Academic Overview

Transitional Kindergarten 

The transitional kindergarten program began in August 2014. Children turning four by September 1st are eligible to participate in this program at the start of the school year. 

Our transitional kindergarten program runs from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. out of our Panther House facility.  This room is exclusively used by our youngest students during their four hours on campus and is designed to meet their instructional, emotional, and social needs.

An experienced teacher plans and coordinates all of their curriculum, including reading, language arts, math, social studies and science.  The students also enjoy physical education, music, and library each week.  Parents have many opportunities to volunteer in the classroom as well as on field trips. 

Kindergarten

Our Kindergarten class is structured  for small group academic focus and larger group socialization, all in a classroom designed to meet the needs of our youngest students. 

A fully-credentialed, experienced teacher, aided by an instructional assistant, plans and coordinates all the core learning activities - reading, language arts, math, social studies and science - for the kindergarten students.  Parents have many opportunities to volunteer for kindergarten activities and field trips. 

Kindergarten students also have regularly scheduled classes in religion, art, music, PE, computer and garden.  These enrichment classes supplement and are often coordinated with the strong foundation laid through carefully-planned instruction in the homeroom setting.

The joy of learning and the natural inquisitiveness of young children is nurtured through St. Perpetua’s kindergarten program, as well as the acquisition and refinement of the desired academic skills.  The kindergarten year at St. Perpetua School provides an extraordinary and wondrous learning experience!

Academic Excellence

 A solid academic foundation is paramount to student success.  Our top-notch faculty strives to provide a comprehensive, relevant and challenging curriculum, preparing students to enter higher education with competence and confidence.  Throughout the program students are encouraged to accept challenges and explore new ideas.  The presence of multiple intelligences is valued, and a variety of teaching strategies and differentiated instruction to demonstrate this value are employed.

We emphasize academic excellence through critical thinking, intellectual thought, writing, creative expression, and problem solving across all academic areas through a variety of teaching methods including differentiated instruction.

Mathematics

The St. Perpetua math program is aligned with and surpasses national, state and Diocesan curriculum standards.  Math teachers use a variety of teaching methods to meet the different levels and learning styles of each student.  An array of technology tools are incorporated daily such as promethean interactive boards, inter-write pads, iPads, computers and document cameras. The use of visual tools, manipulatives, group problem solving sessions, writing assignments and long-term projects are also part of the curriculum.   Additionally, students are assessed throughout the year to gauge student mastery and guide instructional decisions.

Science

Through a hands-on science approach in our fully-equipped science laboratory, students learn to understand their place in the world and their impact on the environment, while developing the ability to form hypotheses, make observations, collect data and draw conclusions.  Areas of earth, life, and physical science are taught each year.  Students also have access to our award-winning Garden of Learning outdoor classroom environment for hands-on experiences in science and environmental awareness. St. Perpetua School junior high students present experiments at our annual science fair, eagerly attended by students of all ages.

Technology

Technology is integrated into lesson plans and assessment and is taught during specific technology instruction to students.  The staff regularly attends professional development regarding technology, sharing best practices, and arranging opportunities for similar professional development for the faculty.

Technology is an integral part of each student’s learning experience at St. Perpetua School and is integrated into the daily classroom experience. St. Perpetua School leverages technology through:

  • A state-of-the-art information technology center, complete with computers for every student.
  • Interactive Promethean white boards or SMART boards in every classroom, featuring inter-write pads and document cameras.  Plus, learner response devices provide opportunities for student involvement and assessment, and allows teachers to deliver dynamic lessons tailored to the immediate assessment of student performance.
  • Mobile Apple iPad/MacBook Learning Lab carts that provide flexible and convenient wireless access to technology, easily transforming any classroom into a digital learning environment.

Technology is also incorporated into the various curriculum strands through lesson plans, student projects and assessment.  St. Perpetua School students follow the ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) standards, which identify higher-order thinking skills, digital citizenship, digital tools for research, and knowledge of systems and applications. Due to the ever-changing environment of technology, our students learn how to navigate through various programs and use different types of technology to solve problems and aide learning. 

