Although we have a strong emphasis on the basics, we go beyond the 3R’s and include classes that help round out the whole child.
Good Shepherd School is committed to a Christian environment of values and positive regard for all individuals. We believe that religion is an all-day process, and it is incorporated into each aspect of the educational program. Our classes focus on what Catholics believe, how they live, and how they worship. Students are also taught a concern for community by such things as daily petitions, food and toy collections, and other service projects. Sacramental preparation is included in the core curriculum.
Our goal is to get students reading literature that motivates and stimulates, thrills and enchants, and develops the skills and strategies that students need to become successful independent readers. At all levels, students are encouraged to think about and respond to what they are reading. Reading and writing become mutually supportive as students learn to think abut their writing through prewriting activities, drafting, conferencing, and revising.
Our math classes are based on the philosophy of connecting the concrete with the symbolic and abstract. Students learn the relevance of math concepts by connecting these concepts to the real world and explaining the relationship with other math concepts. The program strives to build the wide range of skills and strategies that students need to become critical thinkers and effective problem solvers.
The social studies program aims to help children acquire the skills, knowledge and understanding they need to function as concerned and involved members of our society. The program includes a study of families, neighborhoods, communities, our country, and the whole world, as well as their relationship with each other. It emphasizes the major social studies disciplines, such as geography, history, government/citizenship, economics, and sociology. Students are also taught map and chart reading, problem solving, communicating, researching, sequencing, and decision-making skills.
Our science program provides a solid, well-balanced foundation of science concepts based on four major areas: life science, physical science, Earth science, and the human body. Motivation of students is built into every lesson, and concepts are made easy to understand by relating them to students’ prior knowledge and experiences. The program develops and reinforces a wide range of skills by promoting student interaction through observations, experiments, critical thinking, and decision making.
Good Shepherd School recognizes that a second language is becoming a necessity for a child’s long-term academic success. Since it is proven that children learn languages best when the learning begins before fourth grade, all students at Good Shepherd School have Spanish classes two times a week. Students learn to listen, comprehend, speak, read, write, and explore cultural similarities and differences.
The mission of the Good Shepherd music program is to help each child discover and develop their musical potential in a nurturing learning environment, acquiring musical skills and self-discipline, which will promote an appreciation of the arts and participation in Worship. Additionally, students will acquire new knowledge of many genres of music, experience music through performance, move to music through dance, be exposed to new musical styles and cultures, create and compose music. Classroom music is offered twice a week to grades K-6. Students in grades 4-6 learn the basics of guitar playing in the classroom and students in grades 1-6 have an option to take after school guitar lessons. Band is also offered to students in grades 4-6 during the school day with optional after school band lessons.
Classes are held three times a week for grades K - 6. At the primary level, emphasis is placed on fundamental motor skills and physical fitness. At the intermediate level, fundamental skills and physical fitness are still a part of the program, but sports skills and competition are introduced.
Our Media Center includes a library and computer stations. Reading can open up a whole new world for a child. Our library contains both fiction and non-fiction books, as well as a wide selection of reference materials and children’s magazines. All grades visit the library at least once a week as a class to practice library skills and check out books using a computer check-out system.
All our students are encouraged to participate in the Accelerated Reading Program through the use of the library and classroom computers. Accelerated Reading is a computer monitored reading program that measures students reading achievement.
Computer literacy is a vital part of any child’s education. Our students receive formal instruction in the computer lab on a twice weekly basis. Computers are an integral part of the scheduled curriculum to ensure that our students are prepared for the technology they will encounter in junior high and beyond.
The technology curriculum is well integrated with the core subject areas. Students see technology as a tool to express and share content material rather than just a gaming opportunity.
Good Shepherd also brings technology regularly into the homeroom classes. The Kindergarten - 2nd grade classes have a 2:1 ratio of ipad devices. These are used to support language and math development. The 3rd and 4th grade classes, have both ipad devices and a 2:1 ratio of macbook pro laptops. These are again used to support language and math development, but also to start composing and sharing written papers, spreadsheets and powerpoint projects. In our 5th and 6th grade classes, we have a 1:1 program with macbook air laptops. This allows students to fully share their work, research and develop ideas, and collaborate with classmates. Students in grades 3 - 6 utilize Mac and Microsoft software as well as Google Apps for education, giving them a balance and preparing them for both a PC or Mac environment in the future.
In the upper grades, students are also giving the opportunity to explore technology further with our coding and video editing during class as well as during after school camps and programs.