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Mission & History

Our Mission

The Mission of Independence Mission Schools is to provide a transformative Catholic education that develops students intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually and that provides children of all faiths across the City of Philadelphia with the opportunity to learn in an academically rigorous environment and to grow in a culture of love, setting them on the path to a promising future.

Our Vision

Our Vision is that IMS students will leave our school community emotionally and spiritually formed by our Catholic example, performing at or above grade level, and enrolled in an academically rigorous high school program ready to achieve their dreams. We strive to become a top-tier academic destination for all children in Philadelphia.

How St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School is living out the IMS mission:

Through God’s light and love, we mold scholars through faith and academics, while cherishing our diversity.  We strive to develop active community leaders through a rigorous, standards-based curriculum rooted in our faith and diversity.

Our Beliefs

Love

The cornerstone of a Catholic education is a culture of love that values and embraces the unique gifts of every child and that treats all people with dignity.

High Expectations for All

We assume the best of our students; holding them to high expectations for academic achievement, behavior, and personal growth and guiding their development into respectful, confident adults.

Diversity & Inclusion

It is possible to build unity in diversity, for differences neither restrain nor divide us, but allow us to look more deeply at  ourselves and at our world.

God-given Potential

Our students come to us full of promise and we are charged with
helping them achieve their potential, so that they leave IMS having choices in the pursuit of college and career, based on confidence in their own intellectual, emotional, and spiritual
aptitudes.

Strength in Community

Community is at the heart of our work. Our existence makes our
communities stronger, the community makes our schools stronger, and we are preparing students to be contributing members of their communities.

Our History

  • For over 134 years, the parish of St. Thomas Aquinas has welcomed wave after wave of immigrant families seeking a better life.
  • In 2013, the parish school joined the IMS network of nonprofit, independent Catholic schools.
  • In 2021, St. Thomas Aquinas welcomed the students of St. Gabriel Catholic School into its school community.