In these early grades, there is great emphasis on a spiral curriculum for Language Arts and Math. Core concepts are introduced and revisited, progressively becoming more complex. Phonics, sight word reading and comprehension are taught through literature; writing includes spelling, grammar, mechanics, and handwriting, presented in a variety of formats. In Math, the program goal is to enable children to become lifelong mathematical thinkers.
The world is explored in increasing depth through the Social Studies and History Programs, which extend from our local communities to the greater world, and from the present into the past.
Observation, communication, estimating, inferring and predicting are skills taught in Science through textbooks and hands-on experiments. Students are introduced to Life Sciences, Earth Sciences, Physical Sciences, the Solar System, and the Human Body.
Study skills and individual responsibility for one’s actions and work are highlighted as students begin to comprehend the power of their own abilities. In Grade 2, community service is introduced through children’s visits with homebound seniors. Once a month, Parishioners visit with 2nd graders on campus, to spend some time together and be treated to drawings and artwork prepared by students with the help of their 8th grade “buddies.”
All students attend Mass, learn hymns, songs and prayers. All students receive enrichment classes. They begin to study Spanish. Music introduces them to rhythm and movement, and includes school wide performances. Art is taught by specialty teachers in the well-equipped Art studio, while Physical Education is a fun curriculum providing exercise while building self-confidence, sportsmanship, and skill.
In the Upper Elementary grades, public-speaking and silent readings continue to be emphasized by cultivating a love of literature, as well as enjoyment of reading for information. Drawing conclusions, inferring, understanding the main idea, and differentiating between fact and opinion are some of the many concepts taught in our Language Arts program. Writing is more formal and clear written communication is encouraged through the use of engaging assignments and specific guidelines for written expression. Peer editing begins, and constructive feedback methods are taught.
We use The University of Chicago’s Everyday Math program. It aims to provide materials and support for students and teachers that substantially raise their mathematical proficiency.
Social Studies and History encompass California History and the birth of our nation. These classes include opportunities for enriched learning experiences. In Grade 4, students visit a California Mission, and explore for three days in the heart of Gold Country. A visit to Columbia State Historic Park is a trip back in time where students experience life in California in the 1850s: they visit a one room school house, pan for gold, and hear tall tales from Mark Twain country. On the way, they visit the Sacramento Railroad Museum to further their learning about the Transcontinental Railroad. Fifth graders journey to Angel Island to experience firsthand what they have learned about the “Ellis Island of the West.”
The Science program encompasses Earth Sciences, as well as Marine Biology, and an in-depth study of an eco-system. In Grade 5, students are taught science by the middle school science teacher in our state of the art science lab.
In Religion, Christian morality and the Sacraments are the main focus. Students become increasingly involved in their Parish/school and larger communities through a variety of outreach programs.