Welcome to St. Michael's, A Resource for Orthodox Elementary Education
For twenty-two years, St. Michael’s Orthodox School offered an Orthodox Christian education in southwest Santa Rosa, in beautiful Sonoma County, California. Some of our students' parents remarked that it was the "best kept secret of Sonoma County", others said that it was "the next best thing to home-schooling".
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 more than 30 years of experience. We are still inspired by the time our Lord gave us to be in the classroom and by all He gave us during that time. Now the burden is on us 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 to also give practical examples of how to follow these principles in the classroom, whether at home or in an Orthodox Christian school. What we are offering is not intellectual, educational theory. All that you will see on this website has been successfully used, often for many years, in the classroom.
Although we never advertised ourselves as an highly academic school, our emphasis on Christian values and personal relationships ("Seek ye first the Kingdom of Heaven") 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. We had perhaps more than our share of valdictorians in high school.
Children thrive and develop in a warm, personal setting and this is the atmosphere we maintained at St. Michael's. 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 was expected of each, each child was 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", "Newsletter", and "Curriculum Ideas" sections of the website.
In "The School Store" section, we offer educational materials which have been "student tested" (all with success) for many years. 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. If you wish, please contact us, firstname.lastname@example.org or 707-545-0861.