Curriculum

2secondgradeOur curriculum is designed to stimulate intellectual curiosity while providing the necessary foundation for future academic success. In the lower grades, students are encouraged to develop the independent thinking and social skills that allow for easier transitions as they continue along their academic journey. Our junior high program, from grades six to eight, emphasizes the skills required for high school. A variety of extracurricular activities outside the classroom provide for further academic, physical and social development.

PRE-K 3

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Pre-K 3 children interact in an environment of sharing and cooperation where a variety of activities are designed to increase attention span and improve problem-solving skills. Emphasis is placed on social and emotional development as well as learning an awareness of God. This class meets three times a week.

PRE-K 4
The social, emotional, intellectual and physical needs of the early childhood learner builds upon the foundation from Pre-K3 with more structured academic work. Mathematical and number concepts are reinforced. The “Land of the Letter People” program is used for reading readiness. This class meets five mornings. An additional extended-day program from 11:30 am until 3:00 pm is also offered.

KINDERGARTEN, GRADES ONE AND TWO

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Kindergarten is a full five-day program. A day in the classroom includes academic work sessions, developmental play, and enrichment with one or more special programs in computer, art, Spanish, library and physical education. Students are also introduced to an awareness of God. While academics are stressed, plenty of time is allowed for learning through free play and exploration.

In grades one and two, children receive a strong foundation in core subjects, including language arts, mathematics, social studies and religion. Special classes are provided in art, music, Spanish, computer literacy, library education and physical education.

The language arts program spans the curriculum throughout the primary years. Emphasis is placed on speaking, listening, reading, and writing activities through an enriched language environment. Students develop number sense by learning the fundamentals of mathematics while demonstrating critical thinking skills. An inquiry-based learning environment encourages students to become knowledgeable of the sciences and the world. The curriculum also prepares students for the sacraments of Reconciliation and Communion.

GRADES THREE, FOUR AND FIVE

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In the intermediate grades, an integrated language arts program covers the reading and analyzing of various genres. Vocabulary, grammar, phonics, listening, speaking, and study skills are stressed. The writing process is a main focus throughout the curriculum. In social studies, students delve into communities past and present, New Jersey, and explorations of North, South, and Central America. Map skills, geography, and current events are emphasized. Life, physical, and earth sciences and the study of the human body are studied sequentially.

Third grade students sharpen their computation skills learning multiplication and division through 10 and by working with tables, graphs, measurement, time and money. They are encouraged to use a variety of methods to solve word problems. In grade four, computation and problem solving using basic operations are strengthened. Emphasis is on multiplication and division concepts while measurement, fractions and geometric concepts are explored. Kinesthetic materials, group projects, and games help concepts come alive. In grade five, fractions, decimals and geometric concepts are reinforced and used in real life situations. Calculators are used to encourage multiple strategies and to strengthen problem-solving.

The intermediate grades continue to celebrate the message of Christ through prayer, service and the study of the Creed, the church and the sacraments. A complete and comprehensive Catholic Family Life program is also taught.

GRADES SIX, SEVEN AND EIGHT

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The Junior High program is departmentalized with instruction by teachers with specialized skills in their fields of expertise. A team approach is used to teach the core academic subjects of language arts, math, social studies, science and religion.

Language Arts

The Language Arts curriculum utilizes block scheduling for instruction in writing, grammar, vocabulary, reading, and literature. Projects and group work flourish with this use of class time. In grade six, students are introduced to the Literature Survey Program, which continues through grades seven and eight. Grammar, vocabulary and spelling are also stressed in these grades. Holistic scoring is used in the writing program, which emphasizes expository skills. Oral presentations enhance public speaking and listening skills. Free reading and book discussions support the reading program along with novels and poetry. Extra novels are used to supplement the text. Writing has a persuasive component as the class learns to frame a point of view. Mastery in non-fiction writing and use of research skills are stressed in grade eight.

Mathematics

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Mathematics is taught by a specialized teacher in grades four through eight. At all grade levels, emphasis is placed on critical thinking skills and problem solving strategies through the use of manipulatives, real-life situations, and technology. In grade six, computation and problem solving are expanded to include decimals, ratios, and percents. Integers, probability and various place value systems are introduced while geometric concepts are strengthened.

Students frequently work in groups to sharpen critical thinking skills while problem solving. In grade seven, students deepen their understanding of integers, probability and percents. Interpretation of graphs, square roots, exponents, the Pythagorean Theorem, surface area and volume are explored in depth. Students begin to use algebraic methods to solve equations and apply these techniques. The successful completion of this seventh grade curriculum gives eighth grade student the opportunity to learn Algebra I, which includes solving equations using multiple strategies, graphing, inequalities, systems of equations, square roots, exponents, and working with rational numbers. Word problems are used to strengthen strategies and make concepts useful in the real world.

Science

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We provide an environment where process and knowledge of science are emphasized and scientific skills practiced in our modern lab facility. Content is organized within the study of earth, physical and life/environmental science. Topics include:

Grade Six Grade Seven Grade Eight
Energy Resources Bacteria Earth History
Astronomy Protists Plate Tectonics
Forces & Motion Fungi Earthquakes & Volcanoes
Sound, Light, Waves Plants Chemistry
Chemical & Physical Changes in Matter Evolution Chemical Bond Reactions
Acids, Bases, Solutions Systems of the Body Forces of Water on Earth: Erosion and Water Sources
Simple Organisms Introduction to Animals Substances, mixtures & Solubility
Complex Cell Structure Types of Animals (simple to complex) Carbon Chemistry
The Circulatory System Animal Behavior in Response to the Environment
Mitosis & Meiosis Worm, grasshopper, squid Dissecting
Heredity & Genetics Interactions of Life between: Living and Non-living Environments
Ecosystems & Biomes Conserving Life: Animal and Habitat Conservations
Heat & Matter
Earth Processes
Weather, Climate

Social Studies

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The social studies program introduces the important aspects of heritage and the role of the United States in world affairs. It is designed to teach students to respect other cultures, to create responsible citizenship and to become informed Christians. In grade six, students study world geography, history and culture of the ancient world up to modern European history. Grade seven covers United States History I, beginning with early Native Americans, exploration, settlement and colonization by European countries. This course concludes with the American Revolution and the formation of the United States of America. In grade eight, students continue the study of the United States covering the Constitution, government, and the evolution of democracy through the Jefferson and Jackson Eras. Studies include the causes of the Civil War, the emergence of the United States as a world power, World War I, the Great Depression, World War II, the Korean War, the Cold War and the Space Age.

Religion

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The religion program is Christ-centered in the Judeo-Christian ethic. Students become informed Christians who are encouraged to take their places as leaders in the church, world affairs and business. In grade six, the Old Testament and how it relates to the New Testament and present day Christianity is explored. In grade seven, students grow in the formation of their knowledge and faith. The eighth grade curriculum enhances the study of God’s faithful love and prepares students for the sacrament of Confirmation.