Academics

Curriculum


Saint Kilian Parish School is proud to present a curriculum that provides our students with the building blocks for lifetime learning and faith development. We offer a strong, traditional curriculum that seeks knowledge and practice of the Catholic faith, academic excellence, and moral courage. Our curriculum meets all the requirements of the Pennsylvania Department of Education, and gives special attention to the integration of Gospel values. In addition to a rich curriculum, students enjoy an articulate and caring faculty, an intimacy with the church and parish, and a variety of special subjects, enrichment programs, extracurricular activities, athletic programs and community service activities.

The academic coursework at Saint Kilian Parish School is designed to be both challenging and intellectually fulfilling. Core classes of Religion, Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies are linked closely with Art, Character Development, Library, Music, Physical Education, Spanish, Media, and Writing. All exercises, teaching methods, homework and discussions are grade appropriate and tailored for individual abilities through differentiation. Instruction in technology, computer literacy and library skills are offered as special subjects and are also integrated throughout the core subjects.

By using integrated, interdisciplinary teaching strategies, Saint Kilian Parish School promotes academic excellence and sound character development within a nurturing environment, ensuring that each child is treated as an individual. Remedial and Gifted auxiliary services are available to qualifying students. At Saint Kilian Parish School, we are committed to helping every child reach his or her fullest potential.

CLASS SIZES2016 - 2017 Class Size Information

CORE SUBJECTSReligion, Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies

SPECIAL SUBJECTSArt, Media, Music, Physical Education, Health, Spanish

OLWEUS ANTI-BULLYINGSchool Bullying Prevention Program

 

 

Class Sizes

For the academic year 2016-2017, our homeroom size do not exceed 24 students in grades K-6. Grades 7-8 core class sizes are low twenties. Classroom environments are consistent with best practices for a middle school and mathematics is taught within ability groups.

Core Subjects

All core subjects are taught by subject certified instructors. Please click on the subject(s) below for details.

Our Catholic identity is the foundation of everything we do; it frames how we communicate with one another and our entire curriculum. It is the most important aspect of our school community. Our program contains a balance of doctrinal content, scriptural understanding, faith formation, prayer and worship experiences. The Loyola curriculum is used to guide religion instruction.

In addition to scheduled class time for religious education, our students participate in daily prayer at the start and conclusion of the school day and lunch, weekly Mass, periodic grade level Masses, Eucharistic Adoration, the Sacrament of Reconciliation, Stations of the Cross, and service opportunities throughout the school year.
English, Reading, Writing, Handwriting, Spelling, Vocabulary

Kindergarten through Grade 5 are guided by the Houghton Mifflin-Harcourt Brace Journeys curriculum. This series has adventure units that motivate while reinforcing grade level key skills. It focuses on vocabulary instruction to build better readers and writers, utilizes leveled readers to supplement the weekly anthology story, incorporates supplemental curriculum resources to enrich learners, and has a practice book which includes reading, writing, grammar, and spelling. Trade books that correspond with the unit theme are available for extension activities as well. Online resources are also available through Think Central (at the beginning of each school year, each child will be provided with online user access credentials allowing students and parents to access stories and content online as well as reinforcement activities to review currently targeted reading strategies).

In Grades 1 – 8, our English courses are guided by Loyola's Voyages in English which is designed to include the major areas of the language arts curriculum: grammar and correct usage; sentence structure; dictionary, thesaurus usage; library and research skills; writing skills; and speaking and listening skills. Grammar and applied usage is developed through exercises and writing assignments. Writing skills emphasis creative writing and progress from sentences to paragraphs, essays, and reports. The continued development of the writing process through the thoughtful use of prewriting, drafting, revising, proofreading, and publishing are emphasized.

