academic excellence

academic excellence

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At St. Lucy School, faculty and staff provide a challenging, comprehensive and values based curriculum. Students are guided to develop an appreciation and joy for learning each day. Technology is integrated into daily instruction, and teachers collaborate on cross-curricular projects and skills instruction. Our top-notch, innovative curriculum earned us the maximum 6-year term of accreditation by the Western Catholic Education Association in June 2014.

Pre-K:

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The Pre-K program features a warm and energetic atmosphere that links seamlessly with our Kindergarten program.  The purpose of this program is to foster a love of learning in a faith-based environment. The program allows a student-teacher ratio of 1:7, with two teachers and one experienced instructional aide per twenty-two students. This program allows for flexible drop-off time from 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. with the core curriculum from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. five days per week.  An additional 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. class is available three or five days per week. Pre-K Extended Day Care is additionally available following the 3:00 p.m. Pre-K class dismissal from 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. three or five days per week.

Students will learn and play together within a comprehensive curriculum that includes concepts of language arts, math, science, creative arts, and religion. Each day, students have opportunities to develop motor skills, to practice self-discipline, and to build relationships, all in conjunction with beginning to understand the teachings of Jesus within a strong, cheerful, faith-based school “family.”

Kindergarten:

img5St. Lucy School Kindergarten is a comprehensive full-day program, which offers a teacher-student ratio ranging from 1: 9 – 1: 6 throughout the day. In addition to core academics, our program includes separate instructors for computers, physical education, music, Spanish, and art. The comprehensive program includes reading readiness, math foundations and number sense, Spanish, social development, religion, music, computers, library time, science, social studies, and physical education. The Kindergarten teacher brings a wealth of experience into the classroom with over 28 years of teaching at St. Lucy School, and an alumni parent herself. As the Vice Principal for the Primary Grades, she is also an integral part of the school administration.

Kindergartners are buddied up with fourth grade buddies, and participate in family groups with the entire school. Field trips and guest speakers round out the curriculum, and include the beloved Thanksgiving Feast and a trip to the Pumpkin Patch, and regular visitors from our community. Parent volunteerism is encouraged, and many opportunities are provided throughout the day.

Elementary 1st – 5th grades:

A challenging academic and developmental program is offered to ensure the success of our students. Instructional aides augment the teaching staff in these grades, resulting in a 1:18 ratio. In addition to general academics, our program includes separate instructors for science computers, library skills, PE, music, Spanish and art. The second grade religion program prepares Catholic children to celebrate the sacraments of First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion. All students participate in Family Groups and our buddy program.

A resource teacher is on campus to collaborate with parents and teachers, and support student learning plans in grades K-8. She meets 1:1 with students or in a small group setting.

Jr. High:

The Jr. High teachers provide a rich program designed to motivate, challenge, and develop the older students as they step from childhood into their teen years. In preparation for high school, study skills, leadership skills, writing, and critical thinking are emphasized in a safe and supportive environment. Jr. High students are assigned lockers, and move classrooms and instructors throughout the school day in preparation for high school

Jr. High teachers collaborate in the scheduling of tests and projects and ensure that the course workload is not overlapping, allowing students ample time to do their best work. During Jr. High level meetings, teachers discuss students’ academic strengths and growth areas. School speak on-line access to grades is available to parents and students in grades 6-8.

Jr. High Advisory, Electives, and Family Group Leadership:

Emotional, moral, social, and intellectual development is fundamental to the healthy growth of Middle School students. Students meet twice a month for Advisory/Collaboration and twice a month for electives. They also meet once a month for Family Groups. Family Groups are led by 8th graders and consist of one student from each grade (K-7). This provides valuable leadership experience for our older family group members.

The Jr. High homeroom teacher and two Jr. High faculty advisors coordinate the Advisory/Collaboration period. Students meet to discuss a variety of issues, and development of self-awareness, responsible decision-making, and life skills specific to the grade level. Homeroom teachers choose a discussion topic and students begin advisory with a short film clip which illustrates this discussion topic. After viewing the film, teachers divide their classes into three small groups in order to discuss the topic fully. This provides an important connection for the student who is offered a venue for discussion and problem-solving. It is another way of demonstrating that there is a network of adults led by their homeroom teacher who are interested in each student’s well-being during what can often be a challenging time in life.

The Jr. High Elective Program just completed its first year. The electives are led by Jr. High faculty members, and are designed to allows for deeper exploration of an area of interest to the students. Students are grouped according to interest. 6th, 7th and 8th graders work together during electives . They choose one elective each trimester from the following:

Art Exploration Stock Market
Mad Science Lightning Gadgets
Physical Education Keyboard Fusion/Band
Public Service Announcement Broadcasting

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Common Core

St. Lucy School has been transitioning to the California Common Core Standards for the past three years. These English Language Arts (ELA) & Math standards ensure that all students are college and career ready. The Diocese of San Jose adopted the California Common Core Standards in 2012.

