The academic program at Saint Vincent de Paul School is a challenging, academically rewarding curriculum for students from preschool through eighth grade. In addition to reading, writing, mathematics, spelling, social studies, health, science, and religion, all students are engaged in studies of art, music, Spanish, library skills, technology, and physical education. The Ohio Academy of Science awarded St. Vincent de Paul School the Thomas Edison Award for excellence in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education. In addition to the core curriculum, St. Vincent students participate in a wide range of academic enrichment programs, including field trips, Knowledge Day, Future City competitions, and more.
Welcome to the wonderful world of kindergarten! Kindergarten is a fun year. This year, the kids get to meet their 7th grade guardian angels. They do lots of things with their older friends like going to Grassbaugh’s farm, pumpkin hunting, and crafts. They do a big science project about a habitat, and create that habitat in the classroom. The kindergarten year brings many new challenges and much growth for our students. The student’s reading abilities begin to emerge along with more complex math and science skills. It is wonderful and exciting for all involved.
First grade is a year of many firsts: students get to have their own desk and books, they begin writing homework assignments in their planners, they review the writing process, write a non-fiction report on their favorite animal, and build the animal from recycled materials! Learning adventures include visits to an apple orchard, screening an Earth Day movie, and a day at the zoo. Following the example of their sixth grade buddies, first graders are shown how they can help others while doing service projects.
Second grade begins with identifying dinosaurs and theorizing as to why they died out, building roller coasters, exploring the solar system, constellations, and moon phases. In religion, the main focus is learning the Ten Commandments, receiving the sacraments of Reconciliation in the fall, and receiving the Eucharist in the spring. Adventures include exploring the Wilds near Zanesville and the Works in Newark. Of course, cursive is a rite of passage in second grade, and by the end of the year the students will write like John Hancock! There is always something new and exciting to do and learn in second grade.
In third grade the students begin to become responsible. They learn to use their daily assignment pads and are held accountable for knowing their assignments and turning them in punctually. The students’ learning in math multiplies as they memorize their multiplication tables. Knox County history is studied and enhanced by visiting local historic locations. One of the students’ favorite units is about plants because it includes many experiments and watching things grow! The most important thing we do is learning about our Catholic faith. We learn about saints and how we can follow their ways. We also plan Masses and participate in the the Rosary, Stations of the Cross, and May Crowning.
Fourth grade is all about mastering organization and balancing a heavier homework load. In health, nutrition, first aid, the digestive system, and learning about making healthy choices is studied. Social studies is focused on Ohio. Students take a walk through time from the first settlers to modern day Ohioans. They write a report about one of the Presidents of the United States, since Ohio is known as the, “mother of the Presidents.” In math, they master 2 and 3 digit multiplication as well as long division. In science, the annual Knowledge Fair encourages students to explore using the scientific process. Different landforms are studies as well as erosion, deposition, weatherings, fossils, and matter. In language arts, students practice writing detailed sentences and creating well-developed paragraphs. In reading, a variety of genres are read and further explored in a monthly book report. Our main focus in 4th grade Religion is learning about the deeper meaning of Reconciliation, the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes. Learning is further enhanced with trips to the Ohio Statehouse to Newark to see the Great Circle and Flint Ridge.
The fifth grade is the youngest class on the junior high side of the building. Fifth grade is also the year of the Battle of the Books, an inter-school reading “quiz” competition. Their study of Spanish intensifies over the year as they are now involved with a standards based program. In the spring, a field trip is taken to the Lutheran Memorial Camp to participate in outdoor education and conservation.
Students begin to take on more responsibility. They really enjoy meeting and doing activities with their first grade buddies. Sixth grade is the first year students decide on the topic of their science fair project. If they receive a superior rating from judges, they have the opportunity to advance to district and state competitions. Students also enjoy the field trip to Honeyrun waterfall to lstudy rock formations as part of their earth science unit. Students participate in the annual bike hike to Gambier and back, develop acting skills as part of the junior high play, and culminate the year by going on a three-day junior high trip.
In seventh grade students spend their time learning about worldwide cultures through social studies and literature. The scientific process and research skills continue to develop and are challenged in a science fair. Public speaking skills are gained when students prepare and deliver a speech. Seventh graders have the opportunity to participate in the creative writing team for Power of the Pen as well as participate in the Battle of the Books. The seventh graders also take on the responsibility of helping the new kindergartners become a part of their school “family.” Spring activities include the junior high musical and an Ohio based three-day trip.
Eighth grade is an exciting year! Students take field trips to Camp Ohio (to do the high ropes course) and play golf. They are on the Yearbook staff, in Civics Club, in Chamber Choir, and plan the spring musical. Future City Competition and miming the Stations of the Cross are among the numerous projects unique to eighth grade. Their main focus throughout the
year is service. They bring a lot to our school and we are always sad to see them leave when they graduate.
In Spanish, the eighth grade students are now prepared to take the Flex Credit exam. This exam allows them to gain high school credit. Their main focus throughout the year is service. The eighth graders bring a lot to the school and they are greatly missed upon graduation.
Spanish is taught from kindergarten all the way through eighth grade. This class allows students to explore the culture and language from many different Spanish speaking countries. In the beginning years, Spanish focuses on simple vocabulary like colors, numbers, animals, etc. As the students enter 2nd – 5th grade, they begin to develop and perfect their writing and speaking abilities. During their 6th – 8th grade years, the Spanish 1 curriculum is introduced and taught. By the end of their eighth grade year, students will be ready to take the Level 1 National Spanish Exam to gain high school credit.
Music is taught to all grade levels and no type of music is off limits. Students exploration includes singing, buckets drums, and musical theatre. Twice a year, an all-student, original production is performed.
Art is taught from kindergarten through eighth grade. Students learn about artists and the elements of art while experiencing 2-D and 3-D media in kindergarten and first grade. By second grade students focus their new skills by studying and creating still lives, landscapes, and portraits. In third and fourth grade students perfect their research skills as they travel the globe for artistic inspiration. As they officially start middle school in fifth grade, students begin studying art through its timeline beginning in the Paleolithic era. Students create large scale team artworks as well as individual work, learning to create charters and read rubrics. By eighth grade students complete the timeline to modern art and work studio-style with the aide of rubric parameters. The eighth grade year concludes with a unit on art careers. Art showcases are held twice a year however, the art room is open for viewing works in progress!