Our Academic Program
Saint Francis of Assisi Catholic Academy has its mission to educate the whole child spiritually, physically, and intellectually. At each grade level students learn to work individually as well as cooperatively as they prepare for the future.
Academic courses are outlined (governed) by New York State Learning Standards and the Diocese of Brooklyn. Faculty members continuously update themselves through professional development and research new methods to ensure that NYS standards are applied. SFACA offers a standard curriculum which supports a traditional as well as progressive academic discipline in Religion, English Language Arts/Reading, Social Studies, Science, Art, Technology, Physical Education, Music, and Spanish in grades 6 – 8.
The development of the whole child is the primary consideration at SFACA. Therefore, the curriculum include both cognitive and affective domain to promote growth. At SFACA students flourish in a secure environment where instruction is tailored to fit every students’ needs with an emphasis on Catholic centered values.
The Religion program at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Academy enables students to develop a deeper understanding of the Catholic Faith. Daily Religion classes provide instruction based on the teachings of the Catholic Church. Our Religion Program comprises four interrelated components: message, doctrine, community and service. The content of religious instruction is grade specific following the Diocesan guidelines. In addition to formal religious instruction, students participate in liturgies, celebrate sacraments and take part in community outreach.
Sacramental preparation takes place in the third grade for Reconciliation and First Eucharist. Students in eighth grade are invited to further their baptismal commitment by intensifying their instruction in preparation for reception of the Sacrament of Confirmation.
Non-Catholic students participate fully in the religion program and are directed to the parish religious education program when expressing an interest in pursuing further study of the Catholic faith.
Early childhood education should be a journey, not a race. On their journey, children travel at a different pace according to their development, background, experience and needs. The children experience the wealth of materials in the classroom and learn to explore on their own as well as with others. Our goal is to enable the child to develop a sense of self-awareness and an understanding of interpersonal relations while expanding concepts, language, and motor skills.
“The New York State Prekindergarten Learning Standards have been revised to fully encompass the New York State P-12 Common Core Learning Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy, as well as for Mathematics at the Prekindergarten level. The revision process has resulted in one document, the New York State Prekindergarten Foundation for the Common Core.”(from the document of the New York State Prekindergarten Learning Standards by New York State).
Our goal is to develop the child spiritually, mentally, physically, intellectually, emotionally and aesthetically. Our caring classroom atmosphere enables the children to have early positive school experiences. The developmental approach and the enthusiasm of the teachers readily keep the students actively involved in stimulating and manipulative activities throughout the day. SFACA follows the NYSCCLS and the curriculum is well integrated with a strong emphasis on English Language Arts.
The Kindergarten curriculum includes Religion, Mathematics, English Language Arts, Science, Social Studies, Computer, Music, Art and Physical Education. The program fosters self esteem, appropriate self management and positive interpersonal relationships.
English Language Arts
Our ELA Program is guided by the NYSCCLS which clearly outlines the reading standards for informational text, foundational skills for writing standards, speaking and listening standards and language standards.
ELA skills are integrated into all areas of the curriculum.
Our math program emphasizes the important skills needed for computation, problem solving, and critical thinking. The seven key ideas of math, based on the NYSCCLS are as follows:
- Numbers and Numeration
- Modeling and Multiple Representations
- Patterns and Function
These key ideas, taught using manipulative materials, games and activities, develop connections between the concrete and abstract. The students’ classroom experiences are related to life situations enabling each child to appreciate the value of the educational experience while becoming more aware of the importance of mathematics in their lives.
“To ensure that students across New York State are ready for college, careers and participation in civic life, the New York State Board of Regents has adopted the New York State K-12 Social Studies Framework (NYS SS Framework), which maintains the learning standards in Social Studies while incorporating Social Studies practices and Common Core learning standards with Social Studies content. Components from the NYS SS framework work interdependently in both instruction and assessment.” (taken from NYS K-12 Social Studies Field Guide).
Our Science Program is designed to prepare students to face the challenges of the twenty-first century by developing critical thinking and processing skills. The students learn how to apply the scientific method when conducting open-ended experiments. Following the NYS standards, formal instruction is enhanced with a fully equipped lab available to teachers and students of all grades. In addition to the lab, our school garden enables students to actively explore and understand the interconnectedness of life. The science curriculum culminates in participation of students in the annual school science fair.
Our technology program includes a computer lab and a school-wide Wi-Fi network. The main computer lab has eighteen computers. The computer lab, three offices, and all classrooms are equipped with computers and high speed internet. Internet filtering software has been installed to protect the students while using the Internet. Students also have access to I-pads and Google Chrome Books.
Students receive instruction in computer skills once a week. These skills include keyboarding, word processing, creating a database, research skills, using spreadsheets, learning PowerPoint, Publisher, and other essentials.
Spanish is taught in grades 6 through 8. This is an introduction to the Spanish language and culture through dialogue, song, prayer and written activities. Students learn by communicating with each other in Spanish on various themes of daily life. Their study of Spanish emphasizes grammar, parts of speech, sentence structure and translation.
Physical Education classes are significant in the growth and development of the student and lead to the integration of body, mind and spirit. Students are guided to improve their physical fitness and develop mental alertness, emotional stability, creativity, leadership and self-awareness. Classes are conducted in a structured and cooperative environment.
Students in grades kindergarten – 8 have music class once a week. Students in grades 3 – 5 learn the recorder as well. Guitar lessons are available for a fee. Each year the students perform in the Christmas show and the spring show. The students are invited to express themselves creatively using movement and their singing voices. School shows and liturgical celebrations provide students with an opportunity to demonstrate their musical proficiency.
Art is important to a strong academic curriculum. Through inquiry, critique and creating art, students address issues of identity, culture and social concerns. Our art curriculum reflects the New York State Learning Standards. In addition to art production, aesthetics, art history and art criticism are incorporated and geared to appropriate grade levels. The art program helps to foster creativity, imagination and problem solving skills that are essential for preparing students for their future.
Our school offers an art class for students in kindergarten through eighth grade where they can express themselves through a variety of media and techniques. Students’ artwork is displayed throughout the school for all to enjoy.
Title 1 is a NYC federally funded program providing academic support to students who are struggling in their regular classrooms. Title 1 teachers work with students in the areas of ESL, Math and Reading/Literacy. Students attend these classes 2-3 times a week. The sessions are from 45 minutes to one hour. Title 1 teachers work closely with the regular classroom teachers in order to align the curriculum.
Independent Providers – Here at St. Francis of Assisi four independent teachers work with students individually who have been evaluated by the NYC Board of Education and are entitled to receive additional support. Additional services may include academic support, speech/language services, occupational therapy and counseling. Presently at St. Francis we have the three independent academic providers as well as the speech/language provider.