93 Reasons to Love Little Flower Catholic School

Little Flower teachers, staff, alumni, parents, friends and students collaborated to put together a list of what makes our school so amazing. We stopped at 93, but could have kept going. Enjoy the read, and feel free to call or visit us anytime. You may also submit your own reason HERE.

1. Parents have entrusted us with their child’s education for 93 years.

2. Little Flower is home to multigenerational alumni - making it the home of family, legacy, and tradition. There are even 4th generation students at the school.

3. Little Flower is a home that our students want to come back to. We have seven staff members who are alumni.

4. St. Therese’s “Little Way” is lived every day at the school. Every other week students gather with their Little Way Prayer Families made up of a staff member and a student representative from each grade to discuss how to live the traits of The Little Way.

5. We acknowledge that God Is First by starting each day with a prayer.

6. We “do the simplest things to the best of our ability” by keeping our school grounds and building well maintained.

7. We Show Integrity by trusting our students and teaching them personal responsibility and respect.

8. We Welcome Everyone by fostering an environment where all newcomers (parents, students, staff) are greeted warmly and accepted.

9. We “find the joy in everything” by our quarterly CELEBRATION of student successes.

10. We “make every day and every moment count” by creating teachable moments from mistakes.

11. We Serve The Community by teaching students the importance of charitable giving and being a servant leader through service projects.

12. We Strive For Excellence by celebrating our success as a community with quarterly honors breakfasts, perfect attendance awards and bestowing scholarships at Sunday Mass.

13. Our Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) raises 100% of the funds necessary to make all our field trips free of charge for every student throughout the year.

14. Small class sizes (average of 13.5 in K-3 and 20 in 4-8 in 2019) allow us to nurture student growth with individualized teaching techniques.

15. Excellent Pre-3 and Pre-4 programs with flexible schedules. Parents can choose any increment of ½ day AM or full day school desired.

16. Free of charge before school supervision offered every day 35 minutes before school starts.

17. Extended care until 6pm with grade level appropriate programs.

18. Parents are welcome in the classroom and building at any time. Parents frequently stop in for lunch, recess or to read a story to a class.

19. Prayer is accepted and expected.

20. We have 2 1/2 resource teachers to help individualize instruction and overcome obstacles.

21. Field trips are relevant to curriculum and taken multiple times a year. Some recent examples include: Indianapolis Zoo, Tuttle’s Orchard, Police Station, Children's Museum, IRT, ISO Discovery Concert, JA BizTown, Camp Tecumseh, Mounds State Park, Holcomb Observatory, Indiana State Museum, Indiana History Center, and Benjamin Harrison Home.

22. Diversity in ethnicity and economics is celebrated, understood, and respected. As of 2019 our student body is 11% Black, 24% Hispanic, 56% White, 7% Multi-racial, 2% Other.

23. LF students have positive relationships with administrators and other staff. Kevin Gawrys, our principal, celebrates success with students even more frequently than addressing struggles.

24. Music and art are incorporated in the curriculum at every grade level (even preschool). For example, in middle school all students are required to learn an instrument and play in the band.

25. We have a tradition of an excellent music program that praises God and fosters a love of music in many of our students. We currently have one of our largest Liturgical Choirs with 35 students singing at weekly school Masses and several Sunday Masses.

26. As of 2019, 48% of our student body is non-Catholic. These parents choose our Catholic school because all religions are respected at Little Flower.

27. Our students are proud to wear the LF uniform and let their personalities show their individuality.

28. There are multiple opportunities for students to shine on stage at our Grandparent’s Day Program, Little Flower’s Christmas Program, the Spring Musical, and Talent Show.

29. Morning walking club to start the day off right.

30. Teachers provide after school and summer tutoring at no cost to families.

31. Security updates have been made because safety of our students, faculty, and staff is a priority. (The school applied for and received a Homeland Security Grant to replace all interior doors with more secure models.)

32. Little Flower feels like a family to its students and parents – just ask any one of our 238 current families.

33. We have shown enrollment growth for 9 consecutive years.

34. We are the largest ministry of Little Flower Catholic Church, and our students benefit greatly from the relationship with Fr. Bob and the parishioners.

35. We love our neighborhood and community and love bringing everyone together at events like our Halloween Bash and Summerfest.

36. Our partnership with the local Catholic High School, Scecina, helps our students see what the next step in their education looks like. This includes; monthly Masses at Scecina, field trips to see theater productions, STEM projects for eighth graders, East Deanery Band Concert, and holding our annual Walk-a-thon on their grounds. All of this is possible with the assistance of LF alumni that currently attend Scecina.

37. LF students are not just a number. Administration and teachers (not just the ones that have had a student in their class) know the students names and treat them with respect.

38. Participation in Mass (lectors, servers, choir members) by both Catholic and Non-Catholic students foster a respect for the Church and Christ.

39. To better understand the process, each class is responsible for planning a weekly Mass.

40. PreK-8th grade school allows the opportunity for older students to mentor younger students. Whether it is reading to kids, singing at Mass together, or collaborating in Little Way Prayer Families, meaningful and positive relationships are made.

41. Breakfast available for all students free of charge every day.

42. LF students are given many athletic opportunities with sports teams for both boys and girls - including kickball, basketball, volleyball, football, cross country, chess club, etc.

