academics_curriculum4Religion: The uniqueness of a Catholic school lies in its explicit effort to complement and reinforce the parents’ natural right and responsibility for the spiritual development of their children. The religious education curriculum, as prescribed by the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, is designed to help students grow in their knowledge and practice of the Catholic doctrine and Gospel values. Classroom instruction and prayer experiences are supported by communal participation in Eucharist, Morning Prayer, Taize or Liturgy of the Word once a week and through a variety of service projects to help students grow in their awareness of social justice.

Language Arts: The language arts curriculum focuses on developing a student’s ability to communicate through the spoken word, the written word, and listening. Recognizing the primacy of communication in helping students to connect with other’s thoughts, opinions, ideas, and emotions, St. Columban School dedicates time to instruction in reading, writing, grammar, and spelling skills, as well as integrating these language arts throughout the content subjects.

Reading is a combination literature/skill-based program at St. Columban School. As students develop a facility with decoding and reading fluency, they are exposed to a wide variety of literature genres. Classroom instruction is enhanced by student participation in the Accelerated Reader program, which allows students to select and read books at their individual reading levels. A weekly library program and services provided by a reading specialist and tutor also support students as they learn to value the ability to read.

In English, a student’s developing skills in grammar, spelling, and vocabulary are employed as they engage in the writing workshop process. Students are exposed to a variety of writing genres (narratives, poetry, letters, journals, essays, persuasive writing, etc.) as they progress through the curriculum.

Mathematics: Helping students learn to confidently use math in everyday living and as an approach to problem solving are important goals of the mathematics curriculum at St. Columban School. Students are expected to take an active role in exploring and constructing mathematical concepts, leading them to see the connections and applications of the various concepts. The program is also designed for students to develop the ability to communicate and reason mathematically and to learn how to use technology as a tool for investigating and solving problems. The Archdiocesan graded course of study provides the classroom teachers with identifiable and measurable performance objectives at each grade level, and aligns classroom instruction with the nationally adopted Common Core Standards for Mathematics. Students who have mastered all grade level objectives and display an above grade level ability with the mathematics curriculum may be chosen to participate in the Algebra I class in their 8th grade year.

Social Studies: The social studies curriculum aims to help children make discoveries about the people, culture, geography, and history of their home communities as well as the world at large. Students not only learn about the people, places, and events that have shaped our history, but also acquire and practice skills that will allow them to identify and analyze social problems. The unique aspect of the social sciences as taught in a Catholic school is the focus on peace and justice issues. Students learn to view the world through the lens of Catholic Christian teachings and to apply Christ’s teachings to social issues in the modern world.

Science and Health: The science and health curriculums follow the graded course of studies set forth by the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. In accordance with their guidelines, science subjects including earth/space science, life science, and physical science are taught in all grades from one (1) through eight (8), and health and safety objectives are incorporated in grades one (1) through six (6). Health grades are assigned once during the course of the school year. The primary emphasis of the science program is to help students develop an understanding of the various areas of science, while developing skills needed for scientific inquiry. In studying science, students will also learn the beauty and magnificence of God’s creation.

Spanish: Students in kindergarten through grade six receive instruction in the Spanish language once a week. The goal of the program is to expose children to a different culture and to begin developing a basic knowledge of common words and short phrases. Spanish instruction is also available for grades seven and eight as an optional trimester course.

Music: Music is an important part of a student’s education at St. Columban School. Music is a language because it uses symbols to represent ideas, much as math and chemistry does. Music requires the physical use of the entire body when a student sings and performs rhythmic movements. Music also provides opportunities for cooperating with others in a team effort.

Grades 1-8 learn the eight elements of music: melody, form, rhythm, tempo, dynamics, tone color, harmony, and texture. They learn these elements and put them into use through singing, movement, and the playing of various percussion instruments and mallet instruments. Students learn the soprano recorder as part of their general music class during the intermediate years. During the junior high years (grades 7-8), students may choose music electives, such as Performance Music, Music Lab, and Musical Theater. They are required to take a minimum of one music elective over the two years, but can choose as many as three.

There are several performances during the year: the third grade Christmas Musical in December, the 1st through 4th grade Grandparents Day performance, and the 1st grade performance for Volunteer Service Day.

Additional opportunities for students to use what they have learned in music class are available through programs such as beginning band (grade 4), advanced band (grades 5-8), the Liturgical Choir (grades 5-8), the hand bell choir (grades 5-8) and the after school drama club (which does the spring musical).

Auxillary Services: We believe every child has academic gifts.  We offer ISP’s and accommodation plans to help students succeed.  St. Columban School offers intervention specialists in Reading and Math, Speech, Title 1, Instructional Assistants in every grade level, 2 part time Psychologists, and a full time Nurse.  We also offer enrichment opportunities for the students.

Technology: St. Columban School is dedicated to the teaching mission of the Catholic Church. As a school, we recognize that we live in a new media age and are immersed in a culture of evolving language and opportunities. The new technologies present possibilities and challenges, which must be explored and used in order to enhance and enrich the school’s programs and support student learning.