At Saint Gabriel the Archangel Catholic School, students grow exponentially every school year. Students from preschool through eighth grade are educated through the Catholic values of faith, family, tradition and innovation.
“We strive to empower every child by developing the students academically, socially, emotionally and spiritually,” says Principal Lara Krill.
The staff utilizes a program called Friendzy, which offers vital social and emotional learning lessons to reduce stress, improve focus and academic performance, and create a positive environment for students to achieve success.
“We focus on how to treat one another and pick a positive discipline approach, really teaching expectations so the kids know what to anticipate,” Krill says.
This year school leaders have introduced new elective programming for seventh- and eighth-grade students. For example, during this trimester students can participate in drawing, bells, and a new STEM lab, which focuses on project-based learning that incorporates science, technology, engineering and math, for hands-on, maker-space activities. In the elective program students take one class four days per week for a full trimester, and during the second and third trimester they take another class in addition to physical education and Spanish (which all students are enrolled in).
“Students are introduced to a variety of different areas and then they get to choose more of a focus as they get older,” Krill says.
In these maker-space areas, students are introduced to coding and 3D printing so they can print their own projects. For example, the fourth graders recently did an animal studies unit for which they designed and created their own animal habitat.
Saint Gabriel also offers a variety of extracurricular activities, both academic and athletic, as well as the opportunity to join clubs and student council. The student council is service based, and leads the major service projects for the school. Each grade level has its own service projects based on Catholic social teaching initiatives.
“We have a variety of opportunities for student leadership, so we encourage them to be involved in Masses through the church as all of our Masses are student led,” Krill says.
They also have clubs for the student yearbook, safety patrol, newscasting, robotics and culinary skills. The Kids in the Kitchen club enables students to learn about cooking from a chef. In total, Saint Gabriel offers 35 extracurricular activities.
Students love the Big/Little Buddies program, for kindergarten, first, seventh and eighth graders, through which students are paired together to complete projects.
“We are constantly looking for ways to encourage that community atmosphere, as we are a very community-oriented school,” Krill says.
Saint Gabriel has a number of tenured teaches who have been on staff for years – in some cases spanning multiple generations. The average amount of teaching experience is 15 years, and one teacher has been at Saint Gabriel for four decades.
“We have many students who grew up here and now their kids are coming here,” Krill says. “We have a lot of grandparents who are alumni and are still involved in the school experience.”
Saint Gabriel is now enrolling for the next school year.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel Catholic School is located at 5503 Bardstown Road in Louisville, KY. For more information, call 502-239-5535 or visit them online at stgabriel.net/school.