Kindergarten – Grade 3
Our kindergarten program begins for students who are five years old, by September 1st. This is determined by the State of Massachusetts, and by district.
Kindergarten through Grade 3 are self-contained classrooms. In addition to the main curriculum, students participate in enhancement classes, including Art, Physical Education, Technology, Music, and the Portuguese language.
Grade 4 and 5 share two teachers, transitioning for Mathematics, and English Language Arts. The rest of the curriculum is taught by that grade level teacher. Our middle school (Grades 6-8) transition between numerous educators for their core subjects, including Religion, English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies. Similarly to K-3, students in Grades 4-8 are instructed in enhancement classes. In alignment with our schools mission, students focus on the Portuguese language as their foreign language studies.
Students follow a prescribed course of study that helps them to learn, love and live their Catholic faith. Topics range from the story of creation, through the life and work of Jesus, and ending with the history of the Catholic Church, the children learn about the foundation and fundamentals of the Catholic faith. In accordance to the Diocese of Fall River, students will receive 1st Communion in the 2nd grade, and 8th graders will begin their studies for the Sacrament of Confirmation, to be received in the 9th grade. Outside of the classroom, students will participate in daily prayer, monthly school liturgies, prayer services, and service projects that allow students to put their faith into action.
English, Reading, and Literature
Students in Grades K-3 focuses on teaching the students to read. Phonemic awareness, vocabulary development, oral reading fluency, and comprehension are all components of the program. Using reading programs, and DRA testing, students are leveled according to their ability, and challenged as they grow. Using these programs, teachers foster a love for reading.
As students enter Grade 4, students are using prior knowledge, and reading to learn. A variety of informational texts are used across the content areas. Also, students are taught in modern educational methods, giving them the tools for success in the higher grades and above. Vocabulary development, reading comprehension, and independent writing are critical to the program in the middle grades. Students will study literary works while building a diverse vocabulary, and building on their skill of reading comprehension. Also, students will learn to write for different purposes, such as argument writing, informative/explanatory and narrative writing. Students will produce a variety of projects, including book reports, essays, presentations, and other writing assignments. Research skills and formative writing will be used across the other content areas.
Beginning in the 2018-2019 school year, the Diocese of Fall River begun a shift in our Mathematics offerings, in order to help students understand the fundamentals of Math, provide a more hands-on environment to learning and to close the gap in the misunderstandings of Mathematical concepts. In Grades K-5, Eureka Math is used. Topics include operations and algebraic things, number/operations in base ten, number and operations-fractions, measurement and data, and geometry. In the middle grades, Open Up Resources are used. Topics include ratios/proportional relationships, the number system, expressions/equations, geometry, statistics, and probability. This shift also focuses heavily on algebraic thinking, in preparation for high school mathematics. In both programs, the understanding and use of mathematical vocabulary is important, especially in the application of skills in mathematical questions, or explaining reasoning.
Thematic units are the foundation for science instruction in Grades K-2. Students will use factual and fictional texts that correlate to the subject matter. Also, the Mystery Science program is used in integration to the curriculum to expand student knowledge. The intermediate grade students will cover topics in life science, physical science, and earth/space science. The Mystery Science program is also used to enhance the program. Along with the classroom teacher, a science specialist coordinates the program, and co-teaches the Science curriculum.
Middle school science addresses and extends the learning in the areas of life science, physical science, and earth/space science. Students work to meet the learning outcomes in a guided inquiry format. Included in these sciences, integration of technology places a critical emphasis of the correlation of Math and Science. Programs include a variety of labs and introduction to entry robotics/programming.
In the primary and intermediate grades, topics of instruction focus on areas of economics, history, geography, civics, government and local history. A project-based element is applied in these areas, focusing on students collaborating with one another. In the middle school, Grade 6 students learn about life in the Ancient Civilizations. Grade 7 and 8 learn about the establishment and growth of the United States, through westward expansion to the present day. Elements of research writing are utilized to expand student knowledge and ability.
Data Driven Testing (MAP Testing)
During the 2018-2019 school year, the elementary/middle schools in the Diocese of Fall River will replace the IOWA standardized tests with the MAP Suite Assessment system. The implementation of the Map Suite Assessments is part of a larger Diocesan-wide initiative on Data Driven Instruction designed to gain a deeper understanding of our students’ learning needs. The data derived from these assessments will allow administrators and teachers to measure student growth and proficiency, identify strengths and weaknesses at the school, class and individual student levels, target instruction, and personalize learning. Data driven instruction provides school leaders and teachers with the information needed to make strategic and intentional decisions in real time about teaching and learning so that all children can succeed.
Title I Services/Tutoring
Beginning in the 2017-2018 school year, Espirito Santo School has expanded our Title I program, offering further assistance to students outside of the classroom. Our staff is able to provide guidance to primary teachers, in helping students achieve their academic goals. Also, outside of the school day, these educators providing tutoring and homework help in our after-school program.
For further information, or to schedule a tour at Espirito Santo School, please contact Mr. Raposo, at 508-672-2229, or by email at ARaposo@es.dfrcs.org.