The curriculum of St. Paul Catholic School includes Religion, English Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies, Science, Art, Music, Technology, and Physical Education. Each student is required to participate in every subject taught in his/her grade level. Exceptions for health reasons, or in the event that specific courses may be deemed optional by the Department of Catholic Education, may be directed to the Principal.
I. Faith Formation
Religion comprises the heartbeat of our school. The goal for the religion curriculum is to instill in students an enthusiasm for living their Catholic faith, while providing an in-depth religious education including prayer, the sacraments, and services. Religion is also integrated throughout the curriculum. Classes participate in liturgies that celebrate a variety of themes directly relating to everyday living, as well as special occasions such as feast days of saints.
II. Major Subject Areas
The diocesan curriculum guidelines, consistent with the North Carolina guidelines, are followed for the teaching of all secular subject areas. St. Paul Catholic School strives to excel in all subject areas. Academics are in accord with standards as outlined by SACS Accreditation.
The Language Arts curriculum incorporates reading, writing, speaking, listening, spelling, grammar, and vocabulary in assisting students in the acquisition of effective language skills. In addition to focusing on reading and comprehension, the linguistic approach to reading emphasizes word attack, language skills, and vocabulary. Phonics programs encourage the use of decoding strategies, and spelling is taught as both a reading and phonics skill. An emphasis on vocabulary development begins in the primary grades.
The study of Mathematics as a means of exploring the world plays an integral role in the education of each student. While contributing to the development of the whole person, mathematics enriches life and provides students with practical tools for daily living. A hands-on approach to the basic mathematical ideas and concepts encourages children to experience mathematical relationships and interconnections. Advanced Mathematics is offered for junior high students who qualify. These courses include, but are not limited to, Pre-Algebra and Algebra I.
The Science curriculum provides students with a basic knowledge of science as it relates to their own experiences. Students through fifth grade utilize a hands-on science program that integrates and develops basic knowledge, investigative experience, and curiosity through student involvement. Sixth, seventh, and eighth graders use a general science text which covers earth, life, and physical science strands. Life science is the major part of seventh grade curriculum, while earth science is emphasized in grade eight. All middle school science is supported by laboratory experience.
The school's Social Studies curriculum begins with a study of communities and regions and their interactions. To further develop this knowledge, the subject of world cultures and geography introduces students to a variety of global issues. The study of American history completes the curriculum.
The Computer Lab features 32 Dell computers with Windows XP operating system. The lab is used for planned instruction for students. It is also available for additional class use as well as for individual student use. No student is permitted to be in the lab unsupervised. Assigning teacher must secure supervision. A Laptop Cart is available with 24 laptops for teachers to use in the classrooms. 8 SMART boards are currently in use in our school. In addition, every teacher has an LCD projector and laptop.
Physical Education classes assist in the development of physical, motor, and developmental skills, while teaching the importance of teamwork and providing lifetime fitness skills.
Spanish classes will be offered to all students grades K-8.
The Fine Arts curriculum develops and stimulates the artistic abilities inherent in all children. Art, music and P.E. develop many valuable skills, including physical and mental coordination, self-expression, group participation, and cooperation.
In addition to the regular fine arts program, an opportunity for strings, band, hand bells, drama, or choir may be provided for students who wish to participate. Some programs might require a fee. All fine arts programs are an extension of the curriculum and attendance by all participating students is required.
III. Standardized Testing Program
Each year, St. Paul Catholic School tests the achievement of its students. Second through eighth grades will take the Iowa Test of Basic Skills. In addition, students in third, fifth, and seventh grades will take the Cognitive Abilities Test. This program enables the teachers to set individual student and class goals as well as enabling the administration to evaluate the school in light of the established beliefs and programs. Parents are notified by letter as to the dates and results of the tests.
In addition, students in grades 4 and 7 are given the Standardized Writing Test. Students in grade 8 are administered the End of Grade Computer Test and the Algebra I Test, if applicable.
IV. Clubs, Competitions and Organizations
St. Paul Catholic School has many clubs and organizations in which students are encouraged to participate. Clubs, organizations, and activities that could be offered, but are not limited to, include: Safety Patrol, Altar Servers, cheerleading and basketball for girls and boys in grades 5-8, golf and volleyball, yearbook, art club, knitting, math counts, Science Olympiad, newspaper, chess challenge, geography bee, and spelling bee. Most clubs meet after school and separate arrangements must be made for transportation.
Due to a lack of supervision, and for the protection of your child, students will not be permitted to remain after school while their siblings participate in an after school activity. Please make alternative plans in providing transportation for those students. Any student who remains after school and is not involved in an extra-curricular activity will be asked to telephone his/her parent to request a ride home.
As a general rule, students are assigned homework Monday through Thursday. Homework will not be assigned to students on Friday. No tests or quizzes will be given on Mondays. However, students enrolled in Pre-Algebra or Algebra I may expect weekend homework. Student review of the day's work is encouraged even if a written assignment is not given.
Kindergarten and first grade students are encouraged to read to their parents at least fifteen minutes each night. Students in these two grades may also have fifteen minutes or more of daily homework. Students in the second and third grades may have thirty (30) to forty-five (45) minutes of homework each night, while students in the fourth and fifth grades may have an hour (60 minutes) to an hour and a half (90 minutes) of homework daily. Students in the middle school may spend an hour and a half (90 minutes) to two hours (120 minutes) working on daily homework assignments each night. Long-term assignments, as well as daily homework assignments, are given to the students and should be planned for accordingly. If your child consistently has trouble completing his/her assignments within the suggested time frames, please notify the classroom teacher. Students who miss a class for any reason are responsible for all missed class work and/or homework assignments.
Homework Assignment Books
Student Agendas are required. The books are useful tools for students and parents in planning schedules for completion of assignments and projects. Homework is to be recorded by the student in his/her agenda book daily. If the agenda book is lost or destroyed, a replacement can be purchased from the school store. Upon completion of homework, parents are expected to sign the tablet daily.
Teachers in Grades 6-8 are required to check homework assignment books weekly. Homework not completed or late will be reflected in the student's grades. Each teacher will inform the parents of the school policy regarding parent signature on tests or any other school work.
Parents are asked to consult the teacher when the child comes home regularly without homework or with too much homework.
If the student has been absent, it is that student's responsibility, upon return, to immediately find out what assignments have been missed and make up that work in the time allotted. If a student is absent for more than three days, parents may request assignments after the third day. Homework assignments are posted daily on each teacher's School Notes page. Teachers will give their site to student's at the beginning of the school year.
Late Assignments—Middle School
Students in grades 6-8 are responsible for class work missed for any reason. Daily homework assignments must be completed by the following day. Homework that is one day late will result in a 25% reduction in the homework grade. Assignments more than one day late will result in a zero for that assignment.
If a student is absent, one day is given to complete missed assignments, including homework, for each day the student has been absent. Long illnesses will be discussed with the teacher.
VI. Community Service
Service Hours—Grades 5 through 8
To meet the goal of the service hours requirement, every student in grades four through eight is required to perform a minimum of ten (10) hours of community service each quarter. These hours must be completed, recorded, and turned in to the homeroom teacher each quarter on the last day of the quarter.
Failure to complete the quarter hours on time will result in the following:
loss of five (5) points from the quarter grade in religion
ineligibility for principal's list, first honors, or honor roll, and
the uncompleted hours will be added to the following quarter.
Service above ten (10) hours will not be carried over to the next quarter.
XI. Class Structure
Early Childhood Program - self-contained
Grades K-2 are considered the Primary grades - self-contained
Grades 3-5 are considered the Intermediate grades-self-contained
Grades 6-8 are considered the Junior High - departmental classes