student life

Clubs and Activities

School clubs and activities are a fun and meaningful way to complement a student’s classroom education. Extracurricular activities provide a familiar and secure setting for a student to learn a new skill, meet students in other classes and grades, and expand their educational and social horizons. 

Student Participation in Sports and Extracurricular Activities
Education of the student is our primary concern. In order for a student to participate in any extracurricular activity including, (but not limited to) the following: altar servers, safety patrols, field trips, dances, basketball, cheerleading, etc., he/she will be expected to maintain:

  • Acceptable academic achievement in relationship to his/her ability in regards to: class assignments, home assignments and tests
  • Standard behavior throughout the school day. Serious offenses, as described in this Handbook, will be handled on an individual basis at the discretion of the Principal.
  • In the event that these are not followed, the parents will be notified to discuss any further action. Cooperation in any decision made should be supported by the moderator/coach of the involved activity.

At Saint Raphael Elementary School, we are proud to offer our students a diverse selection of clubs and activities to choose from as follows (click on the titles below for details):

Altar Servers

All students, boys and girls in grade 4 through 8 have the privilege of serving on the altar.  Students who choose this privilege are expected to fulfill assigned responsibilities and be on time. Those who serve during school hours will be notified in advance and be held responsible for their missed classroom assignments. Servers are expected to be in the sacristy 15 minutes before Liturgical Service. The altar servers receive training under the direction of the priest or deacon.

Senior Altar Servers
Senior servers are young men and women in Grades 8 and higher who are willing and able to assume a leadership position among the altar servers.  After a special orientation, they are assigned to weekend Masses to assist the other servers and the priest and deacon preparing for Mass and during Mass. For more information, please contact the Parish Office.

Band instruction is available for interested students in grades 4 through 8. Small group lessons and practices are provided once per week where they begin to learn and explore different music genres and participate in performances throughout the school year. A meeting is held at the beginning of each school year to provide more information for interested parents.

Saint Raphael School students, boys and girls registered at our school in grades K - 8 may participate in the school basketball program. Our kindergarten through second graders can participate in an Introduction program. Here they will learn to beginning skills to help them play the game.

Our 3rd and 4th graders are in the Instructional level and will begin to develop and work on skills and knowledge of the game.  Junior Varsity teams consist of 5th and 6th graders. These boys and girls will play against other JV teams in the Diocese of Pittsburgh basketball school league. Our Varsity team consists of 7th and 8th graders and will play games very similar to the JV teams in their section in the diocese.

The games are set by the diocese coordinators (and league coordinators) and a minimum amount of games must be played to qualify for diocese events and championships. The section will be dictated by the diocese based on enrollment of children. The basketball season runs from October 1 to Mid-March.

2017-2018 Basketball Registration
We plan on having two registration sessions: Monday, September 25, 2017 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm in Gallagher Hall and Wednesday, September 27, 2017 from 2:30pm to 4:00pm in Gallagher Hall. The cost is $60 per player or $100 per family. If you are unable to attend one of these sessions, please download a registration form by clicking here. Forms and payment must be returned to the school office marked “Athletic Association” no later than Wednesday, October 4, 2017.  Please make checks payable to St. Raphael. Forms WILL NOT be processed without payment. If you have any questions call Ang Gallagher at 412.818.6327.

The Book Club is a reading club for students in Grades 3 - 8. This club is broken down into two groups: Group 1 (Grades 4-6) and Group 2 (Grades 7-8). Students read the club’s monthly book selection and then come together after school to discuss the story and prepare for the Duquesne University English Festival at the end of the year.

Our school choir meets regularly during the week and sings at the school Masses.

Forensics is a competitive speech program that meets once a week. Students can participate in competitions among other schools within the Diocese of Pittsburgh. The categories in Forensics including declamation, prose, poetry, multiple reading, drama, and impromptu. SRES is a member of the  South Western PA Speech League.

Kids 4 Jesus is a leadership program that motivates children to live through virtue and allows them to grow their love in their Catholic Faith. Through classroom experiences and a monthly assembly our students are able to gain knowledge and form a relationship with Jesus in their daily lives. Please click here for our monthly newsletter.

Lego Robotics is offered to our middle school students to help build their problem-solving skills and encourage them to become critical thinkers and creators of the 21st century. It enables students to understand challenging subjects, grow their ideas, and make their own creations through playful learning experiences.

At Saint Raphael, we provide opportunities for our students to collaborate and share their leadership skills. Our upper elementary school children are partnered with our primary students to help build and develop relationships. Our students provide one another a sense of community and work together in different activities that allows them to form a stronger faith in Jesus.

Students are selected for Patrols from interested volunteers in grades 5-8.  Their selection is based on parent/guardian consent and the possession or willingness to strive for the following qualities: courtesy, good attendance, leadership, punctuality, and respect for others, reliability, and their interest in safety. 

The Safety Patrol is organized to help students arrive at school and home safely. It is never the Patrol’s responsibility to act as a “school crossing guard.” The Patrol’s job is on the sidewalk and not in the street.

Being a member of the Safety Patrol is a serious responsibility and once students have been selected to be part of it, they will be required to remain on it for the entire school year.

Our fifth and sixth grade students are offered a program through Central Catholic High School that helps develop their skills in science and computer technology. Through hands on experiences, our students are able to work together to gain knowledge to prepare them for the future.  

Students in grades 5 through 8 are required to prepare an experimental or research-based project while learning the steps of the scientific method. Students present their findings and can be chosen to move on to the state PJAS (Pittsburgh Junior Academy of Science) competition.

As a school, our students reach out to the elderly within our community. We create cards and crafts to share our love of Christ. Our mission is to help those in need one smile at a time. 

The Spelling Bee is an annual Diocesan event that features the winner of St. Raphael’s School Spelling Bee. A student competes against other students from other Catholic Schools in the area in a series of competitions before advancing to the finals for the title.

Our Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematical Program through Central Catholic High School allows our seventh and eighth grade students to develop critical thinking skills and observe the connection between science and math. The program provides engaging learning opportunities inspired by science, technology, engineering and math to help students reach their full potential for their future in society.   

The Student Council is a representative body of students from Grades 6 - 8 that act together to promote the philosophy and beliefs of the school.  The primary goal is to generate a spirit of unity within the school.  It is to establish a system of open communication between the administration and the student body, in order to facilitate the projects and activities that are beneficial to all. Being a Student Council member requires responsibility, honesty, and loyalty.