St. Rosalia Academy offers a strong traditional curriculum. In the “Continuous Growth Program” of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, students advance through a defined curriculum according to their individual needs and abilities. In addition to meeting all the requirements of the Pennsylvania Department of Education, the curriculum gives special attention to the integration of Gospel values.
Curriculum guidelines for all subject areas are utilized by the Catholic elementary schools and provided through the Department for Catholic Schools. The guidelines endeavor to give continuity to the teaching/learning process, and are geared to meet the individual needs of students and to guide the teaching/learning process.
All textbooks have been selected from the list of recommended texts devised by the Curriculum Directors of the Diocese. They are approved because the philosophy is consistent with the Catholic philosophy of education, the subject matter is adaptable to the Continuous Growth Program and because there is sequential, consistent development of material.
A formal catechetical program is taught daily. The Diocesan Catechetical Curriculum Guidelines, “Growing in God’s Covenant” contains a balance of doctrinal content, scriptural understanding, faith formation, prayer and worship experiences. A variety of materials are used to foster both spiritual growth and moral development.
The computer curriculum in the primary grades develops familiarity with functional uses of the computer through the use of programmed software. In the upper grades, skills such as word processing, database, composition and data entry, and the use of spreadsheets are emphasized.
Instruction in the Fine Arts contributes to the development of the whole person, promotes individual expression, allows experimentation with diverse materials and elements, enables exploration and appreciation of the works of other students and major artists, develops an awareness and sensitivity toward the environment and finally promotes a deeper understanding of heritage and culture.
The Fine Arts Curriculum provides a holistic approach to education, which incorporates many aspects of the core curriculum and can be integrated into the total educational experience.
Health and Physical Education
Health education, which leads to the total well being of each student, is the goal of the Diocesan “Health for Success” program. The program is a complete, comprehensive approach to developing our students physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and socially. A health text, along with current periodicals may be used. Guest speakers may be invited to speak to the students about various health related topics.
A quality Physical Education program recognizes the value of teaching students to stay physically active and develop skills needed for present and future leisure. To achieve this goal, St. Rosalia Academy incorporates the Department for Catholic Schools Curriculum, “Fit for Life” into the program. This program assists students in identifying their strengths, to build on their strengths, and to achieve personal goals.
The health and physical education curriculum strive to establish healthy, active students so that each child can develop to his or her full potential. Students learn to respect the rights of others and to follow rules through games and to be physically active. Learning to constructively channel energies helps the student to develop a good self-image. The skills, habits and attitudes developed within the program provide opportunities for greater success in the students’ lives.
The Elementary Language Arts curriculum for the Diocese of Pittsburgh has been developed to enable each student to be introduced to language as a viable form of communication, as an invaluable skill, and an art to be enjoyed. English classes center on improving writing, grammar and speaking, as well as expanding vocabulary and improving spelling.
Language, as a skill, provides the student with the important tools to speak fluently, to read and comprehend, to compose, to write legibly and to spell correctly. An awareness of the history of language and the continuous development of vocabulary also are important phases of skill development.
Students in grades K to 5 center on an integrated approach to Language Arts developing the necessary skills essential for success including the phonetic skills of the student. Students in grades 6 to 8 learn an appreciation of literature with skillful authors who vicariously open new worlds of adventure of far off places, times long past, and modern trends of good reading. Having developed a love for good literature, the aesthetic element overflows into the student’s personal, oral and written expression.
The mathematics curriculum is designed to help students meet the mathematical needs of the present and future, to provide practice in logical reasoning, and to develop the ability to find patterns and recognize structure in mathematics. Basic facts are taught in the lower grades and must be memorized. Concepts are taught sequentially. In primary grades, students are introduced to many ideas that are foundational to understanding of algebra. Algebraic topics are taught in the older grades and a full year of algebra is taught in the eighth grade. Teachers promote problem solving skills and an exploratory inquisitiveness in all students to assure critical thinking skills. Cooperative learning in the classroom is essential to heighten student awareness in the value of cooperation in group situations, to strengthen communication skills in mathematics, and to promote a mathematically literate society.
The science curriculum is specifically designed to develop a student’s understanding of science in human experience and the individual’s role in the community and in society. Examples of scientific phenomena are explained and demonstrated. Students become scientists as they learn to understand and use the scientific method to organize ways to solve problems, and to seek the answers to the wonders of God’s world. Sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students study the basics of chemistry, biology and physical science with hands on participation in a science lab.
The Social Studies curriculum begins with an introduction to community helpers. It progresses to the study of family and friends, and later encompasses a more in-depth study of the community. Beginning in fourth grade the curriculum focuses on the study of the United States land regions and Pennsylvania. At the fifth grade level, students study World Cultures and World Geography with an emphasis on the countries of the Eastern hemisphere. Sixth grade students study United States history through the Civil War and the United States geographical regions are covered. Seventh grade studies United States history to the Reconstruction and eighth grade studies United States history beginning with the Reconstruction to the modern day. Map and geography skills are taught at all levels. Values such as social justice, peace, cooperation between states and governments’ opposition to the ”isms” such as racism, sexism, and materialism are integrated in the Social Studies program.
Language students learn the sounds and syntax of the language. Students are also introduced to culture. A variety of materials and methods are used for instruction. Students in grades K through 6 receive instruction in the Spanish language by a native speaker of the language. Students in grades 7 and 8 receive instruction in the French Language. Students are working toward proficiency in listening, speaking, reading and writing of the French language. Most students qualify for year two of language in high school.
The following services are offered through Pittsburgh - Mt. Oliver Intermediate Unit II:
Remedial Reading and Math, Speech and ESL - English as a Second Language (Title I)
The Title I program is designed to provide additional assistance to students who are not demonstrating grade level proficiency in reading and / or math. Speech and ESL services are also available. Funding for these services comes through the local public school district. Referrals for the program are based on teacher referrals, standardized test results, and parent approval. Alternate strategies are planned for students in accordance with individual instructional goals and in support of the classroom curriculum to help students develop mastery of basic skills. While the primary focus is on the student, the teacher is also available as a resource for families. Parent involvement activities are an essential part of the Title I Program.