Curriculum:

  • Language Arts (Literature, Writing, Language, Grammar, and Spelling)
    Language Arts instruction features the cross-curricular, comprehensive Step up to Writing program. Students in grades 6-8 in need of additional reading comprehension support benefit from our Lit Masters Club, moderated by Mrs.Hansen, one of the Jr. High Language Arts Teachers.Language Arts Programs taught:
  • Sitton Spelling grades 1-5
  • Scott Foresman Language Arts Program grades 2-8
  • Loyola Press Vocabulary grades 4-5
  • Accelerated Reader leveled reading program in grades 3-8
  • Non Fiction, Newsela online news articles in grades 4-8

St. Lucy School evaluation of our English Language Arts (ELA) curriculum and resources. Throughout this academic year, there will be more emphasis on:

    • text complexity and increased exposure to non-fiction reading
    • increased connection to text when making evidentiary arguments
    • the use of evidence to inform rather than the personal narrative.
  • Mathematics
    Math instruction is coordinated across grade levels. Students in grades K-8 are learning different math tools and strategies to help them solve problems. In grades 7 and 8, students are divided into either an accelerated math class or a grade level class, which includes Pre-Algebra (Gr. 7) and Algebra 1 (Gr.8). There is also an emphasis on both verbal and written explanations of these strategies, which is making a positive impact on their learning. With the Common Core Standards, grades K-5 have adopted the McGraw Hill, Everyday Math program. The College Prep Math Program (CPM) was adopted in Jr. High. This Common Core approach allows learners of all abilities to engage with the concepts and expands their resources to include manipulatives, small groups, and online tools.
  • Religion
    Religious instruction is considered a core academic subject at St. Lucy School. Using formal texts and supplemental print and web resources, religion classes emphasize family life, social justice, and service. All students are involved in community service. Jr. High students have an additional community service learning component. In all classes, Gospel values are a central theme. Non- Catholic students are expected to learn and participate in class as an exploration of the Catholic Faith.
  • Social Studies
    Classes integrate literature, religious studies, technology, and art projects as students examine history.
  • Physical Education
    The emphasis is on basic skills, movement, fair play, and healthy exercise. Students in grades 5-8 are eligible to participate in the After School Athletic Program.
  • Computer Education
    Students in Gr. K-5 participate in weekly computer classes focusing on skill development and Digital Citizenship. Jr. High computer classes are integrated into their core curriculum.
  • Library
    The Library consists of a multimedia library adjacent to the T.D. Mac Computer Lab offering a variety of informational, literary and cultural resources, an educational television component, broadcast center and a functional area for diverse learning experiences. The Library is utilized weekly by all grade levels for individual and group work and functions with a three-fold purpose: enrichment, reinforcement, and research. Our beloved school library is the perfect place for students to check out books, drop in for the lunchtime book club, look for research project books, or come in after school for homework help. Students in K-­5th grade visit the library and interact with our librarian on a weekly basis. Our annual Scholastic Book Fair compliments the library collection, and is a fun way to celebrate the joy of reading!

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Science

img1Each day St. Lucy students can be found all around our campus engaging in real experiments, whether it is dissecting frogs, measuring paper airplane’s flight patterns in the gym, or using microscopes connected to our two 65-inch TVs to examine the organisms in typical pond water. Science classes in grades 1-8 are taught in our state of the art science lab while Kindergarteners utilize in their classroom and outdoor space for their science class. Students explore scientific phenomena through hands-on activities, experimental labs, projects, and research. Science instruction has been based on the 2005 Science Framework for California Public Schools. The three basic scientific fields of study are physical, earth and life sciences and are addressed each in the K-5 programs. In grades six through eighth students focus on earth science, life science, and physical science, respectfully.

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St. Lucy School is beginning to transition to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) that were recently adopted by the state of California. The NGSS provide a more coherent progression aimed at overall scientific literacy with instruction focused on a smaller set of ideas building each year to the next level. The interconnectedness of science is taught throughout the curriculum rather than each field of science as separate entities, and includes the fields of technology and engineering. Teachers and students also have access to INTO Science, an online science curriculum where they can perform virtual experiments, utilize elaborate tools, watch high definition short videos, and research all aspects of the scientific field. Virtual labs allow us to travel beyond the textbook.

Many science field trips occur each year at St. Lucy School such as sixth graders who attend the science camp, and eighth graders who attend Great America for their science day focused on physics.

Spanish

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¡Hola amigos! Spanish class is now taught once a week in grades K-5. As we embark on our journey of adding Kindergarten through Fifth Grade Spanish instruction to our curriculum, we are excited that children will be exposed to Spanish at an earlier age. We are already noticing that students are quickly developing an ear for the language and are able to pronounce the words they hear with great fluency. This head start also allows students to develop a greater comfort level with their new language, which will give them a great foundation moving to the Jr. High where Spanish classes meet three times a week.

