Reviews of Saint Nicholas School
The primary goal of our program at St. Nicholas School is to provide learning experiences in a Catholic environment, which will assist the students in their religious, moral, intellectual, social, emotional, and physical development. To this end, throughout all the grades, the students learn about the message and person of Jesus Christ and the history, doctrines, and practices of the Catholic Church. We aim to instill into our students a spirit of prayer, a respect for the rights of others as individuals and groups, and a development of moral and spiritual values upon which they can shape their future lives.
All areas of the child's development are permeated within an atmosphere of Christianity. Teamwork is accentuated, resulting in a well-rounded, well-adjusted learner. Report cards are given out every trimester, and Parent/Teacher Conferences are held biannually. Progress reports are given throughout marking periods.
St. Nicholas 8th graders have earned hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships from our outstanding local Catholic high schools: St. Peter's Prep, Hudson Catholic, Marist, St. Dominic Academy, Xavier, Notre Dame Academy, and many others. In addition, our graduates are routinely accepted to the highly competitive McNair Academic, High Tech, and County Prep high schools. All of this can be attributed to the effective academic program established at the school.
The Pre-Kindergarten offers a full day program for three and four year olds that provides academics with hands-on experiences within a Christian atmosphere. Emphasis is placed upon social, emotional, and educational development. The age-appropriate setting involves the Houghton Mifflin Pre-K Curriculum, which allows each child to develop and flourish at his or her own individual pace and promotes self-worth and self-esteem. Handwriting, pre-reading skills, mathematics, social studies, and science are all infused into the theme-based curriculum. Students enjoy art projects, music, gym class, and technology classes. Kindergarten readiness is a focus of the program.
The Kindergarten offers a full day program which introduces the structure of formal learning. The program is well balanced between the utilization of hands-on experiences and the use of academic foundations such as reading, handwriting, mathematics, art, social studies, science, and physical education. Kindergarten uses a guided reading approach to literacy skills to ensure all students are challenged at their own instructional level. The Reading Street Series from Scott Foresman supplements the guided reading program.
Grades 1 - 8
Various teaching techniques are used to facilitate learning. Cooperative learning, small group instruction, hands-on manipulatives, integrated use of technology, critical and logical thinking skills are among the basic approaches used to reinforce the individual student’s learning style.
The Archdiocese of Newark's Schools Office uses a curriculum mapped from Kindergarten through high school. The math curriculum from Kindergarten through high school was carefully examined and mapped into a cohesive whole math curriculum. This project ensured that students are taught using a smooth and continuously progressing curriculum that challenges all students. Our math curriculum meets or exceeds the Common Core Curriculum Standards adopted across the United States.
The program emphasizes basic math facts, word problems, and computational skills in the primary grades, and these, in turn, increase in difficulty and complexity as the students progress through the grades culminating with pre-algebra and algebra in the 7th and 8th grades. Click here for detailed math curriculum: Math Curriculum PreK-Grade 12
English Language Arts Curriculum
The Archdiocese of Newark's Schools Office uses a mapped English Language Arts Curriculum and is used in all schools from Kindergarten through high school. Our ELA curriculum meets or exceeds the Common Core Curriculum Standards adopted across the United States.
The Integrated Language Arts approach is used at St. Nicholas School. There exists a sequential and creative development of reading comprehension, vocabulary, phonics, proper grammar usage, spelling, creative writing, oral speaking skills, listening, and handwriting.
Click here for detailed ELA curriculum: ELA Curriculum PreK - Grade 12
Technology is a focus of the schools of the Archdiocese of Newark given its importance in the global workforce of the 21st century. Technology has been shown to:
Following the Archdiocese of Newark's Technology curriculum standards, students from Pre-K to 8th grade are taught different terminology, parts, and uses of the computer, keyboarding, proper Internet use and safety, online research, and digital projects.
As well, students are taught the use of computer programs such as MS Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher), Inspiration, Kidspiration, Kid Pix, and even coding skills.
Click here for the Technology Curriculum adopted by the Archdiocese of Newark: Technology Curriculum PreK-Grade 12
Formal Technology classes are held weekly by the school's Technology Instructor. In addition, teachers integrate technology into the subject-areas through the use of chromebooks, iPads, and a second Computer Lab. Each lab has 30 Internet accessible computers to allow students adequate time to develop technology skills essential for today's students.
Junior high students use Google Suite Applications such as Google Classroom, Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms to ensure 21st Century Technology skills and the essential preparation for the rigor and variety of high school curriculum.
The school has an upgraded Verizon Fios high speed Internet service built on high speed wifi access points staged throughout the school. All classrooms have Interactive Smartboards to take advantage of on-line learning available to enhance the curriculum and broaden student learning experiences.
STEM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Math) Program
St. Nicholas School has continued to enhance and improve the educational experience utilizing an integrated approach. For 2018-2019 the school offers a STEM Maker Space classroom where students will build solutions to problems using a combination of Science - Technology - Engineering - and Math. Our Maker Space classroom allows students to work collaboratively to develop solutions using the Engineering Design Process which is a series of steps engineers must take to develop solutions to problems. Exposure to this type of program has been shown to pique student interest in STEM careers and perhaps pave the way towards careers which will ensure our nation's global competitiveness and economic stability.
The Archdiocese of Newark's Schools Office is undertaking a project to review and align the science curriculum using Next Generation Science Standards. St. Nicholas School is presently implementing STEM Engineering techniques into our science program at all levels. All three themes of Life Science, Earth Science, and Physical Science are taught. A science lab is available to the students for hands-on experiential learning. The Pearson on-line science program is used in the junior high and is enhanced with chromebooks for all students.
New for 2018-2019: We are building a MakerSpace classroom to further enhance our STEM program. Students will have access to 3D printers and other technology to bring 21st learning to all students in Grades K-8.
The Social Studies curriculum aims to develop an appreciation of family, neighborhood, community, nation, and the world at large in St. Nicholas students. World History, American History, geography, map-reading skills, and interpretation of various graphics are presented in a sequential manner.
Music, art, and physical education classes are taught weekly.