The purpose of education is to help guide children in proper growth - academically, socially, emotionally, spiritually and physically. Our curricula are designed to create an exciting learning environment organized around major concepts and skills.
The curriculum at St. Alban's Episcopal Day School is based upon childrens' interests, past experiences, and developmental levels. In our preschool classes, each classroom is divided into learning centers (i.e. blocks, art, reading, dramatic play, table games, science, computers and math). This allows the child to explore, create, experiment, and discover. The centers provide many opportunities for the child to practice new skills and to make choices and decisions within a framework of cooperative responsibility. This will ensure that each child is successful, enjoys learning, and takes pride in his/her accomplishments. Centers also allow for more individualized instruction which is at the heart of our preschool program.
Our Kindergarten curriculum is also taught through learning centers as well as the following programs:
Handwriting Without Tears
The McGraw Hill Companies SRA "Everyday Mathematics"
Harcourt Science Activity Books
Social Studies is based on the letter of the week, current events, and seasonal activities.
Language Arts: Shurley Language
Math: The McGraw-Hill Companies SRA "Everyday Mathematics"
Social Studies: McGraw-Hill "Adventures In Time & Place"
Science: Harcourt Science and Delta Education "FOSS" (Full Option Science System)
Handwriting Without Tears
Harcourt Science and Foss Kits
Language Arts: Shurley Language + Writing Academy
Reading: Harcourt and Novels
Spelling: Harcourt and A Beka Spelling (6th only)
Math: Everyday Mathematics
Social Studies: McGraw Hill "Adventures in Time & Place
Science: Harcourt Science and Delta Education "FOSS" (Full Option Science System)
**In grades 4-6, science is taught by a separate teacher in the science lab. Students attend science three days per week and participate in a variety of activities including the Jason Project and Science Fair.
St. Alban's administers the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (I.T.B.S.) each year in the Spring in grades kinder through 6th.
St. Alban's does not...
...use standardized tests to label students.
...use standardized tests to place students in a grade or class
...use standardized tests for report card grades.
...use standardized tests to evaluate teachers.
I.T.B.S. scores do help...
...St. Alban's administrators and teachers measure how students perform in relation to other students who take the same test nationwide.
...St. Alban's administrators and teachers evaluate school programs and curricula.
...St. Alban's administrators and teachers evaluate a student's progress from year to year.
Cognitive abilities tests do help St. Alban's administrators and teachers measure a broad range of abilities or skills that are considered important to success in school and help tell how students are likely to do in future schoolwork.
Grades 1-6 are issued progress reports after the end of the 3rd and 6th week.
Report cards are issued the Wednesday following the 9-week period.
Students regularly receive assignments that normally must be finished outside the classroom. The purpose of this homework is to prepare the students for activities that will happen in class and to strengthen or enrich those that already have begun. Students should be encouraged to plan and use their time productively and to become self-directed in meeting these responsibilities. In keeping with the school mission that each student be educated socially, it is stressed that the student become organized so no homework or books are left at home.
Homework is usually assigned Monday through Thursday with only folders, approved projects, research reports (usually needing several days of preparation) to be done over the weekend (after a time line has been discussed with the student and sent home). It has been recommended by our accrediting agency that the amount of time homework can be expected to take on an "average" night when done by an "average" student should be:
|Kindergarten and 1st Grade||30 min (includes reading with parents & math facts practice)|
|2nd Grade||30-45 min (includes reading and math facts practice)|
|3rd Grade||45 min (includes reading & math facts practice)|
|4th Grade||45 min (does not include reading & math facts practice)|
|5th Grade||1 hour (does not include reading)|
|6th Grade||1 1/2 hours (does not include reading)|
Honor roll is a great opportunity to recognize students that excel both academically and socially. We have added an opportunity to recognize these students. Eligibility for honor roll will be based on the following:
Principal's List - Student has an average of 90% or better in each subject, No "N"s on the report card and no more than 5 tardies in a 9 week period.
"A" Honor Roll - Student has an overall 9 week grade point average of 90.0 or above on all subjects averaged together and no more than 2 "N"s on the report card.
Preschool children attend library and physical education classes. Kindergarten and grades 1-6 students attend art, music, Spanish, computers, physical education, and religion classes.
Students in grades 1-6 participate in the Accelerated Reader Program in which students take computerized reading comprehension tests over books they have read to earn points. Rewards are determined by the classroom teacher.
Our campus includes a large state of the art library and fine arts facility with a wide range of fiction and non-fiction materials, a variety of research resources and ten internet-accessible, networked computers for classes to complete research together.
