participate. All students attend regularly scheduled technology classes, in a fully equipped lab, in which all students have their own computer for their designated class time. There is a technology specific curriculum in place, as well as collaboration between the Technology Coordinator and general education teachers, to make technology connections that relate to the students’ general curriculum to enhance and reinforce this learning. All curriculum areas are included in these lessons to make technology connections including math, language arts, science, social studies, and other special area curriculum. Technology specific topics include, but are not limited to: hardware, peripherals, software, Internet research, and e-mail. An array of software is used to develop multi-faceted projects and lessons. By taking the lead in establishing a technology curriculum and integrating technology into the general curriculum, Saint Mary’s Catholic School is committed to preparing our students for their next level of education, and to better compete in a global economy.
4.The entire faculty and staff at Saint Mary’s Catholic School have received training in brain based learning, multiple intelligences, and differentiated instructional strategies. We strive to deliver lessons that represent many instructional innovations that comprise current understandings of pedagogy and best practice. Our scheduling provides for small group work that allows more individualized attention to learners. The use of manipulatives during daily lessons is provided and demonstrated to illustrate comprehension of abstract concepts in a concrete method. We work to apply various skills and concepts in co-curricular settings to increase synthesis and analysis abilities. Presentations from outside resources foster and enhance meaningful application of everyday skills and ideas. Technology is used as a vehicle to deliver lessons and assign tasks to accommodate various learning styles, special needs, and to expose students to a wealth of resources. Scoring rubrics are used in projects and writing activities to provide a framework for student expectations and allow student choice in the chosen tasks. Learning experiences are planned to provide a variety of student grouping arrangements that include, whole group, cooperative groups, study buddies, and partner shares. As mentioned above, the Four-Blocks Literacy Framework is the foundation to our reading/language arts instruction.
5. Saint Mary’s Catholic School’s teachers and staff members are expected and encouraged to participate in various professional development opportunities. The faculty and staff realize the importance of continuing education and its impact on our students’ abilities to learn and make meaningful connections with the curriculum. Faculty members set goals at the beginning of the school year that assist in guiding the workshops that they attend throughout the year. Literature describing upcoming professional development opportunities is distributed to faculty members encouraging their participation. The principal is creative in making arrangements to fund and to provide substitutes to allow teachers to attend workshops. A waiver request is submitted each year to the state department of education by the principal to allow for additional in-service days to be built into our calendar. Arrangements are made for faculty members to visit other buildings to do classroom observations and to network with other teachers at the same grade level. Professional development in current educational trends supported by research is considered and focused upon when planning in-service training. Our updated technology lab provides an excellent environment to facilitate professional development in the area of technology as well as the integration of curriculum. The principal frequently provides articles from professional journals for required reading and discussed as a “study group” among faculty members. Student data is utilized to determine areas of focus that need to be implemented. The faculty and staff have spent a great deal of time interpreting and analyzing student data to adjust and align the curriculum and instruction, standards, and assessments as exhibited by student performance.
A shared vision reflecting the philosophy of education at Saint Mary’s exists among members of the school community to ensure the realization of school improvement. The data received from various means of testing, both formal and informal, is used to review the curriculum and instruction and to improve student performance. The faculty and staff are required to utilize current research, technology, continued education, workshops, conferences, study groups, collaborative team planning, and seminars to improve current programming and to support school improvement initiatives. Faculty and staff are expected to
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