St. Barbara School follows the course of instruction determined by the Superintendent of Schools of the Diocese of Orange, and that of the State of California. Immediate Scope and Sequence found in the Teacher Manual governs the daily learning.
Kindergarten: Kindergarten is an academic program that helps five and six year olds develop language, motor and social behavior skills. Textbooks in reading readiness, language arts, mathematics, and religion as well as learning units in science and health are used to help develop skills and attitudes. Reading is taught in kindergarten.
Middle School: Middle school (grades 6-8) is departmentalized, preparing students for high school. Subjects include religion, mathematics, literature, English, social studies, science, and all-school curricular programs.
Foreign Language: Spanish is offered in Middle School Grades 6-8. Grades TK – 5 receive Intro to Spanish.
Subjects: Subjects are organized around the four main areas of religion, mathematics, language arts (reading, grammar, spelling, and composition) and include the basic courses in social studies, and science.
All-School Curricular Programs: Physical Education, health, art, music, computer/technology and library are taught as all-school programs. Teachers develop age-appropriate curriculum and classes for all grade levels.
Levelled Math and Reading: Students in grades K-8 participate in this program that evaluates math and reading levels, monitors student progress, and sets student reading goals and math objectives. Math and Renaissance Learning Reading programs are used to assess student progress. Students are required to meet trimester goals determined by the assessments.. Awards are given to students who attain levels of reading achievement based on point values.
Differentiated Instruction: Recognizing that each child is unique, instruction is geared toward the different learning needs of the students. Ceiling-mounted projectors,1:1 technology, as well as learning centers in the lower grades, enable teachers to ensure the progress of each student.
The teacher is required to meet the learning needs of each student by setting individualized goals, tracking student progress, and developing strategies to improve areas of deficit by varying the way information is presented. Known as differentiated instruction, the efforts of teachers respond to variance among learners in the classroom. Whenever a teacher reaches out to an individual or small group to vary his or her teaching in order to create the best learning experience possible, that teacher is differentiating instruction. Teachers can differentiate at least four classroom elements based on student readiness, interest, or learning profile:
- Content – what the student needs to learn or how the student will get access to the information
- Process – activities in which the student engages in order to make sense of or master the content
- Products – culminating projects that ask the student to rehearse, apply, and extend what he or she has learned in a unit
- Learning Environment – the way the classroom works and feels.
Inclusion Program: Recognizing that a Catholic education should be available to all who so desire, St. Barbara School has implemented an inclusion program to meet the needs of each student. St. Barbara School has a Resource Instructor for students who have been identified as needing special services to ensure academic success.
Title 1: Under the direction of Catapult Learning, our resource teacher works with students who fall within the scope of Title 1 funding. Students who live within the appropriate school district and meet financial requirements receive additional help with learning needs in language arts and mathematics.
Educational Field Trips: Each class participates in educational field trips during the school year. These trips are related to the curriculum and are supervised by the teachers and parents. Extended trips include Science Camp in 6th and 7th Grade, Washington D.C. Trip in 8th Grade, and Inside the Outdoors in 5th Grade.