Building a foundation of moral, spiritual and academic strength for our students.
In today’s fast-paced world, your child will find a safe and stable scholastic home at St. Thomas More School, where respect, kindness, Catholic values and a strong academic work ethic are stressed every day. At St. Thomas More School, we emphasize the importance of valuing others while offering students a challenging academic curriculum to prepare them for the future.
Our most Frequently Asked Questions…
Why should I send my child to St. Thomas More School?
First and foremost, the success of our students is directly related to the high priority that St. Thomas More School places on quality in education. This begins with a dedicated administration and staff and licensed teachers who continually place the triumphs of their students at the top of their “to do” list. This dedication to excellence has not gone unnoticed by the State of Indiana Department of Education, awarding St. Thomas More School an “A” rating. In addition to an outstanding education that is unsurpassed in the area, our student’s school day is filled with much more than classes and instruction. Since we firmly believe that our students’ success is based on more than their classroom experience, we continue to provide full-time teachers in art, music, physical education, computer and library/study skills so that our students receive a well-rounded education. The more that is offered to a student, the greater the rate of success will be for those students. We also realize that many students find their true talents and strengths in areas outside of the traditional classroom. Added to our weekly “specials” classes, we are proud to offer a varied list of extra-curricular activities in which our students can participate. And last, but certainly not least, is our Catholic-based curriculum which fulfills and enhances the spiritual side of our students. Our students learn at an early age to honor and respect God, themselves, their families and others. They are taught the value of assisting those in their community, near and far, and living as God had intended good Christians to live. They are taught by example every day at school!
What is the registration protocol for new students?
All new families are encouraged to take a personal tour of the school to see our students and staff “in action”. Once you have decided that St. Thomas More School is the best educational fit for your family, the process is as follows:
- Submit all necessary registration forms with supporting documents per our registration check list, along with your registration fee.
- Once registered, you can relax for a while knowing that your child will be included in our student prospects for the following school year (non-Catholics may be put on a waiting list if the 15% non-Catholic limit has already been met and notified if an open spot becomes available).
- All new students will be required to take a placement exam, held during the month of June, so that St. Thomas More School can best place your child in the appropriate classroom.
Do students attend Mass? What about the Sacraments and priest participation?
Students begin attending Mass in kindergarten when they participate in the once a week All School Mass. Children in 1st through 8th grades attend Mass on one additional day per week. Sacramental preparation for First Reconciliation, First Holy Communion and Confirmation is included in the STMS curriculum and will occur during their regular religion classes in the Sacramental years. Father Mike, our pastor, is the celebrant at most All School Masses and leads an 8th grade seminar once a week, permitting students to have a comfortable relationship with him. Father Ted is likewise often involved with the students. These relationships allow everyone in our student body to be comfortable around our parish priests.
What are the hours of each school day?
- School begins promptly at 8:00 a.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday
- Late start every Thursday at 8:30 a.m.
- School ends every day at 3:00 p.m. (2:50 p.m. for Weis Center students)
Is there after-school care?
Our Kids’ Time program is available for students each school day.
Before school care begins at 7:00 a.m. daily.
After-school care is Monday through Friday from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the main building.
Is there a dress code?
Yes, our students must adhere to a uniform policy on school days. A proper school uniform consists of navy or khaki pants, shorts or skort (for girls) with either a red, white or navy shirt. Shoes must be primarily one solid color of white, brown or black with navy, white or red socks/tights. A variety of approved sweatshirts are available through the school office for an additional fee. For a complete list of our uniform policy, please visit our website.
What type of extra-curricular activities are available for my child?
The following is a list of activities that students may participate in outside of the regular school day
(for a complete list with descriptions, please visit our extracurricular activities tab):
- National Junior Honor Society
- Student Council
- Athletics for boys & girls beginning in 5th grade: Basketball, Cross Country, Soccer, Track & Volleyball
- Band (Intermediate Band for Grades 4 & 5/ Senior Band for Grades 6, 7 & 8)
- Annual Fall Musical
- Art Club
- Boy Scouts
- Girl Scouts
- Chess Club
- Science Olympiad
How do parents get information about school activities?
We are constantly updating and refining our system to find the best avenue to get information to our school parents. Currently, information is sent regularly via these paths:
- The Barrister (weekly announcements/ lunch menu/schedule of events sent home via email each Friday)
- Weekly “Robocall” (an automated phone call to your home/cell phone with reminders for the week ahead; delivered usually at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday evenings)
- Emails and “Robocalls” with updates and announcements as needed
What is the best way to communicate with a teacher?
The best way to communicate with a teacher or staff member is via email. Most teachers check their email at least once a day and will respond to your question or concern at their earliest convenience. In the case of an emergency, it is best to contact the school office for immediate response.
How much time should I devote to volunteering?
Current parent volunteer guidelines require each school family to volunteer at least 20 hours per school year.
What type of opportunities are available for volunteering?
There are many ways for school parents to volunteer with a variety of volunteer tasks that can fit everyone’s personal schedule. Just a few of the many options are listed below as examples.
- During the school day: library or cafeteria volunteers (a great way to see your child during the day)
- Evenings & weekends: making phone calls, clip valuable soup labels, etc.
- After school: scout leaders, Science Olympiad mentors, coaches
- Event volunteers: event chairperson, committee member or shift worker
*The STMS Parent Association will offer a complete list of opportunities at the beginning of each school year.
**As a reminder, anyone who will be volunteering around children must attend VIRTUS training.
What is VIRTUS training and how do I complete it?
VIRTUS is a program created by the National Catholic Risk Retention Group in the United States with a "Protecting God's Children" component that combats the sexual abuse of children in the Church. It is currently in use in over 80 dioceses in the United States. All adults wishing to participate in activities at St. Thomas More School (field trips, cafeteria volunteers, scout leader, classroom parent, etc.) or with any children of our parish must complete the VIRTUS course. Training sessions are held at the beginning of the school year at STMS and monthly throughout the Diocese of Gary.
Do we need to participate in all fundraising drives and events?
Most fundraising drives are optional. The Parent Association will collect some mandatory fees as part of the overall fundraising amount, but these are minimal.
What high schools do most St. Thomas More School students attend?
Our student body is comprised of students from Munster and the communities surrounding St. Thomas More School. Our students predominantly attend the following area high schools:
- Andrean High School (Catholic) —Merrillville
- Bishop Noll Institute (Catholic) — Hammond
- Local public high schools (Munster High School, Lake Central High School, etc.)
One of the best outcomes of a St. Thomas More School education is the tight bond that our students continue to share with their fellow STMS classmates, regardless of where our students attend high school. We have found this bond to remain strong through the high school and college years, and continue throughout our alumni’s adult life.