The art program at SRS is designed to help the students grow artistically and creatively through discovery and hands-on experiences using a wide-variety of materials, art concepts, and artists’ work in order to expose the students to multiple art styles and techniques. Students create artwork not only for themselves, but for others and the community, as well, including art for the St. Raymond Trivia Night and Afghan Club. Throughout the year, students can also display their artwork and talents during various events including a schoolwide art show, the Mount Prospect Library art show, and other miscellaneous public art displays. For those students with a deep interest in art, an afterschool Art Club and Ceramics Club are offered.
To instill knowledge of physical health and wellness within our students, St. Raymond School offers gym classes to grades K-8. Students are challenged to develop the knowledge, skills, and positive self-esteem required to live healthy, active lifestyles. Many physical activities, like sport units, are introduced to give students a variety of ideas that can help them stay active outside of school. Throughout their physical education, the students learn terms that will aid them in staying healthy throughout their lives. Students are also trained in using heart rate monitors to measure and track resting heart rate, target heart rate, and maximum heart rate. In Junior High, students study health units to familiarize themselves with the five components of fitness: cardiorespiratory endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, body composition, and flexibility. The health units serve to connect health and wellness content to the physical education activities that the students perform during gym class. A Physical Education club is offered for students in grades K-3.
Saint Raymond School has a beautiful library that is available to students in all grade levels. The library is a resource for both the students and the teachers that complements the curriculum while creating lifelong learners and readers. Beginning in Preschool, listening skills and the love of reading are reinforced through weekly storytime, exposing students to a wide variety of stories. Kindergarteners also benefit from listening to weekly storytimes, but they also begin their own personal journeys of reading through the introduction of library check out. During this time, students learn how to properly care for books and the library environment while also nurturing their love for reading. Grades 1 through 5 have biweekly library checkouts where students can choose books that meet both personal interests and academic assignment needs. Every other week, students in Grades 1 through 4 continue receiving storytimes so they are not only exposed to different genres, but they are also modeled good reading skills. 3rd Grade students are taught library skills that demonstrate how to effectively navigate the library and how to research. Topics covered include fiction vs. non-fiction; the Dewey Decimal System; and parts of a book, dictionary, and encyclopedia. The library also houses two annual book fairs and plans fun reading-inspired events such as the Kindergarten “Polar Express” day and a school-wide Read-a-thon.
Saint Raymond School’s music program gives students a foundation in music by providing activities that incorporate listening, singing, and playing instruments. By studying a variety of musical styles and genres from various cultures and time periods, students have a diverse introduction to music and its history. Some of the concepts covered include: composers and their work, reading music notation, eras of music genres, and the development of jazz. During their time at SRS, students also will learn how to play certain instruments including the recorder, ukulele, “orff” style xylophone, and world drums. The music program also gives students the chance to showcase what they have learned through many different grade level-specific and whole-school concerts and performances, including the Christmas Nativity, operas, and a recorder concert.
All of our students, grades PreK-8, are able to experience world cultures and language through our Spanish programs. Preschool through 4th grade receives Spanish instruction from native-speaking Spanish instructors through the program “Language Adventures”. Language Adventures “is dedicated to providing engaging, stimulating and highly effective world language classes.” They use games and activities targeted for children to create an engaging learning environment. Through “adventure-immersion”, movement and physical activities, and workbooks, students in grades PreK through 4th grades receive a hands-on curriculum that “enhances motor skills as well as linguistic skills”.
Our inhouse Spanish teacher teaches the Spanish language and introduces Spanish cultures to students in Grades 5 through 8. The students learn vocabulary, conjugations, common phrases, and other grammar topics that will all aid in casual Spanish communication. Geography and history are also intertwined into the Spanish curriculum as the students begin learning the locations of Spanish-speaking countries along with their capitals, the history of Spanish in the United States, Spanish customs, and holiday traditions. Fun activities, like Salsa dancing and singing Spanish Christmas carols, make the curriculum interactive and engaging. By Junior High, the students are able to use what they have learned to read books in Spanish.
St. Raymond students in grades Preschool through 8th Grade receive technology education that prepares them for 21st century learning. Beginning in Preschool, our students visit the “Little Saints Lab” to learn how to use and care for iPads and/or computers. They learn basic usage skills while learning technological vocabulary and symbols that they will carry on with them to the older grades. Keyboarding skills are incorporated throughout the curriculum beginning in Kindergarten. In the older grades, students work on word processing, coding, database, spreadsheet, drawing skills, and multimedia presentations, as well as proper care and use of hardware and software. Many projects are cross-curricular to enhance the learning experience. Saint Raymond School is also a certified Digital Citizenship school, teaching students from Kindergarten through 8th grade how to be responsible and safe digital citizens. Through this program, students learn how to interact with others online in appropriate ways, to create safe web presences, to discern between private and personal information, to navigate the internet safely, and to recognize fair use of others’ creative content.