Catholic Identity

There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different kinds of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. (1 Corinthians 12:4-6)

Catholic Identity

St. Gabriel’s is a premier academic school, rooted in Christian values. St. Gabriel’s combines the best of highly acclaimed Independent schools with the extraordinary and grounding traditions of the Catholic faith, forming one unique and rich experience. The depth and rigor of a St. Gabriel’s education is second to none.

Our approach to educating the whole child through innovative learning programs continuously challenges children to think critically and creatively in a warm, welcoming environment that places a priority on raising ethical, kind, global citizens who will be our next servant leaders.

What you can expect from St. Gabriel's
  • a superior educational experience
  • outstanding teachers, staff and facilities
  • young people with the courage to do what is right, the judgment to make good choices, the ability to control their actions and to treat others fairly
  • a community of parents, students, alumni, faculty and staff with a shared commitment to mutual success

Cardinal Virtues

The Cardinal virtues of Prudence, Temperance, Justice and Fortitude anchor our Catholic identity. Each is essential to the St. Gabriel’s experience, where we prize educating the whole child through deliberate and intentional formation in a faith-filled community. Daily and weekly activities are designed to enlighten and reinforce these foundational tenets.

Morning Assembly and Prayer

Each Monday, our community comes together in prayer to remind us of why we are here, providing context to our learning and reinforcing expected behaviors. This time provides an opportunity to highlight achievements, sports and academic successes and to share important information for the week.

All-School Mass

  • Each Friday we gather as a community, Catholic and non-Catholic, to celebrate Christ as the foundation of St. Gabriel’s. He empowers us to discover and grow our unique gifts and talents and learn how best to use them. Attendance during these celebrations is essential and expected.
  • Mass is hosted by a specific grade, providing a unique experience to lead through participation in choir, as greeters, readers, and gift bearers.
  • One of the most beloved, long-standing traditions at St. Gabriel’s is that of “Mass Buddy”, offering middle school students the opportunity to role model for younger students by demonstrating respectful behavior and active participation during Mass.

Religious Instruction

Religion is an experience of the heart, mind, and soul. In the Lower School, students explore the fundamentals of the Catholic faith, learn the importance of love and kindness, and develop an understanding of Jesus and the Bible.  As students transition to Middle School, they are asked to take the content learned in class, reflect on it deliberately, and apply it to their lives in a practical way in service of others. This requires depth of thought, eloquence, clarity in writing, and a thorough understanding of the subject matter, allowing students to grow in relationship with Christ and in appreciation of a faith that is open to mystery, discovery, and finding Christ in all things.

Saint Gabriel’s develops loving, compassionate leaders and scholars inspired by the Gospel to act in solidarity with all people.

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)

Social and emotional well being are essential to the education of the whole child. In  non-religious schools, this approach is often referred to as Social and Emotional Learning (SEL). It is well researched and has led to new and effective pedagogical approaches. Our Catholic values go hand and hand with SEL, and our faculty is well trained in methodology which supports our goal of improving consistency, delivery, and outcomes. It is our mission and calling to care for the whole child and mold them into their best possible selves.

Unique Traditions

  • Mass Buddies - Since our doors first opened in 1999, the Mass Buddy Tradition has paired our youngest Sabers with our Middle School students who act as role models during Mass and other shared activities.
  • Advent Program - Each year we celebrate the birth of Christ with a joyful showcase of our students' Fine Arts offerings.
  • Last Supper Presentation - On Holy Thursday our 3rd grade students lead our community in a cherished tradition that reminds us of the gift Christ gave each one of us.

List of 6 frequently asked questions.

  • What distinguishes St. Gabriel’s as a private or independent school from public institutions?

    • Innovative and academically challenging 21st century curriculum, competencies and skills
    • An extraordinary faculty that holds high academic standards and expectations for student behavior and work
    • Well-rounded curricular and co-curricular programs, including the arts and athletics
    • Small grade-level environments and low student-teacher ratios allow for increased individual attention
    • Selective admissions criteria
    • Responsive management structure with freedom to act decisively and quickly when needed
    • Widespread parent partnership and involvement
    • Complete control of Prek-8 educational mission and programs
    • Education of the whole child where virtue and manners matter
    • A safe and healthy environment where learning is valued by students
    • Receives no public funding 
  • What are the differences between a private or independent school and a public school?

