At St. John the Evangelist School we believe that each student is special and gifted. We strive to offer a
rich and diverse curriculum that fosters a love of learning and helps each child to achieve his/her full
potential. At St. John the Evangelist School, students progress from age 4 through the end of grade 8 in a
safe and academically challenging environment that helps them to understand and appreciate the
contributions they can make to our school, our parish, and the community at large.
Our curriculum follows the guidelines and policies of the Catholic Schools Office of the Archdiocese of
Washington, in concert with the State of Maryland. Recognizing that parents are the primary educators
of their children, St. John the Evangelist School challenges the staff to bring out the best in each child.
Students work in smaller groups for reading and mathematics according to abilities in grades 1 through
8. These groupings are designed to give teachers a better opportunity to challenge all students and to
ensure that all students achieve to the best of their ability. Opportunities are also provided for small
group learning in the following classes: science lab, art, computer education, speech, and physical
Our preschool program for children age 3 & 4 (junior kindergarten) helps each child to develop socially, emotionally, academically, and spiritually. The curriculum emphasizes age-appropriate, multi-sensory
activities that facilitate both cooperation and independence. The curriculum is organized into themes
that promote exploration into language arts, science, mathematics, art, music, and social studies.
Students have opportunities for both group and individual learning experiences.
Students in kindergarten through grade 4 focus on mastering the basic skills related to reading and
mathematics. Teachers continually evaluate students to ensure their success. Teachers in each grade
incorporate social studies and science into the language arts curriculum as appropriate and teach the
basic tenants of faith. The curriculum also includes fine arts, computers, Spanish, and physical education.
Students in grades 5 through 8 focus on enhancing their language arts and mathematic skills, as well as
taking on greater academic challenges and leadership responsibilities. The formal curriculum also
includes religion, computers, social studies, science, Spanish, fine arts, and physical education. Field trips and
classroom projects provide opportunities for students to utilize the various skill sets and academics
learned and build critical reasoning skills.
St. John the Evangelist School’s formal curriculum includes the following core academics: Religion,
Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Computers, Spanish, Music & Art, and Physical Education.
Our school follows the Archdiocese of Washington (ADW) curriculum standards for Pre-kindergarten -
The religion curriculum is Christ-centered, helping students to know, love, and worship Jesus Christ.
Liturgical and para-liturgical opportunities (such as Stations of the Cross and prayer services in
assemblies) are available throughout the year and parallel the course of study and the church
The Christian environment permeates the school, encouraging students into actions of peace and
justice. The religion curriculum also prepares students for the sacraments of First Holy Communion and
Reconciliation in grade 2 and Confirmation in grade 8. Our students also participate in retreat days for
First Holy Communion and Confirmation.
The language arts curriculum includes literature and related skills. These skills include phonics, spelling,
writing, grammar, speech, vocabulary, comprehension, and oral reading. Reading is taught using various
methods sensitive to the needs of each student. Two resource teachers ensure that every child strives to
achieve his or her full potential.
Students at St. John the Evangelist School are challenged to excel in the language arts. In the primary
grades, 90 minutes a day are reserved for reading, writing, and phonics. Teachers instruct students in
small groups using basal readers. Students are expected to read and write fluently. They write in their
journals on a regular basis and begin a portfolio in grade 3.
A phonics program begins in kindergarten and continues through grade 3; a spelling program is initiated
in grade 1 and continues through grade 5. Love of literature is encouraged throughout the school day
both in the classrooms and in the library program. The regularly scheduled library time enables students
to discover areas of interest, to listen to new literature, and to explore these interests via supervised
In the upper grades, students study literature and English. Students are placed in small homogeneous
groups for literature. A separate English course includes grammar, essay writing, creative writing,
oration, and critical thinking. Beginning in grade 6, a vocabulary program replaces the spelling
curriculum. The library and computer rooms are available to students for research, supervised Internet
research, and writing reports. Portfolio work is continued through grade 8.
The mathematics program is designed to challenge each student to his or her highest potential.
Emphasis is placed not only on facts and comprehension but also on application and higher levels of
thinking. Grades 1-8 utilize online programs to reinforce math skills. Pre-algebra and algebra are offered
to qualified students who have completed the elementary mathematics course of study.
