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.

Religion:

Pre-school uses the Pflaum Seeds Gospel Weeklies Faith Formation Program. Children learn their faith within the liturgical year. Grades Kindergarten through grade 5 use The Loyola Press Christ Our Life New Evangelization Editon(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 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.

Reading/Language Arts:

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 session in Grades 5 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.

Mathematics:

Pearson Envision Math is an online textbook(2012) 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 Prentice Hall (2008) Mathematics Program. Seventh graders begin to gain experience with pre-algebra in order to transition to Algebra in the 8th grade.

Science:

The Scott Foresman Hands on Science Kits for grades K-2 (2007) and Science Program (2009) for grades 3-5.  The program 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 to provide students with hands on activities where students can engage in scientific reasoning through hands on experimentation in science and engineering.

Social Studies:

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), My World History(2012), and American History(2016) using Textbooks from Pearson.

Computer Literacy:

Computer literacy is integrated in all core subjects.  This year we purchased 100 Chrombooks which are used in a 1 Chrome Book to 1 student in our middle school, grades 4 and 5 share a complete class set and grades 1, 2, and 3 share a class set.  Teachers participated in professional development in order to begin using Google Classroom. Throughout the elementary level computer stations are placed for integrating learning centers along with whole class and small group learning.

A computer lab with individual workstations offer additional opportunities for hands on learning and discovery for all our students. Computers, interactive white boards and an iPad or iPad mini are located in each classroom.  St. Joseph School has a business connection to the Internet and integrates technology throughout the day in all the classrooms without interruption or slow speeds.

Handwriting

Preschool students use Handwriting without Tears 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).

Physical Education:

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.

Art:

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.

Spanish:

Students in grades Preschool through 8 participate weekly in foreign language education. 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.

Music:

Students in grades Preschool through 8 participate weekly in music theory and movement. Third graders use recorders in order to be introduced to playing a wind instrument. All elementary students and voluntary middle school students participate in the annual Christmas and spring concert to showcase their accomplishments.

Students are also allowed the opportunity to learn a string instrument in conjunction with an instructor from the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra.

Library:

Students in grades Pre-School through Grade 5 visit the library bi-weekly to gather materials for research or discover authors. Students may check out a library book to bring home.

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.

References:
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.