All of our extremely talented and qualified teachers at St. Matthias strive to provide each student with well-rounded and individualized educational opportunities, while embodying the faith values that make up the core of our school. Our teachers recognize that each student is a unique human being and are committed to educating the whole child. The curriculum at each grade level is aligned with, and exceeds, the Archdiocesan Learning Standards that ensure each student exits the classroom equipped with the knowledge and skill sets expected at that particular age. Teachers use creative, integrative, interdisciplinary approaches to provide students with authentic and meaningful educational experiences. Beginning in preschool and extending through eighth grade, we emphasize cooperative learning, which allows students to use their individual gifts to work together to accomplish goals, think critically, and solve problems. St. Matthias is dedicated to utilizing research-based instructional approaches and differentiating instruction in order to meet the needs of individual learners and appeal to the many different styles of learning.
The language arts curriculum is a balanced literacy program and develops reading, writing, phonics, spelling, vocabulary, listening, and speaking skills. Teachers in Kindergarten through third grade implement the Scholastic Guided Reading Program, which integrates guided instruction, assessment, and individual practice with leveled books, appropriate for each individual reader, according to the Fountas & Pinnell system. Teachers in all grades use the Lucy Calkins model of teaching writing, which is a “Writer’s Workshop” format. In the intermediate grades, teachers use a variety of literature to foster a love of reading. Instruction focuses around different reading strategies and skills while exposing students to reading across all genres. Literature circles enhance our student-centered cooperative learning strategy.
The Social Studies curriculum progresses at developmentally appropriate stages, beginning with students exploring their place in the community and continuing through the world. Teachers complement traditional instruction with inquiry based instruction, which is a student-led and teacher-guided instructional method that engages students in investigating issues that are relevant to their lives and relate to real world issues.
The math curriculum at St. Matthias builds a solid foundation in number concepts and focuses on equipping students with multiple strategies and tools necessary to become problem solvers and critical thinkers. Meaningful, hands-on activities and group projects allow students to make ties to their own lives and the outside world, and ensure a complete understanding of concepts, rather than just processes.
The science curriculum utilizes a hands-on approach to teach the inquiry skills of observing, recording, predicting, analyzing, and much more. Teachers complement traditional instruction with inquiry based instruction, which is a student-led and teacher-guided instructional method that engages students in investigating authentic issues, which they initiate and which have real-world significance.
The religion curriculum is based on Catholic values and principles. Religion is taught at every age and evolves as the students mature. Additionally, there is a stronger emphasis on Catholic Social Teachings as students get older.
Service is a key pillar of our curriculum at St. Matthias. Students regularly participate in service opportunities, and often initiate project ideas for causes close to them. Some examples of recent service projects are: singing at the Levy Senior Center, helping prepare pies and potatoes for Turkey Traditions (a meal for the needy at Thanksgiving time), collecting change for missions around the world, making sandwiches for a local soup kitchen, and neighborhood cleanup.
Students in grades PK-3 through 8 attend Liturgy weekly. These liturgies are planned by students, teachers, and our music director, Mrs. Reckamp. Students in each grade level are paired with “Prayer Partners” to attend mass with. The older students serve as role models for their younger partners during mass. Teachers also ensure there are multiple other opportunities for Prayer Partners to work together throughout the year on projects, buddy reading, and performances. Parents and guests are always welcome and encouraged to join in our children’s liturgies on Friday mornings at 8:15 a.m.
Preparation to receive the Sacraments takes place in cooperation with the classroom teacher and the Director of Religious Education, Karyn McGovern. Parents/guardians are an important part of the preparation process. First Reconciliation and First Eucharist are received in 2nd grade, and Confirmation takes place in 8th grade. Please see the attached Sacramental Availability to read more about each of those Sacraments and others available at St. Matthias.