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Academics

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RELIGION

frstevewkinderStudents love the weekly religious instruction from Fr. Steve and Fr. Mac!

Our Religion program enriches and expands our students’ knowledge of their faith. Daily prayer, communal prayer services, monthly liturgies, and seasonal opportunities for Reconciliation are all part of the program, in addition to daily instruction in the principles of our faith. Students are able to take practice tests online.

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LANGUAGE ARTS

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Acclaimed young adult novelist and screenwriter Geoff Rodkey visited St. Catherine’s, delivering a presentation for grades 3-8. After speaking briefly about his middle-grade adventure series, The Chronicles of Egg, Mr. Rodkey gave tips about how to find inspiration to creatively write, advising students to “write about their own experiences”.

 

The Language Arts curriculum is geared toward developing independent readers with comprehension skills that will enable them to use the strategies and critical thinking skills in all subject areas.  All grade levels are encouraged to participate in a reading incentive program which helps to encourage students to read all year long.

Kindergarten – Grade 5:
Our primary grades focus on phonological awareness and decoding skills that help to develop independent readers.  Oral reading is stressed.  Reading strategies including determining main ideas, predicting outcomes, and drawing inferences are developed as the reading proficiency increases.  As the students’ progress in reading, concentration is placed more on the strategies of reading.  The skills learned at the lower grades such as determining main ideas, predicting outcomes, and drawing inferences are now incorporated in analyzing various texts.  Novels are incorporated into the students’ classes in grades 3–5.  

Grades 6 – 8:
Students at the Middle School level delve into a study of various types of literature.  Critical thinking and discussions help to develop the skills necessary for high school.  A summer Reading packet is required of all students in the Middle School.  

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MATHEMATICS

Students learn both in the classroom and at home with FlipClassroom technology. Our school You Tube videos are watched by students not only to reinforce new concepts but as a great study tool for visual learners.

Our  Math curriculum follows the Core Curriculum Standards and fundamentals are stressed across the grades.  The  use of manipulatives and technology are incorporated.

Kindergarten – Grade 5:
From number recognition through complex problem solving skills the students learn the skills needed to work with numbers.  By the end of Grade 5 students increase their facility with the four basic arithmetic operations applied to whole numbers, fractions and decimals.  They know and use common measuring units to determine length and area; they know and use formulas to determine the volume of simple geometric figures.  Students know the concept of angle measurement in solving problems.  They use grids, tables, graphs, and charts to record and analyze data. 

Grades 6 – 8:
Middle School students have mastered the four arithmetic operations with positive and negative numbers, whole numbers, fractions and decimals; they accurately compute and solve problems.  They apply their knowledge to statistics and probability.   All Eighth Graders are given an opportunity to take Algebra I. 

Grade 6-8 students are divided into two math sections each year. Placement is determined by an annual placement test, standardized test scores, grades and teacher recommendation. Students in both 8th grade Algebra I sections have tested into high school Geometry I Honors.

Go to Archdiocesan K-12 Mathematics Curriculum Maps

 

SOCIAL STUDIES

colonial-village2012-600Seventh grade students present a living Colonial Village to parents and students every November in Siena Hall. Students are first required to write research papers about a specific colonial trade. They then demonstrate their trade in a mock Colonial Village, while dressed in period clothing.

Beginning with community concepts and progressing through our nation’s history and into ancient times, students gain a sense of the world around them, as well as their impact on the world. 

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Geography of the world is incorporated into each grade level.  Our fourth graders get an in-depth knowledge of our own state of New Jersey. Our fourth grade class participates in their annual 3-D model building of the State of New Jersey. The 5 foot long model designated different colors for each of our state counties. Students marked the state capitol and created different symbols to represent the many wonderful assets of our Garden State including information on NJ agriculture, beaches, forests, and landscape, just to name a few. The 3-D model is placed on display in the main school hall for all to learn from and to enjoy.

Textbooks:  Scott Foresman Social Studies Series (Gr. K – 6), The American Republic/ Journey (Gr. 7 & 8)

SCIENCE

The three branches of science – Physical, Earth and Life – are investigated through experimentation, observation, research, models and technology.

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The use of scientific method is stressed as the students develop critical thinking and problem solving skills in their activities.

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A Science lab is used by Grades 4 – 5 and  6 – 8.

S.T.E.M (Science/Technology/Engineering/Math) curriculum is taught each trimester in grades Kindergarten through 8th.

