BASIS Independent McLean 4 5 1 1

St. Raphael School

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St. Raphael School is a top-performing, co-ed, K-8 Catholic school in the Archdiocese of Washington with roots going back 50 years. SRS specializes in customized education through small-group instruction and differentiated learning. St. Raphael School is the product of extensive research of best practices in the world of education. The administration visited numerous schools and incorporated the best of the best in putting together its programs. This is the school parents say they wish they’d had when they were growing up. SRS is affiliated with St. Raphael Nursery School, which offers programs in 3’s, 4’s, and 4-Plus.

Basic Facts

    Available Spots: 2/13/18 We anticipate 2 spots in 1st grade for 2018-19

    Age Range:
    Pre-3's through Grade 8

    Years Established: 2006 (preschool established in 1969)

    Average Class Size: 25

    Tuition: Catholic - $8,990 Non-Catholic - $9,990 — IMPORTANT: Our tuition includes all school supplies, books, and field trip expenses

    Who you serve:
    Catholic, Co-ed, Elementary, Middle School, Preschool

    Mission/Philosophy
    St. Raphael School, in conjunction with its parish and parents, provides our children with an engaging and inspiring academic program infused with strong Christian morals and virtues. Our Catholic identity permeates each subject and daily activity in a warm and welcoming environment. Through faith and reason, our school community challenges students to lead lives of service while embracing the love of God and neighbor. We foster a strong sense of self-worth and build character in each of our students, enabling them to reach their full spiritual, intellectual, physical, and emotional potential in accordance with the teachings of Jesus Christ.

    Available Hours:
    7 a.m.-6 p.m.

Contact Details

Important Q&A

    What differentiates your school from all others?
    We are known for many things—our warm environment where not only students make friendships for life but parents as well, for instance. But our customized education truly is what makes us stand out. With differentiated learning and our small-group instruction, we are able to tailor the educational experience for each child. A student who is advanced in math or reading can work at one or two (or even higher) grade levels ahead, while a student who needs extra help gets exactly that. We intentionally designed a smaller school to give more attention to each child. At SRS, every child is known—no one slips through the cracks.

    Where do you see your school in 5 years, what will be different?
    In 5 years, we likely will still be the newest school in the Archdiocese of Washington! Although our preschool (St. Raphael Nursery School) was established in 1969, St. Raphael School was founded in 2006. While we have graduated several classes and are now well established, we still continue to bring our parents in the process of "building our new school" because we believe in the importance of not being complacent and never being satisfied with the status quo. The philosophy that starts with our principal, Teri Dwyer, is that we must continually push ourselves to be the best school we can be, with input from our community, including parents, students, staff, and parishioners. Our hashtag, #WeAreStRaphael, reflects our quest to work collectively in providing the most outstanding educational experience possible for our 21st century learners.

    Whats one myth about your school thats just not true?
    That St. Raphael School is "too small." We intentionally designed a smaller school, with one grade per class and capping at 26 students per grade, to give the utmost attention to each and every student. Our close-knit community is warm and welcoming and is cited by families as a primary reason for choosing SRS. Our alumni have gone on to area high schools—many quite large—and have reported back that SRS prepared them well not just academically but socially for the transition. Being in a smaller school enabled them to not only grow but thrive, and our graduates have expressed appreciation for the confidence that SRS gave them as they entered high school.

    What kind of student is most successful at your school?
    As cliche as it may sound, virtually every student is successful at St. Raphael School. Because of our smaller class size, and especially because of our break-outs in math and reading, every student is on track to reach his or her full academic potential. Yet academic instruction is only one component of life at SRS. From kindergarten through eighth grade, our emphasis on educating the whole child—supported by pillars of Catholic identity, academic excellence, small-group instruction, and student engagement—has served our students well.


    Why should we choose your school?
    While there are many outstanding schools in the area, there is only one St. Raphael School. SRS is the product of extensive research of best practices in the world of education. The tone of the school is set by a phenomenal principal, Teri Dwyer, who knows every child and parent by name and who is always quick to credit her faculty and staff, never herself, for the tremendous success and reputation of the school. Parents tell us time and again that St. Raphael School is the school they wish they'd had when they were growing up. If a family is looking for the best Catholic school around, they should look no further.

    What safety precautions are in place for the children in your care?
    Students and staff regularly participate in various emergency exercises, ranging from shelter-in-place practices to fire drills. In the event that children need to be relocated from our campus, we have a reciprocal relationship with Ritchie Park Elementary School across the street. Our front doors are locked, and only authorized visitors are allowed to enter the school area, which is further locked by interior doors. We have a full-time school nurse on site, and our staff members are certified in CPR and first aid. All of our faculty and staff, as well as volunteers who have direct contact with children, undergo mandatory child-protection training, including fingerprinting and background checks. For more about our safety precautions, there is a crisis plan available on file in the school office.

    What does a typical day look like for your kids?
    The children begin their day in the church with Morning Prayer. The calming influence of prayer and quiet discussion is led by Principal Teri Dwyer and includes a bit of relaxing breathing exercises. Students celebrating a birthday get an eagerly anticipated "Birthday Blessing" by Fr. Dave. Even the most hectic morning at home is calmed by Morning Prayer (parents sometimes attend, too), which is such a peaceful way to start school. Our day is organized by morning and afternoon classes (with a dedicated aide in grades K-3), separated with a break for lunch, prepared by our school chef, and recess. Outdoor options include the playground, blacktop (with basketball hoops), and Angel Path, which is a tree-lined walking path on campus. The classrooms for K and 1 are in the early-childhood wing of the original building; grades 2-5 are on the main floor of the new building; and our middle-school students enjoy their own space on the top floor of the new building. Dismissal is at 3 p.m., and the students have the option of going home by carpool or getting picked in the classroom up by their parents, who use the opportunity to check in with the teacher. Many students participate in after-school activities, such as rehearsal for the school play, which is a wonderfully bonding experience.

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  1. St. Raphael School had me at “hello.” Yes, that line is from a movie but it rings true for my experience at SRS. I now have two children in the school and my third is entering kindergarten next year. My children are happy and challenged and they are getting a faith filled education that I feared did not exist in this crazy world anymore. SRS not only has nourished their minds but their souls. What more could a parent ask for?

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