    Since St. Gabriel’s does not receive public funding, it is independent from public education mandates and regulations, school boards, unions and state agencies. This means that St. Gabriel’s is a private school who has the authority to determine, implement and evaluate the entire educational program for the school and make all personnel decisions and desired changes.

    The leadership at St. Gabriel’s is provided by an appointed Head of School and a self-perpetuating Board of Trustees who are not elected by the residents of a public school district, but instead are invited to serve.  The school’s mission, educational principles and practices—not popular opinion or majority vote—dictate the school’s direction and programs. 
  • What are the differences between an independent Catholic school (St. Gabriel’s) and a Diocesan or Parish School?

    As an independent Catholic school, St. Gabriel’s receives minimal support from the Diocese of Austin. Because we are not affiliated with a particular Catholic parish, we are not part of a parish’s operating budget. Diocesan or parish schools are church-affiliated, which means they receive and are dependent upon financial support from a local church and/or a diocese.
    While parishes or churches must distribute their resources among several ministries because they have multiple priorities and obligations including a school, St. Gabriel’s can focus solely on the educational and spiritual development of its students. This singular commitment is reflected in the quality of the faculty, facilities, extensive educational and spiritual programs and opportunities available to St. Gabriel’s students.

    Finally, St. Gabriel’s Catholic School operates under the auspices of the Bishop and receives accreditation from the Texas Catholic Conference Education Department (TCCED), which assures that it maintains a clear and strong Catholic identity. And though St. Gabriel’s does not have a church on the school property, it does have a chapel with a Eucharistic presence open throughout the school day for all members of the community. St. Gabriel’s is fully accredited by the Independent School Association of the Southwest (ISASW). 
  • Does St. Gabriel’s welcome non-Catholic students?

    Yes, all faiths are welcome at St. Gabriel’s! In fact, 32 percent of St. Gabriel’s students are not Catholic. As a Catholic school we are a community of openness and inclusivity. Indeed, the root of the word “Catholic” (katho likos) means “universal” or “embracing all.” As Cardinal Avery Dulles, S.J. observes: “To be truly Catholic, in the literal sense of the word, is to be universal and open to all truth and goodness from whatever source it may come.” 
    Students and families from diverse backgrounds join our school community, adding richness and depth to our journey. By opening our minds, hearts, and spirits to others, we grow in our understanding of ourselves and one another. By moving past our personal experiences, we begin to appreciate the rich and varied gifts present not only in our school community, but also in the larger world outside of St. Gabriel’s. At the same time, we ask that all parents and students support the mission of St. Gabriel’s and appropriately participate in our Catholic traditions regardless of their particular faiths.
  • Why would a non-Catholic family choose an independent Catholic school like St. Gabriel’s?

    Families who choose a private Catholic education seek an academic community with a commitment to excellence, service and a spiritual and moral center. The specific reasons for a non-Catholic family to select St. Gabriel’s, in particular, for their child’s education are:
    1.     The extraordinary faculty
    2.     The academic advantage and commitment to excellence in all areas of school life
    3.     The programmatic emphasis on virtues, service and leadership
    4.     The freedom to express and discuss religion and values
    5.     The innovative and differentiating school programs and opportunities
    6.     The strong focus on preparing world-ready citizen leaders
  • How is the quality of education at St. Gabriel’s evaluated?

    St. Gabriel’s has received full accreditation from the Texas Catholic Conference Education Department (TCCED) (www.txcatholic.org) and the Independent School Association of the Southwest (ISASW) (www.isasw.org), two accrediting bodies that evaluate the school’s mission, identity, instructional programs and practices. The school is also a proud member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) and Catholic Schools Diocese of Austin (CSDA). 
St. Gabriel's Catholic School is an Independent Catholic school in Austin TX, educating children in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school.