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St. Therese Little Flower Primary

PreK-2nd Grade

Principal

CONTACT INFO

Principal

Mrs. Tunia Sangster

The Sisters of Charity of Nazareth founded Little Flower School in 1930 for students in first through eighth grade. The school served around 200 students each year. As many families moved east and began sending their children to public school, the school grew smaller and eventually closed in 1985. Little Flower reopened in 2001 as a Jubilee School, to provide a high-quality Catholic education to children, regardless of their ability to pay. With 50 students our first year of reopening, we have grown to 75 students now, and we anticipate continued growth in the years ahead. We recently changed our name to St. Therese the Little Flower Primary School to recognize our patron saint St. Therese Lisieux and to emphasize the Catholic identify of our school.

At St. Therese the Little Flower Primary School, we are a warm, close-knit community. As a small school with small classes, we’re the perfect school for your child if you want that small, family/community feel. If you have a student who didn’t do well with a large classroom setting, rest assured that we can accommodate individual children. We welcome students from a range of neighborhoods, ethnic backgrounds, and Christian denominations, and we have an even mix of boys and girls. We have a number of families with multiple children at our school, which adds to our family-like feel. A student engagement plan that draws on Teach Like a Champion helps us coordinate our efforts to ensure that our school is safe, joyful, orderly, and productive.

Our school is Christ-centered, focused on the needs of our children, and driven by family and community involvement. The principal knows every student’s name. There is lots of parent involvement. Teachers arrive early and stay late. This school is can be your child’s family away from your family.

The school follows the curriculum guidelines for all Diocesan elementary schools and offers a rigorous education to prepare our students for success in their continued academic careers and beyond. Our math and language arts instruction is aligned to Common Core State Standards, and instruction in other academic subjects is aligned to Diocesan standards. We also ensure that our students master 21st Century Skills, including technology, critical thinking, and life management skills. We offer Title I tutoring as well as volunteer one-on-one tutoring. Visit our Academics page tolearn more.

As a Jubilee school, Little Flower is able to offer need-based tuition scholarships.

After-care makes it possible for participating children to be at Little Flower from 7:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. so that parents know their children are safe and well taken care of all day long.

A full-time guidance counselor provides counseling and referral services. Little Flower participates in the USDA Free and Reduced Cost Lunch Program.

At Little Flower our goal is to help all our students grow to be 21st century scholars and citizens who will lead by honoring the teachings of Christ.

Principal’s Letter

Welcome to St. Therese the Little Flower Catholic School!

St. Therese the Little Flower Catholic School (STLF) is located in Midtown Memphis, at the intersection of Jackson and Belvedere. STLF School is a prek-3 through 2nd grade primary school. The school’s purpose is to build 21st century scholars while incorporating the Gospel message. Students who attend STLF School are given the tools necessary to excel not only in school but to be successful in college and later careers. STLF School prides itself on the close knit community it has built over the years. This is possible through the small class sizes, which ensure that every student is given the opportunity to grow. Class sizes are kept below 15 in Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade to ensure that students are given individual attention to help them reach their fullest potential.

As you enter STLF School you will immediately notice the warm feel of the school. As you begin the day with us, each student receives breakfast in the cafeteria, followed by school-wide morning prayer and pledge. Once we have completed our morning stretches, students and teachers return to their classrooms to begin their daily routine. All instruction in language arts and math is aligned to the Common Core Standards, while science, history, and religion are aligned to the Diocese of Memphis standards. The teachers at STLF are dedicated to their calling and know what is required to take that extra step to ensure that every student is learning all the time.

Outside of the classroom students are able to participate in music, Mass, P.E., art, and guidance. The school also has a very active PTO and holds monthly meetings. St. Therese the Little Flower School is a Jubilee School and financial aid is available.

STLF School is a wonderful school and we take the opportunity to educate your child to be our greatest gift. I invite you to drop by and visit to see the wonderful things happening at St. Therese the Little Flower Catholic School.

Peace and Blessings,

Tunia Sangster
Principal

Academics

The educational program offered at Little Flower is designed to give students the 21st Century Skills to succeed in middle school, high school, and college, and their careers and personal lives. Even our youngest students can tell you what year they will graduate from high school and enter college, and we help them begin to build the skills that they will need when they get there.

