Curriculum and Instruction

A parent’s primary question about their child’s school relates to the content and quality of curriculum and instruction. At St. Johns, we are able to adopt the many effective and researched qualities of the public education system and weave in our spirituality, creating a truly whole-child, comprehensive program. St. John the Baptist Catholic School is affiliated with the Diocese of Santa Rosa which supports 13 Parish elementary schools in Northern California. We are dually-accredited, operating on a full 6 year term from the Western Association of Schools (WASC) and Colleges and the Western Catholic Education Association (WCEA). We also celebrate a legacy of academic tradition in the Napa Valley for over 100 years. Generations of alumni, many of whom remain in the area, can recall their roots in our corridors.

St. John the Baptist Catholic School offers a core curriculum which is structured on the sequential and challenging California Department of Education common core standards (see links below). We are a site-based managed program, meaning the school is an educational ministry of our Parish and governed by our Pastor. Because we are site-based governed, we manage our finances, human resources, facilities and other aspects necessary for school functioning. We choose and purchase our textbooks and instructional materials, which are standards-based to support our educational program.

St. John the Baptist Catholic School participates in formative STAR assessments for Language Arts and Mathematics five times yearly, and new this year, a group, summative, standardized test of academic achievement, the ACT Aspire test. Our scores range from average to above average. Our scores are not used to secure funding, for staff retention or student placement. We use our scores to monitor programmatic effectiveness. While we believe in the value of standardized testing, we also believe that a student is not defined by a test score. Test scores cannot measure all that our students are taught and all that our students achieve at St. John the Baptist Catholic School.

St. John’s graduates are well-rounded, active participants in their communities and solid in their academic foundation. Our graduates are well-prepared to go on to the school of their choice, primarily Justin-Siena, Vintage and Napa High Schools. Many earn honor roll status, succeed in honors class, play team sports, perform in musical opportunities or gain spots in student leadership or campus ministry.

Our staff is dedicated to the vocation of Catholic education. They are highly-qualified and several hold graduate degrees. Professional development is supported through local and national continuing education opportunities.

Our parent community is also committed to supporting our academic program, primarily through funding important co-curricular activities and by serving as active partners in the education of their children.

St. John the Baptist Catholic School is a thriving, learning community thanks to the investment of hundreds of mission-dedicated stakeholders.

Technology at St. John’s

Our Technology Philosophy

Technology at St. John the Baptist Catholic School reflects 21st century learning. 21st century learners must embrace diversity, be creative problem-solvers, technologically savvy, and effective communicators. Weave in “active persons of faith” and we’ve described the St. John’s student learning expectations. We believe that students acquire and incorporate technology best, more responsibly, and more permanently when related to their daily lives.

Due to significant and stable backing from our internal fundraising events and generous community sponsors, our program doesn’t merely begin and end with a good idea. It is sustainable, progressive and most importantly, preparing our students to become active and responsible users of technology for their lifetime.

Our Programming:

  • Global Academics/Trajectory is a company which blends national technology standards with subject-area curriculum content standards in order to deliver relevant technology instruction. For example, students in the 4th grade might master Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets by creating a spreadsheet of the California Missions in order of their establishment. Global Academics is a partnership with Richmond University and was adopted by St. John the Baptist Catholic School in 2007.
  • Dynamic Cloud-Based Educational Programs to enhance curriculum including Accelerated Reader, Accelerated Math, Imagine Learning, Kahn Academy, Tinker programming and coding, Google Drive, and Google for Education.
  • Cyberethics, Keyboarding, and additional supplementary programming
  • Google for Education: Google for Education is a platform for schools that provides students safe access to Google applications including Google Docs, spreadsheets, presentations, drawing, safe searching, calendar, etc.
  • Gmail for Students and Staff: In order to access the Google Drive suite, all students and staff are provided a protected email account for internal communications and document sharing.
  • Online Student Database which allows staff to manage student records including attendances, grades and report cards electronically
  • Online Grading Program which enables teachers to keep electronic gradebooks and parents to monitor their child’s progress in grades 4 and up
  • Intuitive School Website where parents can subscribe to their children’s classroom teacher and monitor daily homework and announcements

Our Infrastructure:

  • a 30 station computer lab that boasts Dell computers outfitted with 22“ flat screen monitors and a teacher work station with LCD projector for instruction
  • Windows, Word 2007, server, high speed internet and wireless access
  • Four AV carts which each contain a lap-top computer equipped with a DVD player, Microsoft Office 2007 programs, LCD projector and speakers
  • Three network laser printers enabling staff and students to meet paper use needs efficiently and responsibly
  • Desktop and several Google Chrome books in classrooms and in the library, all equipped with Microsoft Office 2007 programs, Google Drive and Google for Education
  • A 55” flat screen Smart TV with access to Youtube, Netflix, Pandora, and other links that offer educational experiences

Read, Read, Read!

