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St. Francis of Assisi School

St. Francis of Assisi is a PreK-8th grade Catholic school located in Northeast Baltimore. The school's mission calls us to reflect the values and vision of our patron saint, helping us to prepare students for a life of scholarship, spirituality, and service. The IB mission to develop active, compassionate and lifelong learners underscores our commitment to help students become informed and active members of the community. Well known for his respect for living creatures and the environment, Saint Francis emphasized interaction with the natural world around us. Our learning extends to Herring Run Park and the 1.3 mile fitness loop around Lake Montebello, placing us at the heart of vibrant city neighborhoods. Students experience the environment as an integral part of their overall education.

The diversity of the Saint Francis of Assisi student body is a source of strength and pride. More than 45 heritage countries are represented in our school community, the only non-public school in Baltimore that offers the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program. This inquiry-based program helps students develop global awareness and collaborative problem solving using the design process. Students experience the rigor of Singapore Math, rich discussions prompted by the Great Books program, Spanish instruction from Preschool through 8th grade, and technology to enhance learning. Our Middle School STEM Club and Design classes benefit from the use of 3-D printers, and Saint Francis was one of the first Catholic elementary schools to offer 1:1 technology beginning in the 3rd grade. We have multiple computers and interactive whiteboards in every classroom, with technology integrated throughout the curriculum.

The school's IB program encourages students to explore answers to some of the world's toughest problems, tapping the IB learner profile to not only analyze their own work but to assess their sources. This year's areas of inquiry, driven by student passion and community need, include climate change, the impact of stress on our bodies, and injustice driven by bias around the world. Students turn their studies to action by becoming social impact entrepreneurs through participation in KIVA, an international revolving loan fund. They raise funds and experience the challenges facing philanthropists, choosing projects they believe will make a tangible positive difference in people's lives. Their experiences are enriched by a speaker series that recruits local and international social justice activists to share their experiences and engage students in conversation about their work.

Whether it's math or language arts, science or music, each subject is examined for its relationship to another, the nature of the inquiry bridging any divide. Community projects are an integral part of the whole, required by all IB students. We are proud that Saint Francis students become effective public, global citizens, equipped with tools to harness inquiry in order to better their understanding of a complex world and strengthen their ability to navigate it successfully for the common good.

Public speaking and presentation experience are emphasized from preschool through the 8th grade. For Middle School students, design theory adds new dimensions and direction. Each year they put all of the diverse facets of their inquiries into presentations at the Academic Fair, guided by design theory that taps the arts for added impact and effective communication. The Fair is attended by fellow students, parents and members of the community, helping students gain confidence in their presentation skills. From their first day at school, students embrace a commitment to SOAR: to be Safe, claim Ownership, and be Actively Engaged and Respectful.

We are proud of the school's strong academic programs and innovative offerings. From the ever-energetic preschool, to our strong standardized testing scores and the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program, Saint Francis strives for excellence. Saint Francis of Assisi is not just a school but a way of life.

St. Francis of Assisi School
Baltimore, MD