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Curriculum

Sacred Heart of Jesus School curriculum follows the Graded Course of Study, Teaching for the 21st Century, for each subject as provided by the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Sacred Heart students perform well above average on standardized testing, and area high schools report a large percentage of Sacred Heart graduates on their honor rolls.
Classrooms
Beginning in Grade 2, certain subjects, such as science/health and social studies, are departmentalized. Grades 7-8 are departmentalized for nearly all subjects. First grade is self-contained and has the services of part-time aides. 

Curriculum Assessment
The school administrators and teachers assess the effectiveness of the curriculum and set curriculum goals, using the guidelines from the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Standardized testing results also aid in reviewing and updating the current curriculum.


Curriculum Overview
Sacred Heart utilizes an integrated curriculum, meaning that few skills are taught in isolation. Rather, the skill is incorporated throughout the curriculum as much as practical so that the skill is reinforced in a variety of settings. For example, an art skill may be introduced in social studies when considering the history of architecture, or a math equation may be presented in conjunction with a physical science investigation and later reviewed in math class. A new genre of literature may be introduced in language arts and augmented with the music of the area in music class. 


Grades 1-3
Religion, language arts, and mathematics are stressed in the primary grades. A strong phonics base is used, augmented by contextual inferencing (using context clues) and oral reading. Math instruction relies on hands-on experiences with “manipulatives” and centers on the development of number sense. Students at this level are essentially learning to read.

Grades 4-8
Major subjects include religion, language art (reading, writing, speaking, listening), mathematics, social studies, and science/health. Students experience increased departmentalization, autonomy, and, at this level, are essentially reading to learn.
 
Art, music and physical education are special subjects provided for all grades. (Please see Fine Arts Section.) Technology has expanded  to a "Computer Skills" class which all grades attend weekly. Our goal is expanding  and enhancing the curriculum at all levels with technology whenever possible.

Spanish Instruction for Grades K-8
 
Expanded and Enhanced Curriculum
A variety of additional programs are offered, including: 
  • Arts Attack (video-based art instructional tool)
  • Band (taught during students’ recess time)
  • Book It (pizza rewards for reading regularly)
  • Camp Campbell Gard (6th grade team building off site)
  • Camp Kern (8th grade retreat and team building off site)
  • Field Day (all-school event in late May)
  • High School Entrance Placement Test Preparation
  • International School-to-School Experience (student exchange)
  • Math Help Night (after school extra instruction in grades 7/8)
  • Music Ensemble
  • Nativity Play
  • Presidential Fitness Testing
  • Publishing Center
  • Vocal Ensemble
 
Field Trips
Field trips are integrated with the curriculum of each grade level. Field trips provide students the opportunity to experience cultural, multicultural, literary, scientific or religious experiences that further support classroom instruction.
 
Homework
Students are assigned tasks to be completed independently. These assignments are documented by the students in their agendas. Homework assignments are designed to increase skills by giving additional practice, fostering independence, giving the student a sense of responsibility, developing good study habits, and allowing the student to master the materials covered.
 
Physical Education
Physical education is an integral part of the Sacred Heart total education program. Areas covered in the primary grades are basic movement, motor development, manipulative skills, and participation in low-organized games. In the intermediate and junior high grades, additional areas covered include cooperative games, and both team and individual sports instruction. During physical education classes, students wear a gym uniform. Please see the Environment section for more information.
 
Report Cards
Report cards are issued three times per year except in grade one (twice). Grades K-3 use a satisfactory/improvement needed/unsatisfactory coding system augmented with evaluation in personal development. A grading scale is used in Grades 4-8, with consideration given for class participation, assignment preparation, and test scores. Along with academic progress, teachers also report on the student’s effort and personal growth. For more detailed information about grading, please see the Parent/Student Handbook.
 
In addition to report cards, ongoing progress is available to parents on AscendSMS featuring a password protected online grade book.
 
Standardized Testing
Standardized tests are given in the spring to students in Grades 2 through 7. These tests serve as one tool of many to help measure students’ strengths and weaknesses and to compare the results to national norms. Results are made available to parents, and the overall school results by grade are available to school families to review.
 
The religious education program is assessed each year in Grades 5 and 8 using the A.C.R.E. (Assessment of Catechesis and Religious Education) from the National Catholic Education Association.