July 24, 2014

A BLUE RIBBON SCHOOL OF EXCELLENCE

Curriculum

Curriculum encompasses the sequentially ordered learning experiences which the school provides for its students. The total curriculum includes the development of Catholic values and attitudes, as well as the attainment of knowledge and skills necessary for the student’s spiritual, moral, intellectual, social and physical development.

The basic curriculum for the school (but not necessarily for each grade level) includes the following subjects:

  • Religion
  • Reading
  • Language Arts (English, Spelling, Handwriting)
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Foreign Language (Spanish)
  • Art
  • Music
  • Health and Safety
  • Physical Education
  •  Computer Education
  • Library

MATH

Students must satisfy the following criteria to be place in Algebra I:

Math Composite standardized test score
National Percentile: 90 or above
Class grade in Math : 90 or above
Iowa Algebra Aptitude Test results: 80 or above
(Recommended time of testing May of seventh grade year)
Teacher evaluation/recommendation
(Because the Algebra I course incorporates numerous word problems that students need to solve, a teacher’s recommendation should take into consideration the reading comprehension standardized test score when making a final decision for placement in Algebra I.)

A student who does not meet this criterion must receive a favorable teacher recommendation to be considered for placement in Algebra I.

Prior to entering Algebra I as an eighth grader, the student will have mastered all Diocesan Mathematics Curriculum for students in grades kindergarten through pre-algebra.

Eighth grade students must satisfy the following criteria to receive credit for Algebra I instruction and placement in the next level of high school math instruction:

1. Passing the Algebra I course
2. Scoring 77% on the Diocesan Algebra I exam
3. Receiving teacher recommendation for placement in the next level of high school math
instruction

If a student does not score 77% on the exam, a compelling case made by the teacher through the use of the Teacher Recommendation Form can be forwarded to the high school. The decision of the high school will be final.

The Advanced Math Program has been restricted to grades 6 – 8. A student transitioning to
Advanced Math in grades 6 -8 must meet all of the criteria:

1. 90th percentile of higher on the most recent standardized test in the areas of Mathematical
Concepts or Mathematical Composite. At the current time we are using the Terra Nova
Test. A high test result on the Mathematical Computation test is not a determinant.
2. A 93% or higher average in their current math course.
3. A strong teacher recommendation.

Students in Advanced Math are expected to maintain at least an 80% in their math.

Eighth grade students must satisfy the following criteria to receive credit for Foreign Language Level I instruction and placement in high school Foreign Language Level II:

1. Passing the eight grade Foreign Language course
2. Scoring 77% on the Diocesan Foreign Language exam
3. Receiving teacher recommendation for placement in Level II

If a student does not score 77% on the exam, a compelling case made by the teacher through the use of the Teacher Recommendation Form can be forwarded to the high school. The decision of the high school will be final.

FAMILY LIFE PROGRAM
Catechesis in Sexuality is an important and sensitive component of a comprehensive program of catechesis. According to the Second Vatican Council, “as they (children and young people) advance in years, they should be given positive and prudent sexual education.” Education in sexuality includes all dimensions of the topic: moral, spiritual, psychological, emotional, and physical. Its goal is training in chastity in accord with the teaching of Christ and the Church, to be lived in a wholesome manner in marriage, the single state, the priesthood, and religious life.

Recognizing that parents are the primary educators of their children, All Saints Catholic School encourages them to assume full responsibility for the formation of their children in regard to developing an understanding of human sexuality. To assist them in this process, the school hosts a parent session and three classroom presentations for students in grades seven and eight.

TESTING

The school’s testing program is intended to assist teachers and administrators in a systematic evaluation of the academic and religion programs, to diagnose student™ strengths and weaknesses, and to aid in revision of the curriculum and planning of instruction.

In addition to academic tests for grading purposes, the school will administer standardized religion and achievement tests according to the diocesan testing program. All eighth grade students take the high school placement test used in determining placement in diocesan high schools. Eighth grade teachers are encouraged to review only the format and style of the high school placement test with their students.

Early Prevention of School Failure Screening: This screening is administered to all incoming Kindergarten students during the spring prior to their entrance to All Saints. Through their observance of each student completing a series of tasks, the screening team is able to determine the developmental readiness of each child. The goal of the program is to ensure that each student enrolled in Kindergarten or first grade has the developmental skills necessary to achieve success during his/her first year in school.

Terra Nova: This diocesan-wide achievement test is administered in the spring to all students in second through seventh grade. Students in grades three, five and seven also complete a cognitive abilities test. The test results are used by teachers as a diagnostic tool in planning instruction for the upcoming year.

Assessment of Catholic Religious Education: This assessment tool, designed by the National Catholic Education Association, is administered to students in grades five and eight each year.  Through review of class and grade level scores, school and diocesan personnel can determine student understanding of basic doctrine as well as attitudes towards living the Catholic faith.

Iowa Test of Algebra Readiness: Students in the 7th grade who have demonstrated success in their Advanced Math coursework participate in a testing program that provides additional data for determining eligibility for enrollment in the Algebra I program during their 8th grade year.