Curriculum

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St. Athanasius students consistently achieve standardized class test scores in the top 10% of the nation.


Highlights of Our Curriculum


MATH

  • Students in K-5th grade use Math in Focus. Mathematicians are problem solvers first. When children can't find the meaning in numbers and symbols, problem-solving is a struggle. Math in Focus helps students learn the language of math. Through hands-on learning, visualization, and pictorial representations, their understanding, confidence, and love of math grows. 

  • Beginning in 6th grade, students with strong math aptitude are placed into an honors track, allowing students to take honors algebra (or geometry at the high school level) in 8th grade. Students in our grade level math program take algebra as 8th graders, providing them the foundation to be successful in math at the high school of their choice.


READING & LANGUAGE ARTS

  • In 2022, grades 1-4 adopted Wit & Wisdom, which brings the rich content everyone loves into the school day. Classrooms are places where students and teachers encounter wit, wisdom, wonder, rigor, and knowledge, so literature, history, art, and science all have a place in ELA instruction. Wit & Wisdom helps students meet the expectations of standards-based curriculum while celebrating the joys of reading and writing.

  • Grades JK-3 focus on explicit phonics instruction and phonemic awareness through Jolly Phonics, Fundations, and Heggerty.

  • Students in grades K-4 have library class once a week in our newly refurbished and updated school library. 

  • After lunch and recess, students in grades 1-8 enjoy DEAR (Drop Everything And Read) time, where they are able to read for enjoyment and refocus for the rest of the school day.


SCIENCE AND SOCIAL STUDIES

  • Teachers engage students in civics across all grade levels through current events, discussions related to social justice, and community service involvement.\

  • Introduces social studies in K-2 (i.e. study of families, local community, citizenship); moves to U.S. government, history and climate from 3-6; and culminates in grades 7-8 with U.S. and World History, democracy and cultural diversity. All students in grade 8 take the Constitution test, per state requirements.

  • Science class integrates hands-on opportunities with standards-based instruction from K-8. From 5-8, experiments focus on earth, physical, and life sciences. Junior High students take an experiential approach to concepts such as buoyancy, friction, volume, density and chemical reactions, dissections, and chemical experiments. 

  • Seventh and 8th grade students participate in our annual school science fair, and many earn the opportunity to go to regionals and state. 


RELIGION

  •  Emphasis is placed on developing a relationship with God and in learning historical and biblical facts and Tradition. Students are introduced to religious traditions different from their own too. 

  • All students participate in weekly celebration of the Mass on Wednesdays, and students who are Catholic in grades 2 and 8 receive their respective sacraments - First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion in 2nd grade, Confirmation in 8th grade.

  • All grades, especially 8th grade, focus on service to enhance an understanding of community, charity, and social justice while assisting local, national, and international causes.


FOREIGN LANGUAGE AND SPECIALS

  • St. A's offers French and Spanish language from K-8. As high school freshmen, most St. A’s graduates place into 2nd year French and Spanish — many place into 2nd year honors French and Spanish.

  • Our visual arts program includes art production, history, and criticism from JK through 8th grade.

  • Music education focuses on rhythm, composition, melody, expression, harmony and music heritage from JK-8.

  • Teachers regularly use leading-edge technology in our dedicated STEM lab and computer lab as well as with interactive white boards, iPads, and laptop Apple computers.

  • St. A's promotes physical education and emotional well-being through movement, teamwork, competition, and fair play, especially in PE class, which occurs twice per week at all grade levels. We have two outdoor play structures, an outdoor classroom, and an all-weather turf park as well as a gym. 


Our Students won gold and silver at the State Science Fair from 2015 through 2020, and received the regional Top School Award at the Illinois Junior Academy of Science (IJAS) Expos in 2015, 2016, 2018, 2020, 2021, and 2022.







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