We Live Our Mission
Independence Mission Schools (IMS) provides a transformative Catholic education that develops students intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually and that provides children of all faiths across the city of Philadelphia the opportunity to learn in a college preparatory environment and grow in a culture of love, setting them on the path to a promising future.
As part of the Independence Mission Schools network of 15 Catholic schools, Our Mother of Sorrows/St. Ignatius of Loyola Catholic School is living out the IMS mission by providing a faith based, quality education in a healthy, respectful, caring environment. Academically and socially we help develop the whole child to meet the challenges of a global society.
Our Mother of Sorrows / Saint Ignatius of Loyola is a Catholic school and follows the religious curriculum of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. As Catholics we believe in the importance of faith in a child’s development, and we are proud to accept and teach students from many religious backgrounds. Fifteen percent of children are Catholic, but all students are encouraged to grow in faith, recognize the many blessings in our lives, appreciate their God-given talents, and respect themselves and others. We create opportunities for personal development through service projects, including collections of food, two student fundraisers, and a school-wide Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. All students pray each day and attend mass or a prayer service once a month.
Teachers are one of our school’s most valuable assets and with small class sizes, they have a big impact on students. Our experienced teachers model good character, faith and morals and instill a love for life-long learning. Teachers meet regularly to share best practices and discuss curriculum. They often go above and beyond, volunteering to coach, chaperoning trips, and monitoring school events. Many of our teachers can be found mentoring our students in extra curricular activities that challenge them to grow academically and socially.
We are proud to offer weekly instruction in art and music at a time when many others have cut these programs. The Margaret Madden Arts Center provides students with a fully equipped art studio and classroom, and our art curriculum includes art history, art appreciation, and studio time. A full-time music instructor provides lessons in theory, appreciation, and vocal arts, and leads our student choir. Students also have opportunities for enrichment during several field trips and school performances.
Students learn the computer skills necessary for success in academics and the job market starting in Pre-Kindergarten and continuing through eighth grade. Our students master Microsoft Office and focus on solving real world problems with technological skills. Technology is integrated into the school curriculum through both subject area learning tools and creative class projects.
Healthy, Respectful, Caring Environment
Evidence shows that young children who eat well and are physically active develop healthy lifestyles and do better in school. Students have access to a healthy breakfast and lunch through Nutritional Development Services and receive instruction on proper nutrition from the Health Promotion Council. Students attend weekly physical education classes, and have both indoor and outdoor facilities to practice their healthy lifestyle. After school sports include boys and girls basketball, long distance running through Students Run Philly Style and a variety of other sports through Philly Girls in Motion.
The safety and well-being of our children is our primary concern. To that end, we strive to create and celebrate a community full of spirit, care and personal understanding. We maintain a safe school environment by limiting the size of the class, communicating with parents, and making sure that students act respectfully towards others and themselves. We maintain a high standard of conduct. We work to ensure student safety outside of school hours by opening at 7 am and offering affordable after school care. We are proud to have partnered with Big Brothers / Big Sisters and several major universities and schools (including Villanova, Drexel, St. Joe’s, Rosemont, Chestnut Hill, UPenn, and Agnes Irwin) to bring additional positive role-models and enrichment opportunities into our students’ lives.
Children have unique gifts and we provide each with an opportunity to use their gifts. Students may star in a school concert, display a piece of art, win an academic award, or excel at sports. Providing students with multiple opportunities for success has been shown to improve students’ attitudes towards school and raises their overall effort and performance. Some students face unique challenges, and we provide a variety of support. Government funded services include a part time psychologist, counselor, speech clinician, nurse, and a reading support specialist. Teachers and volunteers provide re-enforcement to students outside of class or after school.
Our teachers receive support from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the office of Non-Public Categorical Programs, and local universities. All teachers receive training to help students develop higher order thinking skills. Research projects and interactive software encourage students to pursue independent learning. Students learn to develop and articulate their ideas in small classroom discussions and school presentations. We have been blessed with many hard working volunteers from sister parishes who provide children with extra attention so they may achieve their full potential.