All areas of general science are taught throughout the grades with a hands-on approach using the
scientific method. Students in grades 4 through 8 receive weekly small group lab work paralleled with
textbook work. Studies in grades 7 and 8 explore in greater detail those areas covered in the
intermediate grades. Emphasis is placed on text, experimenting in a laboratory setting, and written
evaluation of the concepts presented in both text and lab. Middle School science covers topics in earth
science, space, biology, chemistry, and physics.
Social Studies is taught in all grades beginning with the local community and developing into world
geography, American history, world history, and current events. Students learn about citizenship in a
democratic society by studying the Constitution. They practice the electoral process through student
council campaigning and elections.
Students also acquire skills in reading, creating and interpreting charts, maps, and graphs. Students are
encouraged to enter local and national writing contests. Research papers teach them to use the library,
Internet, and other resources accurately and to express ideas clearly. Field trips allow students to apply
classroom knowledge to real-world situations.
Students receive computer technology training in grades 1 through 6 in two computer centers, providing
the students with a progression of skills needed to keep pace with ever-changing technology. Access to
computers allows the students to reach literacy goals and to use the Internet in a safe, supervised
setting. The curriculum for computers focuses on the integration of computer skills with classroom
subjects. Current application software is standardized and regularly updated on the computers. Individual iPads are also available for classroom use in all subjects.
Music is an integral part of all the curricula, especially religion for church liturgies and para-liturgies,
such as Benediction, Stations of the Cross, sacramental prayer services, and service-learning evaluation
assemblies. The music program teaches music skills and appreciation. Music is a performance art and
two public concerts are scheduled each year. These concerts encourage students to use and to share
their God-given talents. Time is also set aside during the school week for preparation for liturgical
Art is a vital, creative experience for the students from pre-kindergarten through grade 8. The primary
art curricula, grades 1-3, centers on the seasons of the year. Beginning in grade 4, a more formal fine
arts-based curriculum is introduced. This curriculum concentrates on the introduction of more advanced
media. Small groups gather together in the art room. Art history is integrated with the various projects
through lectures and video presentations. Students’ artwork is displayed locally on a regular basis.
Students in junior kindergarten through grade 8 have physical education twice weekly. Younger students
are taught basic concepts of physical skills, cooperation, and healthy living. The upper grades focus on
building skills in sports. They also participate in the Presidential Physical Fitness Program during which
sportsmanship and cooperation are emphasized.
Spanish is taught to small groups of students in grades Jr.K-8 by teachers who are native speakers. The
primary grades are taught the basic skills of Spanish with emphasis placed on vocabulary development
through games, songs, and arts and crafts. Primary grades students are also introduced to reading and
writing in Spanish.
In the upper grades, conversational Spanish is emphasized through “role-plays” and topics in real
settings. Conversational Spanish is practiced by placing the students in scenes or places in which they
will use the vocabulary they have been taught. The study of grammar is in terms of communication. This
early and regular exposure to Spanish aids the students in language acquisition during advanced study in
high school and beyond.
St. John the Evangelist School students strive to live Jesus’s call to love one another. Students serve
others in our community and in the larger world through meals for the homeless, helping the
impoverished, fundraising for worthy charities, and other character-building actions for change.
Our Service Learning Process is a unique part of the St. John the Evangelist curriculum, and we
continually share and discuss the benefits of service learning with our parents and students. Older
students are grouped with younger students to mentor and assist in these learning opportunities, such
as baking for the So Others Might Eat program; writing to; creating art project, and saying prayers for children at The Children’s Inn at NIH; and raising money for the Mission Fund. Beginning in grade 1, all students begin
writing reflections in service-learning journals that move with them from grade to grade. The completed
journals are given to the students as they graduate.
The purpose of our inclusion program is to serve the children who have learning challenges. Our school
has three inclusion specialists on staff. These specialists work directly with the classroom teachers, the
parents, and the administration to develop the best plan for each identified student. Conferences are
conducted regularly involving students, parents, teachers, and administrators to monitor the progress of
these plans. St. John the Evangelist School received a generous grant in the 2007-2008 and 2008-2009
school years from the Catholic Coalition for Special Education in recognition of our program.
Students in grades 2-8 participate in standardized testing in reading and math, and science for grades 4 and 8, through the Archdiocese of Washington’s MAP Growth Testing program. Students are
tested at the beginning and the end of the academic year. Tests are adaptive for each student, and the
results are used to tailor instruction to meet student needs.