St. Gregory offers a variety of fine arts, academic, and extra-curricular enrichment programs and activities.
FINE ARTS ENRICHMENT
The Instrumental Music/Band Program helps our students obtain and retain sensitivity to music through performance. The importance of music education is no longer debated. Voluminous studies from major universities have concluded that learning a band instrument in a school setting provides a myriad of benefits to children. Studies have also proven that student academic performance does not suffer due to the band schedule. The finest schools in the country have instrumental music as a part of their curriculum.
The band is open to all students in grades 3 through 8, with or without experience. Band members have instruction during their Music special period. Additional large group rehearsals are not scheduled during academic time. Woodwinds, brass, and percussion instruments are offered. Music styles include classical, jazz, & pop. Those with more than one school year of experience perform in at least two concerts per school year. Beginners have their debut at the Spring concert.
All woodwinds, brass, and percussion instruments offered are introduced at the demonstration assembly held in May. An information/registration form is distributed to all students in third through eighth grade, detailing the tuition, registration, and rental/purchase instrument fees. This program is not a hobby, but a course of music requiring a school setting. Regular home practice is required, including: review of material from the band method book, scale studies, and sheet music selections. Band meets the Music Class requirement.
Music is taught to Pre-Kindergarten through 2nd grade at St. Gregory. Students in grades 3 through 8 may choose Music or Instrumental Music/Band. In Music, students are taught listening, singing, and rhythmic skills, which promote blend and correct pitch. During class, students prepare for liturgical and school celebrations by practicing with musical accompaniment. All students are exposed to music history, music theory and opera. In addition, students in grades four through eight may audition for the children’s choir. The children’s choir meets weekly and leads the student congregation in song at school masses and the Sunday 9am children’s liturgy mass. The choir also performs at various off campus events such as Christmas on Las Olas, a Marlins game, and a Panthers game to name a few.
Art is taught to Kindergarten through 2nd grade at St. Gregory. Students in grades 3 through 8 may choose between Art or Drama. The art program at St. Gregory recognizes that each of us has the capacity for thinking and living artistically. A primary focus is to teach student’s art history through the study of famous artists followed by a project that employs the artist’s style and medium. Various art tools and techniques are introduced in accordance with student developmental maturity. For instance, mastery of scissors, rulers, measuring, through to advanced tools such as X-Acto knives and tile cutting. Our curriculum teaches art processes in conjunction with the elements of design. Using a range of two and three-dimensional media, students learn to use a wide array of mediums to create original art work. Our art program ensures that each student has the opportunity to display their unique intelligence and higher level thinking skills through self-expression. Art as an expression of the soul and human condition is used to complement religious education and encourage community involvement.
The Drama Program at St. Gregory provides students in 3rd through 8th grades the opportunity to participate in the Theater Arts. While utilizing well-known plays, students take an active role on and behind the stage. Students are able to experiment with acting, choreographing, costume and set design, dancing, directing, music and vocal performance. The year’s activities culminate in a performance of a Broadway musical or play. Through the years, a select group of students have participated in the Regional and Florida State Junior Thespian Festivals. We have had several students achieve Excellent, Superior and Good levels in both the regional and state competitions.
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The Reading Enrichment and Development Program (R.E.A.D.) encourages students to develop a true enjoyment of reading for knowledge, as well as for pleasure. The R.E.A.D. Program provides lessons which assist students in learning to read with better accuracy, fluency, and comprehension. It complements and reinforces the reading skills taught in the regular classrooms for Pre-Kindergarten through Second Grade.
The goal of the Advanced Mathematics Program is to provide an organizational plan for accelerating students in mathematics to a level beyond the designated chronological grade equivalent. This goal meets the needs of those students capable of acceleration and enrichment in grades 4-8. This is determined by a combination of standardized test scores and cognitive skills indexes, classroom performance, and teacher evaluation. The proficient student will advance far beyond the middle school curriculum, often completing High School levels of Algebra I and Geometry by the end of the eighth grade year. In addition to the accelerated curriculum, the Advanced Mathematics Program fields math teams at every grade level (4-8) that compete in several mathematics contests on the local, state, and national level.
Catholic Math League (CML), a company in South Carolina, which specializes in the furtherance of excellence in mathematics skills since 1977, conducts a year-long eagerly-awaited mathematics contest on the internet throughout the United Sates. Their program divides the nation into various regions for competition purposes. St. Gregory School fits into the Southeast United States Region (encompasses nine states) and has competed in CML competitions for 3rd through 8th grades. Approximately 1,500 schools in the United States are reported to have entered this competition. St. Gregory Math Teams always achieve in the top 3%.
The IHM Sisters (Immaculate Heart of Mary) order of Catholic nuns has a rich tradition in teaching and is the leading congregation of teaching Sisters in the United States. They have a math competition in the country that invites hundreds of schools to compete. Over 1,500 students participate in this prestigious competition which has motivated and challenged above-average students. We always have first place winners.
The Science Lab encourages students to discover, explore, and investigate the natural world and the science principles behind it. In order to facilitate learning, students are engaged in numerous “hands-on” activities in the laboratory setting. Each classroom teacher brings their students to the science lab, where students work cooperatively in small groups, perform experiments using scientific equipment, and actively participate in scientific inquiry. Ultimately, the activities in the lab are designed to give students the opportunity to make scientific observations and predictions about the world around them.
