Literacy is a gateway to learning. Through rich literacy programs, students discover the links among reading, writing, thinking and knowing. They learn to engage with new ideas as they read, write, and talk about a broad range of themes, topics, experiences, and perspectives in a multimedia, multicultural world. Students acquire insight into their own thoughts and growing literacy expertise from purposeful teaching that immerses them in printed, visual, and electronic texts and guides them to make personal connections to the texts they read and write.
Learning starts with what the individual student already knows and can do. From this point, the teacher provides instruction and scaffolded support aimed at moving the student along a developmental continuum to new literacy learning and growing independence. Teachers respond to the diverse cultural, linguistic, academic, and personal learning needs of their students by artfully tailoring their instruction to build on each student’s strengths and interests. Differentiated teaching strategies, resources, topics, and supports help to ensure that all students have a point of entry and a successful journey from their current level of understanding towards new skills, strategies, and competencies that will equip them to handle increasingly complex texts and literacy activities. Students develop confidence in themselves as learners when they participate daily and fully in rich, dynamic literacy events.
Hands-on experiences with building materials, manipulatives and other technological tools provide our students from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 8 with the opportunity to apply mathematical and scientific principles to their day-to-day activities.
The instructional programs at St. John of the Cross School are adapted to meet the holistic needs of all our students. These programs are conducted in an atmosphere that is supportive, caring and stimulating in order for students to achieve their specific learning expectations. Every effort is made to provide this atmosphere using current practices and resources as mandated by the Board and the Ministry's policies and guidelines. Students who experience difficulty with regular classroom work are provided with modifications and accommodations as needed. To further support students as they develop study skills, agendas have been provided to students in Grades One to Eight through the co-operation of the school, the Catholic School Council and the students themselves. When used effectively, the agendas allow communication and support between home and school.
If necessary, the support of a Social Worker, Child and Youth Worker, Psychologist, Speech and Language Pathologist and other specialized teaching personnel are available. The co-ordination of programs between specialized resource classes and regular classrooms ensures ongoing consultation between teachers in order that each child is taught the content and skills at his/her level of ability through a process which is consistently relevant to the child's style of learning. Parents are always invited to participate in the review process and are regularly apprised of modifications and progress.