43. Little Flower feels like home to our students. The school hosts an All Class Reunion each November that over 200 alumni attend. When asked why she loves LF one alum said, “I love Little Flower because it will always be ‘home’ to me. My fondest memories are all attached to my teachers, my spiritual development, and above all else my lifelong friendships.”

44. Students are able to engage in hands- on science experiments through Project Lead the Way.

45. We value diversity and respect culture by praying the Lord’s Prayer in Spanish on Fridays led by members of our Spanish Heritage class.

46. Middle Schoolers are given a more personalized school day by choosing their own electives.

47. Eighth graders are taught Religion class by Father Bob.

48. Each student in 3rd grade and above has their own Chromebook.

49. As part of our connection with senior citizens in our parish, the students plan a Senior Prom each year and attend several holiday gatherings with the senior social group.

50. Students are immersed into the Catholic beliefs through live action events such as the Living Stations of the Cross.

51. Our staff brings in experts in different fields as a way of introducing careers and applied learning to their students.

52. Little Flower is rich in history and tradition including; our First Communion ceremony, preparation of the Tree Song, Walk-a-thon, 8th grade blessing, and Washington DC trip.

53. Parents and Teachers have open lines of communication and work together for the maximum outcome of the respective student(s).

54. Staff and Faculty are comfortable discussing issues and ideas with the Principal, other staff members, parents, and students.

55. Educational programs for parents are offered throughout the year to assist parents in helping their children succeed - Literacy Night, Math Night, Cyber Safety presentation, etc.

56. The school administration is supportive of teachers creating a unique and interesting classroom experience.

57. Teachers connect with their students on many levels; seeing students for who they are and the potential they possess.

58. Our students are excited to learn, participate and be involved in the classroom.

59. Students feel empowered to be leaders in and out of the classroom.

60. Middle School students are given leadership opportunities through Student Council, Catholic Identity Committee, school-wide jobs and responsibilities, service projects, and Little Way Families.

61. The children feel safe and loved by faculty and staff.

62. Staff respect and appreciate each other and are proud of the work they do.

63. We are blessed with many alumni who come back to Little Flower to visit, work, volunteer, and worship.

64. Many teachers attend student events outside of the classroom, such as sports games or dance recitals.

65. Staff take the time to teach Social and Emotional learning by giving students the platform to deal with their feelings in a healthy way.

66. Kindness and respect is shared between students, staff, parents and the community.

67. All classrooms are equipped with either a smart board or a smart TV.

68. Students have the opportunity to receive extra help from our Title I Teacher, after school tutors, resource teachers, SEL sessions, and advanced study groups.

69. LF Students have scored over 110 (on a 100 point scale) each of the past two years for growth on the ISTEP/ILEARN test.

70. LF students have been recognized for their service on local news stations, YMCA volunteer of the year, and in the Indianapolis Children’s Museum, Power of Children exhibit.

71. Mr. Kevin Gawrys has been at Little Flower since 1999 and has served as principal since 2001. Mr. Gawrys is the leader of our Little Flower family. He shares his knowledge, compassion, and love everyday.

72. Lori Falk has been our school secretary since 2004. Mrs. Falk takes care of the school, all the kids, and adults as if they were her own family.

73. Theresa Slaton has been an innovative teacher-leader who challenges all kids to be their best selves for the past 46 years.

74. Mr. Asher who, after 25 years teaching at LF, has returned to serve as our Assistant Principal.

75. Fr. Bob Gilday (class of 1963) is present in our school daily. He greets families in the parking lot for dismissal and he teaches 8th grade religion. Fr. Bob is present at most school activities and supports our students at CYO sports events. He makes our students, families, and staff feel “All Are Welcome.”

76. A Parish Staff, where all 10 members have either attended LF or had family attend (or both), fosters a strong parish-school connection.

77. Fifteen Alumni and LF Scholarships awarded to up to 36 students each year.

78. We utilize additional tools to analyze student growth beyond ILEARN including NWEA test scores.

79. Eighth grade students design, create, and carry out projects for an Eco Challenge.

80. All students and parents are greeted in the halls every morning as they enter the building.

81. Fifteen murals grace our hallways from 8th grade classes that have left their impressions of their time at LF.

82. Cultural celebrations of Day of the Dead, St. Patrick’s Day, Our Lady of Guadalupe, and St. Nicholas Day.

83. Students are taught to respect our nation by daily reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance and flag raising.

84. Beautiful church and inspiring liturgies at all-school Masses.

85. A sense of kindness is pervasive throughout the building.

86. We say “please” and “thank you” and “I’m sorry”- staff included.

87. Staff has opportunities, such as the Smeckens Literacy Retreat, to both grow professionally and bond personally.

88. Relationships are the foundation of learning at Little Flower.

89. There are many opportunities for parents to be involved at school including PTO, School Commission, Lunch/recess duty, Room Parent, Field Trip Chaperones, etc.

90. Students have opportunities to read books of their choosing daily.

91. Parents feel their students are cared for like family. “Just because I am at work, does not mean my student does not have a mom available.”

92. Students make an effort to look out for one another.

93. “Love is repaid by love alone.”- St. Therese