The Sisters of St. Thomas Aquinas are a teaching Congregation devoted to the Catholic education of the youth. Catholic education of children is a most urgent need in these troubled times in which truth is endangered by error and heresy. Public institutions of education, now presenting a serious danger to faith and morals, are no longer an option for Catholic parents. Many families turn to the Sisters seeking assistance in the academic and spiritual formation of their children.
For this work of training youth the Sisters are prepared academically so as to be qualified to teach in both the elementary and higher levels of education. Following on her novitiate, the Sister will attend a Juniorette during which she is trained to become an efficient instructor and educator. Depending on her natural aptitude and previous education, she receives courses in the Humanities, Rhetoric, Latin, philosophy, theology and especially in the theory and methods of education. If she is intended to teach higher courses of science and math, she will go on to specialize in her respective field.
But the formation of the intellect is useless without a strong spiritual life, most especially in these times of anti-religious culture. The Sisters of St. Thomas Aquinas must become instruments of grace for their children. They must not only be versed in the dogma and truths of our Faith but must be living examples of it. To this purpose, the religious Sister devotes herself ardently to acquiring religious perfection and virtue during the time of her Novitiate. Inseparably united to Jesus Christ the source of light and virtue, she will be prepared, in turn, to communicate it to others.
The Sisters of St. Thomas Aquinas conduct their own course of studies for certifying teachers. This Course of Studies (Juniorate) consists of three parts.
I. Philosophical Studies, consisting of Formal and Material Logic, Psychology, Cosmology and Metaphysics.
II. The philosophy and methods of teaching, including the Ratio Studiorum.
III. Specialized studies and the obtaining of a certificate in the specific subject area particular to each teacher.
Upon completion of the Teacher Certification Program, the Sisters observe classes and act as teacher’s aides for 2 months. They are monitored and mentored during their first two years teaching in the classroom. The classes of all the teachers are randomly supervised to ensure the professional and effective methods of teaching.
All of the teachers at Queen of All Saints must meet one of the following requirements:
I. Bachelor's Degree or higher in any subject
II. Three or more years of K-12th grade teaching experience.
III. Special skills, knowledge, or expertise that qualifies them to provide instruction in K-12th grade subject
The Teachers who have completed the Juniorate also participate in an annual 4-week summer program for teachers’ continued education. Summer classes include seminar training for any new software or hardware that is being introduced for the following school year. Several collaborative meetings are scheduled to allow teachers to share their teaching tools and techniques with other teachers. All of this improves the instructional methods in the classroom.
Online School Teacher Qualifications
QAS teachers meet regularly for Professional Development (PD) and Common Planning Time (CPT). This is an effective tool used to design the curricular needs of our students and teachers. Teachers meet every Tuesday for a 40 minute session dedicated to PD/CPT. Sessions involve the following:
PD/CTP demonstrating instructional methodologies for improving pedagogy.
PD/CTP analyzing and interpreting assessments to evaluate progress and discuss means of improvement.
Department Instructional Meetings
Seminars - teachers actively discuss a topic
Workshops - department heads and educators come together to discuss and solve problems
Modeling and coaching - providing one-on-one modeling and coaching for teachers
QAS also holds quarterly PLC Meetings (Professional Learning Community) to discover/discuss curriculum achievement gaps, resources etc.
The Teachers who have completed the Juniorate also participate in an annual 4-week summer program for teachers’ continued education. Summer classes include seminar training for any new software or hardware that is being introduced for the following school year. Several collaborative meetings are scheduled to allow teachers to share their teaching tools and techniques with other teachers. All of this improves the instructional approaches in the classroom.
At least three times per year, QAS teachers and leadership team members participate in various professional development opportunities including:
Yearly conference for Zoomtopia
Yearly conference and expo for the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE)
Annual virtual convention for the International Convention for English Teachers (ICTE)
Yearly summit for the Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM)
As a result, teachers are able to use technological tools effectively in the classes. Through the implementation of these programs the teachers are able to make the virtual classrooms mirror the campus classrooms, and overcome the many barriers that present themselves in normal distance-learning scenarios.
The effect of the professional development on student achievement is measured by the analyses of the ERB test results; the academy’s various test scores - weekly and quarterly tests scores and the final exam scores; and the RCM test scores and promotions.