St. Michael's School
The seeds of St. Michael's were sown more than twenty-five years ago through the efforts of many dedicated individuals who wanted an educational methodology based on the traditional Christian understanding of the human soul. St. Michael's and a number of other Orthodox Christian schools are the fruit of these labors.
St. Michael's in Santa Rosa began in 1992 as a series of extension classes offered to home-schooled children. Two years later it developed into a full-time school with a complete curriculum. The teachers have worked together for over twenty years.
Our striving has always been to teach children in a way that not only provides the necessary information, but also contributes to their right formation. Therefore, our concern is both what is taught, and how it is taught. We aspire to teach in a manner that informs their minds, and most importantly, touches their souls and hearts.
Former Students Return for "Old Fogie Day"
The writings of St. Theophan the Recluse and St. John of Kronstadt have been very influential in the development of our pedagogy. We have also been inspired by such educators as Charlotte Mason for her emphasis on the use of narration and her insight that "there is no impression without an expression." In order to truly learn and remember, children need varied outward activities to express their understanding. For example, lessons would include activities such as painting or drawing pictures of their lesson, narration and recitation, and math games using manipulatives or physical movement.
Using Buttons to Learn about Biological Classifications
The beauty and the fullness of Orthodox liturgical life is an ongoing inspiration. If the Church, in its liturgical life, teaches us through song, beauty and activity, should not an Orthodox school employ these same principles in the classroom?
Our goals are to inspire the children to love God and the Church, to develop a love for learning, an appreciation of beauty, both visual and literary, a love of labor, and a desire to work with others.
However, a small school is very difficult to maintain, especially when so many families are struggling to balance their own budgets. We are very grateful for those who had the means to be so generous to the school, but in May, 2014, we were forced to close our doors.
Although the day to day school is now closed, we will be maintaining the website as a means of offering the fruits of our more than 30 years of experience (each). We are still inspired by the time our Lord gave us to be in the classroom and we want to do all we can to share what we have learned (teachers should always learn as much as the students) with other parents/teachers.