 

Textbooks:  McGraw Hill Science (Gr. 1 – 5), Middle School Science (Gr. 6 – 8)

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SPANISH

spanishStudents enjoy an afternoon filled with Spanish music, presentations, conversation, and treats at the recent Spanish Curriculum Fair held in Siena Hall.

Instruction in this foreign language is offered once a week in Kindergarten – Grade 5.  It begins with simple phrases, songs, puzzles and games, and progresses to learning about Spanish culture around the world.

Students in Grades 6–8  have Spanish two times per week and learn vocabulary, grammar, and conversation. Man of our 8th grade student test into Spanish 2 for freshman year of High School.

Students also use ipads, netbooks and Google Translate to enrich their learning.

Textbooks:  Hola (Grs 3 - 4), Spanish is Fun Book A (Grade 5), Como Te Va (Gr. 6), Spanish is Fun, Book 1 (Gr. 7 & 8)

COMPUTERS

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Technology

Computer instruction is woven into many areas of the curriculum at all grade levels including S.T.E.M. projects.  Classes learn computer skills through class projects, book reports, research, and Webquests.  Grades 3 – 5 have separate computer classes in Keyboarding, Google Docs, Sheets and Presentations. Grades Preschool through 8th also receive an introduction to computer coding.

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In our classrooms, library, and computer lab, SCS provides a range of computer facilities and services to students through the Saint Catherine of Siena School Network. Our system includes: 27 computer workstations, 26 Netbooks, 26 iPads, 26 iPod Touches, network file storage, our school website, wireless internet access, Google Apps for Education, Smart boards, student log-ins, group projects, access to a student email account, and First In Math Online. NEW in Spring 2016, 28 chromebooks & upgraded WIFI!

Preschool students are introduced to technology in the classroom with lessons on the Smart board and access to learning programs on their classroom computer work station. The extended program also visits our computer lab. This introduction to technology gives students a chance to explore technology through play.

Preschool through Grade 5 students visit our PC Technology Lab weekly. They also receive integrated Smart board lessons in the classroom. Our students interact with software and apps that enhance the classroom experience and promote higher-order thinking though problem solving.

SCS middle school students created this animated video for our kindergarten students in order to enhance their learning of spelling colors. The iPad apps used by students to create this video were Keynote and iMotionHD. The video was presented to Mrs. Tissot's kindergarten class on iPads by our middle school students. Our kindergarten class loved it!

In Middle School, students continue to develop their computer skills through more comprehensive projects that require research, the Internet, and various software programs. Our goal is to teach students appropriate use of digital technology and model Internet Safety. Elective computer courses such as Web Design, Photoshop, and iPad Animation aim to engage students in the creative use of computing technology. When students graduate from Saint Catherine of Siena School, they should have an understanding of ethical use of technology, have the skills necessary for research and communication using technology, and be able to use technology for communication of ideas and creative expression.

 

Media

Podcasts

Our students all participate in public speaking every morning in our announcements. The confidence they gain allows them to continue on at SCS, speaking at the many school events held throughout the year.

GIVE A LISTEN! We broadcast our morning announcements every day on our SCS Podcast (podOmatic).

 

ENRICHMENT

lawOne of our Enrichment Classes won Honorable Mention in the New Jersey State Bar Foundation's Law Adventure mock trial competition. SCS students were asked to create and write an original case focusing on legal issues of interest to their contemporaries and which could be used as a tool to teach about the law. Saint Catherine’s Law Adventure participants in grade 7 were one of only four schools, out of public and private participants from all over the state, asked to present their winning case live before judges, attorneys and juries of their peers - other elementary and middle school students- at the home of the Bar Foundation, the New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

 

Enrichment in Math and Language arts is offered to students in Kindergarten through grade 8.  Students meet weekly and classes are designed to help students develop their gifts and talents in ways that help them strengthen their Math and Language Art skills.

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ART

grouppottery600Students learn how to throw clay on a potter’s wheel, along with creative sculpture and glazing techniques in middle school electives.

All students in Kindergarten – Grade 5 receive Art instruction once a week. Grades 6 – 8 have Art History classes that correlate with the Social Studies curriculum. Students receive instruction in fundamentals as simple as line, form, color and texture and progress to the more advanced skills of sculpture and design. Grades 6 – 8 are offered art elective options; pottery, perspective drawing, iPad animation, acrylic painting, and metamorphasis drawing... just to name just a few.

 

 

SCS artwork is uploaded to Artsonia, the world's largest online kids' art museum.

