Primary, Kindergarten-Grade 2
The primary students at St. Mary’s are immersed in a language-rich, integrated curriculum that is characterized by developmentally appropriate lessons and activities, flexible grouping, children as decision makers, writing across the curriculum, and child-centered teaching that respects individual differences. Even at this young age, critical thinking and questioning skills are being nurtured. Teachers use a variety of assessment techniques, both authentic and traditional, to help make judgments concerning individual needs and for future planning.
The language arts are taught through many types of literature with skills being introduced in context and practiced in authentic settings. The goal of the program is to not only teach the children the mechanics of reading and writing but also to develop children who choose to read and write. The mathematics curriculum is based on the current NCTM standards (curriculum currently under review by the Archdiocese of Washington see above). Students are encouraged to explore concepts using manipulatives and hands-on activities and to apply those concepts in problem solving. Computation is emphasized as well to further develop and refine basic math skills. Science, Social Studies and Religion concepts are integrated into Language Arts and Math as well as being taught in independent lessons to give the students a more expansive view of our world and our God. Their education is rounded out with regular instruction in physical education, music, art, library sciences, computer technology, and foreign language. Our second graders prepare for and receive the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist. Above all, the teachers in the primary grades are committed to providing experiences that will inspire young children to become active, life-long learners.