The academic program of Saint Boniface School provides all students with a superior, value-based education. The foundation of education the children receive is Catholic. This is our number one priority. Common Core State Standards and the Minnesota State Standards provide the basis of our curriculum. All curricular areas are periodically reviewed and revised.
The heart of every Catholic School is its religion program. Saint Boniface School uses the We Believe program for grades K-6. This program is consistent with the National Catechetical Directory. It is designed to lead to an encounter with Christ, conversion of the heart, and experience of the Spirit in the community of Church.
An essential part of the religion program is preparing and participating in liturgy. Students participate in the celebration of Mass once a week on Thursday mornings. When a Holy Day of Obligation occurs, the Mass for the week is on the Holy Day.
Students also have many opportunities to provide community service and church service. Children help plan and participate in various liturgies. Reconciliation is provided during Lent and Advent. Prayer services are planned several times during the year to focus on a special occasion or season.
Formal preparation for the sacraments of First Reconciliation and First Eucharist is provided under the direction of the Elementary Faith Formation Program of the Church of Saint Boniface, as well as the second grade teachers and parents. Parents are responsible for directed instruction of their children as they prepare for these two special sacraments.
In addition, Saint Boniface believes that our Catholic tradition and heritage should be incorporated into all other academic areas. It is in this way that we will be able to give witness to Jesus Christ in all areas of life.
Students in Grade 5 are taught a unit in sexual education. Parents are informed of the program and invited to observe all lessons.
Our reading and language arts program is a total program incorporating phonics, literature, writing, speaking, spelling and grammar. This program is a comprehensive, scientifically based, core reading program that helps every child succeed.
Students also have exposure and access to hundreds of pieces of great literature which accompany this series and which provide for a broad range of interests and reading abilities. The program also features access through technology in skill building and mechanics.
Accelerated Reading Program is a part of our curriculum. In this program, students read for learning and enjoyment. Comprehension tests are taken for each book a child reads.
Saint Boniface School uses Everyday Mathematics in all grades. Everyday Mathematics is a curriculum that encourages teachers and students to go beyond arithmetic -- to explore more of the mathematics spectrum by investigating data gathering and analysis, probability, geometry, patterns, and algebra. Mathematics is integrated into other subject areas and becomes part of the ongoing classroom routines, outdoor play, and spare transitional moments that occur every day.
As stated in our Social Studies curriculum philosophy: “We believe Social Studies education is committed to enlighten and empower students to be humane, empathetic, reasoning and active citizens in a multicultural and interdependent world. We believe social studies education models a structured school/community focus that prepares the students to become citizens in a democratic society. We believe throughout the study of social
interaction, Saint Boniface students will develop a variety of thinking processes, a respect for human dignity, and a caring response toward all people as reflected in the Gospel values of Jesus Christ.”
Saint Boniface School offers a science curriculum that involves “hands on” learning and is one of the favorites of our students and staff. It stresses the scientific discovery approach in teaching science concepts that broaden the students’ knowledge of their world. Science and Technology for Children (STC)- Carolina Biological Co., and Full Option Science System (FOSS)- Delta Co., are the programs used in our school.
Science education is not just offered in the classroom. Saint Boniface students can be seen trekking through the woods of St. John’s looking for fungus, releasing newly formed butterflies on the church steps, or out in our fields launching rockets.
We believe the arts offer avenues for self-expression and creativity in individual learners and groups. Art is basic to education and learning across disciplines and can serve as a centerpiece for teaching and learning.
Arts education contributes to the multiple intelligences of all learners and recognizes cultural diversity. Arts education should include visual media for all learners.
Saint Boniface School uses a variety of materials to integrate the study of health into other areas of learning. Current Health, a magazine that explores health issues, is part of this effort. Individual units in health education are also used.
Music is taught to all children at the District Education Facility under the Shared Time Program. Saint Boniface students experience the music curriculum, Music Connections. Children will grow in their ability to understand and organize, as well as interpret and express musical ideas. It is the teacher’s challenge to help the children perform and organize music. Such skills would include singing, playing instruments, movement, and composing and improvising. Each child will have this opportunity so that he/she may develop a sense of values regarding the kinds of music he/she will find satisfying and the place which music will fill in his/her own life.
Saint Boniface has a shared time program for physical education at the District Education Facility. Tennis shoes are required for this class. A strong skill development program is followed, as well as a continual striving for good physical fitness. Intermediate students also enjoy units in swimming and bowling. Children who are unable to participate in physical education due to medical reasons must have a doctor’s statement.
SPECIAL AREAS OF INSTRUCTION
Special areas are those that enhance the regular curriculum offered at Saint Boniface School.
Our library/computer/media centers proudly house the latest computer technology utilizing Macintosh systems designed for computer instruction. All K - 6 students receive instruction twice each week in computer programs and word processing. Students also have supervised Internet access and instruction.
All students are given the opportunity to go to the media center once a week to choose books. Students are taught library skills at an age-appropriate level. Students may also use the media center when they have free time or are working on a specific project.
SPECIAL EDUCATION NEEDS
Public school districts are required to provide services to non-public school students who need help in certain areas. Students who are suspected of having learning disabilities or emotional and/or behavioral disabilities may be
referred for evaluation and service. Parents request this help for their child, in consultation with the child’s classroom teacher. After referral by the parent, the special education case manager will conduct a complete diagnosis to determine if the child has a learning disability and what steps need to be taken to accommodate the disability. Parents are involved throughout the process and are required to give written consent to carry out the necessary procedures.
Speech and language development is another shared time program provided through District 750. Again, a parent referral is needed in order to provide service for any student in the speech/language program. The speech clinician will test each referred student to determine if the child qualifies for service. These results are reported to the parent and teacher, and the team will determine when and how often a student needs speech therapy if he/she qualifies. Parents are very involved in this referral process and help determine the need and program used.
TITLE 1 SERVICE -- SUPPLEMENTAL HELP
Under federal funding, students who need additional help in math and, when approved, in reading are referred for Title I services. Participants in Title I services must be behind by one year to qualify for the program. This is determined through teacher referral and an assessment program. Again, parents are involved in the referral and must give written permission for the service. Parents receive regular progress reports on their child.
Saint Boniface School administers the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessments of the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) testing program. At various times during the school year, the students are given a battery of tests in reading, language and math. Results are shared with parents.
Saint Boniface School recognizes the importance of field trips as educational experiences. Each grade level is scheduled for one major field trip each year. Depending on the trip and entrance fees, families may be asked to pay for part of the trip. Parents are welcome and encouraged to help chaperone field trips. Chaperones are determined by random selection of those available.
Through their fundraising efforts, the Home and School Association provides monies to pay for all of the bussing for field trips.
In sixth grade, a special one-week trip to the Foley Outdoor Education Program is required. Students experience a valuable environmental education program with specific goals and objectives. Parents are encouraged to volunteer to assist at Camp Foley, located north of Brainerd. Again, a random selection of parents who are interested in Camp Foley is held.