Religious education is the heart of Saint Vincent de Paul School. We begin each day together when we assemble for Morning Prayer. Prayer is part of every class. Our students pray several times every day and attend Mass monthly. Students receive formal religious instruction each day, and religion classes emphasize family life, the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, Christian service, Gospel values, character education, the sacraments, and the readings for each Sunday’s Mass.
Reading and writing skills begin in Kindergarten. The focus is on decoding skills (including phonics) in the primary grades, formal handwriting and spelling, and reference skills. Language arts skills are developed through storytelling, chapter books, literature based classes, pre-writing and editing, different forms of composition and literature, research for formal presentations involving role-playing, speeches, term papers, the use of library, and group projects, and oral reports. Emphasis is placed on reading comprehension, vocabulary development, spelling, and handwriting skills.
Kindergarten through 6th grade utilize Eureka Math curriculum and closely follows the Common Core State Standards in mathematics. Our math program covers basic skills such as understanding math terminology, computation mastery, concepts and word problems as well as geometry, pre-algebra, and algebra. Math enrichment opportunities are available. Math skills are developed through drill, mental math, and the use of math manipulatives, math games, and Internet sites.
The 7th and 8th grade utilize Big Ideas Mathematics curriculum and cover pre-algebra and algebra I topics, practices, and skills.
The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) demand a focus on phenomena and scientific practices across all grade levels. Science is introduced in kindergarten and begins with an emphasis on experimentation, practical applications and the scientific method. Elements of Earth, Life, and Physical Sciences are taught throughout the grades. Following the NGSS, middle school students cycle through all three disciplines every year -- Earth Science, Physical Science and Life Science.
Students explore through our science center, hands-on activities, projects, research, and Internet sites. They also enjoy field trips that enhance their scientific experiences and encourage them to apply scientific concepts into their every day life.
Social Studies is introduced in kindergarten and first grade, where students learn about their community. Students in subsequent grades learn about social structures, World, United States, and California history. They study ancient and modern civilizations, city, state and federal government, and the importance of maintaining a global perspective. This is accomplished through study, research, field trips, and the use of media, especially Internet sites.
Music is taught from kindergarten through eighth grade. It is a comprehensive program that includes music appreciation, rhythm, reading basic notation, the history of music, the variety of types of music, liturgical music, music programs, and the basic knowledge and use of simple instruments.
Spanish is taught from kindergarten through eighth grade and emphasizes vocabulary, basic grammar, usage, conversational phrases, elements of and appreciation for Hispanic culture (including some religious practices), and music. Students in grades kindergarten through second grade have Spanish two times per week for 30 minutes. Students in grades three through eight may have Spanish classes three times per week for 45 minute periods.
Art is taught in grades kindergarten through eighth and is integrated with other subjects. The focus is on student creativity while using various art media, learning art appreciation and history, and creating artistic displays.
Our physical education program follows the National Standards for Physical Education.
Physical activity is critical to the development and maintenance of good health. The goal of Physical Education is to develop physically educated individuals who have the knowledge, skills, and confidence to enjoy a lifetime of healthful physical activity.
The National Standards for Physical Education include:
Motor skills are taught to kindergarten students to further develop their large motor skills. Skills such as balance, climbing steps, jumping, skipping, crawling, running, etc. are emphasized to improve each child’s development of coordination.
Computer/technology is taught in kindergarten through eighth grade. The focus is on computer literacy, online capability, power point presentations, Excel, streaming videos, and the use of various media.
Saint Vincent de Paul School integrates technology in the classroom. ELA and mathematic platforms are utilized to personalize each student's educational experience. In the middle school each student is required to bring an iPad to school to support their learning.
Drama is taught to students in grades first through eight. It emphasizes basic skills such as stage presence, voice projection, singing, dancing, and actual performance. Our drama curriculum produces musical performances and Shakespearean presentations twice a year during a theatre and art festival.