All teachers have copies of the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks as well as the learning Outcomes from the Diocese of Fall River Catholic Schools Alliance and work to integrate these standards in their teaching.
Preschool learns their faith within the liturgical year. Grades kindergarten through grade 5 use The Loyola Press Christ Our Life New Evangelization Edition(2016). Our middle school uses Sadlier We Believe (2015) and We Live Our Faith (2016). The Religious Education Program provides daily instruction in the Catholic faith with application to everyday life. Children in kindergarten through grade 8 attend Mass monthly, participate in Liturgical Celebrations, sacramental programs and prayer. Children develop an understanding of Scripture to learn God’s faithfulness and love and understand the values inherent in the charism of the Sacred Hearts Congregation.
The Scott Foresman Reading Street Program (2013) encourages independent reading and provides phonics and literature based instruction. It is enhanced with the Lexia Core 5 online program which provides differentiated literacy instruction for all students of all abilities. Loyola Press Voyages in English (2018) provides a grammar foundation and beginning writing skills in grades 1 and 2. Sadlier Grammar Workshop (2013) provided a rigorous exercises in grammar for grades 3 through 8. These lessons are enhanced with practice sessions in grades 1 through 8 by using IXL Language arts online component which allow students to move at their own pace. The middle school Holt Literature Program (2009) is used along with the Holt Language Handbook (2005) and Sadlier Vocabulary Workshop (2013) to read and analyze the classics in order to comprehend contemporary works.
Eureka Math (2015) which develops critical thinking skills, problem solving strategies, mathematical principles with real life applications. Middle School students are preparing for accelerated high school curricula with the Open Up Resources (2019) Mathematics Program. Seventh graders begin to gain experience with pre-algebra in order to transition to Algebra in the 8th grade.
Kindergarten through grade 4 use Mystery Science, a hands on science and engineering curriculum that is NGSS-aligned and supports Common Core. Grade 5 transitions using the Scott Foresman Science Program (2009) which includes six areas of study- life, physical, earth, and space sciences as well as engineering and technology. Middle School students prepare for advanced high school curricula with Prentice Hall Science Explorer (2009). These resources and teachers, who work endlessly, provide students with hands on activities where they can engage in scientific reasoning through hands on experimentation in science and engineering.
Elementary students in grades 2 and 4 learn about Community and the United States using Scott Foresman Social Studies (2009). Third graders study the history of Massachusetts using Gibbs Smith The Massachusetts Story (2014). Grade 5 uses Textbooks from Pearson Prentice Hall (2008) to learn about ancient civilizations and world studies of Asia, the Pacific and Africa. Our middle school students focus on My World Geography (2011) in grade 6, My World History(2012) in grade 7, and American History(2016) in grade 8 using Textbooks from Pearson.
Computer literacy is integrated in all core subjects. We purchased a sufficient number of Chromebooks which are used in a 1:1 ratio in our middle school down through grade 3. Kindergarten through grade 2 share a complete class set of Chromebooks. Our hopes are to increase our inventory each year until we are 1:1 from kindergarten through grade 8. Teachers have participated in professional development in order to begin using Google Classroom and work together in partnership in order to maintain their technology skills.
Interactive white boards are located in each classroom and offer additional opportunities for hands on learning and discovery for all our students. Saint Joseph School has a business connection to the Internet and integrates technology throughout the day in all the classrooms without interruption or slow speeds. In grades 2 through 5 we have added large screen televisions and purchased each teacher a laptop in order to synchronize students who are on site with those who have had a need to be remote. Our middle school teachers also have new laptops and a Swivel to also reach their remote students while teaching those in the seats in front of them.
Preschool students use Writing Our Catholic Faith in order to begin developing this important skill. Kindergarten integrates handwriting within their language arts block by using Pearson Reading Street (2013). Grades 1 through master the art of handwriting in both manuscript and cursive writing using Writing Our Catholic Faith(2016) by Universal Publishers. Research shows that handwriting instruction develops fine motor skills and a student’s overall literacy development. As students’ handwriting becomes more fluent and automatic, they can devote more intentional resources to complex writing tasks, and their written language improves (Christensen & Jones, 2000). Other research suggests that handwriting is significantly related to writing fluency and quality for both primary and intermediate elementary students (Graham, Berninger, Abbott, Abbott, & Whitaker, 1997).
One is provided the opportunity to improve their motor skills, body coordination and learn to apply rules of good sportsmanship in Preschool through grade 8. Students in preschool through grade 8 participate weekly in physical education.
Students in grades preschool through 8 participate weekly in creative and artistic experiences in a formal art class as well as integrated in other academic areas. These experiences are closely connected with the curriculum to expand the learning process. Students celebrate their works of art with an annual Arts Night to showcase their artwork.
Students in grades preschool through 5 participate weekly in foreign language education. Middle school student receive Spanish instruction twice weekly. Students are gradually introduced to the Spanish language and culture through hands on learning activities, stories, curriculum, and online programs which allow them to proceed at their own pace.
Students in grades preschool through 5 participate weekly in music theory and movement. Third graders use recorders in order to be introduced to playing a wind instrument. (Unfortunately, we have had to refrain from the teaching of recorder during the Covid-19 pandemic, but hope to return to it next year.) All elementary students and voluntary middle school students participate in the annual Christmas and spring concert to showcase their accomplishments.
Students in grades preschool through grade 5 visit the library weekly to gather materials for research or discover authors. Students may check out a library book to bring home. Middle school students receive a library class where they learn how to search the internet safely for legitimate sites that will assist them in research.
All teachers have copies of the Diocese of Fall River Learning Outcomes and the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks in order to work at integrating these standards in their teaching.
Graham, S., Berninger, V. W., Abbott, R. D., Abbott, S. P., & Whitaker, D. (1997). Role of mechanics in composing of elementary school students: A new methodological approach. Journal of Educational Psychology, 89(1), 170–182.