STCS PK - 8 Programs of Study
St. Therese Catholic School preschool is the only diocesan Catholic preschool in Pueblo. We are fortunate to have a director and assistant director with thirty-one combined years of experience working with preschool children. We use the High Scope Curriculum, Pre-K Saxon Math, and have monthly visits from Rawlings Library who brings us SPELL Kits and we do 4-5 fieldtrips a year.
Each child is recognized as a unique gift from God and is encouraged to develop in their own special way and time. Activities are provided to develop and enhance physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual development in a loving Christian environment.
Family is an intricate part of the St. Therese Catholic School preschool program. Parents and grandparents are encouraged to volunteer their time and talents. Younger siblings are always welcome.
Children socialize, explore and create in a variety of experiences. Language development provides reading readiness activities. Fine and gross motor development prepares children for reading, writing, math and physical education. Science, Math and Nutritional Health are developed through “hands-on” activities. Gradually, young children begin to experience our Faith through belonging to God’s family and participating in Christian community activities.
We believe the experiences a child has in their early years are of a lasting importance and will set the stage for future development and a lifelong love of learning.
Security and safety of our preschoolers is of the utmost importance. Doors are always locked and children are under supervision by a staff member at all times. Children are dismissed only to designated persons.
Within the Kindergarten reading program, children are introduced to all letters of the alphabet and their sounds. They will also learn sight-word vocabulary to prepare for first grade. Kindergartners also have the opportunity to work at their level and participate in small group activities to strengthen their emerging skills in reading. St. Therese Catholic School uses Saxon Phonics curriculum materials to support its reading program. Students learn the basic D’Nealian handwriting and practice making all the capital and lowercase letters and numbers.
In mathematics, Kindergartners use manipulatives to learn basic concepts. Students order numbers, work on one-to-one correspondence, learn about coins, make patterns and act out story problems. St. Therese Catholic School uses Saxon curriculum materials to support its reading program.
Many Science, Social Studies and Health themes are covered as presentations. Art processes are integrated into many student projects. Students learn that following directions matters most, not just the product.
Kindergartners participate in a complete enrichment program participating in Physical Education, Spanish, Music, and Religion classes with Mass on Wednesdays. Children learn prayers and that participating in service projects extends our faith into the community and our world.
The Kindergarten instructional program includes the Standards determined by the State of Colorado and many of our activities help to build a strong foundation for life-long learning.
In First Grade, students are stimulated to do their very best work, to have fun, and always be motivated to learn. Seeing the difference in children as they throughout First Grade is a rewarding experience for teachers and parents alike.
Within the First Grade reading Program, continue the work begun in Kindergarten mastering letter names, sounds, and building phonemic awareness. First graders improve their decoding skills, fluency rate, and reading comprehension through both oral and silent reading. Students also begin to build an independent reading habit using Accelerated Reading.
First Grade students are introduced to writing process skills; prewriting, drafting, revising, editing and publishing. Students are encouraged to use these skills for a variety of purposes. Students work on mastering their D’Nealian handwriting and punctuation within the context of spelling, writing assignments, and other writing projects.
Many Science, Social Studies and Health themes are covered as presentations in first grade. Art processes are integrated into many student projects.
Children grow and excel academically because of the program that is offered. This program is supported by: Saxon Math and Reading, McGraw-Hill Social Studies and Science, and a variety of other curricular materials.
2nd Grade Program
Second grade continues student work begun in first grade. Increased emphasis is placed on listening skills and speaking skills. Second graders continue to improve fluency and comprehension. Students also work to increase their vocabulary and develop their ability to summarize what they have read. St. Therese Catholic School recognizes it is vital to develop and foster the desire to read by engaging students in daily reading for pleasure, information and as a major tool for learning. In second grade we begin to assist our students in making the progression from “What does the passage say? To “What does it mean?
Second Grade students begin to develop an understanding of writing process skills; prewriting, drafting, revising, editing and publishing. Students learn to utilize these skills for a variety of purposes, especially learning.
