The Holy Ghost Catholic School Curriculum is in accordance with the curriculum of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe Catholic School Policy Manual.
The religion curriculum is based on Catholic doctrine and tradition, sacraments, Bible study, prayer, social justice, and preparation for the reception of the sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist in third grade.
In addition, the religion curriculum has an emphasis on teaching students to be stewards of the Earth through our Caring for Creation program in accord with the teachings of the Catholic Church.
Students in Grades 5 and 8 will take the ACRE (Assessment of Catechesis of Religious Education) test as required by the Archdiocese of Santa Fe.
Prayer and Liturgical services are held on Fridays and/or Holy Days and for special events. A student-led Prayer Service begins each school day. All students registered at HGCS are required to take the religion course offered to their grade. The religion curriculum is consistent with the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church and conforms to the guidelines of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe.
Sacramental Program The sacramental life of the students of the Catholic tradition is an important component of the religion program at HGCS. Catholic students in the 3rdgrade receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) and the Sacrament of the Eucharist (First Communion) in the spring. The sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist are only conferred on students baptized in the Roman Catholic tradition or baptized and received into the Catholic Church. Catholic students in grades 4-8 who have not received these sacraments and wish to do so may make arrangements with the principal and the religion teacher. Parents are required to be active partners in the preparation of their children for these sacraments and are required to participate in the adult sacramental education program. Failure to attend the required adult sacramental program may result in your child’s inability to receive the sacraments with his/her class.
Service Learning is an integral part of the religion curriculum. Students participate in community service that fulfills a goal of Catholic education, "to learn to serve others as Jesus did." Student service benefits the home, parish, school local communities. Students complete a Service Learning Log each semester and fulfill the requirements for their grade level.
Art and Music
Students receive formal art and music lessons weekly from our qualified Fine Arts teachers. Our Art teacher works collaboratively with all classroom teachers to relate topics in art to the content areas students are studying. Our student art has been exhibited at the New Mexico State Fair and community buildings as well as during the annual All Catholic Schools Art Show.
In regular Music classes, students learn how to play Orff instruments, read music, sing and gain an appreciation for different kinds of music and composers.
Choir Fourth and fifth grade students are members of the school choir; students in grades 3, 4, and 5 learn to play the recorder.
The HGCS Band and Strings and Guitar are comprised of students from the fourth through eighth grades.
Holy Ghost maintains a computer network of more than 60 computers that includes two computer labs and PCs in every classroom. All students in K-8th grade receive at least one hour of computer instruction per week.
Computer literacy is integrated into classroom instruction and supports school-wide goals. For example, students utilize computers to complete science fair projects, create Power Point presentations, conduct Internet research, and participate in an ongoing reading literacy program. The comprehensive curriculum for mid-school students includes training in typing, spreadsheets, word processing, databases, Powerpoint and the Internet. All mid-school student papers more than one page in length are typed.
Reading, writing, listening and speaking are emphasized in the Language Arts curriculum. Writing, language mechanics and grammar are taught across all grade levels. Students write daily in all subjects.
Reading in the primary grades is a mixture of phonics, direct reading instruction and guided independent reading practice. These grades also use a spelling program that helps them recognize patterns in English and expand their vocabulary.
Students in grades 3 – 5 study the elements of story as well as how to read and comprehend non-fiction and literature. Close reading of text is emphasized.
Students in grades 5 – 8 study a rigorous vocabulary program. They learn the meanings of new words as well as antonyms, synonyms and parts of speech.
Guided independent reading is practiced daily. Students read for 30 minutes daily. After completing a book, students take a comprehension test using the Accelerated Reading (AR) Information Management System. Students are expected to score a minimum of 86% on all AR tests. Students track their progress toward achieving their individual reading goal each quarter.
The foundation of the math curriculum is the National Standard for Mathematics published by the National Council for the Teaching of Mathematics (NCTM) and is focused on the five NCTM goals:
Students learn to value mathematics.
Students become confident in their ability to do mathematics.
Students become mathematical problem solvers.
Students learn to communicate mathematically.
Students learn to reason mathematically.
Development of students' mathematics skills are based on the Catholic Common Core State Standards for Math and include numbers and operations, algebra and problem solving, computation, measurement, geometry, data analysis, statistics and probability, and mathematical processes.
Beginning in 5th grade math classes are differentiated through enrollment in on-line courses and direct teacher instruction. This allows a student to advance at his/her own pace.
Middle school students voluntarily participate in Math Counts, a city-wide contest that tests problem solving skills.
Promotion of healthy living is the focus of our Physical Education curriculum. The physical education program involves movement, flexibility, cardiovascular exercise, games and is designed appropriately for each grade level. The PE program teaches the importance of regular exercise and healthy eating habits. In addition, it stresses cooperation among the students and the development of physical coordination and individual skills.
All students receive a minimum of two 45- minute PE classes weekly.
The NextGen National Standards in Science are the foundation of the school's science curriculum. Critical thinking and hands-on learning are central to the school’s science instruction in all grades.
The focus for students in Pre-K thru third grade is on providing developmentally appropriate, kinesthetic experiences in all the scientific disciplines.
From fourth through eighth grade, students focus on an in-depth study of different scientific concepts and processes:
4th Grade – Life and some Physical Science
5th Grade – Continuation of Physical Science, and study of Space and Earth Science
6th Grade – Environmental Science
7th & 8th Grades – Life and Physical Science taught in alternate years.
Science Fair is an annual event. Students in grades K-3 work on class projects; fourth through eight grade students submit individual projects. All middle school students have the opportunity to work with qualified mentors from the community. The mentors help expand the students’ understanding of the scientific method while helping them prepare their projects.
The emphasis in Social Studies is on understanding and appreciation of the richness of all cultures as well as preparing students to participate fully in our democracy. Geography and its relationship to the history of people is also an essential part of the curriculum. Students in grades 4 and 7 study New Mexico History as required.
Spanish is taught from Pre-K through eighth grade. Students learn the Spanish language and culture through hands-on activities such as games, puppetry, listening activities, plays, cooking, and more, as well as writing and memorization.
Middle school students learn vocabulary, grammar and sentence structure. Students in grades 6-8 with no prior Spanish language experience will need the approval of the teacher prior to enrollment in the middle school Spanish course.