St. Mary School is a “Talents Unlimited School.” What does that mean? Each of our teachers is specially trained to teach students the “process” of learning and thinking through an educational method called “Talents Unlimited.”
The Talents Unlimited model allows teachers to weave into their regular curriculum opportunities for children to develop divergent thinking. The five talents of this model always come directly from the core academic material and include:
- Productive Thinking
- Decision Making
The goal is for students to understand and apply the thinking skills practiced in the classroom to their own real life situations, for the rest of their lives.
Our teachers use Talents Unlimited in all grades and in all subjects. St. Mary serves as a National Demonstration School for Talents Unlimited. To qualify for this honor a school must have a certified trainer on staff, all teachers must receive extensive training in the use of the model and the school must use Talents Unlimited in all grade levels for a three-year period.
“Talents” is the defining teaching method of a St. Mary education. It is how we teach every child.
We are committed to the Fine Arts through full-time Music and Art specialists. Students attend Music and Art Classes twice a week. Our Jr. Theater and St. Mary Players often present musical dramas each year in addition to performances by inidvidual classes and the choir.
Children are encouraged to express themselves through visual art in a wide range of media. Students learn basic principles of art and art appreciation, as well as create projects using printmaking, three-dimensional design, sculpture, paint, pen and ink, and pastels. Our art “studio” is equipped with a kiln for pottery making. Each year St. Mary Students are among the winners in the Hyde Park Square Art Show competition.
Spanish classes are held during the school day for students in grades K-8. Our Spanish Teacher is full time and certified multi-age P-12 in Spanish. Students in Grades 7-8 have the option of earning a high school credit. St. Mary School’s Spanish program allows students to develop an appreciation for foreign language and cultural diversity.
Communication and connectedness with Spanish speaking regions is emphasized. Kindergarten-Grade 5 builds vocabulary and common spoken phrases to gain confidence and familiarity. Junior High students also build verbal communication skills and develop writing competency. The Jr. High has had high scores annually on the National Spanish Exam.
Students are encouraged to learn through hands-on experiments in class as well as through school assemblies and field trips. Our science lab enhances Grades 6-8, focusing on Life Science, Earth Science, and Physical Science.
Additional science education opportunities available to our students include: laptop technology, an outdoor education experience, recycling, school gardening, yearly participation in regional/state science competition, and access to science resources on the Internet as well as at universities, museums and COSI in Columbus, Ohio. There is a school-wide commitment to integrate Science throughout the curriculum.
Our Mathematics program features a wide variety of manipulatives and problem solving with an emphasis on the vocabulary of Math. Students in grades 1-5 with an accelerated talent in Math may participate in Math enrichment classes and a high school Algebra course is offered by invitation in Grade 8. Grades 6-8 have an expanded Math curriculum offering multi-level Math classes providing opportunities for all levels of learning.
The Algebra I class offered to academically qualified 8th Grade Students is an actual high school course allowing students to move into Algebra II or Geometry as Freshman in high school.
Use of computers, the Internet, video production and other electronic technology are integrated throughout the curriculum at St. Mary. Our state-of-the-art computer lab accommodates 32 students at a time and a portable cart of 32 wireless laptop computers extends Internet access throughout the school.
Every student has two scheduled periods per week in the computer lab.
Students use computer technology in nearly every subject area from Kindergarten through Grade 8. Word processing, database, e-mail, Internet research, digital photography, Web page creation, graphic presentations, desktop publishing and online learning – are among the skills students develop through computer use.
Each student is introduced to computer skills with access to computer programs in math and language instruction as well as critical thinking, and deductive reasoning practice.
In addition to the Internet Lab, every classroom has computers making it possible for students and the teacher to work individually or use video equipment for a class lesson. Our students are computer confident when they leave St. Mary School and have a strong technology foundation for high school.
We have a full-time Technology Teacher/Coordinator, a part-time Technology Teacher, and two teacher aides. Our Technology Program makes enrichment possible for all subjects while expanding the content based curriculum through specialized project-based learning. Most often these projects involve the entire class and at times only a small group of students. A strong link exists between our enrichment and technology programs.
Children of all faiths are welcome at St. Mary School. Catholic values and service to others are an integral part of the total school program. Each student participates daily in the formal religious education program that stresses both formation and information. Roman Catholic students are prepared through instruction, prayer and community service projects for reception of the sacraments of First Holy Communion, Reconciliation and Confirmation. All students are encouraged to participate in both weekly and special school liturgies as well as prayer services.
Language Arts (Reading, English, Spelling)
We want children to learn not only how to read, but to love to read! A balance between the wonderful literature of whole language and the important skills of language and reading comprise the basis of our language program. Process writing is also a vital part of our instruction. Students are encouraged to write daily using the Six Traits of writing to understand and strengthen their skills.
Children grow in awareness of geography and the global community, which stresses our interdependence with others, as well as knowledge and appreciation of the history and cultures of the people around us. A special emphasis is placed on current events so that students realize the importance of the present and its effect on the future.
Our involvement each year in the International School to School Experience (ISSE) program translates some of these lessons into personal experiences. Link to ISSE Our students form friendships with exchange students here and our students who travel abroad have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to sample life in another nation.
The Physical Education department at St. Mary is one of the most respected elementary programs in the city of Cincinnati. Each year 94% of our students can successfully pass the physical fitness test that only 15% of the nation’s youth can pass. Students’ success is attributed to the fine P.E. classes during the school day and the extensive extracurricular sports program. Learn more here.
We hope students will develop a positive attitude toward physical well-being that will carry over to the future.