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Our Philosophy

 

Three or Five Day Pre-School Programs 

(Monday, Wednesday, Friday) or (Monday-Friday)

The preschool program serves as an introduction to school and a foundation for increasing skills and knowledge in social and academic areas. Limited class sizes and numerous small-group and individual learning opportunities allow teachers to gauge each student’s progress and respond to their individual learning strengths and needs.

Preschoolers practice listening and speaking skills in a literature-rich environment. The curriculum includes listening and responding to stories, both in the classroom and in the school library.

Students work on important, age-appropriate skills, including identifying shapes and sizes, categorizing and comparing, counting, and developing number sense.

Students learn about the world around them through themed science units, including hands-on experiments and classroom visits from community helpers. Lessons take place in the classroom and in the school garden.

Art and music are important components of the curriculum, which includes a weekly music and movement class and a variety of formal and informal art projects throughout the year. Children are provided the opportunity to develop important fine and gross motor skills while expanding their creativity and self-expression.

 

Pre-Kindergarten Program

(Monday-Friday)

Children in our Early Childhood Education program have the opportunity to learn by doing, making students active participants in the learning process. Teachers foster creativity by providing planned and purposeful hands-on and exploratory experiences to stimulate exploration and critical thinking. The play-based program provides a predictable and secure environment where children develop academically, socially, emotionally, and physically. Students develop confidence, respect for others, and excitement about learning.

The preschool program serves as an introduction to school and a foundation for increasing skills and knowledge in social and academic areas. Limited class sizes and numerous small-group and individual learning opportunities allow teachers to gauge each student’s progress and respond to their individual learning strengths and needs

Pre-kindergarten students practice recognizing and the manipulating letters and sounds used in English to prepare them for reading in kindergarten. In addition, students use the Handwriting Without Tears program to build a strong foundation in letter and number formation. Throughout the day, children read and respond to stories, and they visit the school library each week for story time.

Students work on important, age-appropriate skills, including identifying shapes and sizes, categorizing and comparing, measuring, graphing, and counting. Critical thinking skills and number sense are emphasized.

Students are encouraged to follow their curiosity and hone their observation skills through a series of lessons and experiments that take place both inside and out of the classroom. Classroom visitors, selected readings, and play-based learning opportunities allow children to explore their world.

Art and music are important components of the curriculum. Students participate in a weekly music and movement class and a variety of formal and informal art projects throughout the year. Art provides children a fun and useful platform for developing important fine and gross motor skills and expanding their creativity and self-expression.

In addition to daily informal play on the playground, pre-kindergartners have PE twice each week. Through games and activities, muscle control and development, good sportsmanship, and cooperation are emphasized.

 

Kindergarten - 5th Grades

Teachers at St. Paul’s share a philosophy that academics should be active and engaging and that learning is a lifelong process. In the primary grades (K–2), children work toward becoming independent learners. In the intermediate grades (3–5), the students take greater personal responsibility for their learning as they expand, solidify, and demonstrate their skills and knowledge. This is accomplished through the following course of study.

From the early grades, a foundation of literacy is formed. Our English Language Arts program emphasizes phonemic awareness, word-attack skills, and comprehension as students read and respond to quality literature and informational texts. Writing skills, grammar, spelling, and vocabulary are integrated components of this program.

Students learn about math through various modalities, including hands-on activities and models, and both digital and paper/pencil work. In addition to teaching procedures, classroom activities develop students’ number sense and give them a deep understanding of mathematical principles. The emphasis on problem-solving and critical thinking skills forms an important framework for future mathematical learning.

Observation and experimentation are key concepts in the lower grades as students are introduced to the scientific method. Students learn to make more complex inquiries and investigate the world through hands-on activities as they advance through the grades. Earth, physical, and life sciences are explored.

This course provides students the opportunity to explore the world beyond themselves and to learn about their place in their families, school community, and greater community. Students look into the past to see how time and place have influenced their present lives. Understanding is enhanced through activities, projects, cross-curricular exploration, and field trips.

Students begin learning Spanish in kindergarten, and everyone continues through fifth grade. Through different modalities, students learn increasingly advanced vocabulary, pronunciation, and grammar.

Fine arts and vocal and instrumental music instill both the confidence and skills students need to express themselves creatively. Specialists in these fields enrich students’ educational experience by teaching specific skills and providing inspiration and support.

In our computer lab, students learn keyboarding and other basic skills to assist with the integration of technology across the curriculum.

Through games and activities, students develop the use and control of their muscles and learn individual, lifelong athletic skills, sportsmanship, and teamwork.

 

6th - 8th Grade

The primary goal of St. Paul’s School’s middle school is to prepare students for high school and beyond. Our objective is for students to leave St. Paul’s equipped to handle the rigor of honors and Advanced Placement courses and to be prepared to begin considering career choices.

Students are taught mastery of appropriate grammar and writing skills, which are critical to success in high school, college, and beyond. These skills are further enhanced through reading and responding to different genres of literature and informational texts.

Our math program offers multiple pathways, allowing students to receive the most appropriate education for their particular proclivities. The Standard Pathway prepares students for Algebra 1 or Integrated 1 in ninth grade, while the Advanced Pathway is for accelerated learners who will progress on to Geometry or Integrated 2 in ninth grade. Students are able to work with the materials online and math classes are equipped with iPads to enhance the learning experience.

Students focus on developing a clear understanding of the scientific process and formulating compelling and thoughtful hypotheses. Sixth graders learn Earth science and seventh graders focus on life science, while the eighth grade’s concentration is physical science. Robotics and rocketry are a part of the curriculum throughout middle school. Our new science lecture patio provides the opportunity for expanded use of the science lab.

Historical research, influential figures throughout the ages, religion, art, music, geography, simple economics, and scientific advancements are included in all history courses. Collaborative project-based learning and research and integration with other curricular areas are important parts of the history program.

Proper pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, literature, songs, and conversation are offered in our Spanish and German electives, providing students with the opportunity to learn a foreign language in greater depth.

Art, vocal and instrumental music, and drama electives extend students’ opportunities and facility for creative expression. Songs, plays, and art relating to literature, history, and religion are explored in a number of different media. The drama students in sixth through eighth grades perform a musical in the spring, sharing this accomplishment with the school and community. The choirs perform in school and travel throughout the community all year long. 

Technology is taught as an essential 21st century skill and is embedded in all middle school classes. In computer classes, students are taught to use technology as a tool to enhance all academic pursuits, especially in research and the production of polished reports and assignments. They also learn to be critical consumers of media, sifting through the over-abundance of material on the Internet to select valuable, useful information.

St. Paul’s offers a rigorous athletics program, consisting of daily physical education classes, noncompetitive games, and competitive sports. Outstanding sportsmanship and developing a habit of lifelong fitness and good health are primary goals of all of these activities.