St. John Regional Catholic School is accredited by the Southern States Association of Colleges and Schools. We provide a strong academic program that incorporates Catholic identity in all subject areas. Our curriculum is based on the Elementary Course of Study as prescribed by the Archdiocese of Baltimore. It is aligned with national standards and the regulations of the Maryland State Department of Education for non-public schools. Our academic program includes grades Pre-K through grade 8. Each grade level incorporates content and activities that are developmentally appropriate.
The Catholic faith is taught each day to all students at SJRCS. Students reach a deeper understanding of the faith through instruction that focuses on each and every student realizing their importance as a child of God. Across the grades students are taught prayers, Bible stories, how to use a Bible, the parts of the Mass, the importance of God, Jesus, Mary, and the saints in their lives, and the basic teachings of Jesus. The students at SJRCS attain an appreciation for the history of our faith through a church history course, will create awareness to the foundations of the faith through examination of our creed, and continue to grow as Christian individuals as they examine morality and how to apply it in their everyday lives. Students regularly participate in service projects as they reach out to those less fortunate than themselves to fulfill their obligation to those Jesus speaks when he said: “Whatsoever you do to the least of my people, you do unto me.”
In a typical school day, approximately an hour and a half is devoted to instruction in language arts in each classroom. Developing a strong literacy foundation is a top priority at SJRCS. With the Super Kids phonics program implemented in grades Kindergarten and One, students receive a heavy focus on letter knowledge and phonological awareness. Students continue to develop fine motor control to draw and write while exploring the crucial basics of punctuation and decoding. Also, in the lower primary grades, solid fundamentals in the comprehension of short fictional and non-fictional text are established.
In the upper primary grades and middle school, students attain the necessary skills to become excellent writers. There is emphasis on grammar structure and paragraph writing in second and third grade, and in fourth and fifth grades students define the elements of plot and demonstrate the ability to write autobiographies and plays. Students in the middle grades write and deliver a 4 to 5 minute speech as part of a middle school competition, write two different types of research papers utilizing MLA format, and continue developing basic skills as they recognize qualities of nouns, including person, number, gender, and case use nouns and pronouns as indirect objects, subject complements, and direct address. Eighth grade curriculum includes a unit on Shakespeare.
Students in the primary grades are offered manipulative math programs where children are encouraged to handle and experience number concepts before being expected to perform paper and pencil tasks. Starting in fourth grade, students are ability grouped by class for math lessons. This is done using a teacher constructed matrix of scores and other indicators to determine proper placement. Movement between the two groupings is designed to be fluid to meet the changing needs of our students. Students’ math performance is established through the examination of the standards of concepts, computation, and problem solving. Each lesson and activity addresses these specific standards to gain a well-rounded picture of the student’s progression through our math curriculum.
In middle school, accelerated students are offered pre-algebra in the seventh grade and then have the potential to take high school algebra in the eighth grade. This enables them the option to move directly into geometry in the ninth grade and complete a year of calculus before graduation.
Through close inquiry of life, earth, and physical science, students at SJRCS are given the opportunity to view the world in a different light. Across the grade spectrum, students begin to establish core knowledge in science topics as they discover various topics such as the food chain, plant cycle, sources of energy, weather, the solar system, rocks, land forms, and simple machines. Students are further able to experience the vast world of science as they utilize the state of the art science lab located on the SJRCS campus.
Social Studies at SJRCS combines elements of history, geography, economics, and political science. Through a variety of instructional methods, students attain a conscious awareness of themselves as individuals and the community and culture in the world around them. All grades deal with the development of map skills, interpretation of graphs and chart data, and cause /effect. The concentration on note taking, research, and the analysis and synthesis using as much primary source information is the focus in the upper primary and middle grades. Students are also extremely fortunate to attend a school located in an area of the country rich in history, which causes topics in this area to come alive.
There's weekly instruction in our fully networked computer lab, to provide students with skills necessary to utilize technology in other studies. All classrooms also have computers for student use.
Grades K-8 receive weekly instruction in our well-equipped art lab. The art room kiln makes it possible to include pottery lessons. The program helps support regular classroom content. Community outreach endeavors include poster contests and more.
All students, from Pre-K – 8, receive weekly instruction, with emphasis on rhythm, movement and song. Older students learn music notation and music history, as well. Students in grades 4-8 may also participate in weekly instrumental band instruction (for a fee) with an instrument of their choice.
During gym class at St. John’s we focus on working together as a team. Each week we strive to become stronger by performing push-ups and sit-ups with our focus on learning proper technique. During class activities it is important that classes work together and encourage one another through teamwork and good sportsmanship. Each week one class is rewarded on how well they perform together as a team. As Catholics our focus is to learn that people are different and to respect those differences is important even through physical fitness.
FLEX (Foreign Language Experience)
Students in grades 5-8 will participate in the FLEX foreign language program. This is a sampler program where students are exposed to a different language each year. FLEX will allow students to explore and experience a variety of languages over a four year period. The goals of the program include:
All students in Kindergarten through grade 8 receive weekly Physical Education, Art, Music, and Computer classes. Students in grades 5-8 receive foreign language and students in Kindergarten – 4th grade have library.
Kindergarten Curriculum (full day)
The SJRCS Kindergarten program uses Superkids as a comprehensive core reading program. No reading program more effectively teaches children how to read, so by the time they leave the primary grades they are fluent readers and nothing can hold them back. Superkids is built on systematic phonics, balances all five essential elements of reading, integrates reading, writing, spelling, and grammar, and combines rigor with fun.
“Go Math” is the program that SJRCS follows for our Kindergarten math curriculum. This program combines fresh teaching approaches with components that offer everything needed to address the rigors of new standards and assessments. “Go Math” helps children interact with lessons in new ways as they record their strategies, explanations, solutions, practice, and test prep right in their books. Go Math contains a practical, point-of-use support that is built into each lesson so all learners, advanced children or those needing extra support, can achieve success in the classroom.