The Center is a place where children experience the joy of learning.
Center for Excellence, Explained…
The Center for Excellence satisfies the opening lines of our mission statement: “to nurture and challenge children” in a “diverse and inclusive community” of learners. What does the Center for Excellence offer?
  • three qualified educators with backgrounds in gifted and/or special learning education to facilitate the instructional needs of all St. Thomas’ students.
  • a program that meets the individual needs of students by providing necessary boost or additional challenge.
  • the ability to work with students one-on-one or in small groups, both in the classroom and in the Center.
  • expertise and close student monitoring at no extra cost to the parents.
  • the possibility of afterschool tutoring and supervised homework help through the QUEST Enrichment program.
A well-articulated process guides the Center for Excellence. To help determine the programs needed to support and extend student learning, our teaching staff and administrators analyze data from formal and informal assessments (iready, CTPs, reading fluency and spelling inventories, etc.) On the basis of that analysis, most students’ needs are met through differentiated instruction in the classroom, a process often referred to in educational jargon as “pushing in.” Some students may benefit from more intense work which requires “pulling the student out” of another subject, an option that involves parents in the conversation. Both provide an additional layer of teaching, catered to the individual. Both ensure that “excellence” is the perfect descriptor for the center.
Educational Facilitator for Student Support and Learning
305-665-4851 ext. 316

Sandy Walter has a master’s of education degree from the University of Florida. She received both her undergraduate and master’s degrees from UF. For many years, Mrs. Walter has been involved in the field of education. She has broad experience in establishing and maintaining learning centers.