Curriculum

St. John Bosco School has been dually accredited by both the Texas Catholic Conference (TCCED) and AdvanceEd.   The Archdiocese of San Antonio and the State of Texas affirm our commitment to educational excellence, operational effectiveness, and continuous improvement.  Our curriculum provides challenging coursework that prepares our students to excel in college preparatory coursework in the high school of their choice.  Our curriculum is carefully developed around the educational philosophy of St. John Bosco which is built upon the three columns of: REASON – love for learning, RELIGION- love for God, and LOVING KINDNESS – love for one another, thus our Vision statement:

Loving to LEARN and learning to LOVE.

 

Religion Curriculumis given privileged and dedicated attention by the entire faculty and staff.  Religion forms the strong infrastructure throughout our entire curriculum and school day.   The religion curriculum begins with the Student Government leading the Faculty and students gathering in the gym for the traditional, Salesian “Good Morning”.  This is a morning assembly that consists in a few moments of honor and prayer for our Church, country, state and the world.  During the various liturgical seasons different classes take turns in leading the prayer moment that begins our day.  This is followed by listening to a message from Administration that helps the entire faculty and staff to grow in becoming good Christians and honest citizens.  The morning assembly concludes with announcements highlighting important achievements, celebrating life by announcing birthdays and reminding everyone of important calendar items.

Religion forms the core of our curriculum and is therefore considered our most important core subject.  Using the “Legacy Edition” of the Benziger publishing company, the students expand knowledge of their faith through prayer, morality, sacraments and creed.  Our religion program uses the spiral approach to learning our Catholic faith in every grade level, every day of the year.  This religion series also comes with lots of online resources for children, teachers and parents.  The seventh and eighth grades focus on Jesus Christ, the Gospels and the sacramental life of the church.

Our school has developed its own family life program for grades four through eight, entitled “In His Image”.  This program is based on the teachings of Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body.  The seventh and eighth graders receive an additional ten lessons developed by UTSA explaining the biology of the human life systems within the context of the fourteen lessons developed around the “Theology of the Body”, a program which helps us to understand that our body and its desires actually point us to the meaning of life.

The Language Arts curriculum includes daily lessons in phonics, reading, grammar, writing, spelling, listening skills and modern oratory.  Our curriculum also includes online materials that support instruction in all of these disciplines in the classroom and learning from home.  Some online materials include video clips of instruction, author biographies and actual authors reading to the children.  We believe that a love for reading, writing and speaking changes everything.

 

We use Reading Street for the basis of instruction in phonics, grammar and writing, and in strengthening habits that support life-long-readers in grades K through fourth grade.  This program features award-winning literature.  The classroom methods that are used to assist emergent readers in attaining the necessary milestones include whole class instruction, grouping, learning centers, and digital audio and visual programs.

The fifth through eighth grade uses the Prentice Hall “Literature” Program which continues to build skills through literature.  Students are taught to apply critical thinking to their independent reading.  Listening and speaking are an integral part of the curriculum.  Through mini lessons, pair share, graphic organizers, book reports and author studies, the children explore the world of literature.  Our students are challenged to practice their oratory skills in speech presentations and annual speech competitions.  In addition to the literature basal program, the third through eighth grade curriculum utilizes the study of novels, short stories and plays as an important components of the Language Arts curriculum.  The third through fourth grade also use the school-wide program entitled The Rooted Mind, a course that introduces students to Latin and Greek roots and their meanings.  This is a program that is implemented to reach all students of all interests and abilities to foster community building and collaboration.  All of our students work on the same roots each week, introducing our students to roots and root meanings.  Latin and Greek roots are the building blocks of over 60% of the English language (and close to 90% of the vocabularies of medicine, law, theology, and the sciences).  With this program, our students have a command of roots and root meanings, and the tools to deconstruct vocabulary words and discover their meanings.

Renaissance Reading – All students, kindergarten through eighth grade engage in our technology based Renaissance Reading Program.  Technology has opened the world of literature for students to learn both in the classroom and at home.  All of us ask, “How do we embrace technology in a way that helps students boost their achievement?”  Renaissance Learning is at the forefront of this educational movement in using data to support effective teaching and drive student growth.  Our Renaissance, online programs helps educators in math and reading, to plot and test students along a research-validated learning path so that students can make progress to the height of their potential.

The Math curriculum – consists of an instructional period and lab time for “flipped classroom” method of instruction from home.  Our Saxon kits, books and manipulatives form the foundation of our math curriculum together with Accelerated Math (from our Renaissance Program) and the new component to our Saxon program called, Destination Math which helps our students with their “flipped classroom” experience.

The organization of our math curriculum is distinctive.   It is an incremental program that has our students experiencing frequent exposure to concepts, thus gaining a stronger grasp of information through repeated experiences.  Lessons on a topic are not the traditional collection of chapters to be presented in a few weeks and then dropped.  Instead, lessons on a topic spiral over time, allowing students to solidify and deepen the learning of one building block of a concept before moving onto the next block of concepts.

