OUR APPROACH & CURRICULUM
At St. William School, we understand that each and every student is an individual with specific and personal differences that grow and mature with them throughout their time in school. For that reason, our approach to academics has been separated into school categories -- Early Childhood, Primary, Intermediate & Upper -- that build upon one another to ensure that maximum academic, personal, and spiritual potential is met for all St. William School students in their time with us.
EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION
St. William provides affordable early childhood education for only $4 an hour -- much less than daycare or babysitters. We have the flexibility to offer full-day or half-day programs to fit your lifestyle. Our PK students are prepared for reading in Kindergarten through the SuperKids® Reading Program which begins in PK and lasts through the Second Grade. The program boosts all aspects of reading with a seamless integration of language arts. Built on scientific research and proven pedagogy, it combines rigorous instruction with highly motivating materials. In addition to reading successes, our early childhood education program aims to prepare young minds for their educations to come -- placing an early emphasis on the long-term goals of the benefits of a values-based education. Not only will these young minds receive foundational skills in mathematics and literacy studies that they'll need to succeed in Kindergarten and beyond, but they'll also have the chance to partake in enrichment classes such as music twice a week and physical education and technology classes once a week. Early childhood education is more than just fun & games at St. William School (but there are lots of fun and games, too, and healthy, nutritious snacks).
Kindergarten marks the beginning of our primary school that continues through second grade. During this time period, St. William School fosters a love for learning in its students that lasts a lifetime. Students are integrated in the St. William school community through school uniforms and full days of education. The Everyday Math Program, developed by the University of Chicago, begins in Kindergarten and extends through the Fifth Grade. This field-tested and research-based mathematical approach is effective in developing children's understandings and skills that produce life-long mathematical power. In addition to advancing math skills, our Primary School students continue going to music class twice a week (until third grade when they go once weekly), and technology classes once a week. Starting in the first grade, students are also introduced to Spanish language classes once a week that continue throughout the rest of their time at SWS. Little by little, the curriculum of religion, mathematics, science, social studies, English, grammar, writing, literature, handwriting, Spanish, physical education, technology, and music -- based off of the Archdiocese of Chicago's standards -- comes to life in Primary School classrooms. Physical education classes (once a week) begin to incorporate yoga, dance, and other activities that promote fit living and social interaction. Additionally, our Primary School introduces its students to the Holy Sacraments of Reconciliation and First Communion -- teaching students a deep respect for a religious education and all that it has to offer.
Intermediate School begins in the third grade and ends after the sixth grade. The curriculum of religion, mathematics, science, social studies, English, grammar, writing, literature, handwriting, Spanish, physical education, technology, and music that was slowly introduced in our Primary School is at the heart of our Intermediate School as students begin to truly find their strengths in and out of the classroom. Technology is integrated more in the classrooms, Spanish classes are taken twice weekly starting in the fourth grade, and students take more advanced and active roles in the weekly Masses and the school community. Students have the opportunity to learn more about music and instruments through the Band for Today program. Students are also introduced to a vast array of student activities and clubs to help further their personal and academic development. Student Council positions are also made available to students starting in the fourth grade -- training the future leaders of our school and beyond to serve their peers with respect and fairness.
As students start to learn more and more about who they are and where they are, the curriculum and approach begins to require students to look inside of themselves and ask the formative questions that assist them in their growing process.
The Upper School, made of the Seventh and Eighth Grade, is where the leaders of our school are found. Even if students are not representatives in the student council, they are all made aware that they are the role models for the students beneath them. As the students continue to grow as individuals and members of their communities, so does the St. William School curriculum and approach. The students' rigorous studies flourish in their two years in the Upper School, ensuring them success in high school placement, performance, and their schooling beyond. The 8th graders are also invited to join the Stock Market Program, helping them incorporate their lessons in real world applications. All elements of the previous schools meet in the Upper School: the love for learning, the emphasis on success in the classroom, the benefits of a values-based education and the sacredness of the Holy Sacraments come into fruition by the time our students graduate from our upper school. After years of community building and classroom learning at SWS, we hope our alumni have the means to serve their future academic and social communities with intellectual competence, an openness to growth, a commitment to teaching and living the Gospel messages, and a spirit of justice fostered in a love for all peoples.