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Curriculum

Language Arts

St. John the Baptist implements a complete language arts curriculum, based upon a cumulative array of speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills.  We begin with an emphasis on phonics instruction, progress to word recognition and meaning, and eventually master critical skills in analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of literary text. Students are placed in heterogeneous homerooms, however our reading program has been designed to address the instructional needs of above, below, and on grade level learners.  Children are taught to apply their emerging literacy skills in a variety of settings.  Our teachers and students make use of DIBELS and Renaissance Learning tools to assess and progress monitor the reading development of our students.  Improving student writing across all content areas has been a focus of both our professional learning groups and data collection during the last several years and even our youngest readers participate in the Accelerated Reading program.  At the upper grades, students are taught advanced vocabulary material and enjoy both novels and non-fiction materials as part of their reading program.  At grades seven and eight, students are introduced to Spanish as a foreign language.

Math

Our math program provides a balanced combination of whole group instruction, guided practice, and many opportunities for hands-on learning.  Our program features a strong on-line learning component as well, allowing students to review lessons at home or as a review of previously taught concepts.  Interested students practice and compete in the Ohio Math League and our middle grade students experience Hands on Equations if the teacher feels they may benefit from pre-algebra lessons.  We are committed to doing our best to meet the unique learning needs of each grade level for mathematics instruction in grades six through eight.  In some cases, math classes consist of 10-15 students in each class.  In other cases, an intervention specialist may team-teach with the math teacher.  In still other cases, classes have been designed to cover more than one textbook in a year's time.  Eighth grade students, who meet a number of specific criteria, may take freshman algebra during their eighth grade year, allowing them the opportunity to take much higher level math classes in high school.

Religion

With Christ as the model for our teachers, students are constantly exposed to Gospel teachings.  Our Catholic commitment provides for the nurturing of spiritual and moral values within our students.  These values are constantly reinforced not only in religion class but throughout every area of curriculum, in service projects, and in our sports and play.  Students plan and participate in weekly liturgies and experience the sacraments together.  Practices and games begin and end with prayer, as does each morning and afternoon.  Our students experience the joy of sharing with others and caring for those less fortunate through sponsoring students in El Salvador and by contributing to the Holy Childhood  Association.  Providing opportunities for students to build a relationship with Christ is the core of all we do.

Science

Our students benefit from a hands-on approach to learning about chemistry, physics, and life science.  A wide variety of field trips support our instruction and increase student excitement about learning. Students in grades five through eight spend much time in our well-equipped science lab, while younger students can be seen planning healthy menus, classifying fossils, creating power point presentations from their research about animals, and observing and charting the growth of a budding plant.  Many students enjoy reading non-fiction materials when the topic is SCIENCE!

Social Studies

Our youngest students are introduced to the customs and traditions associated with the holidays from around the world, while older students learn to master reading maps and graphs, geography, and to become familiar with the major events of history in both ancient and modern times.  In many cases, themes in selected literature are consistent with social studies classes.  Art classes also integrate the craft and design of the period, and physical education classes may incorporate dances or games from the timeline being addressed.  In music, students learn folk songs and dances consistent with the social studies goals and objectives.

Special Instruction

All students experience weekly instruction in music, physical education, art, and computer technology from specialist teachers.  Music education includes a balanced curriculum including both theory and performance opportunities.  In physical education, children are taught the skills and sportmanship necessary for a lifetime of fun and fit recreation and encouraged to demonstrate healthy lifestyle choices.  Students in grades kindergarten through eight enjoy learning about art history and creating art in a variety of media.