In addition to reading, writing, math, science, and social studies, St. Pius X students are immersed in a curriculum beyond the basics. Our religion, technology, Spanish, art, music, library, and physical education classes are provided to students in every grade, beginning in kindergarten (with many subjects starting in pre-k, as noted). In these classes, students learn the following:
Religion. Students partake in daily prayers, weekly Eucharistic Adoration, monthly liturgies and student service projects throughout the year. Religion lessons and the Gospel message are taught daily. Integrating Christian works and service within our daily curriculum allows our students to truly live what they learn.
Technology. We integrate cutting-edge technology into all aspects of our curriculum to help students acquire the skills and confidence required in today’s technological society. They use multimedia and the Internet to learn interactively and work on class projects, helping them to think analytically and work collaboratively. Our technology projects help students communicate effectively about complex processes, improve their writing skills and grasp of mathematics, increase their ability to teach others, and improve their problem-solving processes.
Beginning in pre-k, students attend technology classes in our computer labs. By the time they leave grade eight, students are proficient in keyboarding, conducting online research, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Publisher, Excel, web page design, WebQuest, and programming. They also learn to operate peripherals and mobile devices.
Spanish. From kindergarten through fifth grade, students learn Spanish by listening and speaking (audio-lingual approach). In addition to grammar and vocabulary, students learn Catholic prayers and the history of Spain and Latin America. Elementary students are exposed to vocabulary with an emphasis on pronunciation. By fourth and fifth grade, more emphasis is placed on learning basic conversational skills to prepare them for middle-school Spanish.
In grades six through eight, Spanish becomes a core subject that is taught each day. To foster the development of communicative ability, Spanish instruction integrates more complex vocabulary and grammar rules. Students are exposed to listening, writing, and speaking activities to address different learning styles. Middle-school students have extensive opportunities for personalized and meaningful self-expression in Spanish. Eighth-grade students take the Albany Diocese Proficiency Exam in June to earn their first year of high-school credit in a foreign language.
Art. Our art program is designed to reach all students and offer them a broad range of art experiences and activities. While supporting the New York State Standards for the Arts, art is taught through a framework of demonstrations and a multitude of hands-on projects that incorporate the Elements of Art and Principles of Design. Children are exposed to creative opportunities in various media and areas of self-expression, which are enriched further with art history and the works of accomplished artists. The middle school art program expands on the strengths that are founded on the elementary art concepts and practices.
Music. From pre-k through grade eight, students receive a coherent, sequential progression to grasp the concepts and skills needed for an understanding of music. Our program meets or exceeds both the New York State Learning Standards for the Arts and the curriculum of the Diocese. Lessons grow in complexity as the children progress, with exposure to a wide variety of vocal and instrumental music from many different world cultures. Students perform in our annual Christmas and Spring concerts.
Library. Our library media program works to promote a love of reading while empowering students to be effective users of ideas and information in all formats. In addition to supporting the teachers and their curriculum, the program helps students grow to be independent, efficient, responsible, and creative users of information.
Physical Education. Our program introduces each child to basic movement concepts and activities, plus team activities in the early grades. Beginning in grade three, more team activities are added, including soccer, volleyball, basketball, and lacrosse. Good sportsmanship is emphasized in all grades, promoting healthy competition – rather than winning – as a priority.