Grades Pre-K – 4 experience the Spanish language and culture through direct instruction once a week for 30 minutes. This program introduces basic vocabulary, salutations and phrases using a multi-sensory approach to learning. Letter grades are not given in grades Pre-K – 2.
In grades 5 – 8, Spanish is taught for 35 minutes twice a week. The upper grades have a more formal program; books are used and students receive a letter grade. Emphasis is placed on developing vocabulary, learning salutations, action verbs, numbers, holidays, months, etc. Through a multi-sensory approach, students begin to speak, read and write Spanish. Native speakers are challenged, and their learning expectations are geared more towards the reading and writing of the language. In addition, Spanish geography is reviewed, and customs and traditions of Spanish-speaking countries are explored.
Pre-K – 8 students have formal computer class on a weekly basis as coordinated by the classroom teacher. The curriculum includes identification of computer hardware, keyboarding, word processing, database, spreadsheet, and multi-media experiences. Additionally, the learning of technology skills through activities, lessons, practices and discussion form a full scope and sequence technology curriculum.
Students use the computers as a tool in the classroom to practice skills, and produce projects and presentations. The youngest students in grades Pre-K – 2 use iPads, students in grades 2 – 4 use Google Chromebooks and older students in grades 5 – 8 use wireless Macintosh notebooks for use in the classroom for curriculum based work. Pre-School students begin to use iPads in the spring.
Art and Music
Our art program provides an opportunity for students to improve their drawing, painting and coloring abilities; it exposes them to the work of past and present artists from around the world and it lets students explore and experience other art mediums. The art program not only gives students an outlet for self-expression, but also enhances the development of important skills. such as visual perception, spatial organization, critical thinking and problem solving skills. The K-8 art program follows the California State Standards and is taught by the classroom teachers and/or volunteers through specific projects or by having art integrated into other curricular areas.
All grades have music class with Ms. Bayse once per week. The music curriculum includes singing, reading music, playing percussion instruments and recorders. In addition, every grade puts on a musical performance for the community once a year. 5th-8th graders who love to sing may choose to join a voluntary choir, which meets once per week during school hours, and performs a variety of modern choral arrangements at community events.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel School offers an Enrichment Program to students who consistently perform at a high level of academic excellence. Annually student participation in the program is reviewed. The criteria for placement in this program is based upon academic performance as evidenced by high grades, standardized test scores, teacher recommendations and observation. Students must also be able to work cooperatively and independently on special projects developed by the Enrichment Teacher.
The instruction for the enrichment curriculum centers on critical thinking skills, problem solving, cooperative learning groups and an emphasis on divergent styles of learning. The Enrichment Program is available to students in grades two through five and limited to a maximum of seven students per grade level. Students in this program will receive instruction weekly. Our Lady of Mount Carmel School recognizes the value of meeting the needs of all students and is committed to the highest standards of excellence in academics.
The goal of this program is to ensure that each child in the school community will experience the most successful, self affirming learning environment in listening, speaking, reading, writing and spelling. This balanced instructional program affords students the opportunity to speak, ask questions, and listen in a small group setting. Students are expected to achieve to their highest potential and always do their best work. This instruction supports the students’ successful participation in the regular classroom. Specific guidelines for the program are available in the school office. A credentialed resource specialist provides this instruction four days a week for students who qualify, in grades 1-5.
Families of students in the Resource Program are given documents that clearly define the program and the process by which a student begins and exits the program. Students in the program and their work are reviewed at least once a year through the Student Success Team approach. Students may only move in and out of the program at a review and recommendation of the Student Success Team members who may include the classroom teacher(s), resource specialist, tutors, principal and school counselor. As professionals, they best understand the needs of the student in light of testing, performance and expectations within the regular classroom. In addition, a credentialed resource specialist is available to do academic testing for students at all grade levels.
A Resource Specialist tracks students in grades six through eight who were part of the Resource Program in early grades or have been identified with specific learning differences. The Resource Specialists are also available to help upper grade teachers acquire testing or special services for students needing additional support. Junior high students identified with special needs may be given support with study skills, note taking, test preparation, and/or organizational strategies.