Content Area Information
Our religion program is the cornerstone of our school’s mission. Students receive daily religious instruction as part of the core academic curriculum. This curriculum is based upon a three-pronged approach to faith development: liturgical functions, theological doctrine, and service. Data from assessments of religious education confirm the strength of our program as our students score well above national averages. All students and staff participate in weekly liturgies and have the opportunity to receive sacraments. Participation in grade-level and school-wide service projects allows students to apply the principles of our faith as they serve others. Individual service requirements in middle school teach students to initiate and engage in opportunities to serve others.
The language arts curriculum integrates the essential elements of reading, writing, phonetics/spelling, oral communication, and grammar. The reading program is developmental and research-based. In the primary grades, small group instruction is facilitated by the classroom teacher, a teacher assistant, and a learning specialist. This team has extensive one-on-one contact with students to monitor progress, identify issues and employ early intervention. Primary level teachers and resource personnel have been trained in the Orton-Gillingham method, a multi-sensory approach to phonics instruction. In subsequent grades, students continue to develop reading skills which allow them to comprehend, analyze, and synthesize information from a variety of texts. Writing is emphasized across the curriculum. Students are given abundant opportunities to practice both written and oral expression, developing strong communication skills necessary for future success.
The study of mathematics includes computation and skills which range from basic to abstract concepts. These processes within the curriculum develop in a systematic continuum that allows students to build on prior knowledge. The carefully-crafted spiral aspect of our math program builds upon a basic foundation of number sense and ultimately enables students to communicate mathematically, use and interpret data, think analytically, and apply skills to problem solving. Students are then able to make mathematical connections across the curriculum and have a strong foundation on which to build higher level skills.
Science curriculum and instruction utilize the Next Generation Science Standards. The study of life science, chemistry, physics, earth and space, as well as the process of understanding the scientific inquiry through labs, projects, and classroom instruction are important steps which allow our students to make important connections to the world in which they live. Designed to sequentially develop scientific knowledge and engineering processes, our instruction provides hands-on experience and opportunities for students to analyze information and reason scientifically. The use of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) and STREAM (Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Art, Mathematics) models allow for application of skills in which students think, process, and create.
The core of our social studies curriculum relates how events of the past and present shape and define the future. Students are exposed to geography, economics, history, communities, and culture. They become aware of their social responsibilities in becoming productive citizens through service projects that meet the needs of fellow citizens within our school, our local community, our state, our nation, and our world. Students also recognize the value of our past by participating in activities such as Constitution Week and veteran’s recognition, which honor those who formed our country as it is today. Students begin to learn civic responsibilities at a young age by participating in service learning and in activities such as mock elections in which they learn about the process of government.
Our Foreign Language program provides students with the opportunity to experience the beauty and richness of languages and cultures while strengthening cognitive skills which support the native English language. Primary and intermediate students are exposed to both French and Spanish with weekly study that alternates with grade levels. Students learn foreign language in these grades through songs, movement and interactive activities. Foreign language becomes a core subject in middle school, with instruction occurring four times per week in a more challenging and structured format. Our comprehensive program allows students to complete the first level of a high school foreign language curriculum. Most Holy Redeemer graduates accelerate into Level Two French or Spanish as freshmen in high school.
Our music program is designed to encourage an understanding and appreciation of music. Students gain knowledge of the structure and function of instrumental, vocal, and liturgical music in weekly classes. We believe that musical performances are essential to the student experience at all levels. The music experience in middle school is enriched by involving students in performance and set design for our annual musical. Choir and band are offered to students who wish to expand their musical abilities outside the required curriculum. Recognition for excellence in music is offered through our chapter of the Tri-M Music Society.
The Visual Arts curriculum is designed to develop skills and an appreciation of artistic expression. All students receive art instruction once per week. Our art program allows students to create original works using a variety of mediums. Art instruction sequentially targets the principles of design and art history. In keeping with our mission, religious symbolism as related to Catholic teachings is incorporated into this study. Students have the opportunity to display their works in the annual Archdiocesan Art Show.
Our Physical Education/Health program encourages wellness and lifetime physical activity through age appropriate movement, athletic skills, and cooperative activities. All students receive physical education instruction twice per week. Students participate in individual and team sports emphasizing sportsmanship, personal responsibility, and social behavior. Students receive instruction in health education once per month during which the physical and mental aspects of a healthy lifestyle are addressed. Athletic team opportunities in soccer and basketball are offered to all students, and middle school students may participate in cross country, swimming, golf, and tennis.