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.
Opportunities to lead and serve are also a big part of our daily activities and promotes an atmosphere of helping through leadership and giving to others through personal service.
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.
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 Spanish, art, music, physical education and technology 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 dimension of our students. Beginning in Preschool, our students learn 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 Application/Enrollment protocol for new students?
All new families are encouraged to visit our school and take a personal tour of the school to see our students and staff “in action”*.
*At this time, visitors are not allowed into the school building due to COVID protocols, as safety for our students and staff is paramount. We hope to resume tours when school is not in session.
Once you have decided that St. Thomas More School is the best educational fit for your child, the process is as follows:
- Gather all necessary supporting documents per our Application Check List, so that they are ready to upload during the application process.
- Begin an Online Application (OA). Visit the Admissions/Schedule a Tour tab and start by Creating an Account.
- 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. You will be notified of testing dates once the schedule has been set. Our placement exam allows St. Thomas More School to best place your child in the appropriate classroom and make sure that his/her educational needs are met so that all children flourish.
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 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. Fr. Mike Yadron, our pastor, is the celebrant at most All School Masses and students generally develop a comfortable relationship with him, as well as our associate pastor, Fr. Declan McNicholas, who celebrates some All School Masses and attends many school events.
What are the hours of each school day?
- School begins promptly at 7:45 a.m. every day, Monday through Friday
- There is an early dismissal every Wednesday at 1:30 p.m.
- School ends every day at 3:00 p.m. (2:45 p.m. for Preschool and Pre-K students)
- Half-day Preschool & Pre-K classes dismiss at 11:00 a.m.
Is there after-school care?
Our Kids Time program is available for all students each school day, if needed.
Hours are Monday to Friday from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
All COVID precautions have been implemented to keep students safe.
Before school care, usually starting at 7:00 a.m. has been temporarily suspended due to COVID restrictions. Parents may drop their children off as early as 7:25 a.m. and students will proceed directly to their classrooms.
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 white or maroon shirt. Our school's plaid (Belair plaid) is also available for some items. Shoes must be primarily one solid color of white, brown or black with solid color 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 or contact the STMS School Office to get the latest information.
Student will participate from time to time in no-uniform days. Guidelines for these days will be provided in our Student Handbook.
What type of extra-curricular activities are available for my child?
The following is a partial 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)
- Youth Chorale
- Annual Fall Musical
- Boy Scouts
- Girl Scouts
- Chess Club
- Science Olympiad
- Media Club
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, a weekly newletter with announcements/ lunch menu/schedule of events sent home via email each Friday afternoon.
- Weekly “Robocall”, an automated phone call to your home/cell phone with reminders for the week ahead; usually delivered at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday evenings.
- Emails and “Robocalls” with updates and announcements as needed.
- Facebook-- notifications of some activities and events are promoted on our school Facebook page.
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 questions or concerns 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. There is a wide variety of activities that need volunteer assistance throughout the year, from adult events to family events.
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, once saftey protocols are lifted:
- During the school day: Cafeteria volunteers (a great way to see your child during the day)
- Evenings & weekends: making phone calls, clerical assistance, etc.
- After school: Scout leaders, Science Olympiad mentors, athletic 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, offered each year near the start of school.
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. The training involves one seminar session of approximately three (3 hours) with a series of follow-up sessions that you can complete at home online.
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 effort, but these are minimal. It is, however, our hope that all families will participate to some level with our fundraising activities, as these necessary funds help keep tuition increases low and fund many important programs at STMS. As an added bonus, fundraising activities that revolve around an event help our school families bond and create lasting friendships, vital to our school community.
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 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.