As with our Kindergarten program, all students in grades 1-8 have valuable learning experiences in religion, reading, language arts, math, social studies, science, Spanish, physical education, health, music, art, and technology, according to the curricula set forth by the Archdiocese of Denver Office of Catholic Schools (please visit the website at http://archden.org/schools/office-catholic-schools/ ). Through language arts study, our students advance in reading, literature, grammar, spelling, phonics, vocabulary, and penmanship, and our math students develop fundamental skills up to a minimum of basic algebra before graduating in eighth grade. All grades have access to the media lab, filled with modern touch-screen computers, and chromebooks available to check out for classroom use.
The strong faith formation at St. Catherine School is supported by the only U.S. presence of the Community of the Beatitudes on our campus (http://beatitudes.us/), regular classroom visits by the Archdiocese’s only full-time school chaplain, daily morning and afternoon prayer, class-led masses and regular mass attendance 2x/wk in a truly exquisite church, and a breathtaking perpetual adoration chapel. Through religious study and practice, including all-school rosaries and emotionally stirring services like the living Stations of the Cross during Lent and the tableau during Holy Week, all students at St. Catherine’s develop a strong relationship with Jesus Christ, knowledge of Catholic Church teachings, and full sacramental preparation in grades 2-8.
An intentional approach to curricula (both explicit subject matter and collateral learning) inspires St. Catherine’s students enthusiastically to learn not only how to be academically successful, but how to develop relationships, be a person of good Christian character, and confidently strive for pride, joy, and accomplishment their entire life.
Our first grade classroom is filled with fun and enthusiasm for learning. Students enjoy learning with their homeroom teacher and highly qualified specialists in the extended curriculum areas. First graders learn and demonstrate discipline, self-control, and respect through educational songs and a great number of hands-on activities.
Our second graders experience an appropriate increase in classroom structure and continue to strengthen their academic prowess through consistent classroom routines in a kind and caring atmosphere. Students enjoy learning with their homeroom teacher and highly qualified specialists in the extended curriculum areas. Our second graders continue to grow in dignity and confidence through continual positive learning experiences.
In the third grade, St. Catherine’s students celebrate learning in an experiential environment filled with hands-on learning activities and field trips including the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo, and local puppet theater. Third graders continue to learn from a homeroom teacher and extended curriculum specialists, and continue to develop love and consideration for others through a positive classroom culture and activities like managing recycling for the school.
The fourth graders at St. Catherine’s finally get to graduate to the uppermost floor of the building with the big kids. Fascinating science projects abound and students look forward to continued academic growth and excellence in all content areas through regular, productive use of the media lab, and the caring effective instruction of one homeroom teacher and excellent extended curriculum teachers.
The fifth graders begin to prepare for the big change to middle school with appropriately increased rigor and the consistent use of one-to-one chromebooks in the classroom, all with a loving and caring teacher. Students continue to focus on responsibility and success with one homeroom teacher and content specialists for extended curriculum classes. Hands-on learning in science and engineering include activities like the yearly favorite gingerbread house project.
6th, 7th, and 8th grade (Middle School)
Looking forward to the structure of high school, the middle school students at St. Catherine’s rotate to three different classrooms for their academic content classes, but still maintain a comforting home base with one homeroom teacher per grade. Through the middle school years, students prepare for the rigors and expectations of high school as well as the demands of increased maturity, confidence, social skills, and good Christian character in the wider community and global classroom. Math students are strongly supported and encouraged to succeed as they progress into algebra. In seventh and eighth grade, religious studies include an appropriately Catholic approach to the theology of the body. Continued study in liberal arts classes, increased expectations in the health and p.e. classroom, and increased time in Spanish class, emphasize the importance of a well-rounded education and preparation for lifelong success and well-being. Weekly elective offerings on a variety of topics (e.g. leadership training, technical theater, and nutrition) provide opportunities for middle school students to develop personal interests, specialized knowledge, and strong values. Consistent use of one-to-one chromebooks and individual google account tools enriches student learning and facilitates access to subject matter content from home (or anywhere else). Our students enthusiastically develop academic and life skills through research and practical projects like the very popular marble roller coaster design and construction project. St. Cat’s middle school students rise to meet extremely high academic expectations in all content areas and continue to grow and strengthen their characters by assuming additional responsibilities as leaders of the school.