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ABOUT SHNORHALI SCHOOL
The Shnorhali School is the primary educational organization within St. Mary, aimed at instilling and teaching the love of God, pride in our Armenian language, national identity, and culture.
The goal of the school is to teach Armenian language and basics of culture in order to help our children and families live authentic Armenian Christian lives and become active members of our community.
The school is comprised of two curriculums: one dedicated to Christian Education and the other to Armenian Language and Culture. This uniquely unified program provides school children from K-12 an excellent opportunity to learn about their Armenian Christian heritage.
The school's academic curriculum is created to serve the needs and demands of our community. School administration and teachers have painstakingly developed this specialized curriculum coupled with an individualized approach to gain the best learning experience and results for our children.
For grades K-8, the school offers both Eastern and Western Armenian, in addition to Religion and Armenian History/Culture.
For grades 9-12 the school offers a Religion class and an opportunity to earn community service hours as a volunteer.
Extra-curricular options are available and will be announced later.
The school utilizes a newly structured Armenian curriculum, where each grade (K-8) covers set materials, which should be mastered before moving to the next level.
The admission to the school is done with an Armenian placement test to find out the best educational level for the student.
If a student’s test placement does not match his public school grade, the principal will discuss options with the parents.
In addition to existing resources and textbooks, each week Armenian teachers are developing individual lesson plans, history chapters to include important historical events, and cultural segments, to teach students about famous Armenian artists, composers, poets, heroes, and scientists.
The academic year is partitioned into 4 quarters and at the end of each quarter, students are taking end-of-quarter tests.
At the end of each quarter, the parents are provided with an academic report card and participate in the end-of-quarter parents’ meetings.
NEW & SPECIAL CLASSES
The school also offers Padarag Education and a Junior Kindergarten class for 4-year-olds, who are potty trained.
This year, a new learning platform, Conversational Armenian, has been introduced to the curriculum. This class provides interested students with the opportunity to develop fluency in the Armenian language and to practice verbal communication with a native Armenian speaker.
This educational platform will serve to all students who are new to the language and wish to learn conversing in Armenian and to develop verbal skills.
In addition to the Armenian Language and Art, Culture, and Religion classes, the Shnorhali school offers 30-minute focused education lessons on History and Music (alternating each Sunday).
With the support and guidance of our Armenian history specialists Mr. Haykaram Nahapetyan and Ms. Juletta Movsesyan, a 30-minute history class is held in all grade levels. It is crucial for our students to learn our rich Armenian history. Currently students are learning about important events in the past, such as our Armenian kings in ancient times, in addition to discussing the establishment of our nation.
Music has played an enormous role in the history of Armenia, and in the formation of the national identity, self-awareness, culture, and spiritual values. During Music class, under the leadership of Ms. Armine Khachatryan, the students learn about the wealth of our national folk music, our famous composers and songwriters. This work helps them develop and further enhance their musical taste and knowledge of our culture.
AFTER SCHOOL CLUBS
Shnorhali School also offers Armenian Miniature Art Club Sundays after classes. With professional guidance from Anna Mkhitaryan, Armenian Miniature Art Club students in Shnorhali School learn about Armenian miniatures, Armenian calligraphy (bird letters), and its significance, as well as famous Armenian miniature artists. The club meets every Sunday from 2-3 pm at St. Mary Armenian Apostolic Church.
Following our national tradition, Shnorhali School offers a CHESS CLUB to its students. Under the supervision and guidance of its Head Coach Ohan Semirjyan the club provides instructions so that our children can explore and understand the beauty of chess and to help sharpen young curious minds. The club focuses on teaching students how to think critically and to learn and discover attack moves, sacrifices, traps, and many other chess tricks. The school organizes end-of-year Chess TOurnament for all young people in our community.
STUDENTS AND PATARAG
Children are a vital part of the Christian Faith. Our children should learn how to worship through observation and direct participation. Research shows that kids who attend church regularly are happier, healthier, and better adjusted. Plus, the church is a great place for kids to learn morals, virtue, and the Word of God, and, most importantly, feel the presence and guidance of God in their lives.
Shnorhali School employs as many opportunities as possible to develop deep and meaningful connections of our students to their mother Church. Students undertake the responsibility of the Midday Readings during the Patarag. Every Sunday, a student is assigned to read from the Holy Scriptures during Patarag. This is a remarkable and joyful experience for our students (and their proud parents) to not only learn from the Holy Scriptures but also to share God's message with our parishioners during the Holy Liturgy.
Patarag Education is a 30-minute morning program for students to learn the structure and content of our Holy Liturgy, sing experts from the liturgy and learn about the interpretations of significant days and celebrations.
Students visit Patarag once a month during their Religious Education. The goal is to have students participate in the Patarag Services and allow students who have already received the sacrament of Baptism to receive Communion at the altar. During their visit to sanctuary, the students are invited by Ter Hayr to kneel as a group at the base of the altar and actively participate in the Confession and Absolution. This is part of Patarag where parishioners ask Ter Hayr to intercede on their behalf with the Gather to forgive their sins,
Educating our children in religion, Armenian language, Armenian history and culture and the desire to raise and educate a new generation of Armenian students that will help to preserve our heritage and culture, is the primary mission and priority of Shnorhali school.
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