In Second Grade, students not only work to improve their ability to compute accurately, they also develop an understanding of numbers, number systems, the meaning of operations, and estimation. Additionally students work on developing their understanding of measurement, patterns, and data collection.
Science, Social Studies and Health themes are presented and integrated in a variety of projects throughout the school year.
Integrated Art Projects highlight Second Grade curriculum. A Cast of Praying Hands for each child, Paper-Mache Gooney Birds, Gingerbread Houses, Easter Nests, Mother’s Day Cards and Bookmarks, Crosses for Easter, and Christmas Ornaments are some of the art projects students engage in.
It is at this level that we celebrate 1st Communicants at Mass with a breakfast and special dioramas.
3rd Grade Program
In Third Grade St. Therese Catholic School recognizes that the best way to insure good readers is to provide abundant opportunities to read. We develop and foster the desire to read by engaging the students in daily reading for pleasure, information, and as a major tool for learning in all subject areas.
Third Grade students develop a mastery of listening skills and begin to apply those skills within an academic environment. Students are challenged to use listening skills for a variety of purposes, especially learning,
Third Grade students develop an understanding of and use writing process skills; prewriting, drafting, revising, editing and publishing. Students learn to utilize these skills for a variety of purposes, especially learning. Students develop an appreciation of writing as a way of learning about one’s self and about the world. It is one of the most effective tools for learning in all subject areas.
All students deserve the opportunity to see themselves as writers. Students need to know that what they have to say is significant. They need ample opportunities for authentic writing -- writing that is useful and has meaning for them.
The art of verbal communication is a life-long skill which deserves attention. Many children today do not have the opportunity of conversing at any length with adults, and sometimes not even with other children. Third Grade provides regular lessons in oral communication beneficial to many students. Topics could include tuning out distractions, maintaining eye contact, asking questions to clarify, enunciating, and using appropriate body language. Communication lessons would be reinforced throughout the week by carrying out what is learned during the sessions.
Mathematics in Third Grade focuses on equivalent forms of whole numbers using extended notation, decimals and fractions. Students are also expected to continue develop procedural fluency with arithmetic computation, basic operations and estimation. Students continue to develop their understanding of measurement, spatial reasoning, patterns, relations, data collection, and data interpretation.
Science, Social Studies and Health themes are integrated throughout the Third Grade program and within a variety of projects throughout the school year.
Prayer is an integral part of Third Grade with a daily decade of the rosary. Book reports include project and oral presentations. Students practice paragraph writing and speaking with emphasis on constant cursive writing. Students learn the states and capitals and participate yearly in Junior Achievement.
Letter Grades and the Honor Roll are introduced at the Third Grade level.
4th and 5th Grade Programs
In the Fourth and Fifth Grades St. Therese Catholic School students continue to be provided abundant opportunities to read. We develop and foster the desire to read by engaging the students in daily reading for pleasure, information, and as a major tool for learning in all subject areas. This desire is enhanced by Renaissance Learning and Accelerated Reader.
Fourth and Fifth Grade students demonstrate mastery of listening skills and apply those skills within an academic environment during class presentations, Lectures and projects. Students are challenged to use their listening skills for a variety of purposes, and in a variety of venues.
Fourth and Fifth Grade students demonstrate their understanding of the writing process; prewriting, drafting, revising, editing and publishing. Students continue to utilize these skills for a variety of purposes, especially learning. Students create poetry, engage in essay writing, and produce several quarterly projects. Students maintain a portfolio of all writing samples to demonstrate growth and proficiency.
Spelling and vocabulary lists are obtained from the Houghton-Mifflin supporting text. Students receive an average of twenty five words weekly with a spelling rule. Students practice these words with their dictionaries, finding synonyms, and writing extended sentences. STCS Students look forward to participating in our annual “Spelling Bee” for grades three thru eight.
