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CURRICULUM

Since 1867 (read our history), Saint Paul Catholic School (SPCS) has been a leader in educating children. We embrace the uniqueness of each student by fostering spiritual, intellectual, social and physical development. With 145 years of experience and a dedication to excellence, our school has a legacy of nurturing confident students who are poised and well prepared to embrace their futures (read a few grad’s success stories).

Our co-educational elementary and middle school (K-8) is accredited by the State of Indiana, and we recently earned an A rating by the State. SPCS has consistently outperformed the state average and Valparaiso Public Schools in the Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress-Plus ISTEP+ which measures student achievement in English/Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies. To view our most recent scores, please visit the Indiana Department of Education website.

Our diverse student body includes 331 students. Each elementary class has one teacher and an aide and averages 25 students per class. Our middle school class size averages 26 students and students change classes for each subject. We offer full-day and preschool is available through Tiny Tim’s Early Childhood Development which is located on our campus. Students attend classes daily from 7:45 a.m. until 2:40 p.m. Before and after school care (including busing) are available for an additional fee through the YMCA and Growing Kids.

Our 42-acre campus features 13 state of the art classrooms, computer and science labs, a library, art room, cafeteria, gymnasium with bleachers that seat 300 people, soccer field with electronic score board, and playground. Our campus also includes Saint Paul Catholic Church where students attend Mass twice a week.

Through individual and collaborative work, students expand their knowledge and gain insight into a vast scope of subjects. Our curriculum includes: phonics (elementary grades), language arts, composition, oral communications, mathematics, social studies, science, handwriting/penmanship, computer science, physical education, art, music, and religious education. In addition, students learn study skills and the importance of service to others. Daily homework assignments are checked for completion and mastery, and tests are given for evaluation purposes. An optional Spanish course is offered after-school for kindergarten through eighth grade students.

At Saint Paul Catholic School, we are dedicated to helping each child reach his or her fullest potential. Our experience is that when we set the bar high, students rise to the occasion. As such, teachers in grades 1-8 use a more rigorous grading scale than public schools. Our grading scale is set by the Diocese of Gary:

A+ 100%
A 94-99%
A- 93%
B+ 92%
B 86-91%
B- 85%
C+ 84%
C 76-83%
C- 75%
D+ 74%
D 71-73%
D- 70%
F 69% and below

Learning also thrives outside of the classroom, as students participate in enriching field trips and a variety of academic activities such as Knowledge Master, National Geography Bee, Science Olympiad, science fair, and speech competitions. Each class visits the school’s library on a weekly basis to peruse a growing collection of 12,000 books managed by our librarian. Each book has been assigned a text measure according to the Lexile Framework for Reading to help match text difficulty with the individual student’s reading ability.

Technology
With technology playing an increasing role in the daily lives of students, we have integrated it into students’ daily experience. Each classroom is equipped with projectors, document readers and computers, and middle school classrooms also have SmartBoards. Students in all grades attend computer lab once per week to receive instruction in Office 2010, Internet research and searches, in-house software and online testing. The students and parents are also regularly instructed in Internet safety by our Computer Applications teacher.

Parent Communications
Our school is able to maintain our high standards of academic excellence by partnering with parents. We encourage parents to actively engage teachers in discussions about their child’s progress and opportunities, and we utilize a variety of vehicles to keep parents informed and involved:

  • Beginning in first grade, each student receives an assignment book that is sent home daily. In it, students record daily assignments and file graded papers and tests that parents can easily review. Teachers may handwrite notes to the parents, and parents can also send messages to the teacher via the binder.

  • In addition, our school utilizes an online tool called Fast Direct. After logging in, parents can view grades, attendance records, class lists, and more. Faculty and parents also use Fast Direct to send and receive email messages.

  • Every Thursday, each family receives a white envelope containing news of upcoming events, Scrip transactions, field trip forms, and other news.

  • Each week, the school publishes The LINK e-newsletter which is chock-full of news, events, recognition.

  • Parent/Teacher conferences are held once a year. However, parents can also request an appointment with a teacher to discuss their child’s progress as needed.

  • Mrs. Scupham, the school principal, has an open door policy, and welcomes an open dialog with parents.

 

 

 

Fast DirectSt, Paul ChurchScripThe LINK