The Catholic Faith
At All Saints Catholic School, the Catholic faith is the cornerstone of our teaching and way of life. Daily announcements begin with the Gospel reading of the day and are followed by morning prayers in each classroom. On a daily basis a class from the school is represented at 8:30 am Mass at Corpus Christi Church. In addition the entire school attends a monthly Mass at Corpus Christi Church con-celebrated by priests from the five parishes that encompass the school.
As Catholics, parents are given the first charge at Baptism to be the first teachers of the faith to their children. With that in mind, we continue to build on the faith experiences you provide for your children.
Religion is a major curriculum area. The religion program at All Saints Catholic School provides a foundation on which to develop Catholic values in each student. At each level the key concepts include: Knowledge of the Faith, Liturgical Education, Moral Formation, Teaching to Pray, Education for Community Life and Missionary Initiation.
Each theme is developed in an age appropriate manner so that the students have an understanding of how these practices are essential to living our Catholic faith.
All Saints Catholic School provides meaningful worship experiences for the classroom and whole school community on a regular basis.
The celebration of the Eucharist (at Mass) is an important part of the religious program. Monthly school wide liturgies are planned; along with a rotating schedule of daily class Masses. Other prayer experiences include Advent and Lenten services, Stations of the Cross, Reconciliation services and opportunities to pray the Rosary.
Throughout the school year, the students participate in a variety of service projects helping them understand service to others is an important part of our faith.
All Saints Catholic School is a regional school in the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington and the first to offer a STEM curriculum.
STEM has become a common acronym, particularly among policy advocates and government officials, for the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. The term is commonly used in relation to the nation's economic competitiveness and the related need for education programs in support of future generations.
The Committee of Ten at Harvard first used the term STEM in the late 1890’s, in response to gaps in the agrarian school system of the 1800’s. STEM described the attributes of a good industrial school system that would raise the standards of excellence for modern students. In many forums the strength of the STEM workforce is viewed as an indicator of a nation's ability to sustain itself.
Today, STEM is being used to bridge the gap being felt by US students throughout the world in education. The program has been strongly endorsed by Presidents for the past twelve years in addition to members of Congress and groups representing all sectors of the technological workforce – from knowledge workers, to educators, to scientists, engineers, and technicians.
At All Saints Catholic School the STEM curriculum is not just learning about the subjects but also understanding how they are interwoven with other disciplines, careers and our daily lives. In addition the school day has been expanded, offering an extra period to enhance curriculum. The extra time is intended to bring STEM studies to life allowing the student to be actively involved in a learn by doing environment.
Science education at ASCS utilizes LabLearner, designed to develop students’ cognitive “tools” in approaching science concepts, critical thinking, and problem solving in a lab-based environment. It affords a coherent sequence of related scientific concepts that prepare students for secondary science. Various assessments are integrated throughout the span of the curriculum. While the assessments vary in style, from lab-based performance assessments to traditional written assessments, they are all designed to draw upon each student’s experiences within the lab.
Each topic of discovery in the LabLearner program is called a “cell” or Core Experience Learning Lab. Within each “cell” may be found a parent newsletter describing what students will be learning, a teacher overview describing the significance of the topic’s main points, multiple experiments, an experiment journal for student recording and note taking, and correlated standards with state requirements.
The LabLearner curriculum was written around basic scientific concepts. These concepts were identified after careful research and focus group work with classroom teachers, practicing curriculum developers, and practicing scientists in all the basic scientific disciplines. (See CELL Framework below.)
Kindergarten: Beginning Explorations, Making and Recording Observations, Using Math, Making Measurements, Using and Making Models, Exploring Time and Sequence
Grade 1: Our Senses, Staying Safe, Properties of Solids and Liquids, Discovering Life, Plants and Animals, Weather Changes.
Grade 2: Weight and Volume, The Earth’s Surface, Earth’s Changing Surface, Water Cycle and Its Phases, Health and Hygiene, Investigating Sound.
Grade 3: Properties of Matter, Magnets, Exploring Electricity, The Human Body, Our Solar System, The Sun and Your Skin.
Grade 4: Microscopes and Magnification, Chemistry, Matter and interactions, Forms of Energy, Ecosystems and Adaptations, Biomes, Light and Optics, Examining Nutrition.
Grade 5: Work and Simple Machines, Earth’s Forces, Investigating Heat, Microscopic Explorations, Eukaryotes, Inheritance and Adaptations, Exploring Density.
Grade 6: Properties of Matter, The Changing Earth, Weather and Erosion, Space, The Universe, Kinetic and Potential Energy, Sound Waves and Pressure, Light, Plant Structure and Classification, Photosynthesis, Watersheds.
Grade 7: Atmosphere, Clouds and Storms, Cellular Organization, Genes and Proteins, Body Plans and Development, Cell Cycle and Cancer, Adaptation, Classification, Solutes and Solubility, Atomic Structure, Chemical Reactions.
Grade 8: Heat and Heat Transfer, Acids and Bases, Geologic Time, Ecosystems, Locomotion, Friction, Flight, Simple Machines, Electricity and Magnetism.
