All Day Kindergarten
Our all-day Kindergarten program allows for a very rich, challenging and comprehensive curriculum. There is enough time for not only academic instruction, but also the equally important free play which promotes motor coordination, sharing and socialization.
St. James School is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. The school curriculum meets and exceeds both State and Diocesan standards
Our Kindergarten is staffed by a fully-credentialed teacher and a full-time instructional aide. In addition, the school’s reading resource specialist focuses on inventive spelling, journal writing and storytelling.
In addition to learning many Bible stores and basic prayers, students learn that God loves them. They create art and perform dramatic play to demonstrate the Golden Rule: “treat others the way you want to be treated.” In December, the Kindergarten class presents its own nativity pageant.
St. James School uses the phonics-based Pearson Scott Foresman Reading Kindergarten series. The curriculum also focuses on best practices for teacing beginning literacy skills.
The method of Transitional Manuscript is taught because it has proven most effective in learning how to write the alphabet.
Students will recognize and understand the numerals 1 to 20, learn about comparisons, the calendar, the clock, measurement, patterns and geometric shapes. Students will gain an understanding of addition, subtraction, graphing and the place values 1 to 19. A variety of manipulative, word games and other activities are used to increase the student’s knowledge and understanding.
Free Play Time
Children play both indoors and outdoors, promoting motor coordination, imagination, fair play, sharing and sportsmanship. During free play, children experience leadership, problem solving, social skills and language development. When children are playing, they are learning.
The Kindergarten topics include; 5 senses, Healthy Habits, Characteristics of Pets, Characteristics of Objects, Growth of Plants, Living and Non-Living Things, Seasons and Weather Conditions.
The Kindergartners participate in two formal musical productions during the school year. They also practice public speaking at the all-school morning assemblies.
In addition to responding to music through movement in the Kindergarten classroom, students also attend formal music classes taught by the choral director in the school’s music room.
Twice a week, under the direction of the school’s full-time P.E. teacher, students attend formal physical education classes, either in the school’s gym or on the play field. They learn skills in games, team play and gross and fine motor coordination.
Students channel their creative expression by painting, drawing and constructing art pieces. They use play dough on a daily basis which supports fine motor skills, prewriting skills and imagination. Once a month, the school’s Art teacher and parent docents expose the students to a Fine Arts Program where the students learn about artists and their work, Art History and how to produce similar pieces.
To cultivate a love of reading, Kindergarteners are introduced to the library through weekly story-time sessions. . Children also check out and bring home books from the school library.
Eighth Grade Buddy Program
Each kindergartener is assigned an eighth grade buddy. This popular program offers support to our “little ones” as they get to know and trust an older student while building a school-wide sense of community. Together these students share many activities throughout the year including: apple pie baking, blessing of their stuffed animals, pumpkin carving, Easter Egg Hunt and May Crowning. The eighth grade buddies also serve as role models to teach the kindergarteners how to act and behave in church.