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 and rigorous 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
• Ongoing faculty 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 through six.
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 and enhance 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.