St. James Episcopal School provides high-quality, project-oriented curriculum, experienced and qualified faculty, and a lively learning environment designed for academic excellence. Our goal is to help each child reach his or her potential while emphasizing learning as a life-long process. In a supportive atmosphere, we provide a traditional education for the whole child, recognizing that each has different God-given gifts, talents, and abilities. Our small class size enlists opportunities for individualized attention. Time-tested phonics and reading programs, advanced mathematics, along with innovative science, and project oriented social studies combine to give your child a strong academic foundation and love of learning. Enrichment opportunities provide a broader educational experience in fine arts and physical education. SJES teachers draw on both the most innovative components of our curriculum and on specialized programming to provide an exciting academic experience for our students. Students are introduced to our curriculum as soon as they enroll at a PK3 level and continue that curriculum all the way through 5th grade. Each of our teachers develop project-based work that correlates with the curriculum and enhances learning.
To support this teaching, St. James invites its many working parents and community members into the classroom to share their expertise and experience. Students also venture out of the school on field trips throughout the year to utilize the vast programs available to St. James locally and in our neighboring communities. At SJES a variety of approaches are used to develop each student’s ability to make decisions and assume responsibility for those decisions. We are confident that our graduates are well equipped to go on to enjoy continued academic success.
ST. JAMES EPISCOPAL SCHOOL CURRICULUM
At St. James we believe that science is an important key to the future, requiring teaching methods that thoroughly engage our students. Science begins at PK3 with hands on experiments and continues to build across all grades. With Nancy Larson Science, students benefit from a cross-curricular program that allows for hands on learning. It helps our teachers provide challenging and meaningful science content to the students and the topics chosen for each grade level reflect children’s interests and developmental characteristics. Our program ensures an in-depth study of topics that help promote long-term learning and understanding of concepts.
Everyday Mathematics is a spiral curriculum where learning is spread out over time rather than being concentrated in shorter periods. Material is revisited repeatedly over months and across grades to ensure long-term mastery of facts, skills, and concepts. The curriculum expects higher levels of accomplishment at every grade level, but also incorporates features that help make mathematics accessible to all students. It introduces students to all major mathematical content domains such as number sense, algebra, measurement, geometry, data analysis and probability. Hands-on math manipulatives relate math concepts to everyday life and work.
Students begin PK3 using the Spalding Method. As they progress through the years, the program builds giving St. James a 98% student base that is reading by the end of the PK4 program. The Spalding Method is the methodology and educational philosophy of The Writing Road to Reading program. These principles of learning and instruction are melded with the Open Court Language Arts curriculum and applied throughout the spelling, writing, and reading curricula addressing both the students physical and mental well-being. Instruction is explicit, interactive, diagnostic, and multisensory. Teachers model, coach, and provide support as needed; students articulate, reflect, and explore new concepts. Careful daily observation of student progress enables teachers to differentiate instruction to meet student needs. Students see, hear, say, and write using all channels to the brain to enhance retention.
Social Studies is closely tied to the Language Arts Program allowing students to explore American History from native peoples to the 20th century. Our PK program begins with community helpers and the introduction to our country. Once the students reach Kindergarten through Fifth grade, History comes alive through interactive lessons, educational field trips, reenactments, historical novels and biographies. Each class, PK3 through 5th grade, is assigned a country that they study in the Spring as part of our cultural awareness unit. Students are introduced to languages used, traditions of that country, foods eaten by the people of that region, and so much more. At the end of the unit, students take a tour around the world by visiting each of the "countries" and getting their passport stamped as they travel from class to class. A school wide performance is presented to friends and family to showcase all the students have learned.
At St. James, our Service-Learning Program is an important part of our school community as each class seeks avenues for showing others God’s love in our city, our country, and the world. At SJES we encourage our students to give of themselves in some form of community service or service learning. Each classroom has a service project that they participate in annually. Students are required to do age appropriate activities for their organization such as making cards, serving meals, and stocking food pantries just to name a few.
The students PK4 through 5th grade, in addition to their service projects, go Christmas Caroling around the city during the holidays. It not only brings joy to local businesses and nursing homes, but teaches our students that even small acts of kindness can brighten a person's day.
Service Projects By Class
PK 3: RAWR Foundation
PK 4: St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital
Kindergarten: Wounded Warrior Project
Kindergarten: BCSF Health and Human Services
1st Grade: Del Rio Community Garden
2nd Grade: Meals on Wheels
3rd Grade: La Vida Serena
4th Grade: Southwest Assisted Living
5th Grade: Friends of Hospice Bargain Box & Bethel Center