Visit SCS ARTSONIA Come be inspired by more than 11 million pieces of artwork from students in over 120 countries!

MUSIC

 On March 12, 2014 the students of St. Catherine of Siena School in Cedar Grove, NJ had an amazing international artistic exchange with the world renowned Escolania de Montserrat. Two catholic schools from two opposite sides of the globe come together for one common goal. Despite speaking two different languages the music brought us together. This was the first concert on Escolania's US Tour. The St. Catherine of Siena School Choir is made up from mostly 3-5th graders at the school and 4 middle school students as section leaders. We were all blessed by this amazing experience.

 

Students in Kindergarten – Grade 5 receive weekly instruction in both secular and liturgical music.  Grades 6 and 7 study Music Theory for one trimester.  School concerts are given twice a year in conjunction with the middle school drama elective.  Students are given the opportunity to play various percussion instruments, learn harmony and rounds, and  participate in the school choir at Liturgies.

PHYSICAL EDUCATION & ATHLETICS

pk3smPreschool 3 students enjoy a Physical Education class with Mrs. Mary Peters, jumping and moving to Bean Bag Rock’n Roll.

Physical Education

Weekly classes are held for Preschool – Grade 8. Traditional games of sport are presented, with warm-up, stretching, and activities for physical fitness as the base for each class. Elements of fair play, respect, and team participation are stressed in each class.

 

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Students participate in the President's Award for Physical Fitness program.

Athletic electives are also offered for grades 6, 7, 8.

 

 

 

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Team Athletics and Clinics

 

Fall

Volleyball - Grades 5, 6, 7, 8
Golf Clinic - Grades K-8
Tennis Clinic - Grades K-8

Winter

Basketball Clinic - Grades K-3
Basketball - Grades 3-8
Cheerleading - Grades 1-3
Golf Clinic - Grades K-8
Tennis Clinic - Grades K-8

Spring

Softball - Girls Grade 6,7,8
Golf Clinic - Grades K-8
Tennis Clinic - Grades K-8

 

VISIT SCS ATHLETICS WEBSITE — GO SAINTS!

 

 

 

 

Information | Application | Tuition | Forms | Contact Us

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LIBRARY

readboys_600SCS holds an annual Read-In, in honor of our love of lifelong Learning. Siena Hall is filled with books, blankets and pillows as we all snuggle down with a good book for quiet reading time.

 

A computerized library collection allows classes to search for and access the school’s catalogue from computers in the building.

Kindergarten – Grade 8 have weekly sessions in the library in which pleasure reading is encouraged.  Short weekly classes in Library Science enable students to locate books using the Dewey Decimal system.

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ELECTIVE PROGRAM

fbiSpecial Agent James Meskill Jr. from the FBI brought bulletproof vests, handcuffs, and a vast knowledge of criminal law and procedure to share with the students in Saint Catherine of Siena’s “Loving the Law: Civics, Character and Leadership” class. The middle school elective is taught by Professor Paula Franzese, a law professor at Seton Hall University School of Law.

 

This program is offered to students in grades 6 – 8 three periods per week.  The purpose is to develop their skills and talents in areas that come under the following categories:  Life Skills (ex.: Cooking, Animal Care, Baby-Sitting, Knitting);  Performing Arts (ex.: drama, chorus, public speaking); Creative Arts (ex.:  Acrylic Painting, Christmas Crafts, Metal Sculpture); Physical Education (ex.: Volleyball, Fitness Walking, Golf) and Extended Curriculum (ex. Italian, Science, Robotics, Computer Design).  In addition, each student may select to take a Study period to get extra help, complete assignments and work on projects.  The classes are outcome based.  At the end of each cycle, the students are able to produce, perform or master the skills they have chosen.

PRE-SCHOOL PROGRAM

mrganterprekwebAt the preschool level, a musical background is an important building block that is very influential in a young child’s development. Students enrolled in Saint Catherine’s preschool 4 enrichment program are able to enhance their musical development by engaging in weekly music lessons with Mr. Albert Gantor, music education teacher for our K through 8 program. Mr. Ganter teaches preschoolers early musical concepts and helps lay a solid musical foundation for our young students.

 

Our Pre-School program is made up of two sections – one for 3-year-olds and the other for 4-year-olds.  Whether playing in the gym, creating arts and crafts, hearing a story, or experimenting in science, they are learning to express ideas and develop a positive self-image in a nurturing environment.  Their uniqueness as a child of God will be taught and consistently reinforced as the children develop skills in independence and self-direction.

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