School Profile - Philosophy
Saint Jude Catholic School, a Catholic elementary school of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, opened in 1963. The school is under the direction of the Sisters of Mercy and is staffed by a faculty of religious and lay teachers. While most students live within the boundaries of St. Jude Parish, a small number are from outside the parish boundaries. St. Jude serves the educational needs of children from pre-school through grade eight.
The philosophy of St. Jude School focuses the mission of the school as it serves the growth and development of its students. Our administrative staff, inclusive of pastor, parochial vicar, principal, and director of religious education, work in collaboration to promote the mission of St. Jude parish school.
The academic and spiritual nature of St. Jude School is developed with a concern for the whole child; the intellectual, spiritual, physical, personal, and social nature of each student. St. Jude School, a microcosm of the parish community, strives to instill the values of faith and the Gospel message within the hearts of its students. These values are nurtured through their participation in faith celebrations, liturgy, sacraments, and prayer, as well as the students' participation in Christian service identified as "Mercy Outreach". As Catholic educators, we transmit the values of our Catholic faith and the Gospel message through our word and example.
School Profile - Curriculum
The academic nature of our school is directed toward the attainment of knowledge, not as an end in itself, but a means to better oneself and ultimately the world in which we live. The academic curriculum is based on quality standards, taking into account the unique needs of each student. Our core curriculum is inclusive of the following: Religion, Math, Social Studies, Science and English Language Arts (ILA).
Religion All students participate in a required daily Religion class. The curriculum of all Religion classes follow the archdiocesan guidelines and ustilize an approved textbook. Each grade level holds a specific concentration on the dimensions of our Catholic faith. Students are encouraged to cultivate their life of faith through their relationship with Jesus. We endeavor to awaken within each child a personal response to a loving God through celebration of the sacraments, personal/communal prayer, and participation in liturgical and paraliturgical celebrations.
The children of Saint Jude receive Sacraments as follows: Grade 2- Reconciliation and First Holy Communion.
Preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation begins in 6th grade with the reception of the Sacrament in the fall of seventh grade.
Mathematics The elementary Math program focuses on an understanding of basic concepts and mastery of skills, and applying these skills through extensive instruction and practice. Consistent with the national standards for mathematics instruction, the curriculum focuses on problem solving as well as communicating mathematically, making real-life and content-area connections and developing reasoning skills.
Honors Mathematics The elementary Honors Mathematics program is a curriculum that makes provisions for the acceleration of those students in grades five through eight in need of enrichment. The Honors program enables students to achieve a mathematics level up to one year beyond the designated chronological grades equivalent.
Social Studies The goals of the Social Studies curriculum include the development of knowledge, skills, values, and social participation appropriate to the age and grade level of each student. Our program is inclusive of the following: family, community, state, country, and world.
Science Our Science curriculum will include a study of the following concepts, developed in a spiral manner throughout Grades 1 -8: plants, animals, weather, matter and energy, space cycles. In grades 4 - 8 the content of Physical, Earth, and Life Science is developed.
Integrated Language Arts (ILA) Our ILA program includes Reading, Writing, Vocabulary, Phonics, Spelling, Grammar, and Library/Research Skills. Instruction in ILA has strong foundations in literacy: reading, writing, thinking, speaking, listening and visualizing. Skills are further developed in critical thinking, literary evaluation, competency in self-expression and metacognitive awareness. ________________
In addition to our core curriculum areas, St. Jude is proud to offer special programs, which emphasize the development and strengthening of skills necessary to a successful education. These skills include creativity, self-esteem, social awareness, problem solving, and critical thinking. Art, Computer Technology, Library, Spanish, Music, and Physical Education classes are offered once a week to students in grades kindergarten through eight.
Computer Technology The emphasis of our Computer Program is to teach children to use the computer as a tool for learning and a curriculum resource. Computers provide opportunities for exploration of thoughts and ideas that will stimulate thinking. Our brand new Technology Labis equipped with new Dell Pentium Computers. Each computer has filtered access to the Internet through a high speed broadband connection. All students attend regularly scheduled computer classes conducted by a full time computer teacher. The Primary Curriculum includes keyboarding, logo and word processing. The Intermediate and Junior High Curriculum includes keyboarding, word processing, database, spreadsheets and presentation software stressing cooperative learning. Internet access provides opportunities for students to participate in collaborative on-line projects. In addition, each classroom is equipped with at least one computer. Students and all users of computer technology have a responsibility to use these tools properly and in accordance with the Archdiocesan Acceptable Use Policy. Each fall, students and parents will receive and read this policy. Students and parents will then sign and return the policy’s Student Access Contract. This contract must be on file in the school before the student will be permitted Internet access.
Library The Library, located on the lower floor of our school is updated yearly. With the purchase of new books annually, our library has a circulation of approximately 9000 books. These include many Newberry and Caldecott Award winning books in addition to reference books and other books used for research. The library is accessible to all students for both classroom and independent research. Students in grades K through 8 have assigned periods to use the facility. The part-time librarian and her assistant also instruct the students in library skills on a monthly basis.
Physical Education Our Physical Education Department has the services of a part-time teacher.. Physical Education classes are offered once a week for grades pre-kindergarten through eight. These classes are guided by the archdiocesan curriculum. We promote the development of life-long physical skills and good sportsmanship through team sports and individual competition. Students are expected to be in full uniform for class, or they are not allowed to participate in gym class that day.
Music Education Music Education is provided as part of the standard classroom curriculum for all grades. This is done through the services of a full time certified music teacher. Opportunities for student performances are offered throughout the year. In addition, student musicians may serve as music ministers for school and parish liturgies through participation in choir.
Art Education Students in Kindergarten through eighth grade also receive Art Education as part of the standard class curriculum. This is provided on a weekly basis through the services of a part-time art teacher. Our Art program, helps students understand the historical and cultural contexts for works of art, develops students skills in producing art, enriches their understanding of artworks and fosters their ability to analyze and make informed judgments about works of art.
Remedial Reading and Math St. Jude also provides Remedial Reading and Math programs for elementary students through Catapult Learning. The students meet individually and in small groups in a modular facility on the school campus. Parental involvement is essential for the students in this program. Periodic newsletters are sent to parents by the Catapult Learning staff, and parent conferences are held each quarter. Saint Jude School also has a certified school counselor from Catapult Learning. School Counselor The School Counselor has three responsibilities. The first area is counseling students, either individually or in small groups that deal with the specific needs of the students. The second area is to test students referred, due to a possible learning problem. Teachers and parents review the results and discuss recommendations. The final area is that of a resource for teachers and parents regarding concerns and questions about a specific topic or a child's problem. Classroom guidance groups are also available. Speech The Bucks County Intermediate Unit provides a Speech Therapist one day per week to work with the students at our school.
D.A.R.E. The New Britain Township Police department brings the D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) to St. Jude School for grade six.