Academics

St. John Neumann Regional Catholic School’s commitment to a learning process is reflected in a curriculum that adjusts to the unique needs of individual students while respecting the rights, interests, and personal dignity of each child. The school’s sound academic curriculum prepares students to become productive members of society in a world that is becoming increasingly competitive. The curriculum at SJNRCS encompasses the following subject areas and each student is required to participate in every subject area taught in his or her grade level. The academic subjects include Religion, Language Arts, Reading (Grades K — 5), Literature (Grades 6 — 8), Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Art, Music, Computer, Spanish, Physical Education, and Media.

Religion comprises the heartbeat at SJNRCS. The goal of the religion curriculum is to instill in students an enthusiasm for living the Catholic faith and to provide an in-depth religious education that includes experiences in prayer, the sacraments, and service, while stressing the integration of Christian principles into the total curriculum. All classes participate in weekly liturgies, celebrating a variety of themes that directly relate to everyday living. In addition, students celebrate special occasions such as feast days of patron saints, Thanksgiving, and Christmas with pageants and programs. First through eighth grade students participate in special retreat days. Through these retreats, students are given time for quiet reflection, peer interaction, and self-evaluation, as well as the opportunity to bond with one another as a class.

Students put their faith into action through participation in varied service projects. During the school year, SJNRCS sponsors food and clothing drives for the poor. At Thanksgiving and Christmas, needy families are also adopted. Each month, fruit is collected and distributed at an Atlanta area soup kitchen. Religion is the thread that weaves faculty, staff, students, and parents together.

The Language Arts curriculum incorporates reading, writing, speaking, listening, spelling, grammar, and vocabulary in assisting students in the acquisition of effective language skills. Besides focusing on reading and comprehension, the reading series in grades K — 5 undertakes a linguistic approach to reading that emphasizes word attack skills (phonics and decoding strategies), language skills, and vocabulary. In grades six through eight, the literature series uses different genres to integrate literary skills and reading skills. Novels are also read at each grade level in the middle school. An emphasis on vocabulary development begins in the primary grades. Beginning in third grade, students use a vocabulary workshop series. Language arts in sixth through eighth grades teaches the skills of grammar and different styles of oral and written communication.

The study of Mathematics as a means of exploring the world plays an integral role in the education of each student at St. John Neumann Regional Catholic School. While contributing to the development of the whole person, mathematics enriches life and provides students with practical tools for daily living. The school’s mathematics program exposes students to a wide variety of mathematical experiences. A hands-on approach to the basic mathematical ideas and concepts encourages children to experience mathematical relationships and inter-connections. First through eighth grade students utilize a series of books with special attention given not only to the acquisition of the needed basic skills, but also to critical thinking and problem solving. In eighth grade, based on grades and performance, students are placed in either Algebra or Pre-Algebra.

The Science curriculum provides students with a basic knowledge of science as it relates to them and to their own experiences. The science program exposes students to a full-range of activities through which science may be explored. In addition, activities such as observations and data recording are ongoing. Science integrates and develops basic knowledge, investigative experience, and curiosity through student involvement. Firsthand experiences with magnets, gears, fish, and a wide range of other living and non-living materials introduce children to basic scientific principles. Middle school students use a combined life, physical, and earth science program that offers a balanced presentation of textbook information, investigative materials, and lab work. All middle school and upper elementary science is supported by laboratory experience.

The school’s Social Studies curriculum includes a hands-on program for Kindergarten. Social Studies textbooks for grades one through eight include technology at all levels in the presentation of material. Students begin with a study of their world, communities and regions, and their interactions. In fourth grade, students learn more about the regions of the United States and their development. To further this knowledge, the subject of geography, foreign cultures, and world history in fifth and sixth grades introduces students to a variety of global issues. The study of American history and the U.S. Constitution completes the curriculum in grades seven and eight.

The Fine Arts curriculum develops and stimulates the artistic abilities inherent in all children. Art and music classes develop many valuable skills, including physical and mental coordination, self-expression, group participation, and cooperation. A Visual Arts Fair is held in the spring to showcase the talents of all students.

All students gain a working knowledge of computers through classes in the Computer Lab. A wide-range of software complements classroom instruction. Students learn proper keyboarding technique, as well as varied word processing applications. State-of-the-art multimedia computers enable students to conduct online research activities and utilize technology skills to creatively enhance learning and communicate effectively. Computers within the lab and throughout the school are networked for both Intranet and Internet usage.

Interactive white boards and LCD projectors are used by teachers in the classrooms to enhance their lessons. Additionally, every middle school student is assigned a personal Dell Chromebook with access to Google Apps, 4th and 5th grade students have access to a classroom set of Microsoft Surface tablets, and students in grades K – 3 have access to Android tablets.  Students receiving academic coaching also have access to tablet computers to enhance their learning experience.

Spanish is offered at SJNRCS for Kindergarten through eighth grade. Major emphasis is placed on oral communication as students learn to tell basic information about themselves. They acquire vocabulary and learn sentence structure by listening to Spanish spoken to them and then making connections through the use of media, visuals, and nonverbal communication. Students also learn about the culture and food of Spanish speaking countires. Classes are conducted 99 percent in Spanish and an emphasis is placed on pronunciation.

Bi-weekly Physical Education classes in Grades K-5 assist in the development of physical, motor, and developmental skills, while teaching the importance of teamwork and providing lifetime fitness skills. Students in Middle School attend PE classes once a week.

The school’s Media Center provides a wide range of teaching materials that play an integral role in enhancing the school’s instructional program. Use of these valuable resources helps to develop each student’s ability to effectively conduct research and retrieve information. Students are encouraged to visit the library and check out books on a daily basis. As part of the Media Center, a closed-circuit TV station is used to communicate school-wide news and special programs. News crew teams, consisting of middle school students, produce a daily TV broadcast of prayer, the morning announcements, and news at SJN.

St. John Neumann Regional Catholic School strives to meet the educational needs of all of its students in the academic spectrum. Children who need additional academic support outside the classroom may be referred to the Academic Coaching Program to provide strategies for each child’s success. Academic Coaching is a resource program designed to meet the learning style needs of students who have been recommended to the program. Coaching is available to those students who meet specified criteria. Early intervention is one of the goals of the program. Students meet in small groups with a concentration on reading and math skills, academic subject reviews, study skills, and test preparation.

By challenging each student to do his or her best, the faculty ensures that students develop the skills necessary for success. This is evidenced by the exceptional performance of students from SJNRCS who go on to public, private, and parochial high schools.