Saint Mary’s School offers a curriculum of academic and enrichment programs at every grade level. Additional teachers are employed to provide academic support as well as to teach Spanish, art, music, physical education, computer technology, and library skills.
The religion curriculum emphasizes God’s special love for His children. The foundation for the practice of the Catholic faith is established through simple prayers, Bible stories, songs, attendance at Mass, and daily instruction.
Language arts instruction is centered on the correlation between spoken and written language. The reading readiness program develops phonemic awareness and introduces a basic sight vocabulary. Students read from decodable books and supplemental trade books. Students’ writing portfolios are initiated as a cumulative collection of the children’s creative work.
Basic skills and concepts in mathematics are developed through the manipulative approach. Number competency, cognitive skills, and problem solving are stressed, encouraging students to become competent problem solvers.
Science instruction begins with basic observation of the children’s environment. Students learn about and use their five senses in observations. Simple experiments using the scientific approach help students make informed conclusions.
The social studies program fosters growth in simple geography skills and the awareness of a child’s neighborhood and local community. The program stresses the importance of good citizenship and multicultural awareness.
SECOND THROUGH FOURTH GRADES
The religion curriculum emphasizes the growth of students’ Catholic Identity. The Catechism of the Catholic Church is the basis for Catholic teaching. The students participate in a weekly Mass, special liturgical services, and charitable outreach programs. The students are prepared for and receive the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist, in the second grade. There is an emphasis on memorization of Catholic prayers.
Language arts instruction is a literature-based reading program with a focus on phonics, vocabulary building, and reading comprehension. The students continue to build their writing portfolio with original, creative, and factual writing. English grammar and usage rules are taught through the writing process.
Math instruction makes use of manipulatives and technology for conceptual learning and the development of problem-solving skills. Students acquire skills in addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, measurement, and geometry, probability, and statistics.
Science instruction uses investigation through a hands-on approach to develop critical thinking skills. Each grade has topics appropriate to that level. Students investigate topics such as the solar system, light and sound, the human body, and health.
The social studies curriculum assists students in becoming responsible citizens. The students learn about their community, state, and country. There is a strong emphasis on geography skills and history. Students learn to respect cultural differences.