Holy Spirit Parish School has one class of approximately 35 students and maintains a 13:1 ratio in each of the grades TK through eight. The Kindergarten through fifth grade classes are taught in self-contained classrooms, while sixth through eighth grade classes are departmentalized and taught by subject area teachers.
Differentiated instruction is addressed by the classroom teachers in a variety of ways. Teachers use flexible groupings, cooperative learning, and project-based instruction techniques in addition to more traditional teaching methods. Best practice strategies are utilized in order to address the students learning modalities (visual, kinesthetic, auditory). Instructional aides are employed in kindergarten through fifth grade to assist the teachers in meeting the students’ educational goals.
In the fall of 2012, the Diocese of Sacramento adopted the State of California’s common core standards in reading and mathematics. Implementation of the standards is an on-going process. We administer quarterly STAR formative assessments in grades kindergarten through eight. The test results are used to identify areas of strength and weakness and are a measure for in-depth curriculum review and development. Though students in kindergarten through second grade are not formally evaluated, these grade levels are able to utilize the same formative assessments to aid in increasing reading comprehension and math fluency.
Academically, Holy Spirit Parish School is committed to maintaining the highest educational standards, preparing our young people to be responsible citizens and to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Our strengths include a focus on a “back to basics” approach for instruction in language arts, reading, spelling, mathematics, religion, writing and science with an emphasis on developing critical thinking skills. Additionally, our program includes classes in Spanish, computer literacy, and physical education for all grade levels. A highly qualified staff, who articulate, plan instruction across the grade levels, and integrate technology with a 1:1 Chromebook program that contributes to our school’s strength.
Involvement in service projects endeavor to develop responsibility, self-discipline, cooperation, leadership, and self esteem. In further developing a more diverse student, school wide enrichment activities include drama, art, student council, yearbook, academic decathlon, and sports programs organized by the Parochial Athletic League. Educational field trips provide the students with additional learning experiences beyond the confines of the school, which are used to enhance the subjects during the school year. While visits to the school from individuals and community groups contribute to broadening our students’ knowledge base.
Most important, as a Catholic school, religious education forms a meaningful part of the curriculum and is taught in keeping with the established diocesan guidelines. Our students learn the teachings of the Catholic faith and are encouraged to make prayer an integral part of their daily lives. Setting an example for our students, teachers focus on maintaining a positive atmosphere in which Catholic values and principles prevail.