Curriculum

We have seen substantial improvement in consistency of delivery and depth of content being taught with the implementation of scholarly behaviors, the Elements of Depth and Complexity, the Core Knowledge sequence, and the Spalding Phonics program. From the earliest levels, scholars are trained in the ability to think critically, work creatively, solve problems, and communicate effectively. St. James uses an interdisciplinary curriculum that combines Multiple Intelligences and the Elements of Depth and Complexity which are often associated with Gifted and Talented instruction. Through increasing critical thinking skills and allowing the brain to make connections on multiple levels, our programs foster an ideal environment for creative, independent thinkers.
Below is a description of the “what” and “how” we teach:

Learning Involves Breadth and Depth

“What” we teach is the breadth of knowledge or the “curriculum”.
Our curriculum for the Pre-Primary and Primary is the Outside World of Knowledge and for our PK-8th Graders we use Core Knowledge (absolutely different than Common Core) and you can see a linear progression from year to year by looking at different grade levels on our website or logging in to www.coreknowledge.org and look at the appropriate “Sequence”.
“What” we teach often focuses on “THE” answer. “How” we teach is focused on the depth of knowledge and involves the use of the Elements of Depth and Complexity, proving answers with EVIDENCE, asking critical, analytical, and evaluative questions. “How” we teach usually focuses on “AN” answer.
These elements help scholars dig deeper (depth) into “what” we teach and understand the information in a more “complex” way. It is in the “How” phase of learning where actual brain growth occurs.
Using Depth and Complexity during learning provides a foundation for problem solving our scholars will use for the rest of their lives.
This is a very brief description.For more information, you may contact Galen Hoffstadt, Headmaster, or search the internet for Elements of Depth and Complexity or Dr. Sandra Kaplan’s Elements of Depth and Complexity.
This method was designed for use with gifted and talented scholars and we believe all scholars are gifted in different ways. We have seen great success using these icons and concepts.
“Every child has within him a creative voice crying out for discovery. In some girls and boys, the cry is quite loud; in others it’s a soft murmur.”
Dr. Mel Levine ~ A Mind At A Time

Pre-Primary Level (Age 2 by September 1)
From 8:00 a.m. – Noon or 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Primary Level (Age 3 by September 1)
From 8:00 a.m. – Noon or 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Pre-Kindergarten (Age 4 by September 1)
From 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Junior Kindergarten (Determined by Gesell Observation)
From 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Kindergarten (Age 5 by September 1)
From 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
1 st through 4th Grades (Scholars must be age-appropriate per grade level by September 1)
From 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

5th through 8th Grades
From 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

St. James offers Honors level Algebra and Spanish and Integrated Physics and Chemistry courses providing advanced students in the 8th grade the opportunity to earn high school credit. Across all academic instruction is the fundamental emphasis on Character Development. Moral development emphasizing right behaviors and self-discipline are positively reinforced. We stress the motto: “Do the right thing, because it is the right thing to do.”

Academic instruction is only a piece of the broad and comprehensive education offered here at St. James. Other critical components of our overall curriculum include Spiritual Formation, Outdoor Education, Enrichment Classes, and Athletics.