Curriculum Highlights

St. Joseph School prides itself on offering a rich educational program that is personal and relevant to each and every student. Our students are challenged with high academic standards in a well-rounded curriculum full of enrichment opportunities. It’s our goal to help children develop academically, physically, socially, and emotionally.

General Programs

It is the belief of St. Joseph School that to educate a student in the image of God we must instruct the whole child. The academic, spiritual, social and physical domains of the student’s character must all be considered. All of our programs are planned according to the directives of the proper educational authorities: the Church, the State of California and the Diocesan School Offices.

The curriculum for K-5 includes the following subject areas:

  • Religion
  • Language Arts (English, reading, literature, spelling/vocabulary and handwriting)
  • Mathematics
  • General Science
  • Social Studies
  • Computer Technology
  • Physical Education
  • Art
  • Music

The curriculum for 6-8 includes these additional options:

  • Student Council
  • Band
  • Choir
  • Robotics

Religious Education

At St. Joseph School, faith formation is a critical part of our students’ growth and a key part of our school’s Catholic identity. We understand that the academic, physical, social and spiritual development of the child is rooted in his/her religious formation. This begins early in the child’s life under the supervision of parents, and is nurtured by the school. To foster this growth, St. Joseph offers a diocesan standards-based religious education program, and participation in liturgical and paraliturgical celebrations at all grade levels.

Preparation for the Sacraments assists both the parent and child to develop a deeper love and understanding of the Sacraments. Students who have demonstrated readiness will receive First Reconciliation and Eucharist in second grade. We stress the importance of parent involvement in sacramental preparation and strongly encourage attendance at the parent meeting nights scheduled well in advance of the reception of the Sacraments. After the receiving of a Sacrament, the continued participation in the Sacrament is the responsibility of the parent. Any student not in second grade in need of sacramental preparation may contact the Parish Director of Religious Education for instruction classes. Specific catechetical instruction for sacramental preparation is not present in the religious curriculum for other grades.

Saint Joseph Students come from a range of faiths including Anglicans, Baptists, nondenominational Christians, Lutherans, Greek Orthodox, or they may be agnostic. This deepens student appreciation for our multicultural world and allows for a positive exchange of cultures and ideas. All students participate in the total instructional program of the school including religion classes. The school shall respect the beliefs of children of other faiths that are enrolled; however, the content of the explicit religious instructional program shall be in the tradition of the Catholic Church.

Physical Education

Formal physical education classes are conducted for all students. If a student is unable to participate in these classes for a reason of health, he/she must bring a note from a parent and/or physician stating the reason and duration. All activities are designed to promote physical fitness and all students are required to participate to the best of their ability.

Homework

St. Joseph School believes in the value of homework, which serves to enrich and reinforce student learning in the classroom. Besides helping students to develop independent work habits and a sense of responsibility, it can provide opportunities for research and creative thinking. The following suggestions are offered to parents to help their child with this responsibility:

  1. Model a positive attitude about homework.
  2. Give homework high priority
  3. Arrange for a quiet, comfortable place for your child to work that is free of distraction.
  4. Help your child organize the use of time by setting a definite time for homework and keeping to it every night.
  5. Help your child understand that homework is one of the responsibilities of being a student.
  6. Insist that your child write down his/her assignments daily in a student assignment notebook.
  7. Help the child to learn responsibility by refusing to allow him/her to consistently depend on phone calls to other students.
  8. Show interest in your child’s work by taking the time to look over the completed assignment. Insist on neatness and best effort.
  9. Listen to your child’s efforts in reading, spelling, number facts, religion prayers, etc.
  10. Give help to your child but don’t do the work for him/her.

St. Joseph School also believes in the value of helping its families enjoy the weekends and holidays free of their children’s academic responsibilities.

Therefore, teachers assign homework on Monday through Thursday, but generally not on Friday or on days before dismissal for holidays, particularly for K-4, unless the weekend is part of a larger window for student projects. The following table lists the estimated daily amounts of time a student should spend in completing assigned homework and/or unfinished class work:

  • Primary (K-2): 20-30 minutes
  • Intermediate (3-5): 30-60 minutes
  • Middle School (6-8): 60-90 minutes

Occasionally, teachers may assign work to be done cooperatively by students. Unless the teacher clearly states that the work is to be done by a group of students and/or that students may help each other, it is expected that each student will do his/her own work. Students need to understand that doing one’s own work is a matter of justice. Presenting another student’s work as one’s own is morally and ethically incorrect and is considered cheating.