As research has shown that improved handwriting skills has benefits for cognitive development and motor skills and can lead to improved writing skills and reading comprehension, our Kindergarten through Grade 5 students use Zaner-Bloser materials for handwriting. Students in Kindergarten through the first half of their Grade 2 year focus on manuscript and the writing skills of the alphabet letters. In the second half of the Grade 2 year, students are introduced to cursive where they develop and practice correct positioning during the writing process and reinforce their writing skills through writing sentences, phrases, and words. Grades 3 - 5 work to improve the overall appearance of their cursive writing by practicing spacing, neatness, slant, smooth and rhythmic letter formation and letter connections.

Middle school students, in addition to the Voyages in English curriculum, employ Sadlier Vocabulary Workshop for word extension. Students are encouraged to visit the Sadlier Vocabulary Workshop website featuring audio pronunciations and definitions of words, games, and puzzles to reinforce the week's words. Novels are used for reading instruction as the preferred way to introduce and reinforce the middle school reading curriculum and allows for purposeful and meaningful exploration of big ideas and key grade level skills.

Grade 8 students use Sadlier's Writing a Research Paper to provide a solid foundation in this area of the Language Arts curriculum. Additionally, Study Skills by Simple Solutions is used to present the strategies and provides the distributed practice that allows students to retain valuable study skills for a lifetime.
Kindergarten Through Grade 5
Students in Kindergarten through Grade 5 use Sadlier's Progress in Mathematics to guide instruction. This curriculum is well-paced, sequenced, and integrates problem solving and conceptual understanding. Progress in Mathematics helps prepare students for standardized testing and for skills necessary in life. Teachers utilize numerous supplemental resources in the learning process and routinely engage in multiple forms of both instruction and assessment. Students in grades 1 - 5 are also supplemented by Simple Solutions workbooks for a quick spiraled reinforcement of grade level concepts.

Students and parents are encouraged to visit the Sadlier website to reinforce math concepts for every grade level and chapter (ie: practice activities including skills reinforcement, math vocabulary, flash cards, tutorials, problem of the day and more).

Grades 6 Through 8
Students in Grades 6 through 8 use Prentice Hall/Pearson to guide instruction. The information below outlines the various courses:

  • Course 1
    Course 1 includes a combination of rational numbers, patterns, geometry and integers in preparation for one- and two-step equations and inequalities. Guided Problem Solving strategies throughout the text provide students with the tools they need to be effective and independent learners. An emphasis on fractions solidifies student understanding of rational number operations in preparation for applying these skills to algebraic equations. Activity Labs throughout the text provide hands-on, minds-on experiences to reach all types of learners.

  • Course 2
    Course 2 consists of a structured approach to a variety of topics such as ratios, percents, equations, inequalities, geometry, graphing and probability. Test Taking Strategies provide a guide to problem solving approaches that are necessary for success on standardized tests. Checkpoint quizzes assess student understanding after every few lessons. Daily Guided Problem Solving in the text is supported by the Guided Problem Solving worksheet expanding the problem, guiding the student through the problem solving process and providing extra practice.

  • Algebra Readiness
    Course 3 provides a solid foundation in order to fully prepare students for Algebra 1. Chapters 1-3 focus on integers, rational numbers and real numbers in order to set the stage for equations, inequalities and functions. Real-World applications to the more abstract algebraic concepts are found throughout the text. More than 5 Activity Labs per chapter ensure students receive the visual and special instruction necessary to conceptualize these abstract concepts and prepare them for advanced math courses.

  • Algebra 1
    Prentice Hall Algebra 1 teaches for understanding by incorporating an interwoven strand of thinking and reasoning into problem solving. This connects the math that students learn, from the first lesson to the last. By focusing on thinking, reasoning, and problem solving, students will become more prepared for success in school, in their careers, and in life. Students and parents are encouraged to visit the Prentice Hall-Pearson website listed below for various practice activities, video tutorials, and practice tests to reinforce concepts learned in the classroom.
Kindergarten Through Grade 5
Kindergarten through Grade 5 students are guided by Prentice Hall-Scott Foresman for Science. Scott Foresman Science provides inquiry-rich content with Scaffolded Inquiry™ activities; cross-curricular connections that link reading and science skills in every chapter for all students.