Assignments are not composed of thirty problems of the same type to be completed automatically.  Instead, assignments contain a variety of previously presented concepts, providing distributed, cumulative practice that boosts long-term learning and concept acquisition.  Saxon’s cumulative daily practice strengthens students’ grasp of concepts, improves their flexibility to work with several mathematical concepts at a time, and improves their long-term retention of concepts.  Several instruments are used to level our students in math.  We use the “Star Math” assessment of the “Renaissance Program”; the scores from their ITBS standardized tests and their classroom performance.

All of our eighth graders enjoy entering their high schools having completed Algebra I, with some accomplishing Geometry and ready for Algebra II their Freshman year.  Those eighth graders, who have struggled in math throughout their elementary years, enjoy a strong entry level into high school for Algebra I.
The Science curriculum – affords our students in kindergarten through the eighth grade the opportunity to experience science in action.  A dedicated science lab allows students to be exposed to extensive hands-on exploration and discovery, complemented with class discussion.  Students in grades four through eight participate in the school science fair and many go on to place in various competitions.

We enjoy using our Pearson Science program which has, along with a consumable work-a-text, on-line, interactive components to each lesson.  This program operates with the belief that learning is maximized when it it’s personal and relevant.  Our students enjoy writing in their books and enjoy the widest variety of engaging interactive experiences ever, such as: online versions of the print books, The “Untamed Science” videos stimulate the curiosity of even the most timid learner, and the write-in format of the student edition makes the learning personal.  Lessons are structured for daily hands-on experiences.  Technology is also used to its fullest potential, meeting students where they reside, in the digital world.  On-line digital courseware is available through MyScienceOnline.com.  Here students can watch the instructional art in the student edition come to life in an interactive format, enabling students to explore content, preview concepts through “Untamed Science” videos, and even do labs in a virtual environment in school or from home.

The Social Studies Curriculum – is another Pearson produced program that the teachers enjoy using.  This is a program that incorporates understanding by design.  Lessons begin by asking an essential question, with the goal of focusing on the desired understanding that students should acquire, and works backward to that of understanding.  Our students are able to explore concepts, build knowledge, and transfer what they’ve learned beyond the classroom.  With innovative, online resources, project-based activities, and unprecedented customization options, all students go beyond the printed page and actively experience the world as it was and is today.  On myWorldHistory.com, our students become historical journalists.  With each chapter they embark on a game-like project, on assignment, that addresses an essential question.  Students gather information to complete the project by watching videos, working through simulations, completing animated activities, and analyzing maps, data, artifacts, and primary sources.  They capture their thoughts and record their observations in a PDA “tracker” and send their “assignment” directly to their teachers.  Activity-based learning inspires students to internalize an enduring understanding of the content they’re studying and develop confidence and self-direction as they move through both team-based and independent work.  Hands-on activities are embedded in the student materials.  It is a joy to see our students being guided to develop a deeper understanding of the content by making personal connections to the people and places they learn about throughout their lessons and activities.

Computer, Music, Art, PE –  All students attend computer, music, art, library and physical education classes once a week for 45 minute periods.

Computer class  –  enhances all subject areas through cross curriculum activities.  The computer teacher meets regularly with colleagues to integrate technology into instruction and learning.

 

The Physical Education program – is designed to develop gross and fine motor skills through activities and sports.  The program’s goal also includes the importance of living a healthy lifestyle through exercise, diet and good sportsmanship.

 

A Performing Arts curriculum – builds skills in voice, public speaking, acting, and dance. This  program begins in the kindergarten where the children explore rhythm, harmony and melody through instrument playing and movement to music.  As the students’ musical comprehension and ability develops, they study how to play the “recorder”, (a small, wood-wind instrument) the reading and writing of music, exploration of various musical genres and have the opportunity to perform in ensemble performances.
The Art program – is a sequential development of skills and processes.  Classes are designed to foster an appreciation of the visual arts by researching and observing various mediums within their historical context.  Students utilize a variety of materials and techniques to create paintings, sculptures, drawings and other forms of visual art.

Library – crosses the curriculum through reading and writing.  Various forms of media, print and technology are utilized. Extensive use of the “Accelerated Reading” program is used to motivate students to become life-long readers.

Top of Form

After School Programs

Each child is encouraged to reach his/her intellectual, social and athletic potential and inspire all with their proficiency at being team players and for their need to serve others.  St. John Bosco School students maintain a healthy balance between academics and extracurricular activities. Opportunities are created for the students based on the awareness of their unique gifts. Whether it is through Marian club (a youth spirituality club), fine arts, athletics, dance, drama, robotics, gaming, etc.  the school is always open for ways in which our students discover, explore and refine their individual gifts and talents.

St. John Bosco School School offers a wide variety of extracurricular activities for students to participate in:

Marian Club (youth spirituality)

Robotics

Gaming (Computer)

Electronics (Snap Circuit)

Athletics – Football, Volleyball, Soccer, Basketball, Track and Field, Golf, Baseball, Softball, T-ball

Arts and Crafts

Band

Quiz Bowl

Year Book

Chess

Drama

Game Clubs