St. Mary – Home Page

Welcome to Saint Mary’s community of faith and excellence.


2001 S. 5th Ave.
Sioux Falls, SD 57105

(605)334-9881
Courtney Tielke, Principal
ctielke@sfcss.org

Now accepting registrations for the 2013-2014 school year here.

Saint Mary School opened over 50 years ago. The tradition of excellence in Catholic education continues.

Thank you for visiting our website.  What sets the tone at Saint Mary?  Our front door isn’t our “real”main door.  People enter through secured doors and work their way to the
office.  Our walls are kept nicely painted and depending on the time of year, there are hallway displays that give a hint of what the classrooms are working on, what liturgical season it is, or what we think is important. Often visitors are greeted by our school pet Aggie or by passing students, staff, or volunteers.  I’m so proud of the genuine sense of welcoming that is present in our school.  No tour of the school is complete without a stop in the gym to meet Mrs. Julie Kolbeck or in Miss Mac’s room. They are genuine ambassadors for our school.  I am grateful for their work, our incredible secretary Becky Basche, and commitment of the entire Saint Mary School staff.  We care about each child and family.

Our school remains ever vibrant . We implement new technologies, analyze curriculum and test scores, add enrichment and academic assistance opportunities.  We find ways to master content, foster faith formation and a sense of service.  Our school focuses on virtues, responsibilities, and accountability.  We find joy in small and large successes and strive for a positive atmosphere.

Our school

The building has undergone considerable updates and remains a great facility to meet the needs of students. In the recent several years, we have updated lighting, smoke/fire detection systems, security systems, air conditioning, new windows, refrigerated drinking fountains as well opened two new classrooms,  a multi-purpose room, and a link to the church. The newest addition is located on the southwest side of the school and greatly enhances our drop-off, gathering space, and add very needed classrooms.

Our school has four distinct wings.   The west main level wing houses our early childhood classrooms (3 year old program, 4 year old program and two transitional 5 year old programs), first grades, Art, Computer/technology center, and our Academic Service center.  In our east main level wing you will find our second and third grade classrooms plus our school library and music rooms.  The south wing has our two new kindergarten classrooms and our multi-purpose room.  The second floor on the east side of our building is the location for grades 4-6, our speech/language therapist, our school counselor, and our enrichment/gifted coordinator rooms.  We have three distinct playground areas that allow us to assign recess times by age level.  The earlychildhood playground is located in the interior couryard (bordered by building on all sides).

Saint Mary parish is very supportive of the school and strives to maintain a premier school in the heart of the city. All roads easily lead to Saint Mary School.

Our staff

Our staff is dedicated to faith and academic excellence.  We affirm each child and work to always be accessible and in communication with the families we serve.  The Saint Mary School personnel is talented and positive.  We stay current with educational research and practices and are constantly finding innovative ways to make our school experiences and opportunities dynamic for our students.

Learning opportunities

The strength of our academic programs is in our ability to meet the needs of all learners.  We have rigorous expectations in our excellent instruction.  We meet and
exceed Common Core standards and have programs designed specifically to address
students who would benefit from the following instruction:

1.   Academic Services.  Academic  Services programs are tailored to the subject
or core areas that are delayed or below grade level/ability level performance.  Mrs. Amy Isaacson is the educator who facilitates individualized planning and coordination with the
classroom teachers.  She also is the director for the Sioux Falls Catholic School Achievement Academy.  Please refer to that tab under the SFCS headings or call her at 271-0133 for more information.

2.  Speech/Language therapy.  Thanks to the generosity of our school parent organization and St. Mary parish, we are able to offer direct individualized therapy for students ages 3-12. Mr. Cory Faber is the service provider.

2. Occupational therapy is also available at Saint Mary School as contracted through Cory Faber’s “Thera-time” agency.

3.  Gifted/enrichment/acceleration.  Saint Mary has provided unique learning
strategies for students with exceptional ability levels.  We continue to develop criteria and research assessment tools to authentically determine participants. Our school will design and implement a three-fold instructional model:

A.  Continued enrichment pull-out option that adds horizontal projects that support but do not supplant regular classroom instruction.
B. Acceleration (potential multi-age) instruction
that replaces regular instruction in the identified area of giftedness (math,
language arts, science) and allows for more curriculum goals to be covered in a
shorter period of time.  This provides for more in-depth unit focused instruction.
C.  “Scholar” program at each grade level that expose all Saint Mary students to higher level thinking skills and divergent thinking projects.

Our content area curriculum includes all Language Arts (reading, phonics, English, handwriting, and grammar), Math, Science, Social Studies.  21st Century learning skills are emphasized in all subjects.  This includes critical thinking and problem solving (sound reasoning and interconnections of ideas, thoughts, and learning).  Students are taught to analyze and synthesize information.   Classrooms incorporate creativity and innovation plus stress written and oral communication (student ability to articulate thoughts and ideas clearly).

Educating ALL our students is a priority at Saint Mary School.  Strength in our academic service/remediation program is equally important as educating our students with very strong abilities. Having the options to meet all student needs benefits our entire school.  The strength of our programs are the depth and variety of our programs.

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