Core Curriculum

Or challenging core curriculum includes Language Arts, Mathematics, Religion, Science and Social Studies. Textbook-based lessons are augmented with multi-sensory and digital resources.

Language Arts

Reading, Literature, Grammar & Spelling
Grades TK-2 use a comprehensive literacy program called SuperKids. The program's explicit, systematic phonics-based instruction includes stories with engaging characters and follows Common Core Standards. Struggling readers are identified and tested in Kindergarten and 1st grade and referred to our Resource Program for extra help as needed.

Grades 3 - 5 Language Arts instruction is based on SRA's Imagine It!, which encompasses reading, phonics, English grammar and spelling. The integrated approach helps students become logical thinkers, proficient readers, confident speakers, writers and careful listeners. Non-fiction textbook selections are aligned with grade level state standards for Science and Social Studies. Teachers supplement the textbook with award-winning children's books and a variety of projects to address multiple learning styles.

Grades 6-8 use the Prentice Hall literature series combined with Sadlier's Vocabulary Workshop and Educator's Publishing Wordly Wise 3000 to help increase vocabulary and improve spelling. Students also discuss and complete activities as they read novels together, to enhance comprehension.

Writing
Grades K-8 are taught the Step Up to Writing program. Students learn to construct cohesive sentences, then paragraphs, then well organized, logical multi-paragraph essays with strong introductions and conclusions. The program also includes instruction on effective note-taking and creative story writing.

Mathematics

As part of our STEM focus, math instruction is based on Common Core Standards. All grades are taught from the Pearson textbook series, ensuring continuity as learning progresses. Students in grades 5 - 8 are instructed in leveled groups, enabling more one-to-one teacher/pupil interaction. Gifted students may place into advanced math groups in grades 7 and 8. Graduates of these advanced groups usually qualify for 10th grade math upon entering high school.

Religion

Children of all faiths are welcome at Our Lady of Mount Carmel School. All students are expected to participate in religious studies, daily prayer experiences, and monthly school liturgical celebrations and students in grades 2-8 attend Mass weekly. Religion instruction includes social-emotional learning topics on respecting all living things, multi-sensory projects and group activities. The K-5 curriculum is RCL Benziger's Faith First; grades 6 - 8 use the Loyola Press Series Christ Our Life. In grades 5 and 6, developmentally appropriate content about puberty and human sexuality are covered in a respectful way designed to complement what parents are teaching their children at home.

Science

We are proud of our STEM focus and will implement new curriculum this year with a dedicated 6-8 Science teacher who brings an engineering background to her teaching. The K-5 curriculum is the Nancy Larson Science Series, which is aligned with Next generation Science Standards as well as California State Standards. Grades 6-8 engage in scientific inquiry with StemScopes, an online program. A fully equipped science lab was built 15 years ago on campus, enabling students to conduct investigations in a smaller group setting.

Social Studies

Social Studies instruction follows California and National Standards, exposing children to gradually more complex concepts about the world, it's people and institutions. Social Sciences include history, geography, civics, economics and culture. Scott-Foresman's History-Social Science for California engages K-5 students using text, digital content games and group activities. A dedicated Social Studies teacher bases 6-8 curriculum on content from McDougal-Littel and Pearson publishers. Group activities, stories and research-based instruction help students discover the past.