THIRD GRADE Q & A
Why does Saint Thomas Choir School
accept boys to Third Grade?
have found that the transition to the rigors of the chorister’s life–style is
made easier by beginning academic and musical training in the Third Grade.
From our experience, Third Grade has proven to be a favorable time in a boy’s
life to join the Choir School community. A transition takes place when boys leave
the primary grades and enter the upper elementary level. Boys who have been
admitted at this age flourish musically, academically and socially.
boys’ voices are changing at a younger point in their lives, and entering the
Choir School at an early age provides the opportunity to train and support a
full compliment of voices for the choir.
Does the School accept
Choir School does not accept day students and is committed to remaining one of
the few academic institutions in the world that exists exclusively to "educate,
house and nurture the boy choristers”.
Will the School still
accept boys at Fourth Grade?
in particular those boys who live at a greater distance from the school. If there is room in the class, the school
continues to accept boys until Christmas of Fifth Grade.
Are Third Grade students
required to be full-time boarders during school terms, as the older boys?
No. Third Grade students depart on Friday afternoon
and return Sunday evenings. Their
families need to live at a distance from school that makes this weekly commute easily
possible, generally within 75 miles.
What sort of schedule do
the boys have?
weekdays, they attend class, take an instrumental lesson or practice,
participate in sports and learn how to be a boarding student. Between Christmas break and the end of the
year, there are three or four weekends, carefully scheduled, on which the Third
Grade boys remain at the school. There
will be special activities; one is graduation weekend.
What are the academic benefits
to a boy who begins in Third Grade?
research has shown that in the primary grades small class size is crucial to a
student’s success. The Choir School’s
Third Grade class size has been no larger than six students. This allows for
one-on-one attention where academic strengths can be nourished while any
weaknesses can be quickly identified and addressed. Assessment of a student’s
progress is quickly and easily made due to the individual focus. Also, the
demands of the chorister schedule are not fully upon a Third Grade student,
this gives him the time to focus on academics while acclimating himself to the
What about the
curriculum and class instruction at this grade?
Third Grade is combined with the Fourth Grade for English, Science, French, and
Physical Education. Mathematics and history are taught separately to the
Third and Fourth Grades. The mathematics curriculum uses the Everyday
Mathematics series. The science curriculum utilizes a research-based, inquiry
science curriculum called FOSS (Full Option Science System). English, which is
combined with Grade Four, uses Writers Workshop and covers several genres:
fiction, poetry, mystery, fantasy, and expository. Reading is taught using full length novels as
opposed to Basal readers. Grammar is taught through mini-lessons created in and
out of context of student writing. History class begins with a study of Saint Thomas Choir School
and then progresses to a survey of New
What are the musical
benefits to Third Grade enrollment?
reap benefits from the high standard of music education in an environment where
it is a natural part of their life.
Do Third Grade students sing with the choir?
receive preparation that allows them to become full members earlier and to sing
longer with the choir. During the course
of the year, they are gradually introduced to evensong, first as a member of
the congregation and later in the choir stalls.
On selected weekends when the boys remain at school, they sing the 9:00
AM Sunday service with the other probationers.
What is the tuition and
are scholarships available?
room and board for the 2011 - 2012 academic year is $13,500. Scholarship is determined by financial need
which is calculated through the parent application with the School and Student
Service for Financial Aid. Tuition is
the same for all grades at the Choir School.
What should we do if our
family would like to explore this opportunity?
next step is to phone the Admissions Office and schedule a School Visit. The common experience of visiting together
gives a family the opportunity to consider the appropriateness of the school
for their son. Contact Ruth Cobb at
212-247-3311 or email@example.com.