Lower Grades (K-2)

Elementary School

At St. Mary’s our goal is to prepare our students for college. The elementary school program ensures a strong foundation in core subject skills. During these years students will focus on building skills in literacy, number sense, science, and social studies. Our program engages young students’ creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, and communication in both English and Spanish. Content such as math, reading, and science are taught through a combination of whole-group and independent lessons focused on authentic learning.

With our slogan “College Begins Here” at our forefront, students begin discussing college in the elementary school and continue these discussions through 8th grade. Students are exposed to college through college-projects, college/university field trips, and school-wide college day and college flags displayed in all classrooms.

Teaching Literacy

Reading is not only a foundational skill for all young learners, it is a means to discovery, exploration, and wonder. Beginning in Kindergarten, students are taught to read high-frequency words by sight and apply phonic awareness and analysis to decode and read new words. These skills allow students to begin to read emergent-reader texts with purpose and understanding, moving beyond simply “sounding-out” a text. Students are also required to read regularly outside of the classroom.

By the second grade, students read fluently. They are taught to both comprehend and interpret literature, including stories and poetry, and discuss the formal qualities of a text, such as point of view, basic rhyme scheme, and other structural elements of a story or poem. While students are expected to read at grade-level, our teachers strongly encourage students to read beyond grade-level, providing opportunities for students to excel beyond normal expectations.

Science - Always Wonder

“How does land change and why? What are the different kinds of bodies of water? How are materials similar and different from one another, and how do the properties of the materials relate to their use? What do plants need to grow? How many types of living things live in a place?”

These questions and others like them represent the type of inquiry students will engage with in grades K-2. Through hands-on experience, students will learn to plan and carry out investigations, analyze and interpret data, and draw conclusions from scientific evidence.

Math Matters

Our math curriculum focuses on teaching students to represent different types of quantities and to solve basic quantitative problems.

By the end of the second grade, students will be able to do the following:

  • Add and Subtract within 1000
  • Represent and Interpret Data
  • Reason with shapes and their attributes
  • Reason abstractly and quantitatively

By the second grade, students also know how to work with money and time, measure and estimate lengths in standard units, and understand place value of decimals.

Saint Mary's School

7218 S. Pickering Ave. Whittier, CA 90602

(562) 698-0253

Accredited