Our students receive daily religious instruction based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. With Jesus as our guiding light, our religious education program has been designed to transform our students from being children of God to young adults with utmost devotion to our Lord. Our students are encouraged to grow in their faith through liturgical celebrations once a month, and on holy days of obligation. We pray the Prayer of St. Francis daily as a school. Individual and group prayer, daily reflections, sacramental preparation, Bible reading, evangelization, and mission donations are all part of our daily life. Through the use of numerous texts our children gain a greater appreciation for Catholicism and strive to be Christ-like in all of their endeavors.
Sadlier We Believe texts are utilized from Kindergarten through eighth grade. Grades six through eight use an e-text of their religion books through www.sadlierconnect.com on their own devices. Each class also has a retreat once a month, hosted by Sr. Mary Ann Keegan. This is a time for meditation, and to interact with their peers on the spiritual level.
English Language Arts
Following the Common Core State Standards, the English Language Arts
program provides our students with the skills necessary to communicate effectively through reading, writing, listening, and speaking. This is accomplished by providing our students with the foundations of grammar, usage, vocabulary, spelling and the mechanics of writing. Reading skills and literature are taught in whole group and small group instruction and is extended with the assistance of various computer applications. Digitally, teachers use programs such as www.readworks.org, www.newsela.com, for real life application of English Language Arts. Students participate in various archdiocesan and state assessments.
The Superkids Reading Program is utilized from Pre-Kindergraten through second grade. Pearson’s Reading Street continues the enrichment of ELA in grades three through five. My Perspectives by Pearson helps our sixth through eighth grade students progress to the level of mastery by graduation and is departmentalized. Our block classes allow for extended instructional time in this area. Supplemented by the reading of novels, short stories, and other informational texts, our focus is to make sure the students are well - rounded in this area. They come from a strong foundation in the lower grades and are challenged with higher depth of knowledge reading in our upper grades. Reading logs are a daily requirement for students to keep up with such an imperative skill.
The Mathematics program in PreKindergarten through Fourth Grade incorporates the development of computation skills as well as the understanding of concepts through the use of multi-sensory methods including hands-on manipulatives and visual aids in small groups. Technology is used to further enrich and reinforce problem-solving techniques with websites such as www.khanacademy.org. The curriculum is based on the Common Core State Standards and is evaluated through classroom assessments as well as standardized and state testing.
The Mathematics program in Grades 5 through 8 is departmentalized. Computation, estimation, geometry and problem solving skills are expanded upon from previous years. Topics including data analysis, logical reasoning, and abstract reasoning are introduced and developed through the years. Hands on manipulatives and technology are used to further students' understanding of topics covered. Emphasis is placed on the importance of daily homework to reinforce the lessons of the day. Students participate in various archdiocesan and state assessments. All grades use the Pearson Envision Mathematics program.
The science program in grades pre-kindergarten through 4 explores student awareness of physical, earth and life sciences. The scientific method is used to foster critical thinking and problem solving skills. The program is enhanced by the use of interactive group work incorporating manipulatives with hands-on tasks, and field trips. English Language Arts, Math, and social study skills are incorporated as well. Evaluations are made through classroom assessments, and special projects.
The science program in grades 5-8 is departmentalized. It includes the study of life science, earth science, and physical science using the Interactive Science text. The concept of scientific method is fostered through our completely separate science lab. The lab is utilized at least once a month for each upper grade and students do real experiments such as designing a model to demonstrate Newton’s Law of Motion, and making real crystals from Borax. Students are evaluated through classroom assessment, projects, and lab activities.
The focus of the social studies program in pre-kindergarten to grade 4 includes community and worldwide awareness, identifying geographical regions through map skills as well as the effect of Christian values in our culturally diverse world. This program is enhanced through the use of videos, technology, field trips, special projects and the integration of language arts skills. Students are kept up-to-date on current events with the guided instruction of Scholastic News.
The social studies program in grades 5-8 is departmentalized. Topics covered include the history of the United States and the World. Study skills and geography skills are taught through the use of maps, globes, and technology. Special assignments include Black History and Women in History projects done through the months of February and March. The student’s appreciation of history is further developed through DBQ’s (document based questions). Students participate in various assessments.
Computers and Technology Program
Our computer and technology program has continued to maintain its dynamic status. We have a full computer lab with 35 desktop computers. This environment is utilized for half-class instruction, three times a week for the lower grades and one time a week for the upper grades in a block period. Teaching a half-class allows for more differentiated instruction and smaller groups for more individualized instructions of students. Students and faculty make use of our connection to the Internet for skill development, enrichment and research.
Utilization of current technology as a tool to achieve a goal remains the central focus of our computer program. Our students learn word-processing, spreadsheet and multimedia presentation software to facilitate meeting grade curriculum.
Our school offers Google Chrome Books to be used in every classroom. The lower grades have enough in each room for half of the class (between fifteen and eighteen in each room). These are utilized during the half-class instruction. Starting with fifth grade, the devices are on a one-to-one ratio. Grades six through eight participate in a bring your own device program. Students have the ability to access textbooks as e-texts, Google Classroom, Docs, etc. at all times of the day in all subject areas. We also have a full set of iPads which is utilized in the technology room for students to familiarize themselves with apps such as iMovie.
Additional Subject Areas
Foreign Language – Students are introduced to Spanish at the Kindergarten level. In grades five through eight, Spanish is taught for two hours a week. Emphasis is placed on developing conversational skills. Students are introduced to grade level vocabulary, grammatical skills of conjugating verbs, and many others. Various projects are assigned to encourage a grasp of the language.
Music – Students in grades Kindergarten through eight participate in music class once a week. This class helps to prepare students for participation in various liturgical and holiday celebrations. It also strengthens the students enjoyment of music.
Gym – Students in grades Kindergarten through eight participate in gym class once a week. The importance of teamwork and sportsmanship is stressed through age appropriate games and activities. An additional goal is to encourage an awareness of physical fitness for life by starting every class with exercise drills.
Art – Students in grades PreKindergarten through four participate in art class once a week. Fine motor skills are developed through hands on activities on age appropriate levels. It is used as an opportunity to develop creative expression. Grades five through eight are introduced to similar skills once a month.