St. Augustine Primary Campus Philosophy

  • The culture of the school is based on experimentation, learning from mistakes, and developing the strengths of all students. Everyone is encouraged to have a can-do attitude; everyone can succeed.
  • High expectations, with continuity and consistency throughout all levels.
  • Emphasis on a love of reading that permeates school-wide activities.
  • Stimulating, motivating, and engaging instruction

Curriculum

  • Up-to-date Texts utilizing on line licenses in place: language arts, science, social science, and math.
  • Mornings include a three hour block schedule for language arts/ writing/math.
  • An all school assembly (PK- grade 4) including Morning Prayer begins each day. Religion classes follow the assembly. Morning Mass gathers all (K-4) together on Fridays and other special days.
  • All ELA classes are taught simultaneously enabling students to move to their specific level for instruction. Two part time reading specialists provide instruction, acceleration, and intervention.
  • Writing is a priority and incorporates Max’s Tools as an introduction to using Word, Excel, and Power Point in grades 1, 2, and 3 (first semester). During the second semester of Grade 3, students begin transitioning to using Microsoft Word, Excel, etc.
  • Math instruction occurs simultaneously in K-4 as well, so that part time instructors can remediate and accelerate students as needed.
  • Science and Social Studies classes are taught in the afternoons. They are hands on and the science lab is available for all grade levels as well as the outdoor campus.
  • Physical education, movement, rhythm, music classes, and art also encompass the afternoon schedule. Incorporating the arts is necessary for developing the brain as well as enabling the child become a complete learner.
  • Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is part of the religious instruction in preschool, prekindergarten, kindergarten, and first grade. Second graders focus on sacramental preparation.
  • Spanish is incorporated throughout all levels with kindergarten through 4th graders each having four class periods of instruction per week.
  • Cursive writing is taught, beginning in second grade.

Technology

  • Every classroom has a Hover Cam and SMART Board.
  • A certified teacher provides technology instruction at all grade levels a minimum of three times per week and works with the classroom teachers as they develop new methods of instructions. At the third and fourth grade levels, keyboarding instruction begins.
  • 21 new computers in our technology lab have touch screens, which are more user-friendly for primary students.
  • They will move toward individual devices by the end of fourth grade preparing for the transition to middle school.
  • Individual response systems in the classrooms can be used in the classrooms.
  • Laptop/tablets sets are available for classroom use.
  • Age appropriate licensed software is incorporated throughout the curriculum with Spelling City and Max’s Tools which align to the present curriculum.

Co-curricular

  • Third and fourth graders are trained as altar servers.
  • Rhythm and movement classes for kindergarten, first, and second graders
  • Flutophone instruction for all third graders
  • Beginning Band available for all fourth graders
  • Choral performances at all levels
  • Children’s theater
  • Guitar and piano lessons available after school.
  • Children trained on the guitar serve as liturgical musicians
  • Field experiences for all levels in all areas of the curriculum; real life instructors are invited into the classrooms to share their expertise.
  • A focus on community outreach through yearly Covenant Project which is either separate from the Middle School or done jointly with the Middle School.
  • Junior St. Vincent de Paul Society develops leadership at the 3rd and 4th grade levels.
  • An Environmental Club will include students in grades 2-4.
  • The student-student mentoring program that began over 30 years ago continues as the fourth graders mentor preschoolers and third graders mentor prekindergarten.

Preschool/Prekindergarten

Philosophy

Each child is a unique creation of God and must be encouraged to use their gifts and talents for the betterment of self, as well as others.

Curriculum

  • Catechesis of the Good Shepherd along with daily religion instruction
  • Strong curriculum in child development which incorporates active, engaged, and meaningful learning
  • Math: Rote counting, readiness skills, identifying patterns, sorting
  • Preparation for reading: letter recognition, printing, letter sounds
  • Science: hands-on experiments, age appropriate projects
  • Developing Fine/Large Motor skills: rhythm sticks, small musical instruments, movement, introduction to physical education through activity games/ art using creative expression/music and poetry using repetition and lyrics to develop memory
  • Story time: retelling of a story, basic comprehension
  • Learning centers and creative play
  • Technology incorporated into daily learning with Nabi tablets through classroom centers
  • Emphasis on a consistent routine and continuity
  • Interaction with the primary students
  • Learning through manipulating, exploring, and experimenting with real objects.
  • Utilizing our gym and outdoor space for play, exploration, and social interaction