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Kindergarten & Primary Grades

Kindergarten

Our full-day kindergarten program is based on the standards put forth by the Department of Catholic Schools of the San Francisco Archdiocese. The guidelines follow California State Standards and are infused with Catholic teachings and traditions.

The students are led by one full-time kindergarten teacher and aide, and one part-time aide. Parents are welcomed to volunteer with many classroom events and daily work. The first part of the day includes language arts (listening center, reading and phonics) math and small group stations. Science, social studies and enrichment classes are included in the afternoon. Students attend physical education four times a week, computer technology and music two times a week, and art, library, and dance once a week.

Kindergartners actively participate in common Catholic practices including weekly Mass and celebrating liturgical holidays. Students have the opportunity to exercise Christian values through several philanthropic activities throughout the year.

Students work in small group "stations" as much as possible. This gives the teachers the opportunity to work closely with the students in an environment that fosters individual development. Learning is hands-on and activity oriented. The classroom is colorful and inspiring, and the children take great pride in seeing their work displayed for all to see.

In kindergarten the children learn to be students and they learn what is expected of them while in school. They are always learning about procedures, developing behavior expectations and creating relationships among their peers and with the teachers. Classroom behavior is based on positive reinforcement.

One of the most special connections the kindergartner's make is their friendship with their fifth grade "buddy." Each kindergartner is paired with a fifth grader for the entire year. The buddies go to Mass together each Thursday and engage in fun activities throughout the year. Kindergartners are able to establish a strong bond with an older student and have a mentor to look up to. The buddies often remain good friends long after kindergarten ends.

Upon completion of the kindergarten program, these students are well prepared for first grade and have met the standard requirements for:

  • Reading
  • Listening/Speaking
  • Writing
  • Math
  • Science/Health
  • History/Social Studies
  • Religion
  • Fine Arts: Music/Dance/Structural Art/Theater
  • Physical Education
  • Computer Technology

Grades 1, 2 and 3

Primary grade students have a daily core curriculum that includes language arts, math, religion, science and social studies. All students receive enrichment classes that include physical education, music, art and computer technology. Science is augmented by regular use of FOSS (Full Option Science Systems) providing an opportunity for hands-on scientific study. My Math was introduced in the 2013-2014 school year in alignment with the State of California's Common Core Standards for Mathematical Content and Mathematical Practice.

Students in the first grade learn in small and large group centers with project-based instruction. All students participate in writing workshops with Peer Buddies for help in reading and editing. First and second grade students each have an 8th grade "Buddy" for year-long companionship as well as project support for science. This allows the students to establish a strong bond with an older student and have a mentor to look up to. Second graders complete group work in science, math and reading comprehension. Writing across all curriculum in the second grade produces a dramatic growth in writing skills by the end of the school year. The second grade students present their Annual Author's Night and proudly read their own stories and poems to their families and teachers.

Kaylie Quon's story continues...

My teachers' names are Mrs. Aymard and Mrs. Preble. They are probably the best teachers in the world. Our principal is Mrs. Cosmos. She is the best. We have eighth grade buddies. They take us to Church. My buddy is Brittney. She is very nice. Every Friday we have spelling tests. Sometimes we have thirty words, but we usually have ten words. We also have Reconciliation and First Communion. Our Priest is Father Arnold. He is very nice and funny. We have great class parties in second grade. Art class is on Wednesdays. We have music on Wednesdays and Fridays. Our computer class is on Mondays and Tuesdays. We write a lot of stories. Our teacher says that we write the most stories in the school. We have Animal Blessing in October. You can bring a pet or a stuffed animal for the blessing. We have Spirit Week. There is going to be a PJ day and favorite super hero day. You need to check out this school! It's the best school in the world!

Each day our students participate in prayer and religious instruction, studying the traditions and practices of the Catholic Faith. Though we teach about Catholicism, many of our students are not Catholic, thus allowing our community a diversity of faith and awareness of other religions. Students who do not receive the Sacraments are encouraged to participate to the degree they can, and are always warmly welcomed at every faith-based event.

Second grade is a big sacramental year with First Reconciliation and First Communion. All students attend weekly Mass with the entire school, and the primary students participate in the Thanksgiving Mass and Christmas Eve Mass.

The primary grades provide our students with great opportunities for developing spiritually, emotionally, and academically. The students are provided with a solid foundation for the upcoming challenges of the intermediate grades.