For twenty years, St. Michael’s offered an Orthodox Christian education in southwest Santa Rosa, in beautiful Sonoma County, California. Some of our children's parents remarked that it was the "best kept secret of Sonoma County". The school was established in 1992 and was deliberately small. We generally had between 12 and 18 students. With three very experienced teachers, the children received a well-rounded education, filled with art, poetry, practical work experience and loving attention.
However, a small school is very difficult to maintain, especially when so many families are struggling to balance their own budgets. We are very grateful for those who had the means to be so generous to the school, but in May, 2014, we were forced to close our doors.
Although the day to day school is now closed, we will be maintaining the website as a means of offering the fruits of our more than 30 years of experience (each). We are still inspired by the time our Lord gave us to be in the classroom and we want to do all we can to share what we have learned (teachers should always learn as much as the students) with other parents/teachers.
Our goal will be, as it always has been, to articulate the principles of an Orthodox Christian education, based on the Orthodox Christian understanding of a human being. Our goal is also to give practical examples of how to follow these principles in the classroom, whether at home or in a private school. All that you will see on this website has been actually used, often for many years, in the classroom.
We never advertised ourselves as an highly academic school, but our emphasis on Christian values and personal relationships resulted in graduates who were very successful in their high school studies. Many of them were placed in Advance Placement courses in high school, and some immediately started taking junior college courses at Santa Rosa Junior College.
- As an offering for Great Lent, we are posted the text of a lecture called, "Who's Who in St. Andrew's Canon." As you know this canon is read during the first week of Great Lent and again during the fifth week of Greast Lent. St. Andrew names quite a few people from Old Testsment history, many of which are not generally known. The lecture is an attempt to explain a little about most of those named, and hopefully increase our understanding and meaning of the canon. The PDF version of the lecture can be downloaded here. May our Lord Jesus Christ bless us all with a spiritually fruitful Great Lent.
- Although not an addition to our website, we would like to direct those who are currently home-schooling, either by design or because of the recent school closures, to a wonderful resource for online courses. Classical Resource Learning Center (clrc) offers online courses in many areas of study. In addition to their regular courses, they are now offering special "short courses" especially for those affected by school closures. Difficult times often open new doors of opportunity. Visit their website at https://www.clrconline.com.
Children thrive and develop in a warm, personal setting and this is the atmosphere we maintained at St. Michael's. Some called it "the next best thing to home schooling." While larger educational institutions work on the factory model of education, an Orthodox Christian perspective values the less institutional, more personal teacher-student relationship model. This approach has been very fruitful. We expected the highest from each student and the students were challenged to fulfill their God-given abilities. While the best is expected of each, each child is measured according to their ability, not to the ability of others.
For a more detailed picture of our views of education and how these views influence the day to day life of the school, we suggest you read the material in the "Articles on Education", "History and Philosophy" and "Newsletter" sections of the website. We are very interested in using our thirty-some years of teaching experience toward the establishment of new and development of existing Orthodox grammar schools. Please contact us, firstname.lastname@example.org or 707-545-0861.