Grade Level Highlights & Curriculum

The Grand Rapids Elementary School Diocesan curriculum for St. Paul the Apostle School, both elementary and junior high, is challenging academically in core subjects. Our experienced and creative teachers consistently enhance the learning development of our students by adding events and activities that make each grade special and memorable. Here are some of the highlights we offer:

Preschool & Early 5’s

Preschool Curriculum

Preschool Handbook 2017-2018

  • God Made Me and God Made the World religion programs frame the themes and units of the preschool curriculum. With faith and love of God as the central focus of our days, the preschoolers enjoy many activities and learning opportunities occurring in the world around them.
  • A variety of activities outside the classroom provides growth in many learning domains: P.E, music, computer, field trips.
  • Handwriting Without Tears and VoWac phonics establish a solid foundation as emergent readers. An introduction to the Spanish language and American Sign Language are also incorporated.
  • The social and emotional growth and needs of the students are valued and nurtured as the foundation of happy and productive relationships and learning.
  • Play is the medium of choice and design utilized by preschoolers to learn about and solve problems in their world.

Kindergarten

  • Kindergartners learn Bible stories from the Old Testament, New Testament and Acts of the Apostles.
  • Kindergartners attend weekly school liturgies.
  • The VoWac Kindergarten program is used to formally introduce the letter/sound relationship and many more pre-reading skills.
  • Spanish, Library, Computer Lab, Gym, and Music classes are held weekly.
  • Variety of field trips

First Grade

  • Mother’s Day Tea
  • Hundredth Day of School (activities and posters for the hallway in February)
  • Holy Week Adventures (Centers)
  • Jesse Tree in Advent (kids read readings and color their own symbol)
  • Living Stations (I take pictures of the kids portraying the Stations of the Cross)
  • Superstar Student/Readers
  • Mad Scientists (kids pick and experiment at home to bring to school to demonstrate to the class)
  • Writing Stories (Second Semester)
  • March is Reading Month guest readers
  • Animal Habitat project for Education Fair in April

Second Grade

  • First Communion
  • First Reconciliation
  • Presidential Wax Museum
  • Miniature Golf Design for Science
  • Variety of Creative Writing Projects, for example: Pure Michigan commercials, poetry, presidential research paper

Third Grade

  • Mass participation and preparation
  • Hat Service Project: Students learn to knit hats that are given to premature infants at Spectrum Hospital
  • Meal Worm Experiments
  • Story Presentation (Based on a book they have read, third graders dress up as a book character and tell about their characters to their parents.)
  • Write sequel books and share with younger classes
  • Easter Baskets for God’s Kitchen (students collect and create Easter Baskets that are donated and delivered to God’s Kitchen)
  • Children’s Choir
  • Third Grade Business Hot Lunches (based on the classroom theme, students design and market a lunch the school can buy once a month. All proceeds go to a charity chosen by the class.)
  • Field trips to Camp Roger, Lansing Capitol and Paws for a Cause

Fourth Grade

  • Daily Prayer in the classroom; special liturgical events (Advent, Lent) celebrated in the classroom; participation in school liturgies and prayer services.
  • Study of the Ten Commandments, Beatitudes, Great Commandment
  • Participation in the Diocesan Fourth Grade Songfest held in the spring
  • Special projects that include a state project and participating in a Spanish play
  • Creative Writing
  • Students are read aloud interesting chapter books
  • All students learn to play the recorder
  • Children’s Choir
  • Library/Research Skills explored during class time in Library
  • Participation in school Geography Bee
  • Field trips to P.J. Hoffmaster State Park and Camp Roger
  • Service projects: Lion’s Club glasses cleaning, Kids’ Food Basket, cards for homebound and those in care facilities, Angel Tree gifts

Fifth Grade

  • Overnight Camping and Team Building Experience
  • Rosary Making
  • Students have the option to join the band program and learn an instrument
  • Children’s Choir
  • Altar Serving
  • Students can now participate in SPA School Athletic Teams
  • Spelling Bee Competition
  • Geography Bee Competition
  • Service Projects: Lion’s Club glasses cleaning, Kids’ Food Basket, cards for homebound and those in care facilities
  • End of the Year Picnic at a local park

Junior High
  • Safety Patrol
  • Altar Serving
  • Math Counts Club
  • Science Olympiad
  • Band
  • Junior Choir
  • Junior High Drama Production (spring)
  • Student Council (grades 1-7 representatives are selected by each class, 8th grade candidates run campaigns for office and are voted on by the student body)
  • 8th Grade
    • Student Ambassadors
    • Parents vs. Students basketball game
    • Shrove Tuesday Breakfast (prepared by 8th grade and served to fellow students)
    • Confirmation
    • May Crowning
    • Graduation
Spanish Highlights (K-4)
  • Prayer and cultural trivia before each lesson
  • Grammar taught through thematic units
  • Lessons stress listening, speaking, reading, writing and culture
  • Perform in Spanish language play (4th grade)
  • Use of Duolingo app for individual practice
Spanish Highlights (5-8)