Grades 6 Through 8
Grades 6 through 8 students are guided by Prentice Hall-Pearson Interactive Science. This curriculum utilizes interactive, visual, and differentiated learning strategies to address the needs of all learners. The hands-on activities are scaffolded for all learners featuring a wide-variety of directed and open ended inquiry labs. This write-in student edition features engaging visuals that frontload vocabulary and that relate directly to the content serving as important visual cues for learners.

  • Grade 6 science books include: Ecology and the Environment, Cells and Heredity, The Diversity of Life, and Human Body Systems.
  • Grade 7 science books include: Earth's Structure, Earth's Surface, Water and the Atmosphere, and Astronomy and Space Science.
  • Grade 8 science books include: Introduction to Chemistry, Forces and Energy, and Sound and Light.
Our science lab is available for use by all grade levels for hands on science explorations.
Kindergarten through Grade 6
The Scott Foresman K - 6 curriculum allows students to experience what it means to be citizens of this nation - that respect, caring, responsibility, fairness, courage, and honesty are the pillars that make us strong. Scott Foresman Social Studies has rich content that captures students' imaginations and built-in reading and vocabulary instruction. This curriculum supports activating prior knowledge, engaging students in discussion, thinking critically about key concepts, and taking what has been learned and transferring that knowledge into new situations. Reading, hands-on activities, and technology are some of the avenues by which students experience this curriculum.

Students and parents are encouraged to visit the Scott Foresman Social Studies website which offers many fun learning activities for each grade level to reinforce concepts learned in the classroom.

Grades 7 Through 8
Grade 7 and 8 students use McGraw Hill-Glencoe The American Journey curriculum series for social studies. The seventh grade book is The Early Years and the eighth grade book is Modern Times. Students are encouraged to visit the online websites listed above for in-depth information exploration on important historical topics in Beyond the Textbook and additional resources.


Special Subjects

Please click on the subject(s) below for details.

The art curriculum at Saint Kilian aims to to provide a rich, comprehensive art program and adheres to national standards and diocesan benchmarks. The program involves a multi-faceted diocesan practice that consists of art media and processes, design and function, content and creative expression, art heritage, inquiry in the arts and inter-disciplinary study.

The art program at our school focuses on the elements of art: line, shape, color, value, texture, form and space. We experience these elements through drawing, painting, printmaking, collage and sculpture.

Every six weeks, students engage in Art Appreciation which includes learning about famous artists, comparing and contrasting various artworks, using similar techniques and writing comprehensive critiques in the upper grades.

Our art program incorporates art from other cultures and inter-disciplinary studies such as science, science experiments with light and color, vocabulary and writing.
The computer curriculum at Saint Kilian Parish School encompasses concept formation and processes expressed in behavioral objectives. Each level of the curriculum has a comprehensive approach to student learning. These levels are sequential, activity-oriented, and are correlated with the National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) and the Pennsylvania State Standards.

The curriculum is based upon ten technology skills which include the following: Operating Environments, Word Processing, Desktop Publishing, Graphics, Databases, Internet, Spreadsheets, Applied Technology, Multimedia, and Programming.

The main focus in media class will be the following:

  • Achieving sufficient keyboarding skills to be able to operate the keyboard by touch
  • Mastering correct techniques of position, finger placement, and key striking
  • Attaining optimum keyboarding speed and accuracy according to individual capabilities
  • Reviewing and improving basic English skills of punctuation, spelling, proofreading, and editing skills necessary for creating documents, reports, letters, and tables
  • Acquiring the habit of using the keyboard as a basic communication tool in the preparation of personal and school reports
  • Utilizing Microsoft Office applications such as Power Point, Excel, Publisher, and Access to complete various projects
  • Using paint and graphics programs
  • Understanding of and how to safely use the Internet, email, and perform research
  • Integrating computers into the disciplines of social studies, language arts, science, and math
Library and research skills include the following:

  • To learn how to locate necessary materials in the library media center
  • To learn how to perform research using a 10-step process (Grade 8)
  • To prepare a 3-5 page research paper in MLA format (Grade 8)
  • To understand plagiarism and copyright laws violations
  • To learn about different reference resources, such as a table of contents, index, glossary, and bibliography
  • To become familiar with various reference books, such as an encyclopedia, dictionary, thesaurus, and almanac
  • To understand and properly use the Dewey Decimal System
  • To perform research using the Internet and complete various research projects
  • To learn about Caldecott, Newbery, and other award winning medal books
  • To distinguish between various types of genres of literature, such as fiction, nonfiction, biographies, poetry, fables, myths, and folklore
  • To be exposed to various authors and historical periods of literature
  • To use newspapers and magazines to acquire information
  • To learn how to use the library's online catalog database
  • To compare movie versions to their original book versions
  • To have independent reading time
  • To borrow books from the school library
  • To develop a love of reading
All concepts help students manifest the four components of the ministry of Catholic education: message, communication, worship, and service in their daily lives.
Our music program is developed around music history, reading and performing music. Music is based on the Nine National Standards:

  • Singing, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.
  • Performing on instruments, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.
  • Improvising melodies, variations, and accompaniments.
  • Composing and arranging music within specified guidelines.
  • Reading and notating music.
  • Listening to, analyzing, and describing music.
  • Evaluating music and music performances.
  • Understanding relationships between music, the other arts, and disciplines outside the arts.
  • Understanding music in relation to history and culture.
Student Performances
Students perform in one concert each year:

  • Kindergarten Christmas Pageant
  • Grades 1-3 Christmas Concert
  • Grades 4-8 Spring Concert
School Band and our Spring Musical are also opportunities for students in Grades 4 - 8 to perform and are offered extra-curricularly.

Lower Grades Curriculum
Beginning in Kindergarten, students are introduced to music through call and response and movement to music in establishing a beat. As students mature musically, they learn to read notes on the staff and are able to sing songs using notes on the lines and sol fege syllables. Sight reading is used to enhance their note reading and their inner hearing.
Music classes also include the creation of music beginning with quarter and eighth notes, then adding rests and additional notes. Students begin by counting using the Gordon method, then counting using numbers. Students create their own music which is played either with body percussion or instruments.

Upper Grades Curriculum
Students learn about the early creation of music, and the progression of music throughout different eras. Projects are completed through the year to encourage the use of music through motions.
Our objective is to use physical activity to develop an awareness of the presence of God in an environment of respect in a manner consistent with Christian teaching.

Our Physical Education curriculum consists of activities/games including: basketball, soccer, cooperative team games, motor skill enhancement, coordination, fun and many more. Students enjoy the active environment and the class provides students with the opportunity see where their strengths are while exploring a variety of activities. Teamwork and fairness are qualities that are emphasized in every class.

Health is an important part of the curriculum. Nutrition and maintaining a healthy body are topics that are incorporated in every class.

Spanish is a fun and exciting language to learn. The curriculum is based on James Asher's Total Physical Response (TPR) and a wide variety of topics: culture, spoken language, written language and reading the language.

Lower grades focus on the spoken language as well as culture. There are set themes implemented so that students learn a variety of topics; for example: animals, family, jobs, etc. Higher grades experience spoken, written and reading the language. The students learn vocabulary and then take it to the next level by reading and writing it.

An important part of the curriculum is religion. Students learn how to say the Hail Mary, Our Father, Sign of the Cross, and many other important prayers in Spanish. Students also learn about important religious figures and religious themes such as Our Lady of Guadalupe, La Navidad, Cinco de Mayo, Posadas etc.

Our goal at Saint Kilian Parish School is to provide a meaningful and exciting language experience so that our students continue their Spanish knowledge and learning for many years.