St. Luke Elementary School (SLS) in McLean is celebrating 50 Years of Catholic education. The school was founded in 1962, and last Thursday, Oct. 18, it held a 50th Anniversary Celebration on the feast day of St. Luke. The entire school celebrated with a special mass at 9 a.m. That same evening, the new Principal, Louis Silvano, invited parents, faculty, parishioners and friends in the community to attend a reception in the gymnasium from 7-9 p.m. The Pastor of St. Luke Parish, Father David L. Martin, unveiled a painting by Brother Mickey McGrath specially commissioned for the 50th Anniversary. The recent Apostolic Blessing from Pope Benedict XVI was on display. Approximately 150 people attended the celebration. In conjunction with the yearlong Golden Anniversary Celebration, Principal Silvano announced three major advances to take place at SLS this year.
A new junior kindergarten classroom for 4-year-old children will be added to the elementary school. SLS plans to open the new JK classroom in August 2013. This will be a full-day junior kindergarten providing a comprehensive program that focuses on the cognitive, social-emotional and physical development of children in preparation for kindergarten.
An outdoor classroom where students can experience nature first hand has been designed for use in 2013. It will include a butterfly garden, a planting area, a mini-amphitheater, a labyrinth and a garden sanctuary for reflection. It will accommodate seating for three full grades at a time to enjoy and to explore nature. The architecture of the outdoor classroom has been designed by Great Falls resident and internationally recognized landscape architect Charles Owen of Fine Landscapes LTD.
Principal Silvano believes the outdoor classroom is an essential addition to the SLS curriculum as many children in today’s society are suffering from “Nature Deficit Disorder.” SLS is one of a handful of schools across the country recently named to pilot LEGO Recruiter from LEGO Education. This hands-on program seeks to work with teachers to elicit the universally loved and ever-present LEGO building blocks to inspire learning, excitement and creativity in the classroom. The program, run by school Technology Coordinator Timothy Burns, is being incorporated into the 2012-13 school year.
SLS is hosting an Open House on Monday, Nov. 12, from 9 to 11 a.m. The public is invited to come in to meet faculty, students and parents.
St. Luke School, grades K-8, is located at 7005 Georgetown Pike in Mclean.