Preschool and kindergarten students attend P.E. once per week for 30 minutes. Students in grades 1-6 attend P.E. four times per week for 30 minutes. Students in physical education (P.E.) have fun while learning life long skills to promote a healthy life style. Three and four-year old students work on gross motor skills, moving through space with and without an object, and by the end of the school year are working on improving fine motor skills. Students in kindergarten through sixth grade focus on skills needed to develop a healthy life style by using games that incorporate aerobic and anaerobic exercise. Classes work on building teamwork as well as sportsmanship. The program encourages the child to develop a Christian, sportsmanlike attitude, both as a participant and as a spectator. Many of our students participate in a variety of extracurricular sports such as football, basketball, soccer, baseball and tennis. Our program is designed to enhance and enrich those activities. St. Alban's is a member of the Valley Independent Schools Association (V.I.S.A.) and our students often compete in the volleyball and track leagues.
Students in kindergarten through the 6th grade receive art instruction as an enrichment class. Art classes are designed to incoporate hands-on activities and projects that allow students to master the use of age appropriate art materials and tools. Activities and projects include units in drawing, painting, weaving, color concepts, clay play, trash art, and many more. Students are encouraged to explore new ideas, expand their creativity, and develop self-confidence in their individual abilities. Our goal is to develop group cooperation, hone fine motor skills. improve art skills, foster an understanding and appreciation of the visual arts, and provide a safe place for students to express themselves artistically in an environment of acceptance.
All students have the opportunity to participate in the music program. The primary purpose and objective to the Music program is to give the students the opportunity to experience and enjoy all of the forms of musical expression: vocal, instrumental, and movement. The secondary purpose is to begin to teach the students to read music so that when they leave our school they can easily move into a band or choir at the middle school level. The students learn how to read and follow written music and how the words and music relate to each other. Songs using hand motions, various rhythms, and music from other cultures are included in the curriculum, plus use of rhythm. Use of rhythm instruments is also covered. Religious, patriotic, and seasonal songs are a part of music class and Chapel. Memorization of selected songs is required, especially for program performances. Songs in Spanish are learned for programs, general classroom enjoyment, and for Chapel.
St. Alban's offers Spanish classes to students in grades 2 - 6. In the early grades, the curriculum emphasizes vocabulary building, language and pronunciation, recognition of letters, numbers, colors and shapes, and conversation. By fourth, fifth, and sixth grades, students begin to learn the rules of grammar in both writing and speaking, along with the continued accumulation of vocabulary and practice of conversation. Students use dialogue, song, stories, and visual aids in the learning and practice of the new language.
We use the curriculum, Santillana, a comprehensive second language program for speakers of Spanish as a second language. According to the program objectives, the aim of Santillana is to introduce students to Hispanic culture, to foster a positive attitude toward language learning, and to provide a solid foundation for basic communication skills.
The goal of the program is to make second language learning a positive experience for all students in a comfortable and non-threatening environment while emphasizing the importance of the acquisition of multiple languages in today's global society.
The St. Alban's Technology Initiative began in 2006-2007 with two model classrooms and a new Computer Center. The classrooms are updated with 3 student computer stations complete with high speed Internet capability, and Microsoft Office programs. The teachers in the classrooms were provided with a laptop, printer, multi-media projector, digital camera and scanner. The Computer Center was equipped with 20 student computer stations with high speed Internet capability and Microsoft Office programs.
We are developing teaching strategies that incorporate technology into our curriculum. The Internet is an additional source for information and students will develop capabilities of evaluating Internet sites to determine their value and evaluate their accuracy. Students will become proficient in the use of spreadsheets (MS Excel) to calculate and manipulate numbers and then present their findings in charts. Students will also become proficient in composing their assignments while using word processing (MS Word), presentation software (MS PowerPoint), and publication software (MS Publisher). Other favorite programs that allow students and teachers to creatively express themselves include Paint, and Microsoft Picture Manager.
Religion classes will meet once per week for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Class activities and discussions are based on Judeo-Christian values and their application to everyday life. Curriculum includes readings and stories from the Bible, the Episcopal prayer book and other resources. All students in grades 1-6 will explore their relationship with God, their relationships with each other and how to live as God wants us to live. The instructor will also be using other materials to incorporate character and manners into the lessons. These classes will work in tandem with Chapel and are overseen by both the Head of School and the Rector. Shared experiences, role-play activities and stories help to integrate the virtues and biblical values into the daily lives of our students.
It is the consensus of the Rector, Wardens, and Vestry of St. Alban's Episcopal Church as well as the head of School that regular chapel worship is an integral part of the program and curricula of St. Alban's Episcopal Day School. We are a Christian school in the Episcopal tradition, and as such, we understand worship to be inseparable from our school's mission to educate the whole child. Services especially geared for children are held on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Friday. Grade children worship from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Preschool and Kindergarten children worship from 8:30 a.m. to 9::00 a.m. Worship includes the Lord's Prayer as well as Bible readings, homily, and music. Children are taught to participate in the liturgy and to understand and experience the love of Christ in their lives.
St. Alban's students compete successfully in a variety of academic competitions including Southwestern Association of Episcopal Schools (S.A.E.S.), Science Fair and Private School Interscholastic Association (P.S.I.A.). In addition, our students are active in Boys and Girls Club sports, Valley Independent School's Association (V.I.S.A.) Sports, Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts.