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Reviews of Saint Nicholas School

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Please read this important document from the Archdiocese of Newark Schools' Office regarding curriculum development.

Curriculum Update 9/2014

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.

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The Pre-Kindergarten offers a full day program for three and four year olds that provide 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. 

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 mathematics, art, social studies, science and physical education. Kindergarten uses the Reading Street Series from Scott Foresman, which sets a strong foundation for reading success. In addition, a focus on leveled reading instruction through a guided reading approach is utilized to ensure all students are challenged at their own instructional level.

Grades 1 - 8
Various teaching techniques are used to facilitate learning. Cooperative learning, hands-on manipulatives, use of technology, critical and logical thinking skills are among the basic approaches used to reinforce the individual student’s learning style.

Math Curriculum
During 2014, the Archdiocese of Newark's Schools Office completed a curriculum mapping project which carefully evaluated and examined the math curriculum from Kindergarten through high school. This project ensured that students are taught using a smooth and continuously progressing math 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.

English Language Arts Curriculum
The Archdiocese of Newark's Schools Office completed a curriculum mapping project which aligned and smoothed the English Language Arts Curriculum 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. 

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The Archdiocese of Newark's Schools Office is undertaking a project to review and align the science curriculum using Next Generation Science Standards during the 2016-2017 school year. 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.

Social Studies
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, Physical Education
Music, art, and physical education classes are taught weekly. 

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 Type-to-Learn.

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 a 2nd Computer Lab. Each lab has 30 Internet accessible computers to allow students adequate time to develop technology skills essential for today's students. There is a cart of 30 i-Pads available to teachers and students for technology integration in the classroom using our school wifi.

All classrooms have Interactive White Boards to take advantage of on-line learning available to enhance the curriculum and broaden student learning experiences.