St. Therese Catholic School students learn science in three ways. Supported by the McGraw-Hill Science texts, we apply “hands-on, minds-on” activities in class presentations and experiments. All fourth and fifth grade students participate in enrichment activities such as the Science Olympiad, Science Fair. The program is supported by a full range of science equipment including microscopes, balance beams, models, pre-prepared slides, and full unit kits. Our inquiry science program is supplemented by an evolving collection of “Virtual Lab” experiences.
Mathematics in the fourth and fifth grades continues to develop procedural fluency with arithmetic computation, basic operations and estimation with expanded number sets. Students are also challenged to adapt their reasoning to different problem solving situations. Proportional logic is introduced at this time as well. Students continue to develop and apply their understanding of measurement, spatial reasoning, patterns, relations, data analysis, and algebraic reasoning in fourth and fifth grades.
The Social Studies program is designed for students to learn about the different regions, people, and land forms of the United States. Colorado History prepares students for a better understanding of Colorado’s history, cultures, symbols and land-forms. Students discuss current events, read local newspapers, and complete historic journals. Fourth and Fifth graders also participate in a history play annually.
Middle School Program
St. Therese Catholic School maintains a comprehensive college preparatory middle school academic program. Middle school classes are taught by fully certified / highly qualified content area teachers.
Reading and comprehension are essential to meet the academic and spiritual challenges of the 21st Century. To demonstrate proficient reading skills we cover a variety of genre, historical fiction, classics, poetry, folktales and biographies. Middle School students also reading analyze and discuss a variety of playwrights including Shakespeare. Each piece literature is systematically analyzed and discussed to help increase comprehension and vocabulary. Reading journals, quizzes and papers are all a part of the student’s assessment. Oral presentations are incorporated as an alternative assessment providing students the opportunity to develop their speaking and presentation skills.
At St. Therese Catholic School writing is a way of learning about one’s self and about the world. It is one of the most effective tools for learning in all subject areas. STCS students deserve the opportunity to see themselves as writers. They need to know that what they have to say is significant. They also need ample opportunities for authentic writing -- writing that is useful and has meaning for them.
To accomplish this, the middle school writing program instills confidence in the students’ ability to write through encouragement and positive feedback. Instruction in specific skills of grammar and usage integrated into the writing process. However, these mechanical skills are not allowed to overwhelm the students to the point of stifling their desire to write. The mechanics of writing are integrated with vocabulary and spelling. Students are encouraged to express themselves through short stories and poetry. Middle school students take full advantage of the technology available to engage in research, conduct web based literature searches, and create whole class unit presentations.
The middle school math curriculum culminates in a formal study of Algebra 1 in preparation for work in high school. Content at the sixth and seventh grade integrates all strands of math; number relationships and operations, algebraic thinking, geometry, data analysis & probability, and measurement. The instructional program is supported by Saxon Math materials as well as Renaissance Learning’s Accelerated Math. The eight grade Algebra students are expected to demonstrate competence with solving and graphing linear equations, quadratic equations, and systems of equations containing two variables.
The science curriculum encompasses Life, Earth and Physical Science. Each quarter there is a rotation through each of the science that follows the Colorado State standards. Thus all standards will have been taught within a three year cycle giving the student a true exposure to all of the science and state standards. “Hands-on, minds-on” activities round out the science curriculum. The science program is supported with labs, interactive technology, scientific writing, Science Olympiad, Science Fair and science readings.
Social Studies is broken into on a three year cycle. Each year is divided into quarters. The first quarter focuses on World History, beginning in Early Civilizations. The second quarter focuses on Geography, with an emphasis on practical map skills and land formations. The third quarter looks into American History, explorers and the founding of America. Finally, the fourth quarter is a look at Government, comparing other forms of government with our Democracy. There is always an emphasis on Current Events.
Religion Ed Program
The overall goal of religion classes at St. Therese Catholic School is to reach what we believe, celebrate, live and pray as Catholic Christians. This is achieved by teaching Catholic vocabulary and practices; and providing students the opportunity to act morally and justly to spread the Good News. Our ultimate goal is that learning will translate into faith.
