St. Gregory the Great Catholic School strives to affirm strong Catholic values and academic excellence. Our school offers an education that weaves together academics and Catholic faith formation to ensure life long learners and the development of responsible compassionate citizens. The Archdiocese of Miami defines the basic academic program. Critical thinking is stressed and students engage in a variety of hands-on, cooperative learning experiences. They use computers and interactive whiteboards and have access to the computer lab and media center to do research and problem solving activities. The faculty carefully analyzes standardized test results and modifies instruction to meet the student needs. The guidelines as well as standardized test results and a variety of other assessments are tools for planning, monitoring and evaluating the children’s work on a continuous basis. Teachers adapt instruction to meet the needs of every student, taking into account students’ unique learning styles. Extracurricular and enrichment activities round out the curriculum with a variety of choices for students to explore and excel at. Please see the Enrichment link for more information about the Fine Arts Program and additional enrichment programs we offer. A more specific overview of grade level curriculum programs will be available in the near future.
Religion comprises the heartbeat of our school. The goal for the religion curriculum is to instill in students an enthusiasm for living their Catholic faith, while providing an in-depth religious education including prayer, the sacraments, and services. Religion is also integrated throughout the curriculum. Classes participate in liturgies that celebrate a variety of themes directly relating to everyday living, as well as special occasions such as feast days of saints. Students in the second grade prepare for and receive the sacraments of Reconciliation and First Holy Communion while eighth graders prepare for and receive the sacrament of Confirmation.
The Language Arts curriculum incorporates reading, writing, speaking, listening, spelling, grammar, and vocabulary in assisting students in the acquisition of effective language skills. In addition to focusing on reading and comprehension, the linguistic approach to reading emphasizes word attack, language skills, and vocabulary. Phonics programs encourage the use of decoding strategies, and spelling is taught as both a reading and phonics skill. An emphasis on vocabulary development begins in the primary grades. In grades two through eight, students are expected to participate in the Accelerated Reader Program (AR). Accelerated Reader (AR) is a program in which students read a book and take a computer-based test to accumulate a certain number of points. Students are expected to read books within their reading range and level.
The Mathematics curriculum is based on the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Standards for School Mathematics (NCTM). Instruction is designed so students become confident mathematical problem solvers who are able to think, reason, and communicate processes and results. Students in the primary grades learn number sense, geometry, addition and subtraction through the use of manipulatives, workbooks, computer programs, and websites. At the intermediate level the focus is on whole number operations, fractions, and decimals. The Junior High focuses on the study of percentages, decimals, pre-algebra and algebra. An integral part of the mathematics program at St. Gregory is the use of daily maintenance sheets by grades three through eight. This constant reinforcement of previously taught skills helps students to achieve mastery. An advanced math program is available for students who meet specific testing criteria in grades five through eight.
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The Science curriculum provides students with a basic knowledge of science as it relates to their own experiences. Students utilize a hands-on science program that integrates and develops basic knowledge, investigative experience, and curiosity through student involvement. Sixth, seventh, and eighth graders use science texts that target the earth, life, and physical science strands covered in each individual year. The focus of sixth grade is earth science, while seventh grade centers on life science, and grade eight on physical science. All middle school science is supported by laboratory experience.
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The school’s Social Studies curriculum begins in grades one through three learning about communities and regions and their interactions. In fourth grade, the learning focus is on the geography and history of Florida. To further develop this knowledge, fifth grade students study geography and landforms along with the early development of our continent and country. In sixth grade the subject of world cultures and geography introduces students to a variety of global issues. This is followed by a two-year study of American History.
Technology is integrated in all classes at St. Gregory the Great as well as in the Media Center. St. Gregory the Great Catholic School acknowledges that students and staff must have the confidence and ability to use and understand the technology required to meet the demands of society. Computer instruction is provided to all students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. In pre-kindergarten through second grade, the computer lab is primarily used as a resource to enhance classroom instruction through educational games and activities. Students in second grade are also introduced to proper keyboarding skills. Students use the sites on the St. Gregory S.P.o.T.S. website, which stands for Student, Parent, or Teacher Sites. In the older grades, students use Microsoft Office 2010 to create documents (Word), develop desktop publishing projects (Publisher), produce graphs and tables (Excel), and create presentations (PowerPoint). Topics of study also include keyboarding, internet safety, and internet research skills.
Technology skills are not taught as a separate curriculum, but rather used as a tool to enhance the classroom content. Skills are introduced and reinforced over multiple grade levels before mastery is attained. Skills are taught and assessed within the context of curriculum-related activities whenever possible. Projects that integrate technology are often done at home and during school, using the computer lab and media center as a resource.
Spanish classes are offered to all students in grades kindergarten through eight. The Spanish curriculum covers the areas of listening, oral, reading, and writing skills. The primary program (K-4) requires students to comprehend, in Spanish, simple questions and basic vocabulary pertaining to everyday life. Students are required to follow directions relating to classroom business in Spanish and demonstrate an ability to sing or repeat songs, poems, and rhymes. They use greetings and expressions of courtesy; and are able to count and identify numbers and colors, and parts of the body. They listen to stories in Spanish and write simple sentences that communicate basic ideas. The intermediate program (5-8) enriches and extends the student’s studies. Thematic units covered include the family, geography of Latin American countries, Spanish-speaking cultures, the arts, school subjects, and idiomatic expressions. Students demonstrate an understanding of the Spanish language through songs, puppet shows, role-playing and video skits.
Physical Education classes assist in the development of physical, motor, and developmental skills, while teaching the importance of teamwork and providing lifetime fitness skills. The primary purpose of the pre-kindergarten through second grade physical education program is to enable younger students to begin developing competence in fundamental movement skills through a variety of movement experiences. Loco motor, non-loco motor, spatial awareness and manipulative skills are introduced and practiced according to age and ability. Grades three through eight have the opportunity to apply fundamental movement skills. More complex and integrated movement patterns and games are presented that focus on individual and team sport skills. The activities are modified to the age level as well as the individual student. Each student also takes part in the President’s Physical Fitness program and charts their achievements over six years. Every year students participate in a school-wide Field Day. Emphasis is placed on providing students with a variety of activities and allowing them to discover their strengths, needs, likes, and dislikes.
The Fine Arts curriculum develops and stimulates the artistic abilities inherent in all children. Art and Music develop many valuable skills, including physical and mental coordination, self-expression, group participation, and cooperation. Fine Arts Education is an essential part of the school curriculum. It allows the child to express him/herself aesthetically, balancing the intellectual side of the brain with the artistic side of the brain. As a universal language, music and art can be interpreted and understood to some extent by all children. Students in third through eighth grade have a choice of taking Art or Drama, and Band or Music.
Please see the Enrichment link for more information about our Fine Arts Program and additional Enrichment programs we offer.