The LabLearner program uses real scientific equipment, appropriate to the age and grade levels. In the elementary program, students will use pan balances, microscopes, hand lenses, anemometers, graduated cylinders and more. At the middle school level students use oil immersion microscopes, oxygen meters, spectrophotometers, triple beam balances, a range of measurement glassware, and more.
The focus on technology at ASCS is two-fold. It involves both teacher instruction and student learning. The pervasive attitude must be one that encourages both teachers and students to incorporate technology with an attitude of openness, discovery, and risk-taking.
For teachers, professional development will enhance the technology skills and versatility they already possess and demonstrate. One goal is to utilize technology as a frequent companion to other tools of instruction.
Students are digital natives; they have not known a world without the many advantages provided through technology. For their use the computer lab at ASCS has been upgraded with new equipment. In addition, a classroom research computer will be available in all rooms along with the research computers in the school library.
The technology curriculum aligns with the National Technology Education Standards (NETS) of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) and the Delaware Computer Skills Growth Chart. Both documents guide technology instruction during the weekly 45-minute technology class and in the integration of technology in classroom instruction across all disciplines.
The desire is to introduce students at all grade levels to engineering thinking that occurs in everyday living, to afford them the opportunity to read and see engineering in action, and to provide them with hands-on experiences that connect with engineering. Such a vision requires teachers to expand their understandings and experiences so that they may, in turn, broaden students’ perspectives. To this end professional development for teachers will include programming that addresses engineering.
Each school in the Diocese of Wilmington is expected to teach the mathematics standards published by the Catholic Schools Office. These standards are based upon the six principles and ten standards postulated by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and aligned with the state standards of Delaware and Maryland. Beginning in 2013/2014, teachers are implementing the Common Core Standards.
The six principles describe particular and important features of high quality mathematics education related to equity, curriculum, teaching, learning, assessment and technology. The ten standards describe the mathematical content and processes that students should learn. There are five content standards – Number and Operations, Algebra, Geometry, Measurement, Data Analysis and Probability – which describe what students should learn. There are five process standards – Problem Solving, communication, Reasoning and Proof, Connections, and Representation – which highlight important and crucial ways of acquiring and using content knowledge.
In addition to the grade level curriculum, there is a middle school accelerated mathematics program, beginning in sixth grade, for students who meet the entrance criteria. The accelerated mathematics program culminates in the Algebra I program in the eighth grade.
With regard to instruction in all curriculum areas, it is always the standards that must be taught, not one particular program. The resources of a program assist in meeting the standards of a discipline. At present the following text resources are used: Harcourt, Prentice Hall, Saxon, and Scott Foresman. The variety of text resources affords various approaches to meet the standards. In addition, there are manipulative, technology, and other resources available for teachers to develop student understanding.
In the schedule of minutes for instruction provided by the Catholic Schools Office, 45 minutes daily is allotted for mathematics. The extended time in mathematics instruction at All Saints School affords teachers and students the opportunity to delve into mathematics and make cross-curricular connections with science, technology and engineering topics. It is not the expectation of extended time to move “faster or further” but rather to engage more “deeply and meaningfully” in mathematics education.
Mathematics instruction will provide for whole class and smaller group instruction to meet the abilities and needs of learners. Through differentiating instruction in the classroom and through resource support, as needed, students will receive the attention required to develop content and skills. Co-curricular learning will enrich the mathematics program and help students to see the fun and interesting applications of mathematics education.
The attainment of the mathematics standards is assessed in a variety of ways – teacher-constructed assessments, text-constructed assessments, and standardized assessments. These assessments evaluate knowledge, understanding, application and communication skills of learners. In particular, the annual TerraNova results allow the parent, teacher and school to determine whether or not both curriculum and instruction is succeeding for each student and grade.
The Language Arts curriculum of the Diocese of Wilmington is a K-12 plan for the inclusion of reading, writing, listening, speaking, and thinking. It is designed to accomplish five major goals:
1. Students will become independent and fluent readers and read a variety of materials.
2. Students will write clearly and concisely with variety in content and forms for different audiences and purposes.
3. Students will speak articulately and purposefully to different audiences.
4. Students will become active listeners to a variety of sources.
5. Students will access, view, evaluate, and respond to print and non-print resources.
In addition to these goals, beginning in 2013/2014, the Common Core Standards will be applied to our current curriculum.
These significant goals will allow students to develop language and communication skills so as to function effectively in a complex society.
To accomplish the expectations of Language Arts sufficient time must be provided. In Early Childhood and primary grades (PK-2), a significant amount of time is expended each day in Language Arts instruction. In Grades 3-8, two 45 periods (or a 90 block) is devoted to Language Arts instruction.
Art guidelines are aligned with Delaware and Maryland state standards. The guidelines encourage learning about art, creating art, and appreciating art.
Music includes music theory as well as music appreciation. Over the course of years at ASCS students will be introduced to a wide spectrum of music from a variety of cultures.
Physical Education & Health
Students will develop healthy bodies to complement their healthy minds. Weekly exercise as well as learning about and playing various games and sports will form the physical education program.
The study of a world language is important to expand students’ fluency and appreciation of Spanish. The celebration of Spanish culture is an important element of this curriculum.