  • Language Arts: Students have 90 minutes of Language Arts instruction every single day, including one block of whole-class instruction and one block of differentiated instruction. Our reading instruction incorporates the Superkids curriculum, as well as sight words, poetry, and songs to help build fluency. A Tiger Reader program recognizes avid readers at the Bronze, Silver, and Gold levels.
  • Math: Students have an hour to an hour and a half of math instruction every day. One math class period daily includes whole-class instruction, while a second math class provides differentiated small group instruction on particular skills or customized practice and instruction through the online IXL math program. In the fall of 2013 we will begin using the Saxon math curriculum.
  • Special Subjects: In addition to science and social studies, Little Flower’s enrichment program includes religion, music, PE, guidance, and art.
  • Tutoring: For those who qualify, we offer free Title I tutoring services during the day. Our guidance counselor also provides tutoring to students as needed, as do volunteer tutors who come to our school several days each week. Parishioners from St. Therese the Little Flower church come to school on Fridays to read to our students.
  • Technology: All our classrooms have computers and Internet access, and our teachers incorporate technology into instruction. Our students use computer programs that complement their classroom instruction, while also building computer literacy skills.
  • Faculty: We are a very close faculty. We collaborate with each other and also simply enjoy each other’s company at faculty lunches, potlucks, and other interactions. We come from a range of religious and ethnic backgrounds and ages and value our diversity. One of our Pre-K assistants is an alumna of the school.

Faith

Supporting our students’ growth in their faith is vital to the work of Little Flower.

  • Mass and Community Prayer: Every Friday, PreK-4 through second grade comes together for Mass. Our Pastor encourages students to become altar servers and members of St. Therese the Little Flower Church. When our students express interest in the Catholic faith, they are encouraged to learn more and become part of faith. Each school day begins with our Tiger Community Gathering, during which we pray together, with students as young as 3 years old stating their prayer intentions.
    Classes also pray together throughout the day, and each classroom has an altar where students can take time for individual prayer.
    All families are welcomed and encouraged to participate in the spiritual life of the school. Our families—about10% of whom are Catholic and 90% of whom are Protestant—are invited to attend Mass and receive pastoral blessings and also to participate in parish events.
  • Religious Education: We have Religion classes four days a week for students of all ages, where students learn about the Bible and the Catholic faith.
  • Special Events: Our annual May Crowning honors Mary as queen of heaven and earth. Students bring flowers to celebrate the day. In October, we celebrate the feast day of our Patron saint St. Therese Little Flower with an outdoor prayer service and picnic. Students read from St. Therese’s biography and are given a St. Therese prayer card.
  • Community Service: One way we live out our Christian faith is through service and generosity toward others. At Thanksgiving, we have a canned food drive, and at Christmastime we make cards for soldiers.

Get Involved

Students, attend our school! Little Flower welcomes applications from all students for PreK-3 through 2nd grade. Call us to learn about applying to our school and to find out about financial aid opportunities.

Teach at our school! We are always looking for great teachers and other staff members. To apply to teach, click here for the Diocesan application and also contact us directly to learn more about teaching at Little Flower.

Parents, volunteer at our school! Little Flower’s parents are a vital part of our school community. Call our office to learn more about joining the PTO and additional ways you can help our school. All volunteers have a background check and participate in VIRTUS training to help us ensure the safety and well-being of all our children.

Community members, support our work! We are tremendously grateful for our volunteers and for the donations of individuals, foundations, and corporations that make possible the work of Little Flower and all Jubilee Schools to give students the opportunity to learn, grow, and succeed in a faith-based environment regardless of their socioeconomic status. Call our office to discuss volunteer opportunities.

Student Life

School Traditions: Our students look forward to seasonal school traditions, like musical performances for Christmas and African-American History Month in February, graduation for our second graders, and the May crowning. A special outdoor celebration on the feast day of St. Therese the Little Flower includes prayer and a feast with a picnic lunch and flower decorations. Students read from St. Therese’s biography and are given a St. Therese prayer card. In 2013, we introduced Career Week. During career week, parents come to school to tell students about their jobs, students research careers they would like as part of their guidance classwork, students dress how they would for the job they want when they grow up, and parents come to school to eat with students on their lunch break to give students that typical work day experience.

Field Trips: We know that learning and growth take place in a host of ways, both inside and outside the classroom, so we take our students on learning and community-building field trips whenever possible. Favorite field trip destinations have included the Children’s Museum of Memphis, a pumpkin patch, and the opera. In addition, our second graders visit Holy Names of Jesus and Mary School, which many students will attend after graduating from Little Flower.

Family Involvement: Our students’ families are an integral part of the school community. We have an active Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) that helps out around the school by hosting a yard sale and other fundraisers and community events like field day. Monthly PTO meetings also offer an opportunity for parents to learn about goings-on at school and to offer feedback on current topics. We also welcome parents to Little Flower to volunteer in classrooms and to observe their children in class and eat lunch with them.

After Graduation from Little Flower: Many of our students will go on to attend Holy Names or Our Lady of Sorrows Schools. We help our 2nd graders to find school placements that are right for them and their families.

After-care: An after-school program enables participating students to be at school from 7:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. This schedule lets many parents to drop students off on their way to work or school and pick them up on the way home and know that they are safe and well taken care of all day long.

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