Core Curriculum

The core curriculum at Mount Carmel School includes Religion, Mathematics, Language Arts, Social Studies and Science. These core classes are taught every day.


Students of all faiths are welcome at Our Lady of Mount Carmel School. All students are expected to respectfully participate daily in religious studies which communicate the message of Christ and the Catholic Church doctrine in provided prayer experiences and scheduled liturgical celebrations.

Grades K-5 use RCL Benzinger’s Faith First, Legacy Edition. It centers on the four pillars of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, builds students’ understanding of faith concepts and reinforces and extends content as children mature.

Grades 6-8 use the Loyola Press series Christ Our Life. The texts guide students through courses of study in the Old Testament, Jesus, and Church.

As part of the religion program, students are provided with an understanding of the nature and importance of human sexuality, family life, and relationships. The Archdiocesan-approved textbook, Growing in Love, is published by Harcourt Brace. Parental permission is required for students to participate in this program. Eighth grade students participate in the Cry Babies Family Life program as well and utilize 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens to develop life skills.


Grades K-5 students use McMillan/McGraw-Hill’s California Mathematics series. The program allows for the use of online activities, manipulatives, practice, discussion, co-operative group projects, various types of assessment, remediation, and enrichment activities.

Grades 6-8 students are divided into groups of appropriate ability levels. Test scores, teacher recommendation, and grades determine placement. Groups in grade 6 use Glencoe’s California Mathematics: Concepts, Skills, and Problem Solving, Grade 6. Groups in grade 7 use Glencoe’s California Mathematics: Concepts, Skills, and Problem solving, Grade 7.

All 8th graders study algebra using Glencoe’s California Algebra Readiness or California Algebra 1: Concepts, Skills, and Problem Solving or McDougal-Littel’s Algebra 1.

Language Arts

Grades K-5 use SRA’s core elementary reading program Imagine It! This program encompasses reading, phonics, English, and spelling skills. These integrated programs help students to become logical thinkers, proficient readers, effective writers, confident speakers, and careful listeners. Leveled readers are an integral part of the K-1 curriculum.

Grades 6-8 use Prentice Hall’s Literature program, along with supplemental novels, to further develop reading, writing, and critical thinking skills.

Students in grades 4-6 use Silver Burdett’s Everyday Spelling. Sadlier’s Vocabulary Workshop is used in grades 7-8 to help increase word acquisition and improve spelling. Grade 8 also uses a supplemental vocabulary and spelling book.

In grades K-2, grammar skills are taught in conjunction with the literature program. Grades 3-5 use Houghton Mifflin’s English, and grades 6-8 use the Prentice Hall’s Writing and Grammar. In addition, Daily Oral Language is used in grades 2-8 to assist students in their grammar and proofreading skills.

The program Step Up to Writing is an all inclusive writing skills development program used in grades K – 8.

Social Studies

Grades K-5 use Scott-Foresmann History-Social Science for California. This series is a California-Standards-based program which engages students using text, digital content, and activities.

Grades 6-8 use McDougal-Littel’s World History or Creating America. In World History, stories are combined with research-based instruction which help students with reading and social science skills as they discover the past. In Creating America, students are motivated to interact with the past and see the impact of American history on their lives today.


Grades K–5 use Houghton Mifflin’s Discovery Works, and grades 6-8 use Prentice Hall’s Focus on Earth, Life and Physical Sciences. Both of these series reflect content that is based on the California Standards. Lab investigations enable students to construct science concepts in active and meaningful ways.