Social Studies

The social studies curriculum includes the study of people and communities, today and in the past, in the United States and in other countries. The study of the United States and its government includes the cultures and political roots of people who make up the “American Mosaic.” This multi-cultural approach provides an understanding and deep appreciation of American ideals, heritage and way of life. A wide array of material is covered through in-class reading, power-point lectures, informal discussions, group projects, and reports that challenge and engage our students. 

Language Arts

Language Arts provide sequential development in four areas: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Phonics is a strong element in the integrated language approach in grades K-2.  Storytelling, creative drama, and play reading provide added enrichment throughout the grades.  The teachers of language arts use the 6-traits writing schema to provide a vibrant and motivating language arts program. Standard grammar and vocabulary are woven into the daily usage of language and writing skills.

Reports, journal writing, reader circles, skits, video critiques and many other oral and written techniques are used to enhance the building of basic reading and writing skills, as well as encourage creative writing and the continued growth of student imagination.

Religion

The religion program helps students explore their faith, develop morally, and grow in religious understanding and practice. While St. Perpetua School is centered on the Catholic faith, students of all faiths are welcome.  Our community is built on a foundation of Christian values and students explore the teachings of the Catholic faith through study, discussion, reflection and prayer.  Students will also increase their understanding of how their own beliefs and actions affect their daily lives and the lives of those around them.  Faith formation is an essential element of the curriculum and is developed to align with approved Diocesan guidelines. Students attend mass, prayer services and join Faith Families. Their faith development is also experienced through other dimensions including participation in the sacraments, community and service to others. 

Foreign Language

The Spanish program in Kindergarten through 5th grade is an introduction to Spanish language acquisition.  Students are exposed to the language one a week for 45 minutes.

Students in the Junior High are exposed to language twice a week for 45 minutes.  They learn to read, write and communicate in Spanish through very familiar topics.  The goal is to cover a standard one-year academic course over the three Junior High years.  A continued goal is to help students develop respect for the world and its cultures.  

Physical Education

The St. Perpetua physical education/health program promotes a healthy body and lifestyle. It encourages physical fitness, confidence, appreciation for team play and self-expression built upon a challenging and fun curriculum, and a variety of organized outdoor activities. The curriculum is designed to focus on movement concepts, skill themes and wellness concepts, with the goal of developing physical competence, which leads to confidence and participation in physical activity for a lifetime.

To help students develop and maintain healthy bodies and minds, the school encourages students to participate in extracurricular sports like CYO basketball, volleyball and track.  Specialized on-site sports clinics (e.g., soccer) are also offered after school.  “Field Day” is a year-end event that kicks off summer with an Olympic-like competition across various grades.

Music & The Arts

Music

The St. Perpetua music program is an integral part of every grade.  The early grades earn basic music theory through singing, movement, instrument demonstrations, musical storytelling and composition.  The older students learn to play the recorder and ukulele, sing in a choir, and study music history.  The study of music is much more than learning to how to sing or play and instrument.  It is a way for our students to connect with their peers and the world around them ~ sharing their individual gifts while working together to create something as a community.

In addition to the comprehensive, school-wide program, students have the opportunity to take private lessons during the school day with professional instrument teachers.  The students who take private lessons perform in a spring recital.  Finally, the whole St. Perpetua community comes together to provide a children's choir made up of students from both the school and parish who perform for children's masses.

Art

Art is essential to learning, both as an academic skill and as a form of self expression.  St. Perpetua School’s art program focuses on the creative process and the development of fundamental skills in a variety of media.  Weekly art lessons are comprised of basic elements of art and design (line, color, texture, shape, etc.), new techniques to improve drawing, shading, perspective and use of color, and an appreciation of historical works of art. 

Performing Arts

Support for the growth of individual talents is also made possible through our performing arts program.  St. Perpetua students have several opportunities to attend musical performance throughout the year, actively participating in regular prayer services, often involving oral speaking and choral performances.

Other annual performances may include: a Christmas pageant, spring musical, talent show and Special Person’s Day, where classes prepare dance routines to perform for family and friends they have invited to join them for lunch and the event. 

Student Enrichment & EDucation (SEEDs)

St. Perpetua School proudly features a comprehensive self-funded enrichment program to broaden educational experiences for all students.  A unique parent-led initiative, SEEDs raises funds throughout the year to provide fulfilling enrichment activities to support and enhance the curriculum.