The lab is furnished with up-to-date equipment, including a 75 gallon salt water aquarium with different varieties of fish and many different invertebrates, a fresh water aquarium, and live animals to encourage understanding of different ecological systems.
The Library Media Program is an essential part of St. Gregory the Great Catholic School. Library instruction is an ongoing developmental process. All students learn basic skills that expand through each grade level. The pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students are instructed on the use of the library by learning the orientation of the library, the care of books, and the process of checking out books. In the primary grades, students are introduced to the organization of the materials in the media center. Students learn about call numbers and are introduced to the Dewey Decimal System and the use of Destiny Quest. In the intermediate grades, the students are instructed on the use of different reference materials (dictionaries, thesauruses, atlases, almanacs, and encyclopedias), both in print and electronically. In the upper grades, students are instructed on how to approach, organize, and complete a research project. The use of a reference database, World Book Online, helps students in retrieving information. The media specialist works collaboratively with the classroom teacher and the computer lab instructor when working on classroom projects. The Accelerated Reader Program was incorporated into the curriculum in 2006 in an effort to improve student reading comprehension and lifelong reading enjoyment. The classroom teachers and the media specialist work together in the implementation of the program.
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. 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.
Computer instruction is provided to all students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. Internet access (with appropriate filtering software) is available in the classrooms as well as in the media center and the computer lab. Each of the classrooms, computer lab, and media center also has an interactive whiteboard with a laptop to use for instruction. In addition, a wireless mobile net book cart is available for students to use in their classrooms or in the media center for group projects.
Summer Solutions Summer School Program is designed to help our students succeed in all areas of studies. Courses are designed to improve academic skills, increase self-confidence and motivate students at all levels. The program is held for two weeks, right before we return to school. We hope that the program will give students a “jump start” into the next school year. We recognize that every student is capable of learning, and our goal is to create the positive, supportive environment necessary for learning success.
Learning Empowerment Program is offered to teach study skills to students after school. The program’s mission is to empower students who struggle to “learn how to learn”. Students are provided with a variety of opportunities to excel and master skills that will make their individual academic journeys more rewarding and successful.
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EXTRA CURRICULAR ENRICHMENT
Crusader Sports at St. Gregory the Great School is a strong after school athletics program. We offer Junior Varsity (5th and 6th grade) and Varsity (7th and 8th grade) levels, as well as both boys and girls teams. Our girls’ sports include Junior Varsity and Varsity Cheerleading, Junior Varsity and Varsity Basketball, Junior Varsity and Varsity Volleyball, Varsity Soccer, Softball, and Track. Our boys’ teams include Junior Varsity and Varsity Basketball, Junior Varsity and Varsity Volleyball, Varsity Soccer, Baseball, and Track. For more information, including the current athletic calendar, please visit Crusader Sports on the website.
Crusaders After School Program is a safe and happy away from home program for children who must remain on school grounds after school dismissal. Open until 6:00 PM on school days, the program provides professional care, supervision, recreation, enrichment activities and supervised homework time. The program is staffed by experienced and qualified personnel. The professionally-operated program allows children to experience a rich diversity of activities within a Catholic environment.
Camp Crusader Summer Camp is a multi-week summer camp for our school families. Camp is from 9am to 3:30pm each day, excluding holidays, with early drop-off available at 7:30am for no additional charge. Extended hours from 4pm to 6pm are available for a nominal charge per child. Lunch must be brought to camp each day. The program is flexible as you only pay for the weeks you select. The main camp is available for children entering Kindergarten through 8th grade in the fall. This program focuses on “fun” with a diverse set of activities such as arts & crafts, drama, dance, computers, games, cooking, science, sports, and off-site field trips. A special in-house only camp is available for children who will be entering Pre-K in the fall. This camp is held in our Pre-K building and offers many activities for your child to have fun explore and learn in a loving and safe environment.
Clubs, organizations, and academic competitive activities are offered at St. Gregory the Great School. These include, but are not limited to: Student Council, Junior Thespians, Choir, Band, Safety Patrol, Altar Servers, Yearbook Committee, Technology Club, Art Club, and Science Club. Academic competitive events include: Elocution, Essay contests, Mathematics competitions, Science Olympiad, Academic Olympics, Thespian Society, Art in the Park competition, Literary Fair, Geography Bee, and Spelling Bee.
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The St. Gregory the Great Pre-School Program seeks to encourage inquiry, foster self-discipline, promote an appreciation for family heritages, cherish tolerance and assist in the recognition of beauty, enabling each child to reach developmental milestones. The curriculum we use for our Pre-School Program is a child-centered, theme-based curriculum. It is the type of program that will nurture each child by offering developmentally appropriate learning experiences. It is based on the principle that children construct knowledge from active experiences in their environment. Our environment design will go hand in hand with this concept, and together will allow the child to explore and gather information without any limits. Children are viewed as active explorers and their teachers will serve as the architects of their environment.
Most importantly, the children will be taught the beautiful gift of God’s love for them. They see the gifts God gives them in their bodies and senses. They then learn of God’s love through family, friends, animals and environment. St. Gregory School recognizes the parent as the primary religious educator of the child. The Pre-School program promotes, encourages, and supports our parents in this joint endeavor and welcomes their involvement in the school. More detailed information about our preschool program can be found in the Parent-Student Handbook.