Academics

St. Bernardine of Siena School has rich tradition of academic success. Our rigorous program encourages creative problem-solving, analysis, and critical thought while teaching students the communication skills necessary for effective collaboration in a global society.

As our standardized testing results demonstrate, the longer a student attends St. Bernardine of Siena School the more they grow in their achievement. Further testaments to the effectiveness of our program include the numerous academic scholarships and honors bestowed upon our graduates, and their consistent admission to the top private high schools of their choice.

ITBS GRADE LEVEL PERFORMANCE – FALL 2013

(The test is given in September)

Grade                         Subject Area                            Grade Level Equivalency

2                                  Reading                                    2.7  (2nd grade 7th month)

3                                  Reading                                    3.9

4                                  Reading                                    5.6

5                                  Reading                                    6.6

6                                  Reading                                    8.2

7                                  Reading                                    10.7

8                                  Reading                                    11.5

2                                  Math                                          2.4

3                                  Math                                          3.6

4                                  Math                                          4.4

5                                  Math                                          5.5

6                                  Math                                          7.0

7                                  Math                                          9.1

8                                  Math                                          11.8

CATHOLIC IDENTITY

As a Catholic school, our primary focus is to develop the spiritual life of our students and engender a deeper understanding and commitment to our Catholic Faith.  Guided by the greatest Commandment, to love one another, our Catholic identity fills every dimension of the school day.  Students take daily formal religion classes to grow in knowledge of the doctrine, rituals and traditions of Catholic Faith.  They participate in a broad variety of spiritual experiences that include, but are not limited to, weekly Mass, class and all school retreats, community service and prayer throughout the school day. Our focus on moral development and compassion helps students to grow in the virtues and to live the Gospel in their daily lives.

SERVICE TO OTHERS

Caring for others is both naturally and formally integrated into student formation at St. Bernardine’s.  Teachable moments are seized upon to express the importance of self-respect and respecting others in daily interactions.  A cornerstone of fostering compassion in our students is our service learning program.  Every year each class initiates a service project that is incorporated into their curriculum.  Through these intentional experiences opportunities to assist others are introduced, and students grow in their understanding of the need to live a life of service.

CORE CURRICULUM

St. Bernardine of Siena School’s curriculum and instructional design are aligned with the California Common Core State Standards and the Standards of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.  Our faculty works collaboratively to articulate between grade levels, successfully building an academic plan to ensure students master the skills and knowledge covered in the Core Standards.  All students take classes in the following core subjects:

  • Religion
  • Math
  • Reading
  • Language Arts/English
  • Social Studies
  • Science
  • Physical Education

Curriculum standards can be found at:

http://www.lacatholicschools.org/parent-resources/elem-school-curriculum/

ADDITIONAL CORE CURRICULAR SUBJECTS AT ST. BERNARDINE’S

In addition to the core subjects listed above, St. Bernardine of Siena School has a strong focus in the following areas:

WORLD LANGUAGE – SPANISH

An understanding of the world and an ability to communicate in a second language is critical for 21st century learning.  Our students begin Spanish classes in kindergarten and continue until graduation.  In addition to gaining the ability to read and speak the language with proficiency, St. Bernardine students are provided the opportunity to gain exposure to, and an appreciation of, various cultures.  Graduates are equipped to take advanced foreign language when entering high school, most often, testing into sophomore level Spanish their freshman year.

FINE ARTS – ART, MUSIC, THEATER AND DANCE

We believe that culture, aesthetics, and the humanities are vital to our spiritual lives, and thus St. Bernardine’s provides students with immersion in a variety of fine arts experiences.  Each trimester students focus on music, visual arts, or dance/theater.  In their art classes students learn about art history, different genres, the masters, and the function of art in society.  The majority of class time is spent experimenting with the medium itself.  As the arts are such an important component of student development, opportunities for enrichment are open to all students through our junior and senior choral groups, and after school dance and theater enrichment classes. Throughout the year students in both required and enrichment courses participate in culminating performances and displays of original works to showcase their learning.

TECHNOLOGY

Technology permeates instruction and learning at St. Bernardine’s.  Students begin computer classes in kindergarten and use technology as a critical learning tool daily.   Interactive devices include iPads, laptops, desktop computers, ENO whiteboards, web-based instruction, handheld instruments and cloud technology.  A full time Technology Integration Specialist is on staff to ensure that our students and faculty grow commensurately with technological advances.  The intentionally designed use of technology at St. Bernardine prepares our students for the expectation of tech-based knowledge that awaits them in high school and beyond.

LEARNING FOR ALL STUDENTS

St. Bernardine of Siena School is committed to the success of all of our students. We recognize that children have different gifts, learning styles, and rates of acquisition.  In order to meet the diverse needs of the children we serve, the school has established an Inclusion Program that supports our students’ individual needs.  The goals of this program are to ensure every child is able to effectively access our rich curriculum, to provide enrichment for those who may need more of a challenge, and to promote independence and self-advocacy for all.  Our full time Inclusion Coordinator assists faculty with a variety of instructional approaches to support students working below grade level, on grade level and students who need accelerated studies.  Through this program students and parents are also able to attend in-house workshops or gain individual guidance in incorporating a variety of strategies that enhance student learning.