The World Language program provides world-readiness by preparing students to participate in a multilingual environment that values other cultures, with the goal of developing functional proficiency in world languages. The World Language program incorporates a proficiency-based curriculum that enables students to use the world language in real life situations in an immersion setting. World Language teachers leverage the power of technology and engaging resources to meet the needs of their diverse leaders. World Language begins in the third trimester of 5th grade and continues through 8th grade.
Art is offered to all students at St. Johns from Pre-K through grade 8. Students learn fundamental design and drawing principles and employ various mediums, including pencils, watercolors, paints and clay, among others. Students also study art history and examine various artists, illustrators, and periods. Our bright, inviting art studio is the perfect setting to uncover the artistic talents in everyone.
A two-pronged approach is essential in delivering computer and technology curriculum to students. Students are taught how to use technology to access information and data, as well as how to use technology to present and deliver their findings. Our computer lab houses over two dozen computers and an Interactive Board to provide every student direct access to technology during formal instruction.
Students will become proficient in using Google GSuite Applications and Microsoft Power Point, Excel and Word programs. Authentic tasks requiring the use of these tech tools requires students to be fluent with these programs. Additionally, students regularly use our Wi-Fi Internet system and educational software to research and to complete tasks to sharpen their technology skills.
A recent renovation of the school library has provided a remarkable space that fosters critical thinking and provides an environment equipped to meet the needs of the 21st century learner, while also maintaining fundamental library skills.
Starting in Pre-K, our students receive formal library and media instruction through grade 6. An extension of our literacy program, students are exposed to beloved authors and various genres to further their love of reading. As they move on through the grades, research skills and evaluating reliable sources are just some of the topics delivered during formal instruction. Our 7th and 8th graders use the skills they’ve mastered when writing extended research papers as part of their English-Language Arts coursework.
The joyous sound of music echoes through the hallways of St. John’s throughout the day. Whether vocalists or instrumentals, our music department exudes its unique rhythm and beat that makes toes tap.
From Pre-K to 8th grade, students are immersed in numerous styles, periods, composers and performers. From traditional and classical to musical and rock, students are bound to discover something that speaks to their inner musician. Moreover, an introduction to the recorder begins in grade 3 and continues through grade 4, while students in grade 6 receive formal instruction on keyboards. Our students’ talents are further showcased during our Christmas and spring concerts.
Additionally, our school was a choir, St. John’s Singers, who sings during school liturgies and special events.
Health and wellness are the emphasis of our physical education classes. Students engage in individual strengthening and cardio exercises to maximize their personal fitness. Additionally, formal instruction in traditional team sports, including volleyball, floor hockey, and basketball are presented to foster adherence to rules and team building opportunities. From the start in Pre-K and on through, well-being and fitness are paramount to this program.
STREAM programming has been integrated into all our programs from Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 8. A broadening of STEM learning—which intentionally incorporates Science, Technology, Engineering and Math across the curriculum—STREAM uniquely includes the Arts and Religion into its repertoire. As a Catholic school, our mission is to education the whole child—mind, body, and spirit. STREAM enables our faculty to continue to raise the bar, allowing our graduates to distinguish themselves and to outperform their peers!
The STREAM learning model was adopted in order for our school community to completely immerse itself across curriculum and departments into an innovative, instructional model. It uses an interdisciplinary approach—combining two or more subject areas—to create a bridge between them thereby deepening students’ learning. Moreover, STREAM education speaks to best practices for both educators and students. A greater emphasis is placed on teaching 21st century skills like creative and critical thinking. Students and parents may expect more project based learning occurring right in our dynamic classrooms. STREAM is not new curriculum, but rather a new mindset of teaching our students.
St. John’s has committed to this program as evidenced by the significant acquisition of equipment and technology, as well as extensive faculty training. Comprehensive science kits that encourage hands-on, problem based learning, sets of Chromebooks for student use in classrooms, robotics kits, and video production equipment all promote technology-driven, engaging, and purposeful STREAM integration. The goal is not to just use technology for the sake of using it, but to integrate it as a tool to enhance learning. For example, when 6th graders study ancient Egypt, they may take a virtual tour within the Pyramids at Giza or view excavation projects in real-time.
Beyond learning from a textbook, our STREAM approach allows academic concepts to be explored with real life applications and experiences to develop a deeper understanding. In the real world, problems faced and the solutions to resolve them are rarely approached in isolation; rather, understanding the issue deeply and drawing upon many disciplines and experiences often make for the most effective solutions. The STREAM learning model promotes this collaborative method.
Mrs. Mary Makar has been appointed as the school’s STREAM coordinator, acting as a liaison between St. John’s and the greater community, including the Education Department at the Diocese and other Catholic schools across WNY. To contact Mrs. Makar, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.