Except for Christian Doctrine, the subjects in the curriculum at St. Mary of Mount Carmel are determined by the requirements of the Pennsylvania State Department of Education. St. Mary’s observes these requirements.
We strive to provide an education that develops the whole child. This education addresses the intellectual, moral, social, emotional and physical needs of each child. Therefore, St. Mary’s teaches the following subjects: Religion, Social Studies, Science, Mathematics, Language Arts (English, Reading, Spelling, Phonics, Listening and Speaking Skills, Vocabulary, and Handwriting), Music, Art, and Physical Education. Computer Technology is used within the context of our curriculum.
Below is a description of the goals of each subject area. What is new is the addition of Engineering and Technology. These are incorporated into the other subject areas. This is what is called STREAM: Science, Religion, Engineering, Art, Math/Music. The jobs of the future will require Critical Thinking, Collaboration, Problem Solving, Analysis, facility with Technology, the ability to Imagine, Plan, and Design, Communicate effectively, the ability to use/appreciate Artistic Talents, the ability to Persevere,(try, make mistakes, learn from them and try again) and the Morality to make wise choices for everybody.
As we work to integrate all areas of our curriculum, students will have a greater depth of learning experience, see the relevance of the subject matter in daily life, be challenged to go farther yet be supported as they stretch and grow from where they are, gaining confidence in their successes and learning even more from their mistakes without being defeated.
While law does not mandate the teaching of religion, as Catholic educators we know that religion provides the foundation upon which our entire curriculum is based. The school was established to impart moral training and religious knowledge; to help our children come to a clearer knowledge of God; to help them develop a deeper love for the Lord and to enable them to develop a sense of service based on “servant leadership.” Through planning and participating in liturgies, the reception of the sacraments, daily, private and communal prayer, and the spiritual growth of each child is developed.
The Religion Curriculum stresses the social doctrines of the Church in order to offer the student the opportunity to exercise his/her faith commitment to the society in which he/she lives by participating in apostolic works.
The Purpose of the Reading Program is to develop in the students the opinion that learning the necessary reading skills is vital to their function in our society. Students in Grades K-6 will utilize the Reading Street Common Core Program. Kindergarten to Grade 3 will also engage in Wilson “Fundations” to promote phonemic awareness, phonics, and fluency. The literature program provides for more intensive and extensive reading. To develop in the children confidence in their reading ability and an enjoyment of reading for pleasure, outside reading, oral reading and silent reading periods are encouraged. The program stresses vocabulary development, phonics, comprehension, listening skills, and sequential thought so that the students become capable of evaluating all types of material.
The Language Arts Program is designed to equip every child with the skills necessary for the recognition and comprehension of the printed word and the ability to use ideas in speaking and writing more effectively. These fundamental skills include grammar, spelling, and oral and written communication. The program also includes creative writing, dramatization, book reports, research and poetry, which helps to acquaint the students with various forms of written and oral communication. We will also be incorporating the Collins Writing Program throughout Grades 1-8.
The Mathematics Program provides for the development of mathematical capability of each student and the use of mathematics to solve problems encountered in everyday situations. These goals are accomplished by using a basic math text as well as all kinds of manipulatives such as calculators, computers, etc. that help develop the understanding of concepts and number sense. Classwork, board work, homework, quizzes, level tests and standardized tests are used for evaluation.
In Grades Six, Seven and Eight, the Mathematics Program is departmentalized which provides teacher specialization and more advanced problem solving as well as a more thorough understanding of concepts. For students with high mathematical abilities, an Honors Mathematics in Sixth Grade, Pre-Algebra program in Seventh Grade and an Algebra program in the Eighth Grade help students to further enhance their mathematical skills and prepare students for secondary mathematics.
SOCIAL STUDIES PROGRAM
The Social Studies Program seeks to develop and instill in our students an appreciation of the American heritage, democratic ideals and human freedoms. The study of other cultures helps the students to understand the valuable contributions made by all people of the world. A departmental program is conducted in Grades Six through Eight, which provides for teacher specialization. The students use more advanced skills, conduct research and study current issues and problems.
The Science Program seeks to provide basic scientific knowledge, develop skills in critical thinking, which lead to an understanding of how science relates to everyday life. It also fosters an appreciation for our world, all forms of life and Christian values in regard to scientific advancements. Science labs, models and hands-on activities are used to strengthen concepts presented by the teacher.
Computer technology and the Internet have become integral tools in the education of students beginning at the primary level of education. The basic goal for the use of computers and the Internet in elementary education is to provide support for the education of the student. This goal is accomplished by providing students with access to many and varied resources presented in computer programs ranging from basic typing skills to advanced programs in the various curricular areas.
Computers are made available in the Computer Lab and in the classroom which are networked within the school and connected to the Internet. Classes are scheduled for all grades in the Computer Lab. The Computer Lab is open for student access outside of class by special arrangements with the Lab Instructor. Use of school computers and the Internet during school hours is given as a privilege to students who agree to act in a responsible manner and to comply with the guidelines the school has issued. All students and parents must sign an agreement for use of computers and the Internet.
iPads and Chromebooks are available for individual classroom use.
Music contributes to the aesthetic growth of the student, and therefore, is part of the school’s curriculum. Students are required to take Music and are encouraged to continue through participation in the extra-curricular music program.
A student choir composed of children in Grades 3-5 sing for every liturgy and are highlighted in our Christmas and Spring concert each year.
In conjunction with Mark Stransky Music Services, a band and instrumental program is also offered.
A Violin Club, taught by one of our parents, Krysten Pollishan, is ever growing and a delightful addition to our music program as are recorder and ukuleles.
Art is taught on a weekly basis at St, Mary’s. The students are encouraged to express their creativity by using mediums such as drawing, painting, and paper construction. Art is often used in conjunction with projects in other subject areas; namely, social studies, religion, and science.
Many St. Mary students have been honored for their art work in contests and had their work displayed in public places.
PHYSICAL EDUCATION PROGRAM
Gym classes will be held in our school building and outside on the playground as weather permits. Ms. Patti Hopkins will instruct classes in physical fitness. Classes will be held on Mondays.
Students must be dressed in gym uniforms. Students improperly dressed will sit out from gym actives. Please see Dress Code Violation Policy. Gym grades will be affected if a child does not participate in class.
Classes have the opportunity to use the Library during the school day based on the schedule developed by our school library faculty. The inventory of the Library has a wide variety of fiction, non-fiction, biographies, and encyclopedias.
There will be access to the Bookmobile once a month to avail the students to a wider variety of reading material. They will also take requests if a particular book is needed.
The Diocese of Scranton has instituted an itinerant counselor, Mrs. Elizabeth Devine, who is in our school once a week and available if required. She will also do quarterly interviews with 5-8th grade to help students set educational goals for the following quarter. This is to help the student take ownership of their education and seek strategies to help them improve.
We are also served by Mrs. Chiara Zigray, a counselor from NEIU 19 who has been working with our students in social skills and problem solving with students in every grade.
Throughout the year the school sponsors programs offered by community on particular issues such as vaping, alcohol, narcotics and building healthy relationships.
Students who evidence weakness in Reading or Math have the opportunity to receive extra help with Mrs.Helen McMinn and Mrs. Kimberly Vitaletti, Act 89 teachers from NEIU 19, who schedule in class assistance as well as small skill groups to provide targeted remediation. They also confer with teachers and gives suggestions for best educational practices and mentor teachers in adapting to new programs, like “Fundations” and Heggerty Program. Students may also benefit from one or more of the following auxiliary services in addition to the complete academic curriculum being offered.
Students are tested in the spring of each year in accordance with the Scranton Diocesan Policy. Results of these tests are usually sent home to the parents at the end of the quarter. The following tests are administered during the school year:
Students from Kindergarten to 8th Grade will be administering the NWEA/Map testing three times a year. It is diagnostic and provides a wealth of information on students’ current performance level, the growth that is occurring between each testing session and indicates strengths and weaknesses for each individual in Reading, Math and in the upper grades, Science.
Teachers then are able to develop differentiated activities while lesson planning to meet the needs of the students in his/her class.
Throughout the year, Students K-5 are given the Acadience (formally DIBELS) Reading and Math Assessments. These are diagnostic tests that supply teachers with data that is then used to inform teaching, meeting the needs of individuals.