Our elementary and middle school (K-8) is accredited by the State of Indiana, and we recently earned an A rating by the state.
Saint Paul Catholic School has consistently outperformed the state average in the ILEARN, which measures student achievement in English/language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies.
Each elementary class has one teacher and an aide and averages 25 students per class. Our middle school class size averages 26 students and students change classes for each subject.
We offer full-day kindergarten, and preschool on our campus is available as well.
Students attend classes daily from 7:45 a.m. until 2:40 p.m. Before and after school care (including busing) are available for an additional fee through the YMCA and Growing Kids.
Through individual and collaborative work, students expand their knowledge and gain insight into a vast scope of subjects.
Our curriculum includes:
The Diocesan curriculum guidelines, consistent with the State of Indiana guidelines, are followed for the teaching of all secular subject areas.
Saint Paul Catholic School offers students opportunities for growth in the following major subjects:
Reading, English, spelling, vocabulary, composition, library skills, and appreciation of literature. Students learn composition skills beginning in kindergarten, learning how to construct a statement and three supports. The writing program culminates in 8th grade with a major research paper.
Mathematics skills, pre-algebra, and Algebra I. Students in grade 8 take the End of Course Assessment for Algebra in May.
Students in grades K-3 focus on Life Science. Students in grades 4-5 begin exploration of Physical and Earth Science. Students in grades 6-8 learn Life, Earth, and Physical Science, with an emphasis on application skills and hands-on learning.
Students in grades K-3 focus on learning about their community. Students in grade 4 learn about Indiana History. Students in grade 5 learn about American History. Students in grades 6-7 learn about ancient cultures and their impact on the modern world. Students in grades 8 continue their study of American History with a focus on citizenship.
Catholic doctrine and traditional Bible study, social justice, preparation of the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist. The Diocese of Gary sets required prayers for each grade level.
Art (K-8), Band (6-8), Choir (6-8), Music (K-8), Orchestra (5-8)
Band, Orchestra, and Choir are offered to our students through the Valparaiso Community Schools. Orchestra students go to the high school two mornings a week and arrive late to Saint Paul Catholic School. Band students are bussed to Ben Franklin Middle School three times per week for band class. Students are responsible for all activities and assignments missed at SPCS while they are attending orchestra or band class.
Word processing, database, spreadsheets, web design, presentation software, effective use of social media, and integration with curriculum subjects.
A foreign language class may be offered to students in middle school. The class is meant to give students a flavor for the language and culture to help them make an informed choice of language in high school. The selection of languages depends on teacher availability.
Students begin learning cursive in 2nd grade. All submitted work by students in grades 3-8 must be written in cursive.
Physical fitness programs appropriate for each grade. Students participate in the Presidential Fitness Evaluation in the spring.
Health class is offered to our middle school students.
Throughout the school year various local, state, and national contests are offered to our students. Our students participate in a variety of contests for poetry, story, essay, art, math, social studies, language arts, science, stock market, spelling, and geography.
Math Bowl, Spell Bowl and Academic Bowl are particularly fun for our students and Saint Paul is regularly recognized for our outstanding performance in these competitions.
Standardized testing assesses student progress. The following standardized tests may be given to help determine student achievement: • ISTEPs in grades 3-8 • IN-View Cognitive Abilities tests in grades 3 & 6 • NWEA in grades K-5
Summer Reading and Skills Books
Students are required to do summer reading and math activities. The reading lists are given out in May along with the study skill books. Spanish and keyboarding books are also available for a fee. Both the required summer reading and study skills review books are due the first week of school. Students will be given a completion grade.
In addition, students learn study skills and the importance of service to others. Daily homework assignments are checked for completion and mastery, and tests are given for evaluation purposes. An optional Spanish course takes place after school for kindergarten through eighth grade students.
Grading & Assessment
At Saint Paul Catholic School, we are dedicated to helping each child reach his or her fullest potential. Our experience is that when we set the bar high, students rise to the occasion. As such, teachers in grades 1-8 use a more rigorous grading scale than public schools. Our grading scale is set by the Diocese of Gary:
A+ A A- B+ B B-
100% 99-94% 93% 92% 86-91% 85%
C+ C C- D+ D D-
84% 76-83% 75% 74% 71-73% 70%
Students also learn outside of the classroom through their participation in field trips and a variety of academic activities such as Academic Super Bowl, the National Geography Bee, Science Olympiad, Spell Bowl, science fair, chess team, and speech competitions. Each class visits the school’s library on a weekly basis to peruse a growing collection of 12,000 books managed by our librarian. Each book has been assigned a text measure according to the Lexile Framework for Reading to help match text difficulty with the individual student’s reading ability.
SPCS has integrated technology into our students’ daily experience. Each classroom is equipped with computers, projectors, and document readers, and middle school classrooms also have SmartBoards. Students in all grades attend computer lab once per week to receive instruction in Microsoft Office, internet research and searches, in-house software, and online testing. Students and parents are also instructed in internet safety by our computer applications teacher.
SPCS maintains high academic standards by partnering with parents. We encourage parents to contact their child’s teacher(s) to discuss their child’s progress and opportunities. We use a variety of methods to keep parents informed and involved:
Beginning in first grade, each student receives an assignment book. In it, students record daily assignments and file graded papers and tests for parents to review. Teachers may write notes to the parents, and parents can also send messages to the teacher via the binder.