St. John’s uses the Renaissance Learning’s Accelerated Reader program at all grade levels. Accelerated Reader (AR) is software for primary and secondary schools that is used for monitoring the practice of reading.

Learn more about this award winning program by visiting Renaissance.com.

Accelerated Reader Bookfinder

GoMath

More about this exciting program coming soon…

Science

This page is still in the lab…

Environmental Literacy

The Environmental Literacy Program at St. John the Baptist Catholic School is rooted in faith and and spirituality. We are dedicated to educating our students about the changing needs of our world, raising their consciousness, and instilling in them a sense of responsibility to be good stewards of the environment and all of God’s creations in the natural world. Pope Francis says education must “promote a new way of thinking about human beings, life, society, and our relationship with nature.” To that end, we believe reaching beyond the classroom walls is essential to the educational process and for our students to develop the spiritual mindset necessary to shape our world in a positive way.

All students in 4th through 8th grade are active participants in the Environmental Literacy Program and take part in standards-based Science and Social Studies off-campus learning excursions. These opportunities also serve to build a strong sense of community amongst our students, as well as with parent chaperones and school staff, who are also in attendance. The Environmental Literacy Program includes the following:

4th Grade: Coloma Outdoor Discovery School

5th Grade: Coloma Eco-Science Exploration

6th Grade: Walker Creek Science Camp

7th Grade: Marin Headlands

8th Grade: Yosemite National Park

Faith Formation

While we are a Catholic school, we recognize that not all families are Catholic. We warmly welcome all those committed to faith formation in the spirit of Jesus Christ! Students learn the foundational tenets of Christianity through play and interactions with teachers, staff and their peers. Because we are a Christ-centered school, there is a positive, accepting social environment and culture at St. John’s, so bullying is rare.

The faith formation program at St. John’s is comprehensive, woven through every aspect of a child’s time with us. Each day begins with morning assembly where we read the Gospel, offer prayer intentions, and make school announcements. Every 1st Sunday of the month, we celebrate a special, family-focused school parish Mass at 10:00 a.m. in our church. Each Wednesday, we celebrate Mass as a school community. In fact, we are one of the few Diocesan schools to celebrate a weekly Mass that includes our entire student body. Students participate as cantors, altar servers and lectors. They also read prayer intentions and participate in the choir. You will frequently see many of our parents, relatives and members of the parish community in attendance, as all are welcome to join us for morning assembly and Mass!

All St. John the Baptist students take Religion as a subject, not only to learn about our Catholic faith, but to understand how we are called to live out our faith. Our students put faith into action in many ways. For example, they participate in our Living Stations of the Cross to reflect on the great sacrifice of Jesus Christ during Holy Week. We also honor and pray for the departed when we recognize All Souls’ Day at our Table of Remembrance. May Crowning is a beautiful dedication honoring our heavenly Mother during the month dedicated to the Virgin Mary. We also enjoy regular “Faith Family” school experiences. These experiences enable students to interact with different grade levels, to connect and grow in faith and knowledge as a school community.

Sacramental preparation is a critical part of our students’ experience at St. John’s. In 2nd Grade, we prepare students for the Sacraments of 1st Communion and 1st Reconciliation for those families wishing to continue and support their child’s ongoing faith journey. Likewise, students in 7th grade have the opportunity to prepare for and receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit through Confirmation.

PE

Still working on this page…

Music

At St. John’s we understand the importance of fostering creative thinking skills which help our children solve real-life problems. Music Education is part of the academic curriculum, where students have the opportunity to work together creatively or individually, exploring their own unique talents and gifts. Because we educate the whole child and believe nurturing our students’ creativity is part of their complete development, students receive music instruction as part of the class day once a week. We also offer several music education opportunities beyond academic instruction. Children who participate in choir learn different genres of music and take part in various concert experiences. Participating in the choir and as cantors at our weekly masses helps students develop confidence as they learn to share their talents. We also have an Advent Program and several other important musical performances throughout the year.