About SMM - Curriculum for Parents & Students
St. Mary Magdalen Catholic School Curriculum
1. Religion / Faith formation:
• Religious Education
• Sacramental formation
• Celebration of the Eucharist weekly
Teachers join with parents, the primary educators of their children, in Faith Development and
Religious Education. Religious Education curriculum includes units on: God is Our Creator,
Creation, God’s Love for Us, Sharing God’s Love for Us, Discipleship, We are Members of
God’s Church, the Mass, Sacramental Preparation for Reconciliation and Eucharist, the
Hierarchy of the Church, the Commandments, the Sacraments, New Testament, Old Testament
and Morality. The program fosters individual and communal prayer and worship, leading to a
life of service and living Christian values.
2. Academic formation:
• High Academic standards
• Enrichment and Resource Programs
• State of the Art Science and Computer Labs
• Foreign Language (Spanish)
• Art and Music Programs
• Florida Catholic Conference Accreditation
• Florida State Certification
• Teacher ongoing educational programs
Curriculum and Instruction Overview
St. Mary Magdalen Catholic School curriculum is based on the Sunshine State Standards of the
State of Florida and the Diocese of Orlando guidelines for curriculum instruction and mastery of
skills and knowledge at each grade. The instructional strategies in the early childhood
classrooms follow the guidelines for developmentally appropriate practices. Classroom
activities focus on the development of language, visual, auditory, and fine motor skills. Students
learn to read, write, and communicate using formal reading programs in grades kindergarten
Teachers in grades kindergarten through three use the four block reading model for instruction in
reading which includes: guided reading, self-selected silent and oral reading, word study and
writing. Critical thinking skills and a formal vocabulary program are introduced in the
intermediate grades. Middle school students are exposed to a variety of genre in their literature
series. Vocabulary expansion, correct grammar usage and higher order thinking skills are
stressed in the middle school grades through teacher questioning techniques and students’ written
responses in the forms of expository, narrative, descriptive and persuasive writing. Writing
portfolios and computers store samples of daily writing. All students advance their independent
reading level by participating in the Accelerated Reading Program.
The math program encourages investigation and problem solving, mastery of basic operations
and concept application, which includes place value, measurement, time, graphs, fractions,
decimals, money, algebra and geometry. The middle school math curriculum provides students
with math skills necessary for successful living in society. Advanced students in grades seven
and eight are placed in Pre-Algebra or Algebra classes. Graduates from the advanced program
may be placed into Algebra I in area high schools.
Primary grade teachers plan units of study in social studies and science to expose students to this
information and teach concepts and skills. Students study topics related to their grade level. In
science, examples of the topics are living and non-living things, weather, animals, plants, the five
senses, and underwater sea life.
In Social Studies, students learn about family structure and celebrations, communities, map
reading, generations and traditions, Native Americans and geography. Intermediate and middle
school social studies curricula go through the study of local, state, and national communities of
the past and present. Students study geography, history, government and natural conservation.
Content areas are world history, geography and American History. The study of science in the
intermediate and middle school includes earth, life and physical science providing each student
with hands-on, minds-on integration of traditional and advance technology presented through
scientific method, laboratory work and thematic units.
Spanish is taught in grades kindergarten through eight with an advanced level available in middle
school. Students study vocabulary, grammar, reading, and writing as well as dialogue. In
middle school, Advanced Spanish is offered. Graduates of this program may be accepted into
Spanish II in area high school.
The Physical education curriculum develops fine and gross motor skills and fosters
sportsmanship and team building.
The media center, library and computer laboratory supplement classroom instruction.
The Fine Arts department fosters an interest in and appreciation of drama, theatre, and music
through instrument playing, song and movement, art expression in the form of poetry, water
color, weaving, pottery, pencil sketching and design. Art History in grades six through eight
explores various periods and world artists. Collaborative learning takes place by students
participating in field trips, curriculum fairs, and celebrations.
St. Mary Magdalen School provides quality Catholic education within a safe, supportive, and challenging learning environment. The integral use of technology accommodates this mission. Technology is not just taught… it is used to teach!
The school is outfitted with a state-of-the-art computer network with three servers, 120 workstations, a high speed internet connection, twelve multimedia projectors, eight interactive white boards, ten digital cameras, and several laptops available for teacher and student use. We have made a substantial investment this year by upgrading the server computers to 3 new Dell servers. All buildings are connected by fiber.
The school has its own web site to include general information, communication from administration and teachers, and a photo gallery of activities and events. In addition to our general website, we use Edline, and online service, to post grades and progress reports for parental access.
The computer lab is equipped with 31 student computers plus one teacher station. The teacher’s station video display is projected on a interactive screen. All grades are scheduled for weekly instruction but use the lab throughout the day during open time slots. The classroom teacher and lab instructor collaborate on writing assignments, projects, and activities which correlate with and enhance classroom curricula. Proper and appropriate research on the internet, Power-Point presentations, keyboarding, word processing, and spreadsheets are among the many skills students master over nine years at St. Mary Magdalen Catholic School.
Classroom use of computers is equally important to the integration of technology. Each classroom is furnished with three to five Pentium level computers. Many teacher work stations are connected to projectors and interactive white boards which allow the instructor to demonstrate dynamically on the projection screen to further clarify concepts, and those that are not are connected through a scan converter to the television to display the monitor image for full class viewing. Our goal is to have interactive white boards in all classrooms. Additionally, a class set of hand-held remote controls allow teachers to question students and students to answer electronically. Immediate feedback provides everyone with correct answers and allows the teacher to evaluate how well concepts are understood.
Each day our Broadcasting team produces and airs the morning newscast on WSMM Channel 72, our closed-circuit news channel. The team of eighth-graders reports and videotapes segments covering school events and programs, and students learn to create digital pieces which air on the news program. All classes tune in to Channel 72 for the daily SMM news. In addition to Channel 72, we even have a birdcam set up on a dedicated channel in hopes of a bird settling down in our campus birdhouse this spring!
The integration of technology reaches beyond the classroom into the practice of the Catholic faith. During weekly school masses, a multimedia projector displays liturgical images and music lyrics to allow for full participation by the student body.
A technology-rich education equips students with the tools necessary for success in everyday life experiences. A commitment to this is evident in the practices at St. Mary Magdalen Catholic School.