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Enrichment Program

Saint Mary Star of the Sea School offers an enrichment program in five areas: Library/Technology, Fine Arts, Spanish, Music, and Physical Education.  Below, you will find an overview of the topics covered in each of the enrichment classes.

Library/Technology (Lower School)

  • General Overview & Goal of the Program: To use library and online resources to build vocabulary and comprehension skills, evaluate and cite sources, and produce presentations and reports based on research.
     
  • Grade Level: Pre-K (3 yr) - 4th Grade
  • Frequency of attendance: One day per week

    Curriculum Highlights per Grade Level:
  • Pre-K 3 & Pre-K 4: Stories to reinforce language development, active songs and dances, explore parts of a book and fiction versus make-believe.
  • K-2nd: Use Superkids Phonics in the computer lab to reinforce reading and phonics skills; type name and simple sentences, use Paint tools to illustrate concepts and stories. Use seasonal stories and maps to identify geographical story settings.
  • 3rd-4th: Learn to use the online library catalog and Dewey Decimal system to locate print resources. Use and evaluate online sources for research, and use Microsoft Office programs to produce spreadsheets, presentations, and reports based on their research. Use programs like Animoto to produce visual presentations based on research.

Technology - Upper School

  • Grade Level: 5th – 7th Grade
  • Frequency of attendance: One day per week

    Curriculum Highlights per Grade Level:
  • 5th Grade - Students become more proficient in keyboarding while being introduced to Windows shortcut keys.  Students are introduced to the world wide web dangers and proper etiquette with social medial. Students use MS-Office programs to create presentation, graphs and documents. Students will have hands-on experience using Google Chrome devices to explore these capabilities in a classroom environment. 
     
  • 6th Grade -   Students become more proficient in keyboarding using Windows shortcut keys.  Students learn a wide range of information regarding proper etiquette while using social media and the internet. Students learn how to explore proper websites for research papers and how to create research papers using MS-Word.   Students also do a wide-range of fun activities using MS-Office programs, creating presentations using PowerPoint, creating graphs using Excel.   Students will have hands-on experience using Google Chrome devices to explore these capabilities in a classroom environment. Students direct a scene in a play and have to edit their video within Windows Live Movie Maker. 
  • 7th Grade - Students become more proficient in keyboarding using Windows shortcut keys.  Students learn a wide range of information regarding proper etiquette while using social media and the internet. Students learn how to explore proper websites for research papers and how to create research papers using MS-Word.   Students also do a wide-range of fun activities using MS-Office programs, creating presentations using PowerPoint, creating graphs using Excel.   Students will have hands-on experience using Google Chrome devices to explore these capabilities in a classroom environment.

Fine Arts

  • General Overview & Goal of the Program: The Fine Arts program focuses on bringing out each student’s creativity regardless of artistic skill. Creativity involves problem solving skills, thinking outside of the box, applying and combining information in new and innovative ways. Students are encouraged  to use their creativity both in and out of the classroom, across disciplines and contexts.
     
  • Grade Level: Pre-K (3) - 8th Grade
  • Frequency of Attendance: Once or twice a week

    Curriculum Highlights per Grade Level:
  • Pre-K (3) & Pre-K (4): Focus will be placed on developing students’ cognitive, affective, sensory and motor skills. Students will learn that art is a personal expression and has value. Students understand that their works of art are unique and valuable as self-expressions.
     
  • K-2nd: Cognitive, affective, sensory and motor skills are developed and refined through exposure to different materials and techniques. Students learn that art is personal expression, teaches about other times and places and connects with other areas of learning. Art communicates a message. Students learn how to clearly communicate a message with their artwork and how people have different responses to messages within artwork. 
     
  • 3rd - 5th: Students experiment with different techniques and use creative problem solving to find solutions to problems as they create artwork. Through the art-making process students are encouraged to generate ideas and reflect on their own work. Through a study of artists past and present, students gain understanding of what the creative process looks like and how artists use it.
     
  • 6th – 8th: Students begin to investigate the relevance of art in society. Creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration will be explored through personal, meaningful artistic expression. Critique will be incorporated as an opportunity for students to reflect on both their own artwork and the work of others. Students will create work that achieves spiritual, moral, emotional and intellectual growth.

