The Lower School academic program includes Language arts, mathematics, social studies, science, religion, library, music, art, and physical education. Spanish, introduced in kindergarten, is continued. Students also receive instruction in technology. Students attend weekly mass. Each class prepares the readings for the First Friday of the Month Mass. Spiritual growth is enhanced by special events such as May Crowning, the Advent Liturgy and studying the lives of the Saints. The Rosary is recited in October and May that are the months that honor the blessed Mother.
The Buddy System is a special “community-building” program in which the second grade students receive an eighth grade buddy as they share a sacramental year and a Sacramental Retreat. The Buddy System also exists between the first and seventh grades and the kindergarten and sixth grades. Buddies share arts and crafts time, frequently read together and join together for the Halloween parade.
Field trips, assemblies, community service projects including projects with the Knights of Columbus, New Canaan and New Haven chapters, and after-school clubs enhance the regular program.
The Music program supports all school liturgies and musical productions throughout the school year. The Performing Arts sing at masses and all holy day masses, and perform at special occasion assemblies. Singing, playing instruments, moving to music, and creating music enable children to acquire musical skills and knowledge that can be developed in no other way. Reading music gives children a skill with which to explore music independently. Listening to and analyzing music are important building blocks of musical learning. The students will have opportunities to use musical instruments, improvise melodies, read and notate music. They will understand relationships between music and the arts and music in relation to history and culture.
The Art program encourages students to experience art through the elements and principles of design. One of the key objectives is the emphasis placed upon enjoyment and the “process” of creating art rather than the results. The program stresses the ability of the students to recognize various techniques and artistic mediums.
The Technology program, which began in kindergarten, continues. While following the Connecticut Computer Competency Standard, programs and software are introduced at grade appropriate intervals. The computer curriculum spirals whereby skills are reinforced while advancing the students’ knowledge and application. Teachers and students integrate technology into various content areas across all grade levels. By graduation, students have been prepared in all common uses of Microsoft Applications and Apple iLife. Additionally, they have been taught the social and ethical responsibilities that come with using today’s technology. Grades 1-4 further develop Microsoft Word 2004, learn Microsoft PowerPoint 2004, Microsoft Excel 2003, and do Internet research.
Art, Music, Physical Education, Computer, and Spanish are incorporated across all subject matter within the classroom but receive concentrated focus when taught by specialists.