PFSJCS recognizes that there is no one-curriculum system that meets the requirements of all subjects and/or all students. It is important to have a variety of excellent resources to meet the needs of specific subjects and individual students. We believe that whenever possible, teachers and students should help to develop their own materials and lesson plans, so that they are personally and meaningfully connected to classroom learning. Prior to the start of each semester, all teachers will distribute course descriptions, materials, reading lists, timelines, as well as standards and benchmarks for each class. This will provide students and parents/guardians with a clear understanding of what will be covered and what students are expected to master. Each day in class, teachers will post and verbally review the standards and benchmarks that the class is currently working on, the class agendas, and assignments. Students will be able to clearly articulate the specific skills they are in the process of mastering. Teachers will also distribute in advance well-defined rubrics and study guides for all graded assignments to assure that all students know what specifically is expected for minimum completion and higher levels of work. Students and parents receive regular checklists, updating standards and benchmarks that have been completed and work that is still in progress. There is no social promotion at PFSJCS, only skills-based completion of work. Students are promoted to the next grade when they have completed all the required standards for their current grade. Along the way, there is no failure at PFSJCS; students are constantly in process of completing work, and will receive course credit when all class standards and benchmarks are mastered at a minimum 70% level. Students will receive continuous encouragement and support, not only to meet, but also to exceed the minimum 70% passing grade through additional studies, skill building, and assessments. A standards-based assessment system builds the important skill of persistence, pride in accomplishment, and mastery of solid skills.
1. English Language Arts (4 years)
It is of vital importance that each PFSJCS graduate is highly competent in literacy skills, including: writing, reading comprehension, discussion, debate, and public speaking. Students will be able to formulate and communicate ideas and values through expository, persuasive, narrative, and expressive formats. Reading materials will cover a variety of cultures, genres, and periods, to help students identify personal interests and compare stylistic differences. Students will have daily reading and writing sessions to help develop their skills and increase their experience of a variety of written forms.
2. Mathematics (4 years)
All students will be expected to be proficient in critical thinking, deductive reasoning, and problem solving. Students will learn to: make sense of problems and persevere in solving them; reason abstractly and quantitatively; construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others; model with mathematics; use appropriate tools and formulas strategically; attend to precision; look for and make use of structure; and look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning. Students will learn through real-world applications of abstract concepts. The study and successful completion of a four year required program of mathematics will provide students with the skills to move into any higher field of study, and negotiate any future challenge with sound reasoning and skillful management.
3. Science (3 years with a 4th year option)
Students will experience the importance of scientific studies for the development of critical thinking skills, habits of mind, and methodical analysis and diagnosis. Students will be provided with authentic learning experiences that will widen their understanding of themselves and the world around them. They will learn to value important discoveries and formulate their own goals for productive and ethical scientific practices and activities. Students will be required to take part in a global initiative that will put into practice their scientific skills and abilities.
4. Social Studies
This program of study provides an opportunity for students to examine the course of history, compare different civilizations, and understand that history is not a linear progression from primitive to advanced. Students will learn to discern and utilize information, research using both primary and secondary sources, and make connections and identify trends. Students will study the rule of law and our judicial system, and work to uphold human dignity, freedom, equal rights, as well as personal and civic responsibility. All students will be required to complete at least two years of American History and two years of integrated humanities studies.
5. World Language (3 years with a 4th year option)
Students are required to complete three years of one world language and are encouraged to take a fourth year optional course. Students will develop reading, speaking and listening skills as well as an understanding of the culture. Students will have a choice of the following languages: Spanish, and American Sign Language. We will also offer a Native Spanish Speakers program for students who have fluency in speaking Spanish and would like to improve their reading and writing skills. We selected these tWO languages because they offer a variety of learning options and support diverse student abilities, including linguistic, tonal, and kinesthetic skills.
6. Electives (4 years)
Students are able to take four electives each year. They will be required to select (1) Physical Education Elective, (1) Technology Elective (1) Arts Elective and (1) Community Development Elective each year.
Prior to graduation, every student will be required to participate in at least one internship program. Internships are scheduled for junior and senior years and may happen during the weekends, evenings, or summers.
Students will select an internship aligned with their future goals. Internships must be at least 50hrs in length and will need to be approved in advance.
8. Social Curriculum
PFSJCS will teach a social curriculum that outlines: rights and responsibilities, appreciation of diversity, self-awareness and self-management, interpersonal skills, decision-making, and integrity of rewards and consequences.
Regular social curriculum programs and events will be scheduled throughout the year, to build community and to continue the educational process. Students, along with teachers, will be active members in formulating, adopting, and monitoring a code of conduct for the school. The code will be reexamined and ratified every year to include new perspectives, and to affirm what is important to our school community.
All students, teachers, staff, and parents will receive a copy of the current code of conduct. A teacher and student review panel will examine appropriate code of conduct infractions and make recommendations. The student in question will review recommendations and make amendments to conduct and behavior, and perform a school service project. The Dean of Students, along with parents, will review any second infraction, or major issue, adhering to clear rules and consequences, which are posted and distributed to the entire school community.