As a Catholic school, religious education is integral to the curriculum. Within the school, opportunities for student‑teacher planned prayer services & liturgical events are indispensable to students' spiritual development.
In accordance with directives from the State Department of Education a school day of six (6) hours, exclusive of religion, recess and lunch periods is required. All required subjects of the Alabama State Department of Education are taught at St. Joseph's. In addition, religion is also taught daily as an academic subject.
Textbooks are evaluated on a six (6) year cycle in the Archdiocese. St. Joseph Catholic School faculty members serve as members of the textbook adoption committee. The Alabama Course of Study from the State Department of Education is the authorized guide for the textbook evaluation and adoption process utilized by our school system. Computers are also available in each class for instructional use.
Progress reports (report cards) are issued every nine (9) weeks. Copies of the report card formats are included in Appendix A. Interim progress reports will be mailed home in the following circumstances:
For each student at the 5‑week mark during the reporting period.
When a 1 st or 2 nd grade student's average is unsatisfactory in reading or math it is expected that the teacher, working in concert with the parents, will initiate, develop and implement an improvement plan (i.e. tutorial, re‑teaching, etc.) to strengthen the student's skills in the respective area. This plan should be communicated to and reviewed with the parents.
When a student in grades 3 through 8 gets an average of 70 or below in any core area (Religion, English, Reading, Math, Social Studies, Science). It is expected that the teacher, working in concert with the parents, will initiate, develop and implement an improvement plan (i.e. tutorial, re‑teaching, etc.) to strengthen the student's skills in the respective area. This plan should be communicated to and reviewed with the parents.
In decisions to "Promote or Retain" a student the following factors must be considered:
1. Current report card grades
An "N" in either reading or mathematics in primary grades 1‑2 (To be revised 2001‑2002)
An "Fin two core academic areas in grades 3‑8 (Religion, English, Reading, Math,
Social Studies, Science)
2. Past academic records/previous grade retention/standardized tests/CoGAT Scores
3. Age of student/present grade placement
4. Present family history: (divorce, death, siblings, etc.) and parental support
5. Regular attendance
6. Refer to "Light's Retention Scale" for further suggestions
There is no conditional promotion. The final report card shows a student as either promoted or retained. Summer school classes can be used to strengthen or maintain a student's math or reading skills. Attendance at summer school does not determine promotion for students in the elementary grades; however, students in grades 8‑12 may earn credit for required course work. If there is a question regarding the promotion of a student with special learning needs, consult with the Assessment Coordinator.
If a student has been retained in the primary grades, then retaining this student for a second time in the elementary grades deserves a serious consideration. The local school may need to develop a remediation plan for this student. A third retention for a student is not recommended and shall occur only after consultation with the Office of Catholic Schools.
In decisions to accelerate a student, the above six factors for promotion or retention should likewise be considered.