Academics

 


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Curriculum

Our Lady of Perpetual Help School follows the guidelines and policies set forth by the Office of Catholic Education of the Diocese of Trenton. Formal instruction is given in Religion, Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Music, Art, Physical Education, Spanish and Computer Integration. The Diocesan Office of Catholic Education establishes curriculum guidelines. The Administration, Curriculum Coordinators and faculty set and review goals twice a year, to ensure that students’ needs are met.

Religion

Religion at Our Lady of Perpetual Help School is the foundation on which all other instruction rests. As teachers of the faith we are, first and foremost, believers. Our aims are threefold:

  • To deepen the faith of those whose lives we touch
  • To enable them to hear the message of hope
  • To help them spread God’s love through life and service

Handing on a dynamic system of truths about God, the Catholic Church, and morality, our emphasis is always on translating faith into action. This creates in both students and teachers a Christ-like respect for all people, and an eagerness to be of service. We carry the Gospel message to all humanity, furthering God’s kingdom of peace and justice.

Family Life Program
A Family Life Program that focuses on attitudes and values of Catholic family life supplements our Religion Program. The themes of this program are: family living, personal growth and self-understanding, respect for life, Catholic Christian sexuality, and social living.

Sacramental Preparation
Students in Grade Two are formally prepared for the first reception of the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist. Parent meetings sponsored by the Parish Religious Education Office assist parents in their responsibility of preparing their children for these sacraments. 

Eighth Grade students receive the Sacrament of Confirmation after completing a year of preparation that begins in Seventh Grade. At least one year of formal religious instruction must precede preparation for the first reception of a Sacrament.

Integrated Language Arts

Reading, writing, speaking, and listening are the fundamental tools necessary for learning in all areas of curriculum. We instill a love of reading through literature, and encourage the use of school, classroom, and personal libraries. Reading skills are used to  enhance writing across the curriculum. Phonics instruction is provided in the primary grades. Language instruction and whole language activities including daily journals, expository and creative writing, and cooperative learning exercises, further develop student skills. In the Integrated Language Arts curriculum, language, literature, grammar and composition overlap for a holistic and practical application of skills. Students are taught the rudiments of writing, and opportunities for written and oral expression are incorporated throughout the curriculum. As students engage in reading, writing, and cooperative learning activities, communications and social skills are strengthened. The usage of correct spelling is an important part of our entire curriculum.

Mathematics

Our Math Curriculum is based on a strong foundation of basic skills which allows for a successful progression through comprehensive sequential instruction. We incorporate the standards endorsed by The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics including the use of manipulatives, calculators, and computers. Instruction extends beyond the textbook as we provide activities which relate mathematical ideas to real life situations. Students develop critical thinking skills as they study geometry, measurement, probability/statistics, and creative problem solving. We seek and implement instructional tools ranging from software applications through algebraic manipulatives. Students, who are eligible for advanced placement, are taught pre-algebra and algebra. As students engage in reading, writing, and cooperative learning activities, communication and social skills are strengthened. Empowered with a positive mathematical attitude, our students can take their place as contributors and leaders in a highly technological society.

Science

In response to the wonders of creation, our Science Curriculum enables students to function in a complex universe. Students actively involved in a variety of learning experiences expand their potential to reason logically, observe, analyze, and evaluate. Our program enables 11students to be scientifically literate in a progressive, technological world. Activities which simulate life experiences appeal to students’ curiosity and encourage active inquiry. The curriculum components of Earth, Physical, and Life Sciences are supplemented by lab experiences, computer and math calculations, written lab reports and field trips. 

Social Studies 

Our Social Studies Curriculum invites students to become historians by developing a broad knowledge of the past and challenging them to become actively involved citizens for the future. This program goes beyond basic textbook knowledge and connects students with current world affairs through the use of maps, globes, videos, supplemental texts, magazines, technological resources, and newspapers. The curriculum provides opportunities for students to work in small groups or individually as they research social, environmental, and economic conditions in the world. This encourages students to refine their decision making skills, and to formulate and respect independent conclusions. Within the framework of Christian values, students are summoned to promote social justice. We nurture patriotism and civic responsibility as we observe and celebrate national holidays and explore the lives of American heroes. 

Computer Technology

Technology is a tool that is integrated throughout the curriculum at all grade levels. Students in grades K-4 have one scheduled computer class per week. They learn proper use of lab and classroom equipment, correct terminology, introductory keyboarding techniques and word processing skills. In addition, primary grade students work with software programs and appropriate internet sites to develop reading, writing, research and creative problem solving skills.

Students in grades 5-8 have two scheduled computer classes per week, providing time for instruction and independent work. Students in these grades further develop keyboarding and word processing skills. Research skills, including efficient search and critical evaluation techniques, are developed using encyclopedia/atlas software, and the Internet. These are used for projects in all subject areas. Students use spreadsheets and databases to organize information, and to generate graphs showing their findings. Presentation software allows students to organize and creatively display what they’ve learned. Student projects in all grades are planned in conjunction with classroom teachers, so that students are applying their computer skills to authentic learning activities.

An ACCEPTABLE USE POLICY governs the appropriate use of the school’s computer and internet services. An agreement to abide by the Acceptable Use Policy must be signed each year by every student and staff member in order to access the computer network.

World Language – Spanish

The Spanish teacher provides a sequential course of study throughout the grade. Follow up activities reinforce and enrich skills between weekly instructional sessions. Classroom and school wide activities allow opportunity for exploration of world cultures so that students develop an appreciation of cultural heritage.

Physical Education

Our Physical Education Curriculum exemplifies our fundamental commitment to the total child. The program provides activities to build strength, endurance, and agility while developing interpersonal skills, sportsmanship, a spirit of healthy competition, and a lasting interest in physical fitness. Age appropriate exercises enable students to achieve their physical potential, enjoy sports as both spectators and participants, and develop a productive balance between cooperative and competitive attitudes. Presidential National Fitness awards are given to students who accomplish the goals for this program.

Music

Recognizing that music’s power is both before and beyond words, we focus on its universality in our curriculum. The natural expression of music is a joyful response in song and movement. While music expresses what language cannot, we do offer an organized approach to the study of the elements of music, including style, rhythm, and instrumentation. An examination of the social, cultural, and historical values of music complements technical instruction. Students build confidence and self-esteem through group and solo singing, and assembly performances. Through their participation in liturgical music, students proclaim their Catholic identity and heritage.

Art

To experience the process over the product is the goal of our art program. Students enjoy the journey in making a work of art, and appreciate the beauty in all works of art, both those in museums as well as God’s art work in their lives. Young artists are encouraged to revel in their individuality - and the individuality of others. Their creations are seen as personal expressions not to be judged, but enjoyed. Student works are displayed at the annual Art Show.

Electives

Electives are offered each trimester to grades 5-8. Students select three different electives for the year. Electives are offered once a week in an 80 minute block and choices include Debate, Culinary Arts, Science Technology Engineering Math (STEM), Photography, Journalism, Coding, Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, Guitar Ensemble, ASL, Drama, and Creative Writing.

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