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ACADEMIC PROGRAM

Our Lady of Charity School is an Illinois State-recognized institution. All teachers are certified with a minimum of a bachelor's degree and most have master's degrees. 

OLC boasts a full academic curriculum. Subjects taught include religion, English language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies. Music, physical education, Spanish (for native and non-native speakers), and library are also part of the students' regular weekly study cycle. Technology is integrated into the curriculum via our 30-unit, networked computer lab with a high-speed internet connection. Students are issued their own iPads beginning in the second grade, and teachers use interactive whiteboards in their teaching.

The Archdiocese of Chicago Curriculum Benchmarks in English, reading, math, and science are aligned to the Illinois Learning Standards, Common Core State Standards, ACT's College Readiness Standards, and the Next Generation Science Standards. The religious standards are designed to promote our Catholic identity and faith in the lives of our students with an emphasis on our creed, sacraments, Christian living, scriptures, liturgy, prayer, and history of the Catholic Church, parish life, and vocations. The Archdiocese of Chicago Curriculum Benchmarks are rigorous standards used by teachers in our schools to align curriculum, instruction, and assessments to prepare students with the skills to be successful for their next level of work.

More information regarding our curriculum is available here.

ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS PROGRAM

Kindergarten - 1st grade: 

We use Jolly Phonics at Our Lady of Charity. This is a systematic program for teaching phonics. Teaching is multi-sensory and active, with fun actions, stories, and songs. Students learn the 42 sounds of English along with many of their spelling patterns.

Making Meaning is another program used in kindergarten and first grade. It is designed to teach whole group lessons in reading comprehension skills. Making Meaning provides a full year of research-based, whole-class reading and vocabulary instruction for grades K–6. Reading lessons teach students comprehension and self-monitoring strategies that proficient readers use to make sense of text. Lessons intentionally integrate academics with social skill development, creating an environment in which students learn to collaborate, agree and disagree respectfully, and take responsibility for their learning.

Guided Reading is also employed. This is a small-group approach to reading instruction. Students read a book at their instructional level. The teacher facilitates skill and discussion work with students as they grow in their use of reading strategies and responding to what they read in their writing.

 

Grades 2-5:

We are fortunate to have a 2020 edition of McGraw Hill’s Wonders program that is designed to reach all learners. Research-based print and digital resources provide support for building strong literacy skills using fiction and nonfiction texts. Writing about reading and social-emotional learning skills are also included. This program features phonics, phonological awareness, high-frequency words, spelling, handwriting, grammar, and vocabulary practice. Additional writing instruction is taught using the Six Traits of Writing (Trait Crate Plus) by Ruth Culham.

 

Grades 6-8:

Our Lady of Charity's middle schoolers use the 2020 edition of McGraw Hill's StudySync, a complete English Language Arts curriculum. In print or online, StudySync is designed to engage every student regardless of his or her native language, learning level, or physical, social, and emotional ability. StudySync offers a blend of modern-day and classic literature. Skill lessons include comprehension skills, writing, and research. English Language Learners (ELL) skill lessons emphasize vocabulary instruction, language acquisition, and reading comprehension. 

MATHEMATICS PROGRAM

The OLC math curriculum follows the i-Ready Classroom Math program. i-Ready Classroom Mathematics is a robust mathematics program that will help your student become a strong, independent mathematical thinker. The program uses a different approach to math instruction than many of us had as children.

 

The program:

  • Focuses on learning through problem-solving and student-to-student conversations about mathematical thinking (called discourse)​

  • Uses a set of learning routines each day, called the Try–Discuss–Connect routine, that helps students engage in discourse as they develop a deeper understanding of mathematics

  • Ensures that your student develops the problem-solving skills needed to become an independent and confident mathematical thinker

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RELIGION PROGRAM

At Our Lady of Charity School, Jesus Christ is central to our religious curriculum. Students in grades 1-8 use Alive in Christ, and kindergarteners use Allelu!: both programs are published by Our Sunday Visitor.

To build a foundation for a lifelong relationship with Jesus, our religious curriculum focuses on the life, mission, and saving work of Jesus Christ, and teaches students how to live as Catholic disciples. Students build knowledge of, and reverence for Sacred Scripture from both the Old Testament and New Testament.

 

Students are challenged to relate knowledge of our faith with their life experience so they can apply the many ways we worship, live, pray, and serve together as Catholics. We begin each day as a school to share prayer and the Gospel, read by students each morning over the public address system.

Preparation for the Catholic sacraments of reconciliation, first holy Communion, and confirmation is conducted as part of their respective grade levels in partnership with our priests, parish religious education leaders, and faculty. Reconciliation and First Communion occur in the 2nd grade, while confirmation occurs in the 8th grade.

Beginning in third grade, students at Our Lady of Charity School have the opportunity to altar serve at Mass. Students are trained and serve one or two school Masses per month. Altar servers are also invited to serve weekend and special Masses, such as weddings and funerals.

As Pope Francis told a group of altar servers, “The closer you are to the altar, the more you will remember to speak with Jesus in daily prayer; the more you will be nourished by the word and the body of the Lord, the better able you will be to go out to others, bringing them the gift that you have received, giving in turn with enthusiasm the joy you have received.”

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