In support of its vision, mission, and beliefs, the school offers an integral instructional program that promotes the development of academic, physical, emotional, social, moral, and spiritual aspects in each student.
Benchmarks & Standards
Each learning area at St. Michael’s School is backed by clearly structured curriculum guides, containing standards and benchmarks that are annually reviewed and revised as deemed necessary. During this on-going review process, one of the school’s primary goals is to align the standards and benchmarks with updated, research-proven effective instructional strategies, and to continually upgrade the integration of technology in order to enhance student learning.
Higher Order Thinking
Another primary goal is to make sure that the curricular benchmarks are challenging students to acquire and apply higher order thinking skills. Following the latest educational trends, the school has implemented a new format that requires teachers to break down their planning and instruction activities into three main sections/stages: Accessing Prior Knowledge; Teaching New Information; Application and Generalization.
In addition, there is a school-wide campaign to focus on thinking skills, targeting one specific skill per week. Every week, teachers from one department are responsible for teaching the thinking skill in their content area, and all other subject area teachers reinforce that same skill in their classrooms during that week. Students are thus, consistently engaged in learning and applying a thinking skill, and they are able to sense the school-wide commitment to helping them improve those skills.
In addition to, and in support of the solid curricular program set up for each learning area, students are exposed to a variety of opportunities for learning.
School extra-curricular activities include: team sports, robotics, Model United Nations, Debate Club, Boys & Girls’ Scouts, music, visual arts, among others.
Active student participation in these extra-curricular learning activities has grown significantly over the past years. Activities are carried out under the guidance of qualified school instructional personnel, who work with the administration to develop guidelines for participation, including student-parental responsibilities, as well as, grounds for dismissal, if necessary.
Of equal importance, is the school’s Character Education program, which carries out community outreach activities, character building, and spiritual awareness retreats, presentations for parents, and publishes a monthly digital newsletter entitled “Una Esperanza”, with an online distribution among thousands of subscribers, thus extending its outreach beyond our school community.
The administration’s policy of maintaining clear and open lines of communication with students, parents, and teachers guarantees that all members of the educational community understand the school’s expectations for student learning and conduct.
The curricular program is carried out during 180 days of the school year, with a daily schedule consisting of 7 periods, during which time, uninterrupted instruction takes place. Students must earn a total of 29.1 credits to graduate, each of which are granted after 130 hours of instruction.
The curriculum is carried out by qualified instructional personnel who have the required academic preparation to teach each learning area, and continually keep themselves up to date, primarily through the staff development opportunities and financial assistance provided by the school.