Spanish

General Overview of the Program: In the world of languages, Spanish is spoken by nearly 500 million people (natives and non-natives speakers).  It is the second most widely spoken language in the world.  The Spanish program at Saint Mary’s exposes students to this foreign language, the different cultures where Spanish is spoken with the goal of building bridges of understanding between nations. 
 
  • Grade Level: Pre-K (3) – 8th Grade
  • Frequency of attendance: Pre-K (3) – 5th: One day per week; 6th & 7th: Two times per week; 8th Grade: Three times per week

    Curriculum Highlights per Grade Level
  • Pre-K (3) – K: Students start learning Spanish in Pre-K and Kindergarten through songs, kinesthetic activities, and using stories.
  • 1st – 5th Grade:  Students incorporate some writing, reading, listening, pronunciation and learning through interactive games, songs, stories, and culture. 
  • 6th- 8th Grade: Spanish in Middle School incorporates more listening, reading, writing, speaking, and learning about the different cultures that shape the Spanish-speaking world. The students in eighth grade study Spanish I which is eligible for high school credit.
  • 7th – 8th Grade: Spanish I students learn to communicate in real-life contexts about topics that are meaningful to them. Emphasis is placed on the use of Spanish in the classroom and authentic materials to learn about culture. Technology is an important means of accessing authentic information in Spanish and in enriching the Spanish classroom experience. Through the language learning process, students develop a greater understanding of the structure of their own language and the unique aspects of their own culture, as well as those of the target cultures.

    Consensus Curriculum for Spanish Level I from the Diocese of Richmond:
  1. Interpersonal Communication: Students exchange simple spoken and written information in Spanish.
  2. Interpretive communication: Students understand simple spoken and written Spanish presented through a variety of media and based on familiar topics.
  3. Presentational Communication: Students present information orally and in writing in Spanish, using a variety of familiar vocabulary, phrases, and structural patterns.
  4. Cultural Perspectives, Practices, and Products: Students develop an awareness of perspectives, practices, and products of Spanish-speaking cultures and recognize that they are interrelated.
  5. Making Connections through Languages: Students connect information about the Spanish language and Spanish-speaking cultures with concepts studied in other subject areas.
  6. Cultural and Linguistics Comparisons: Students demonstrate understanding of the significance of cultures through comparisons between Spanish-speaking cultures and the cultures of the United States.
  7. Communication Across Communities: Students explore situations in which to apply Spanish language skills and cultural knowledge in and beyond the classroom setting.

Physical Education

General Overview of the Program: The Physical Education program is comprehensive and includes all grade levels.  It is developmental and is based on the whole child teaching model. The model places emphasis on physical fitness and skill development using the necessary pedagogy. Activities promote the inclusion of all children in all activities. The curriculum also includes health education and is taught to some extent to all students. The program also encourages character development and promotes the health of the mind, body and soul. 

  • Grade Level: Pre-K (3) – 8th Grade
  • Frequency of Attendance: Once or Twice a week – depending on grade level

    Curriculum Highlights per Grade Level:
  • Pre-K 3 & 4: Early childhood is the ideal time for acquiring fundamental movement skills because it is during this unique period that children build the basic movement abilities that are the foundation for learning more complex movement skills later in life. Students are guided through a variety of lessons that introduce how to life a healthy lifestyle, learn locomotor skills and acquire a sense for spatial awareness.
     
  • K-4th: Through this physical education program, it is paramount that students learn a variety of important life skills which include movement skills, knowledge, and behavior/social skills, over the course of each school year. Some of these include: locomotor, non-locomotor, and manipulative skills, team-building, social interaction skills, and cognitive concepts linked to fitness, wellness, skill development, and social skills appropriate to each grade/developmental level.
     
  • 5th-8th: The middle school physical education program strives to develop students' personal fitness and skill-related abilities. The program reinforces students' understanding and application of fitness concepts and motor skills through a variety of movement forms. The program also aims to develop students' personal and social responsibility, self-management skills, and ability to make informed choices. The overall goal of this program is to enhance students' disposition toward leading a physically active lifestyle.