Blest Are We by Silver Burdette Ginn is used in Kindergarten, but Walking by Faith published by Brown-Roa is used throughout the rest of the school. Classroom teachers use the Pflaum gospel as a weekly supplement on Fridays. Students are tested weekly on their comprehension of faith concepts.
All classes participate in weekly liturgies rotating through the grade each month. Students act as cantor, choir members, readers, servers and presenters of the offertory gifts. Celebrations include Advent and Lenten services, Stations of the Cross, May Crowning, special Masses, Faith Journeys, and Catholic Schools Week. Each day begins with prayers, scripture reading, and meditation. The rosary is always inclusive within the classroom. There are several community projects to reach out and serve the people of God within our community and the world.
Physical Education Program
The physical education curriculum attempts to provide developmentally appropriate activities for each growth level. The year culminates in the Presidential Challenge assessment. Team competition sports is provided by our community if families decide to participate.
Primary: At his level, we develop balance, safety in running in large groups, gross motor skills in running, jumping, skipping, galloping and throwing mechanics. Basic fitness concepts are introduced. Games at this level include tag, counting by one’s, two’s, five’s and ten’s, throwing and kicking. Basic sportsmanship concepts are addressed and non-competitiveness is encouraged.
Intermediate: One of the main components at this level is the development of sport-related skills. These skills include: dribbling in soccer and basketball, throwing and kicking in football, the basic rules and strategies of a variety of sports and fitness concepts. Students should practice appropriate sportsmanship and cooperate with and help others. Competitiveness is stressed at an individual level. Student’s are always encouraged to do one’s personal best.
Middle School: The student at this level is encouraged to participate in activities that are of interest to them and will provide the best opportunities for life-long physical activity. Sports related rules and strategies are expanded upon allowing students to develop an appreciation for a variety of sports and activities. Fitness is addressed in a more detailed manner allowing students to develop personal fitness programs that provide for life-long interest.
Health and Hygiene are also a part of the physical education program. Appropriate concepts and activities are addressed usually when inclement weather inhibits outdoor activity.
The method used for Spanish Language acquisition in K-5 grades is called TPR Story Telling. It is an instructional strategy based on Stephen D. Krashen and Tracy D. Terrell’s work in developing “The Natural Approach” and James Asher’s work in developing “Total Physical Response (TPR).” The goal is to allow students to learn a second language in much the same manner as they learn their first language; through the senses and comprehensible sensory input. This method was created in 1988 by Blaine Ray and it includes songs, stories and pictures in promoting long term retention of meaningful language.
Kindergarten: Students are able to say not only words, but full short sentences, answer questions, say “The Sign of the Cross,” and recite a small prayer to the Guardian Angel.
1st Grade: Students will comprehend and produce close to one hundred words and expressions which include colors, numbers, weather expressions, telling the date, answer simple questions with words or short sentences, say “The Sign of the Cross,” recite a small prayer to the Guardian Angel and pray the “Our Father.”
2nd – 5th Grades: Students are to master the above mentioned inclusive and include time, grammatical structures (personal pronouns, verbs and conjunctions, possessive pronouns, and direct and indirect objects). Stories are used for students to act out, read and/or fill in the blanks review worksheet. Students will write short sentences expressing simple situations and feeling. They learn the above prayers along with the “Hail Mary”, “Glory Be” and small prayers to bless our food.
Middle School: Students will reach a required level to be successful in a High School Spanish class. They will learn the alphabet, colors, numbers, weather expressions, telling the date and time, and grammatical structures as mentioned above. Students will understand, sustain and write correctly full conversations of common situations in their age groups, express feelings and ask for directions. Students will be expected to recite all of the above mentioned prayers.
Our goal in music is to not only teach our students to sing but also to understand music. To achieve this goal, we spend time looking at different composers in different eras and how their style of music was affected by and influenced the world around them. We also learn to read music and rhythms. These skills are practiced both in voice and use of simple instruments. The students put on two concerts, one during the Advent season and another in the Spring.