Students attend many stimulating and informative academic and cultural field trips within the Bay Area and beyond.  Examples of experiences both on campus and off-site include:

  • San Francisco Symphony
  • Chabot Space & Science Center
  • Academy of Sciences
  • San Jose Tech Museum
  • Columbia Gold Rush
  • Colonial Days
  • Cal Shakes
  • Civil War Days
  • Lawrence Hall of Science
  • Local dance and theatrical productions  (Lesher Center performances, Shakespeare, etc.)

Students, individually, or in groups, can share their knowledge and challenge themselves by participating in school competitions, like the annual Scripps Spelling Bee and National Geographic Geography Bee, where the winners of each contest go on to compete in regional, and in some cases, state competitions.  Students also have opportunities to enter writing, poetry and art contests throughout the school year.

Learning by Giving

Students broaden their perspectives through community and international outreach, service projects, and hands-on philanthropic efforts, offering students the rewarding opportunity to share their gifts with others.  These programs support our school’s core values and inspire students to reach out and make a difference in their community.

Following are a few of the causes supported by our school:

  • A World of Change
  • Monument Crisis Center
  • Food Drives
  • Samaritan House Christmas gift drive
  • Junior High Outreach Program

The Mission Effectiveness Committee, a subcommittee of the St. Perpetua School Board, focuses on involving our students with service learning projects that result in positive actions that make a difference to others.  Goals include promoting student empowerment and ownership while applying the principles of Catholic social teaching.  In addition, it is  expected that each student will realize the value of their efforts to those in need, how the foundation of their Catholic faith and education contributed to their success, and the significance of living their faith. 

'A World of Change' is a program launched in 2009 to give each class the opportunity to reach out to an individual child in need from around the world.  Every grade level has been assigned a student from another country, with whom they communicate and provide financial support from their own earnings.  As students advance through their St. Perpetua experience, their companion student advances along with the class, making it possible to truly get to know how they are touching another’s life through their support.

In 2010, St. Perpetua School also launched the Junior High Outreach Program, known as the JHOP.  Our Junior High students lead, own and participate in this outreach program in which they run food and toiletry drives, etc.  Our junior High students are required to participate in ten volunteer hours per trimester.

Leadership Development

An important aspect of the St. Perpetua School experience is how students are taught and encouraged to take responsibility for their actions.  They learn to set goals and take steps to achieve them using time management and organizational skills. Throughout the year, students are given multiple opportunities to practice and strengthen both oral and written communication skills.  Teachers promote the development of empathy and Catholic values along with the use of effective communication skills for resolving conflict and demonstrating respect for self and others.  Several meaningful opportunities are provided for students to develop leadership and mentoring skills.  They are encouraged to develop relationships with students from other grades, fostering a community of respect and responsibility.

Student Leadership

St. Perpetua School has an active Student Leadership that works closely with faculty and students to help orchestrate school activities and spirit-building events.  Student Leadership enables students to experience and develop leadership, communication and organizational skills. Twice a month, the leadership team is responsible for planning and running “Town Hall” meetings, attended by all students and faculty/staff.  These Town Hall meetings promote school spirit and rally students to participate in fundraisers that support school and community outreach programs. Starting in 3rd grade, students may be a part of a Student Leadership Committee, while junior high students are eligible to run for key Student Leadership offices. 

Faith Families & Class Buddies

Our Faith Family and Class Buddy programs inspire older students to be leaders and strong role models for their younger counterparts, creating a feeling of community throughout the school.  Faith Families, led by the seventh and eighth graders, with members from each grade, participate in at least three annual outreach projects such as the Monument Crisis Center food drive and Christmas stocking preparation for the Friendly Manor Shelter.  Buddies also attend mass together and at the end of the year, participate in “Field Day” opening and closing ceremonies together. 

Panther House/Extended Care Program

Held in a fully dedicated on-site facility, our well-staffed extended care program, Panther House, incorporates both structured activity and playtime for students, inside and outdoors within a safe, nurturing environment. Panther House offers students homework assistance as well as a large selection of enrichment classes.  Several new additions have been made to the program, including new technology, games and playground equipment.

