Profile of a Saints Peter & Paul School Graduate at Graduation

graduation

  1. Has begun to develop an awareness and empathy for the less fortunate
  2. Is developing responsibility for growth as a person
  3. Is well prepared for the academic challenges of high school
  4. Accepts the consequences of one’s words and actions without blaming others
  5. Is learning how to communicate with God in various methods of prayer
  6. Recognizes a responsibility to care for the body, mind, and spirit
  7. Is developing a curiosity to explore ideas and issues
  8. Is developing an organized approach to learning tasks
  9. Understands the central role of God in human life
  10. Is forming a Christian conscience and evaluating moral choices
  11. Is more sensitive to the beauty of the created universe and is more caring about life and the natural environment
  12. Understands that service to others is a good use of God given talent
  13. Acts with dignity, kindness, consideration, and truthfulness
  14. Achieves goals through commitment and hard work

 

Has begun to develop an awareness and empathy for the less fortunate

Our students are required to commit a minimum hours of service each year as a requisite for promotion to the next grade level.  In the early grade they do group projects such as collecting food for Loaves and Fishes or books for a Chicago inner city school.  Beginning in fourth grade they are expected to complete a minimum of 10 hrs. individually.  This number escalates to 25 hours in eighth grade.

In addition, we continue to sponsor various opportunities for our student body to respond to the needy in our midst.  A recent out of uniform day generated $3,800 in donations for Haiti. A nacho sale at lunch time netted an additional $400 for the Haitian earthquake victims.  During Catholic Schools Week, nearly 100 students, teachers, and parents worked at Feed My Starving Children.  They packed 75 boxes of food containing 16,200 meals that will feed 45 children for one year.

As a Catholic, not a private school, we feel that our children are learning about their responsibility to use their God-given talents and abilities for the betterment of their fellow human beings.

Is developing responsibility for growth as a person

To be successful in school requires a commitment on the part of the child, the parent, and the teacher.  As their part of this team effort, our children are required to sign a Student Agreement each year that lists the responsibilities they need to assume to ensure that learning and growth take place.

Growth as a person is also facilitated through the daily recitation of our student pledge that follows morning prayers, announcements and the pledge of allegiance.  Here are the words of our student pledge:

I promise to do my best today to be Christ like and accept 
  responsibility for all of my words, actions, and deeds.
  With Jesus as my role model, I will not only refrain from
  anything that can be hurtful to my classmates, 
  but I will do my best to be kind, courteous, friendly,
  respectful, and welcoming with everyone I encounter.

 

Is well prepared for the academic challenges of high school

To be successful academically in school requires many things from a student.  In addition to God-given ability, a student must have good study habits, be proficient in note-taking, be organized, and know how to budget and allocate their time.  Graduates of Saints Peter & Paul School attend a variety of secondary schools including Benet Academy, St. Francis (Wheaton), Rosary, Marmion, Joliet Catholic, Fenwick, Montini, Naperville North, Naperville Central, Waubonsie, and Neuqua Valley.

The one constant we hear about our graduates from high school faculty is that they are easy to identify in a class because of their good study habits and because they apply themselves.  Our children want to succeed and they know that the one habit that will help them accomplish their goals is hard work.

Hard work is something that becomes second nature to graduates of Saints Peter & Paul School.  Having such a strong work ethic gives them a huge advantage when facing the rigors of a high school curriculum.

 

Accepts the consequence of one’s words and actions without blaming others 

From the first day we meet prospective kindergarten parents, we advise them that we have normal children at SSPP.   Being a student at a Catholic school doesn’t mean that one isn’t subject to all of the negative messages from a media driven culture which tries to undermine the values and morals we want our children to embrace.

Children make mistakes.  Children learn from their mistakes when appropriate consequences are enacted.   A child who touches a hot stove will be burned.  This helps him/her learn never to touch it again.  Similarly, if a child makes a poor decision at school, a demerit or detention may be issued.   At that point either the teacher or principal would sit down with that child to explore what other options might exist the next time a similar situation would again occur.

We are fortunate to have good, cooperative children at SSPP.  However, they are young and in the process of developing their character.  We feel that our discipline system helps them own up to their mistakes and become better persons by freely accepting the consequences of their occasional mis-deeds.   This is a life lesson that, we believe, must be learned at an early age.

 

Is Learning how to communicate with God in various methods of prayer.

As one might expect, prayer is a big part of our students’ daily lives.  Each morning begins with a scriptural passage and reflection, followed by announcements, the pledge of allegiance, and our student pledge.   During the course of the day classes begin with prayer, the children say grace before lunch, and prior to dismissal, they recite the Act of Contrition.  At special times of the Church year, namely Advent and Lent, our entire student body begins each week of these holy seasons with a special prayer service.

Children are taught different formal prayers each year and also learn the proper responses for our weekly liturgies.  To help them understand the relevance of the prayers at Mass, our pastor, Fr. Milota, welcomes each of our primary grades to church for a tour and better understanding of the sacrifice of the Mass.

In essence, prayer is talking to God.   Children learn spontaneous prayer and are encouraged to use this method of prayer when asking God for help as well as  thanking Him for their many blessings.

Finally, we have a prayer tree that includes the names of family members and loved ones in need of God’s healing grace.  We recite the names of our extended family during each Monday‘s prayers and the children also offer special prayers for these special people in Religion class.

 

Recognizes a responsibility to care for the body, mind, and spirit

There is a passage in St. Matthew’s Gospel that is very pointed when he challenges us by asking “what does it profit a man if he gained the whole world but suffered the loss of his soul?”  As Catholic educators, our teachers have a responsibility to prepare our children for Heaven, not Harvard.  At the same time, we know that being a knowledgeable Catholic, but one who is unable to function in our society, is not an outcome a parent would expect when enrolling a child in our parish school.

Consequently, we take a holistic approach to the education of our children.  We recognize the need for them to develop and nourish their mind, body, and spirit regularly.   Achievement or dominance in one area at the expense of the others is both foolish and impractical.  Thus, each day has a blend of time devoted to study, worship, and opportunities for physical outlets.

It is common and natural to see our students excel both in and out of the classroom.  Their report card grades, involvement and success in sports, the Fine Arts, and other extra-curricular pursuits, as well as an admirable dedication to a myriad of service activities and opportunities indicates to us they are learning to have balance in their lives.