(See School Policy 1001: Philosophy of Education)
Kindergarten: The Kindergarten Program is planned for five/six-year-old students and is a comprehensive program that covers reading, handwriting, auditory and oral language skills for children to grow in readiness for first grade. The readiness program is geared to each student’s needs, abilities, and interests and includes the teaching and developing of readiness in mathematics, social studies, reading, printing, physical education, science, health, religion, music, and computers.
Grades 1-2: Each grade level in our primary section in considered an individual unit. Teachers in each classroom share the responsibility for the education of the students at their respective grade levels. In grades 1-2, instructional emphasis is on religion, reading, mathematics, science, social studies, and writing. In grades 1-2, students also receive specialized music, physical education, computer, and art instruction.
Grades 3-5: Instruction for students in grades 3, 4, and 5 is a semi-departmentalized basis. During parts of the school day, students receive instruction from their homeroom teacher. During the remainder of the day, students are taught on a departmentalized basis, changing teachers for different classes. In grades 3, 4, and 5, students also receive a specialized computer, music, physical education and art instruction.
Grades 6-8: Our program in grades 6, 7, and 8 is completely departmentalized, with students changing class each period. Each subject is taught by a teacher who has special training in that area. During our eight-period day, students have classes in religion, language arts, Spanish (8th grade only), mathematics, literature, science, social studies, and physical education/health. Technology and use of technology are incorporated into the middle school curriculum. A fine art elective is required in 6th and 7th grade with possible selections including Art, Choir, Band, Orchestra, Drama, and Hand Bells, depending on interest levels.
St. Odilia Assessment Philosophy
Assessment is the act of evaluating, appraising, and/or estimating the features, qualities, performances, and needs of individuals, programs, and institutions. Educational assessment at St. Odilia School will adhere to the following principles and values:
- The purpose of assessment is to support and enhance student learning.
- Every student is an individual with a broad range of abilities, skills, and knowledge.
- Assessment will focus on all key areas of student learning and development offered at St. Odilia School.
- Assessment will consider a wide range of relevant performance information, formal and informal, standardized and non-standardized.
- Assessment will be based on valid standards such as state and Archdiocesan standards, grade level expectations, appropriate reference groups, and individual aptitudes.
- Assessment will be linked to analyses of teacher and curriculum performance and instructional improvement.
- Assessment data will be communicated to students and parents in a timely manner.
Class Size Guidelines
The Class Size Guidelines follow the Class Size Policy established by the School Council.
(See School Policy 6151: Class Size)
Grade Number of Students- Optimum Number of Students- Maximum K 18 22 1 20 24 2-3 22 25 4-5 24 25 6-8 25 28
Homework is an extension of the instructional program and an extension of the student’s academic day. In grades 1-3, the work should not exceed twenty to thirty minutes for any child. Grades 4 -5 may expect forty to fifty minutes of homework. Middle School students (grades 6-8) may expect to spend an hour or more on homework.
It is the responsibility of the student to follow through on all homework assignments, and it is the right of each student to have his/her assignments checked.
The school library is well-stocked with up-to-date periodicals, books, and reference materials. Open each day during school hours, it is staffed by the librarian and volunteers. Each class is scheduled weekly for a library period.
The library is also available to students for research work when necessary. The PAA has been very supportive in keeping our library up-to-date. Three book fairs in year -- Scholastic book fairs in the Fall and Spring, and a Barnes & Noble Book Fair before Christmas -- allow the library to keep expanding its collection.
St. Odilia students in grades K-8 are assessed with the use of the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) standardized tests. The results of these tests are to be used to obtain more information about the ability and achievement of students and are a tool to aid in the education process. Test standards are both national and state-based and results are placed in student’s record. Test results are part of 8th-grade student records that are sent on to the high school of the student’s choice for purposes of better placement within the high school program. For more detailed information on MAP, visit the St. Odilia website MAP page. The page is located using the following path: Parents-Parent Info-MAP testing.
St. Odilia requires that all private school students who qualify by state guidelines receive special education services equal to those provided to public school students. Students qualifying for special education services are serviced by the Mounds View School District.
