Curriculum

The Academy follows the New York State prescribed course of studies and includes the Common Core Standards. St. Francis Xavier Catholic Academy emphasizes leadership skills, critical thinking, creativity, and problem solving incorporating technology within the teaching/learning process.

MAJOR SUBJECTS

Language Arts: The syllabus includes: Reading, Grammar, Phonics, Language Mechanics, Writing, Spelling, Vocabulary, Communication Skills (listening and speaking), and Library Skills. Reading is a large component of the Language Arts Program, and is taught on a daily basis in all grades, and reinforced in each subject area. The writing process is used with emphasis on paragraph formation, organizational skills, letter writing and short stories. Various reading genres are explored in depth. Writing in response to these genres and other forms of writing are studied. Spelling, vocabulary, and grammar are also stressed in the writing process. Speaking and listening skills, as well as mastery of spelling, vocabulary, grammar, and sentence structure for clarity of writing is explored. Reading of various genres continues for critical analysis and response. Essays, contests and oral presentations are stressed within the curriculum. All teachers are aware of the various achievement levels that exist in their classes, and are always seeking new ways to reach each group.

Mathematics: Instruction is focused on reasoning and logical thinking for problem solving. Early grades concentrate on computation, reasoning measurement, number sense, geometry, fractions, and the relationship of math to the world. Multiplication and division concepts, estimation, mental math are expanded in the middle grades. Upper grade levels focus on ratios, expressions and equations, statistics and probability, geometry, and functions. Manipulatives are used in all grade levels as well as calculators in the upper grade levels.

Religion: Religion is taught in grades Pre-K -3 and Kindergarten through grade 8. All children, regardless of creed, must take religion. Prayer and the concept of God as a loving Creator are emphasized in the younger grades, Children learn about the Trinity through Bible stories and the sacraments. Middle grades focus on the tenets of the Church and its mission. Also, sacramental life and the presence of God in our daily life are focuses. The importance of prayer and what it means to be a Christian are explored. Upper grades develop a deeper understanding of students’ relationships with God and the Church, as well as doctrines, prayers and Church history. In addition, other elements include community service and participation in a wide range of liturgies and para-liturgies throughout the school year. Non-Catholics are required to attend these services. All children are expected to treat differing beliefs with respect.

Science: All students receive instruction in scientific thinking, facts, and health education. Life science in all forms from simple to complex organisms is studied. The physical environment, earth science, and the atmosphere are explored. Concepts relating to the living environment, the world around us, plants, animals, magnets, simple machines, earth, air, water, land, matter, energy and motion are explored and studied within the elementary curriculum. Lab reports are written and classes use equipment such as microscopes and balance beams in the lab. The scientific method is followed and applied in all science work. Hands-on approaches are encouraged.

Social Studies: The following topics are included on each level in varying degrees: history, geography, civics, law, economics, and current events. Family, beliefs, customs, and traditions are taught within the broader concept of community, the United States and other cultures. The history of New York City and New York State are examined, as well as the early exploration of Colonial America. American history is studied in depth from pre- Civil War to the present time. Ancient civilizations through the European Renaissance are explored. Map skills and geography are taught. Also, cultural diversity, the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, and government are studied.

SPECIAL SUBJECTS

Spanish: Introduction to the Spanish language and culture is taught in grades 4-8 with a focus on vocabulary, dialogue, grammar, and Spanish customs.

Computer Science: Students in grades Pre-K -3 through grade 8 have computer instruction each week, and are able to use the computer lab on a regular basis with their classroom teachers. The instruction includes not only word processing, but the skills needed to access the Internet for research as well. Parents and students read and sign an acceptable use policy for safety purposes.

Library Science: All students utilize the class library facilities on a weekly basis. Children are encouraged to read often and read a wide variety of literature. Also, children are encouraged to borrow books from the school library.

Music: All students in grades Pre-K-3 and Kindergarten through grade 8 have music classes on a regular basis. The program covers a wide range of activities including: basic vocalization, music appreciation, note recognition, music history, and hymn practice. Recorder instruction is provided in the elementary grades and keyboard instruction is provided for grades 5- 8.

Art: Art is taught by a specialized teacher enabling each student to develop his/her talent and appreciate the talents of other students.

Physical Education: The development and maintenance of a healthy body is essential for an individual’s well being. In this program we attempt to create an environment in which leadership, sportsmanship, and congeniality can flourish. All children take part in the program. Classes are held once a week, and a complete gym uniform is required. A gym waiver must be signed before the start of the first gym class or your child will not be allowed to participate.