Curriculum

The Archdiocese of Baltimore Curriculum is designed to prepare students to be Catholic, College and Career Ready. Each course of study fosters students' Catholic identity, shaping them to be models of Christian living for others. We provide students with a curriculum that is rigorous and rich in various disciplines. By continuing to implement new standards that are challenging, we work to fulfill the promise of quality Catholic education that educates the whole child: mind, body and soul.

Operating under the auspices of the Archdiocese of Baltimore Department of Catholic Schools, St. John School follows the Course of Study developed by this educational entity. This curriculum meets and exceeds the curriculum requirements for the Maryland State Department of Education. The Archdiocese of Baltimore periodically reviews and updates curriculum. Please read the Archdiocesan Statement on Curriculum Revisions that explains the process and the value of these periodic updates.

It's our ministry as Catholic educators to embody our faith in everything we do. We model and teach children how to form a personal relationship with Jesus and build a foundation for life long learning and discipleship.

Learn more about the education St. John School provides:

Religion: Grades K-8 use Christ Our Life textbook which is written by the Sisters of Notre Dame. The spiraling program in Grades K-8 fosters a love of God while providing a rich knowledge of our Catholic faith. Children learn to evangelize and be young disciples of Christ. Teachers integrate scripture as well as the four pillars of the Church in daily lessons. Christ Our Life is the only program aligned with the Church’s mission for a New Evangelization, the NCEA: IFG ACRE assessments, and the Six Tasks of Catechesis.

Our motto Christ-Centered Learning, Christ-Modeled Love places Jesus at the very heart of all we do. Children attend Mass every Friday and Holy Days of Obligations.  They participate in Stations of the Cross every Friday during Lent.  Middle School students perform Living Stations of the Cross for the School and Parish community. Children in Grade 2 celebrate the Sacraments of Reconciliation and First Eucharist while students in Grade 8 celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation. Students in Grade 5 become “Living Saints” and lead us in Mass on All Saints Day. As a student body, we pray throughout the day together and participate in various service projects during the year. We integrate our faith in all aspects of the curriculum. We want our students to Love God and to serve Him in all that they do.

Special Areas:

All students in Kindergarten-8th Grade participate in weekly Special Area Classes.  Art, General and Vocal Music, STEM, Library Science, and Physical Education are all taught once  a week.  Spanish Immersion classes are taught twice a week. Technology is integrated throughout our curriculum in all grades.  St. John School believes that providing our students with these additional classes enhances their education and is an integral part of a well rounded education.

Resource
Resource teachers and aides are used throughout the grades to help reduce class size, reinforce instruction, and to maximize the learning experience for our students.

1:1 iPad Program
Students in grades 5-8 have a school issued iPad to use throughout the day.  The Students are actively engaged and educational experiences are enhanced through the use of technology.

Pre-K:

Pre-School: Laying the Foundation for your child’s future

According to Maryland EXCELS, “Children’s first five years lay the foundation for the rest of their lives. These early years have a major impact on how children succeed in kindergarten, in school, and in their lives.”  Your child deserves the best quality care and pre-school education.  St. John Catholic School received Maryland Excels highest ranking, The Level Five Program, meaning we have achieved the highest benchmarks in the Maryland EXCELS program in addition to our accreditation with the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) Division of Early Childhood Development. 

St. John Catholic School is proud to offer exceptional curriculum-based Pre-School programs with a variety of full and part-day options in a faith centered, caring, nurturing and safe environment. Our Pre-Schoolers learn fine motor skills, socialization skills, auditory and visual learning through multi-sensory hands-on learning, educational centered activities, technology, free play, music and art.  Before and After Care is available, on site, through ABC Care Inc., a nationally accredited non-profit organization. 

Our curriculum in both Pre-School classes, The InvestiGator Club, by Robert Leslie Publishing, is an investigation-based early childhood curriculum.  Children learn to use their senses, ask questions, make choices and use creative tools to find answers in a supportive, encouraging and caring environment. The learning system helps to reinforce a cycle of learning that starts at home, continues at school and finishes back at home through indoor and outdoor play, shared reading, exploration and discovery. 

When you enroll in our Pre-School, you become part of our family. We are a more than a school, we work together to develop your child to their fullest potential academically, physically and spiritually.

Highlights of our Pre-School program include:

·         Faith filled learning environment. 

·         Inquiry-based learning system curriculum

·         Introduction and hands-on exposure to technology and S.T.E.M

·         Introduction and exposure to a foreign language (Spanish).

·         Educational field trips, outdoor play and rest time  

Please note class sizes are limited. Applicants are encouraged to apply early using the online enrollment link:  https://sjwestschool.schooladminonline.com


Elementary Grades K-5:

Reading: Students in the elementary grades are separated into ability groups in reading.  The Wonders series by McGraw Hill is used primarily for instruction.  Trade books are also used as part of a total reading program.
Language Arts: Language Arts in the elementary grades follows a scope and sequence that incorporates spelling, phonics,writing,and grammar. Students learn to diagram sentences and identify parts of speech. They use the writing process to write informative and creative text. Students also prepare short speeches and practice public speaking.
Math: Saxon Math is used for daily math instruction. Saxon Math involves teaching a new concept every day and constantly reviewing old concepts.This spiraling approach to teaching math promotes long term mastery of concepts.At the primary level, all new concepts are developed through hands-on activities. Students move from the concrete to the pictorial to the abstract.
Science: Students in the elementary grades explore science through visual, hands on activities. Students conduct experiments and learn about the scientific method.  Harcourt School Publisher textbooks are used to reinforce the Archdiocese of Baltimore curriculum.
Social Studies: The Social Studies curriculum prepares our students to understand and participate effectively in an increasingly complex world. Scott Foresman Social Studies encourages students to think critically about key concepts—through reading, hands-on activities, and technology—so they actively experience the world they live in. The 3rd grade Wax Museum and the 4th grade trip to Annapolis are some highlights in the elementary program.

Middle School Grades 6-8:

ELA: English/Language Arts instruction is a double block each day for our middle school students. Students are introduced to Shakespeare, read poetry, and other genres in a small group setting. Language of Literature by Holt McDougal is used as a resource for our students.  Vocabulary Workshop is used teach a variety of strategies to help students acquire new vocabulary and understand figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.  Students write research papers. Grammar and language mechanics are taught through creative writing.
Math: Saxon Math is the program used to teach the Archdiocese of Baltimore  curriculum for Math.  Students complete daily mental math problems, learn a new concept, practice problems related to the new concept and solve problems related to a variety of problems. The Saxon Program provides plenty of opportunities to review material and help students master skills. Additionally,  SJS offers a year long class in Algebra I to students in grade 8 who meet the math qualifications.

Science: Prentice Hall Science Explorer is the series St. John School uses to teach the Archdiocese of Baltimore curriculum for Science.  It weaves together content with hands on science inquiry.  Students are actively engaged in scientific discovery  as they learn about life, physical, and earth science  Students in grades 7 and 8 demonstrate knowledge they have gained in our school Science Fair.

Social Studies:  Students learn about ancient civilizations, geography skills, and world cultures.  Modern American and World History are also part of the Archdiocese of Baltimore Curriculum. Current events related to local, state, national and world news are included in daily lessons. Student research projects, field trips, and hands on activities help to bring the content alive to the students.