Enrichment Programs

The educational experience at our school includes a focus on delivering opportunities for our students to participate in a variety of enrichment programs such as Honor Choir, Honor Society, CARTT, Service Club, Student Council, Star Wars Club, Music Appreciation, Spanish, Scholastic Reading Counts!, Sports and Activities, Chess Club, Robotics Club, Yearbook Club, and the Young Writers’ Academy.

Honors Choir

The St. Thomas Aquinas Honors Choir is an advanced children's choir open to grades 4th through 8th. This choir has recently been invited by the Bishop to sing for Liturgies and events at SS. Simon & Jude Cathedral and is acknowledged within the Diocese as an exceptional Catholic Children's Choir. Children will have the opportunity to sing for Mass at St Thomas, Christmas and Easter celebrations, concerts and outreach programs. This special ensemble provides children with the opportunity to challenge themselves musically and personally, and to contribute to the Catholic Community of Phoenix. Children are accepted into the ensemble through an audition at the beginning of the school year, and must make a one-year commitment once accepted.

Honor Society

The St. Thomas Aquinas Honor Society strives to have its students embody the core values held by Catholic Education: Faith, Knowledge, and Service. As a result, Honor Society recognizes an individual’s enthusiasm for scholarship. Once accepted into the Honor Society, students are expected to take up the call to serve others through service-based learning activities such as after-school tutoring and serving in the parish. Throughout the school year, students learn and promote leadership skills, which serve to develop a strong sense of moral and ethical character rooted in Catholic values. Members are considered eligible during the fourth quarter of their sixth and seventh grade year. Students who are accepted into the St. Thomas Aquinas Honor Society must maintain a high standard of scholastic excellence and achievement, while also fulfilling volunteer duties in the spirit of service and possess the values and qualities of scholarship, leadership, prudence, citizenship, and stewardship.

Catholic Art Traditions (CARTT)

The Catholic faith has a rich artistic tradition which comprises our identity as Catholic people. To expose students to this aspect of their heritage, the CARTT program was created. CARTT presentations combine goals and objectives of each grade level's art and religious education curriculums by guiding students in observations and discussions of religious masterpiece works of art. Students expand their critical thinking skills as they explore Catholicism through centuries of faith-inspired artwork. Opportunities for each grade level to work with certain media and in the techniques of traditional genres of Christian artwork are available throughout the school year.

Service Club

The purpose of the Service Club, which is open to 6th through 8th Grade students, is to provide an opportunity for our students to work on their Catholic Formation. The Club’s mission is to prepare students for Catholic-centered service and leadership; inspiring them to lead ethical and community-focused lives, while fostering a positive, affirming climate on campus centered on social, academic, and personal development. Students hold positions within the Club and select the organizations assisted such as the WHEAT organization (World Hunger Advocacy Group), Sonoran conservancy, and Michael's Place as well as devoting time to support our communities internal needs.

Student Council

To foster student leadership as well as contribute to a student centered environment, the Student Council coordinates school events as well as providing a voice for student ideas. With a teacher advisor, the Student Council, comprised of 5th through 8th Graders, is a group elected from a body of students to serve as representatives in student government.

The Student Council plays a very important role at St. Thomas Aquinas Grade School. They help share students’ ideas, interests, and concerns with the teachers and principal. The Student Council also helps the students raise funds for school-wide projects and they assist the community when they are in need of aid.

Music Appreciation

Students experience music through song, instrumental work, listening, and critiquing, which leads to the development of increasingly sophisticated skills and the understanding of musical concepts.

Spanish

Language education that starts early and involves children in daily communication and content learning allows children to develop a second language as naturally as they learned their first language. The program centers on communication, cultures, and connections as they sophisticate the students' level of communication. The goal of the program is to present Spanish as a mode of communication, emphasizing understanding, creativity, and confidence with the skills acquired.

Scholastic Reading Counts!

Scholastic Reading Counts! (SRC!) is an independent reading program which combines reading practice and software-based reading assessment. Instructionally flexible and professionally written, SRC! is a program proven to develop reading skills, help raise test scores, and motivate students to achieve reading success.

Our library offers a variety of books and in addition, students are encouraged to utilize both classroom and local public libraries. To support ongoing learning, instant feedback is provided through the program which allows teachers to closely monitor the reading progress of students. We motivate students to participate with enthusiasm. Once books are read, students earn reward points based on completing computerized quizzes and their achievements are recognized throughout the year.

Sports and Activities

The Catholic Youth Athletic Association (CYAA) coordinates school year sports programs such as volleyball, flag football, basketball, softball, baseball, and soccer. These sports programs are coached by St. Thomas Aquinas Grade School parent volunteers. Students from the 5th through 8th Grade are eligible to participate in the sports program based on meeting the St. Thomas Aquinas Grade School academic requirements.

St. Thomas Aquinas Grade School students participate in physical education classes three times a week beginning in Kindergarten. Classes consist of 45 minute periods for Kindergarten through 5th Grade and 50 minutes for 6th through 8th Grade. Throughout the school year classes focus on tennis, flag football, baseball, volleyball, basketball, golf, lacrosse, field hockey, soccer, softball, kickball, frisbee golf, and Ultimate frisbee .

Robotics Club

The Robotics Club is an afterschool program for students in 3rd through 8th Grade. This club is designed to get students excited about science and technology through the use of Legos and the Lego Mindstorm NXT Robot kit. Students who participate learn valuable structured problem solving and programming skills all while having fun. The program is structured in a way that the children build the robot, develop a step-by-step instruction set for the robot, program it, and then make corrections to the program based on the actions of the robot. Students in 3rd through 5th Grade participate in a recreational program centered around the lego kit contents and program module. Students in grades 6th through 8th Grade take this to the next level by developing more extensive programs via the computer and also have the opportunity to participate in the First Lego League program and competition. This program is supported through contributions from the Wildcat Dad's Club and volunteers from Intel Corporation.

Star Wars Club

Jedi Academy (S.T.A. Star Wars Club) is an afterschool program for students Kindergarten through 8th grades. This club works within the guidelines of the Expanded Star Wars Universe. We focus on Jedi philosophies, ideologies, and customs. The club meetings consist of a General Meeting and instruction in the three Jedi Pillars: The Force, Knowledge, and Self Discipline. Delving into the mysteries of The Force we explore how we interact with our surroundings and the universe. Knowledge is taught through discussions, videos, websites, and varied reading material. Lightsaber Training entails: Developing emotion control, Dueling techniques, and Combat training. Meetings are led by the Jedi Council and Guest instructors.

Yearbook Club

The Yearbook Club publishes the Yearbook and is edited by parents and students through the use of an online program allowing multiple users to build and edit yearbook pages throughout the year.