Mounds View School District’s policy is to provide special education services for most St. Odilia students on our own campus. Some services may take place at Island Lake School conveniently located across from St. Odilia’s playground. An adult staff member from St. Odilia will walk with our students who receive these services. Allocation of funds for these services is provided by the residential district. The student’s level of service and its cost need to fall within the state’s guidelines in order for the program to be implemented. There may be some instances when the child study team and/or administration determine that an appropriate level of services cannot be provided for a student at St. Odilia. If so, it may be recommended that such services be delivered in an alternate setting.
Special Education Referrals
Parents who have specific concerns regarding their child’s progress should first discuss their concerns with the child’s classroom teacher. If classroom strategies are implemented but not successful, the teacher may then bring this concern to St. Odilia’s Special Education Liaison/Student Service Coordinator. The Special Education Liaison will then arrange for an Academic Support Committee meeting to review the referral. The ASC may consist of the following members: classroom teacher(s), a special education teacher, the district psychologist, the district nurse and our special education liaison. This is the forum in which the classroom teacher can discuss the student’s present level of performance and the area(s) of concern. When a special education referral for an assessment is recommended by the ASC and approved by the family, the student will then be formally assessed by Mounds View staff. This assessment is necessary in order to determine whether or not a student qualifies for special educational services. The results of testing are then presented by members of the ASC to the family at an assessment summary meeting. If it is determined that specific criteria is met for a special educational placement, the team will then develop an Individual Service Plan (I.S.P.) with specific goals and objectives to address the students’ needs. St. Odilia School has an excellent working relationship with the surrounding school districts to provide quality special services to our students.
General Education Support
Students in general education who struggle with their learning, are significantly below grade-level performance, but do not qualify for special education, may qualify for extra support from St. Odilia’s support specialists in the areas of math and/or reading. Teachers make student recommendations to the Student Services Coordinator who then makes a determination based on informal assessment results. The results of the assessment are shared with parents and teachers. If the student does not qualify for extra support, it is suggested that the family look for private tutoring.
Communication with Parents
(See School Policy 5123: Communication System)
Report Cards: Report cards are issued quarterly to students in grades K-8, approximately every nine weeks. Kindergarten does not receive a 1st quarter report card. Letter grades of A, B, C, D, and F are used in grades 4 through 8. “Outstanding” (O), “satisfactory” (S), and “unsatisfactory” (U) are generally used to evaluate the student’s progress in some performance-based subjects. Grades of O, S, and U are also used in grades 6-8 to evaluate the student’s classroom conduct.
Grades K-3 are evaluated on a performance scale of each child compared against his/her own progress. The scale used is: “Exceeds Standards” (E), “Meets Standards” (M), “Progressing” (P), “Needs Improvement” (N If something is not taught during a quarter, N/A will be marked.
Work habits/conduct/social skill may be included in the report card as well, with marks of (M) Meeting Expectations or (P) Progressing, or (N) Needs Improvement.
Parent-Teacher Conferences: Parent-Teacher Conferences are formally scheduled twice each year, once in the fall before the end of the first quarter, and once in the spring before the end of the third quarter. Parent-Teacher Conferences provide mutual support and enable parents and teachers to work together and plan for the continued growth and success of each child. In addition, conferences provide parents with an opportunity to find out more about the school and its programs.
Occasionally concerns arise that either the parent or teacher feel require immediate attention, necessitating a more immediate conference between the parents and teacher. If such a situation does arise, the parents, teacher, or principal should make the necessary contacts to arrange an appointment.
Promotion and Retention
(See School Policy 5122: Student Promotion/Retention)
Parents, upon the recommendation of teachers and principal, assume the responsibility of making a final decision in these areas. If retention is a concern, this concern will be discussed at or before the spring conference.
Phone Calls/Emails: We encourage you to contact your child’s teacher at school if there is a concern you would like to discuss. Since the teachers are in the classroom almost all day they may not be able to respond immediately but will return your call or email as soon as possible. Likewise, your child’s teacher will contact you if there is a concern that he/she would like to discuss with you.
Student Files: The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 give students and their families the right to view school records while prohibiting access to unauthorized persons. Federal regulations ensure parents’ and students’ rights of confidentiality, inspection, amendment, and destruction of student records. The release of records is done only on the written authorization of parents or legal guardian.