personally show you our teaching environment and have you meet our school family. Feel free to email me with further questions or schedule a tour!



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