We offer an extensive 3 years of Spanish I to our Jr. High students, who may be equipped to place into Spanish 2 at the high school level if they choose. In 7th grade Spanish, the student focus is on sharpening their grammar skills and engaging in more conversation, while continuing to build vocabulary and learning more about culture and customs in Spanish speaking countries. In 8th grade, students continue to build on their prior knowledge and vocabulary. Students use prompts to engage in spontaneous conversations as well as read short passages and practice comprehension. Our students were even able to converse with a Spanish speaking friend from across the world via Skype! As always, culture and customs of Spanish- speaking countries are discussed throughout every lesson.

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21st Century Technology:

technologyWe engage our 21st century St. Lucy learners with technology to think critically, create, collaborate, and communicate with their classmates, their instructors, and the global society. Our teachers facilitate this in the way they teach and how they assess students’ learning. Technology is integrated into instruction, and teachers collaborate on cross-curricular projects and skills instruction. According to the Common Core standards, students are expected to be able to use technology, including the internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others. Teachers implement a variety of learning and formation experiences through the use of different technologies such as iPad apps, PowerPoint presentations, streaming videos, DVD’s, slideshows and CTN resources such as web-quests.

Computer education and technology permeate our fully wireless campus through a suite of iPad carts and Jr. High Chromebook laptops. Students also benefit from a fully stocked TD Mac computer lab, featuring over 6 new iMac computers, iPads, Chromebooks, and a student broadcast center complete with green screen, iPad teleprompter, lights and video cameras. The TD Mac Computer Lab also contains a state-of-the-art overhead projection system, high-speed laser printers and digital cameras.

Outstanding technology resources are available to all students, and reflect the spirit of innovation that permeates our school program. The infrastructure was recently upgraded to allow for the expansion of devices in all classrooms. Each classroom and learning space has the use of iPad carts, as well as an updated Epson interactive digital projector, which will interface with ipads, laptops and Chromebooks to project documents and research on classroom whiteboards. All grades may utilize iPads, however older grades will also be exposed to Chromebook laptops and Google Classroom for their document creation.

  • 1:3 iPads in Pre-K and first grade
  • 1:2 iPads in second and third grade
  • 1:1 devices in fourth-eighth grade
  • Jr. High students also utilize Chromebook laptops on a 1:1 basis

Google Classroom:

Through the use of the Google Classroom, as a part of the Google Apps for Education (GAFE), our teachers are communicating with the students in this one to one environment. This allows students to have the ability to get information needed at anytime or anywhere, extending the learning environment. Gone are the days where former students struggled with file transfer problems or the notorious “I forgot my flash drive”.

Digital Citizenship:

Digital citizenship is a concept where teachers, students, and parents learn about appropriate and responsible use of technology. The most important thing we can teach our students about technology in their future is how to communicate effectively, find the information they need, protect their privacy, and at the same time be responsible digital citizens of the world. Digital Citizenship is taught in grades K-8. Helping students to navigate the use of technology in their daily lives is very important.

Computer Classes:

Students in grades K-5 have regularly scheduled computer classes once a week. Computer classes are integrated into the curriculum in the Jr. High.Time in the TD Mac Lab is structured around the NETS (National Educational Technology Standards for Students), and much of the work is designed in collaboration with requests of individual classroom teachers.

Dedicated Director of Technology:

We also have a dedicated Director of Technology on campus to act as a resource for teachers in their application of technology as an additional tool in the classroom. The Director of Technology teaches computer skills, such as typing, word processing, and graphic design to grades K-8 and introduces the concept of internet safety and digital citizenship. The faculty and staff all continue professional development in the area of technology.

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Art and Music

the-artsOne of the most important things we can teach in addition to having fun with art, is the ability to think creatively and then express those thoughts visually. Communication of ideas, feelings, and thoughts is so important to art as well as life. Art classes in grades 1-5 are integrated with other subjects and include a focus on the use of various art media, art appreciation, and art history. The studio classroom boasts evidence of student creativity in its beautiful wall murals, and offers plenty of space for artistic expression and exploration using different mediums. Grades 1-5 have art classes once a week using multiple mediums for drawing, sketching and painting. Our young artists have participated in several annual contests, such as poster design for the City of Campbell, the Fun Fest T-shirt design, the Aaron Brothers Art Contest, and the City of Saratoga Art Festival. Jr. high students may choose to take a specialty Art class during their trimester elective period.

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Students in grades K-5 have weekly music classes, with 4th graders and 5th graders learning to play the recorder. In music class, students learn Mass songs as well as prepare for seasonal performances. Students in Grades Pre-K to 5th grade prepare a wonderful Christmas Program in December and Spring Program in May, which are both evening performances. As part of the program the Jr. High drama students present Christmas and Spring Plays. Students in grades 2-8 may sing in our school choir. The St. Lucy Choir sings for liturgies, and performs for Grandparents Day, the Christmas Program, the Spring Program as well as the Diocesan Choral Festival. Students are also encouraged to share their talents in a student-council organized talent show. There are both day and evening performances, after many weeks of practicing with friends.

Art and Music come together during our beloved “Evening of the Arts” performance each May. Music classes, the school choir, the drama club, and student art classes come together for a display that is captivating.

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