The St. Rose curriculum is informed by the California State Standards. Anticipating the change that will happen in 2014 for all public schools in California from State Standards to National Common Core Standards, St. Rose began to use the Common Core Standards in Writing and Math during the 2011-12 school year.
The diocese of Santa Rosa provides a detailed set of standards for religion instruction for the Catholic Schools which St. Rose follows.
Reading instruction begins in Kindergarten with the goal of every child having automotized the letters, their sounds, and how to write each letter. Kindergartners begin to recognize common words and many are reading before the end of the school year. In 1st Grade the strong phonics-based reading instruction continues with a basal reader. We are currently using the Houghton- Mifflin series through 6th Grade. It is supplemented with the age appropriate novels and the Accelerated Reading Program which begins in 4th Grade. The 7th and 8th Grade reading curriculum is literature based with a team of two teachers providing the instruction.
Along with reading instruction, students receive a very strong base in grammar and writing. A phonics-based spelling program continues through 8th Grade.
Math instruction according to the National Common Core Standards is supplemented with manipulatives and learning games. Students gain a foundation in computation, number theory, and concepts. In the primary grades a teacher aide assists the teacher to ensure that all students get the individual help they need. In 4th through 8th grade two teachers collaborate to deliver the instruction characterized by frequent formative assessment with fluid grouping that enables the more capable students to extend their learning and those who struggle with math obtain extra instruction.
At the end of the 7th grade year, an Algebra Readiness Test is administered. Students who are ready will take comprehensive Algebra course in 8th Grade that will enable them to move on to Geometry during their freshman year of high school. The other 8th Graders will receive more pre-algebra instruction and an introduction to Algebra. These students usually benefit from taking Algebra I during the freshman year.
Instruction in the Catholic faith is a daily occurrence at St. Rose. Among the topics that students learn about are the Catholic Mass, Sacraments, Liturgical Year, Sacred Scripture, and Catholic Doctrine. Children in 2nd Grade are prepared for the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist as part of the religion program. Prayer is well-integrated into the school day and students attend Mass at school once a month. Students take part in the Sacrament of Reconciliation each year during the season of Lent. The seasons of the Liturgical Year are observed and there is always a special celebration of Holy Thursday helping to prepare the students for the Easter Triduum. Religion and spirituality permeate the school day as our number one goal is to help each child entrusted to us know of the great love God has for each of us. There is also a service learning program. Students who are non-Catholic take part in religion classes, learning about what Catholics believe.
Our fulltime school counselor helps to round out our religion program with her lessons on kindness, compassion, good manners and conflict resolution that allow our students to grow and develop spiritually, socially, and emotionally.
Social Studies is taught in all grades according to the California State Standards. Kindergarten and 1st Grade focus on their place in the family/community and learn about various holidays and community helpers. Second Grade and Third Grade curriculum includes ancestors, countries of origin, government institutions, national heroes, explorers, and early settlers. The 4th Grade does a comprehensive study of California History and Fifth Grade studies the development of the United States up to 1850. Sixth Grade studies ancient history up to the Roman Empire and 7th Grade picks up ancient history through the Renaissance. Eight Grade studies U.S. History with a particular focus on the founding fathers, antebellum years, Civil War and Reconstruction.
Our social studies program features simulations that allow a more experiential approach to history and lively musicals that center around historical themes.
In 6th and again in 8th Grade students take place in National History Day. This is an extensive research based project that is very in-depth. Many of our students go on to compete and win at the county level. We have also had St. Rose students come in First Place at the statewide competition. Students create projects in the form of historical papers, websites, exhibits, multi-media, and dramatic presentations.
Science is also taught at every grade level according to the California State Standards. Kindergarten through 5th grade includes instruction in Physical, Life, and Earth Sciences in an upward spiraling curriculum that includes investigation and experimentation. The 6th Grade has a particular focus in Earth Sciences, 7th Grade focuses on Life Sciences, and 8th Grades includes the basics of Physics and Chemistry.
In the primary grades, the homeroom teacher provided the science instruction. Beginning in 4th Grade, students are taught by our science specialist.
There is a PE teacher and aide for the twice weekly PE classes at each grade level. The curriculum focuses on building physical skills that will enable students to be more successful in team sports. Students take the President’s Physical Fitness Challenge annually and many of them earn certificates of merit.
Conversational Spanish is taught once a week in K – 5th Grade. The older students have an opportunity to take a rigorous academic Spanish course after school taught by a teacher from Cardinal Newman.
Students are instructed weekly in music theory and singing. There is an optional instrumental band program for students starting in 4th Grade. The practices are held at 7:35 AM twice a week before school starts. We have in Honor Choir and the Inspiration Choir which is “Glee” style choir who sing and dance.
There are many opportunities during the school day for students to practice their acting and public speaking skills including, acting out gospels for Mass, reading scripture and reflections at Mass, classroom skits and presentations. The historical musicals and annual Christmas program also allow our students to shine in this area. There are after school programs for students who desire to have a more in-depth drama experience.