Our extended care program operates daily from 7:00-7:55 a.m. and from dismissal to 6:00 p.m. In addition we offer a complimentary TK & Kindergarten program designed to support the classroom curriculum during the school hours that the TK & kindergarteners are not in class, including many types of cooking and art projects. The program follows the school calendar.

 

Current Panther House rates are:

  • Calendared Regular Use - $6.00 per hour per child
  • Drop-in rate (as-needed usage) - $9.00 per hour per child

Emotional Enrichment & Learning Support

St. Perpetua School students benefit by having access to an on-site counselor and Learning Support Coordinator who can assist students and their families during challenging times.  Both professionals collaborate with classroom teachers formally and informally through articulation meetings and Student Success Team (SST) meetings to create a system of support for all students. 

The Learning Support Coordinator (LSC) provides support for students identified as having special needs.  The LSC is available five days a week to tutor individuals and small groups and is supported by additional part-time faculty.  The LSC assists teachers in making modifications and accommodations within the classroom and facilitates communication among teachers, students, parents, private tutors, and testing services. 

A Close-Knit Community

The most recent WCEA/WASC (Western Catholic Educational Association/Western Association of Schools and Colleges) accreditation survey of the parents resulted in an overwhelming response that they sent their children to St. Perpetua School for the religious atmosphere, safe environment and the presence of good discipline and academic excellence.

Other strengths mentioned include:

  • Maintenance of a small, faith-based, caring community, managed by appropriate discipline and resulting in well-behaved students
  • Modeling and teaching a faith-based curriculum resulting in a quality religious education
  • Employing professional teachers who care about their students
  • Requiring parent participation and leadership, resulting in a close-knit family network
  • Providing a wonderful and always improving facility

Community

The school offers many opportunities for community social gatherings, widely attended by parents, students, faculty and staff:

Family Picnic and Mass – a welcoming gathering kicks off the new school year

Parent Socials – hosted by room parents for each class at the beginning of the school year

Parish Carnival – a school and parish day of family fun, games and prizes

St. Perpetua Tee Off for Technology – a fall golf event and fundraiser that provides for new technology additions to the school each year (typically a sold-out event)

Taste of St. Perpetua – a beautiful evening to socialize, sample foods prepared by our very own talented “chefs,” and to taste an array of wine pairings (another sold-out event)

Peppermint Shoppe – a heartwarming Christmas shopping experience for families, in which junior high students serve as elves helping little ones purchase small gifts for their loved ones

Sweetheart Ball – also a sell-out event, this annual auction fundraiser brings dads and their daughters (or uncles/grandfathers and their nieces/granddaughters) together to spend a special evening together in early February

Annual School Auction & Social Events – a gala fundraising event in March, with several associated social events hosted and purchased by attendees:  Principal’s Dinner, Father John’s Dinner, Mother-Son Movie Night, Poker under the Stars, Mom’s Margarita Night, Flip Flops & Lemon Drops, Couples Ping Pong Tournament and many more

Camp Panther Paw – an auction item hosted by St. Perpetua teachers—a campy evening of fun, games and s’mores for lower grades, with junior high camp counselors who attend a junior high dance at the end of the evening

Special Person’s Day – musical/dance performances and luncheon hosted for family, friends and guests specially invited by each student

St. Perpetua School has gained a reputation of being a close-knit, family-oriented community.  It is truly part of what distinguishes the school in the minds of students, parents and faculty, reinforcing the supportive atmosphere characterized by the school’s academic experience.

Committed Educators

St. Perpetua School is very proud of its top-notch community of faculty and staff who combine scholarship, experience and talent to help create an unparalleled learning and growing environment for students. Our professional, collaborative and dedicated teachers earn the respect of both students and parents by exhibiting their unique attention to the needs of individual students.

Many of our educators have been at St. Perpetua School for several years.  Twelve of our current faculty/staff members have over five years of experience at the school, half of whom have over twice that time.  The school also boasts a fabulous team of instructional assistants for grades TK - 5 who actively support our core teachers in their efforts to achieve and exceed high standards of academic and personal growth. 

 

Last Modified on October 17, 2018