The curriculum of St. Mary is engaging and challenging. Textbooks are updated on a regular cycle considering benchmark standards, instructional strategies and adaptability to students’ needs. Our faculty has been trained in effective instructional strategies, executive functioning skills and Common Core Standards as well as in their subject areas of expertise.
The Elementary Curriculum emphasizes hands on learning in all subjects. Students are taught early reading skills beginning in pre-kindergarten 3through the use of exposure to different types of books and grade appropriate literature. Our Math program initiative is the Singapore Math Program which focuses on problem solving and utilizes a balance of concrete,-pictorial (graphs, charts, etc.), and abstract logic progression. In all classes, experiments, projects, and skills such as graphing, creative writing and editing are taught. We focus on concepts with our students and on using scaffolded learning to take organized planned steps to help our students reach conceptual understanding and mastery.
Junior High Curriculum
- Math: Junior High Math begins with a solid background in math concepts and continues through instruction of Pre-Algebra in Seventh Grade and Algebra in Eighth Grade. Instruction is diverse and engaging, incorporating instructional technology, manipulatives, and games targeting specific skills. We have regular and advanced track Math and Science beginning in fourth grade.
- Language Arts: Reading Instruction includes Literature Circles through the use of novels. Skills of higher level analysis, comprehension, reflection and connection are taught, to name a few. Students write about and discuss what they read in whole class and small group format. Instruction in English class emphasizes many types of writing and students are taught grammar.
- Science: Science class is taught mainly through hands on experimentation and demonstration. Students are taught the Scientific Method in all grades. Students in grade eight participate in the Science Fair. St. Mary also maintains a Science Lab with equipment for the use of our junior high students.
- Social Studies: Students are taught Social Studies using a variety of resources, including first-hand accounts, non-fiction books, films, and Internet resources. Skills such as note taking and historical analysis of events are taught. Students are evaluated with tests, projects, and presentations. Our seventh grade participates in the Chicago Metro History Fair.