Saint Ann School Academics

The Diocese of Nashville has developed a comprehensive curriculum and instructional standards through ongoing collaboration with teachers and administration. The curriculum at Saint Ann School fully meets and exceeds diocesan expectations. In developing our unique instructional program, Saint Ann faculty routinely seeks state and national standards as important, rigorous benchmarks towards which to strive. Ongoing student assessment demonstrates our program is highly successful. As a school, yearly our standardized testing puts us in the top percentage of schools nationwide. Our regular student assessments, using Thinklink Discovery Education Assessment, and our ongoing tracking of students performance scores, allow us to be proactive in assuring students get the instruction they need in the areas they most need it. In order to make the gains we expect, it is important for families to be involved nightly as students take on their homework responsibilities as a means to reinforce and solidify skills taught in the classroom.

Saint Ann is a K - 8 school with one class per grade. The teacher: pupil ratio is 1:10. Grades K - 4 are self-contained, while grades 5 - 8 are departmentalized. Two part-time counselors are on staff. The goal of the curriculum is to work towards development of foundational academic skills, and to help students build the academic skills necessary for success in high school. Evidence of this commitment to a "forward looking curriculum" can be seen in our extensive use of cutting edge technology such as our 1:1 laptop program in the upper school grades 5-8, the introduction of classroom technology in the lower school using Mobi pads and clickers, our foreign language program, the outdoor garden program and the emphasis on student responsibility and leadership.

Core subjects form the basis of the curriculum per guidelines of the Diocese of Nashville. Instruction in religion, computer science, physical education and the fine arts are a required part of this program. Children celebrate Mass each week. Service projects in the community are an essential component of Saint Ann School. Students participate in various enrichment programs and clubs. A program of competitive sports is available under the auspices of the Diocesan Athletic Council. Self-discipline is the goal for each student.

Our size allows students ample opportunity to get involved in all aspects of the Saint Ann experience. Students are not lost in the crowd, but rather are encouraged as individuals to take on new challenges through involvement in school activities.

Academic Subjects

The subjects taught are:

  • Catholic Christian Doctrine, Scripture, Prayer and Morality
  • Language Arts- Phonics, Reading/Literature, English/Grammar, Composition, Spelling, and Vocabulary
  • Mathematics- Pre-Algebra and Algebra (for qualifying students)
  • Science
  • Health/Fitness
  • Global Studies
  • Visual Arts
  • Music Arts
  • Theatre Arts
  • Technology Instruction (grades 3-8)
  • Spanish (considered a core subject and taught 4 days per week for grades K-8)
  • Library Skills

Standardized Tests

Each year all Catholic Schools in the Diocese administer a series of standardized tests as a means of knowing each child better and thereby improving the instructional program as it relates to the child as an individual and to the class as a whole. It is not the policy of Saint Ann School to release scores of the child to anyone other than the child’s parents.

Iowa Test Scores: A Tradition of Excellence. Each year, the Iowa Test of Basic Skills score puts Saint Ann in the top percentage of schools nationwide. These tests are one of the tools we use to both evaluate the school's overall curriculum but also to assess individual student progress. For every student, we annually chart each of the fifteen subcategories on the test to ensure that students are making appropriate yearly achievement gains.

The Iowa tests are designed so that the average student grows 1.0 Grade Equivalent (GE) year for each year in school. Saint Ann students, on average, typically grow at least 1.5 years for each year at Saint Ann.


ACT Explore Test

Each year Saint Ann School offers the Explore test for its 7th and 8th grade students. The test is designed by the ACT company for 8th and 9th graders to evaluate scholastic abilities. Traditionally, our 8th graders significantly exceeded the national average for combined 8th and 9th grade students.

Ongoing and regular assessment is one way Saint Ann School monitors student academic progress. In addition to the Explore and Iowa tests, Saint Ann uses the Accelerated Reader program and Thinklink Discovery Education Assessment to continually monitor student progress.


Homework Policy

The fundamentals in each subject area need to be reinforced and developed with additional practice outside the classroom. Homework, the extension of class work, will be directly related to the mastery and application of a subject. Homework is a vital part of the learning process. Students must assume responsibility for their homework just as they will assume job responsibility in the future.

Students and their parents/guardians share in the responsibility for the students’ mastery of the subject matter. The learning process is a joint effort. Homework will be discussed fully in the classroom so that students should be able to complete their homework independently. In addition, parents are provided information using the PowerSchool Program, which provides online access to grades, and Google Calendar to post upcoming academic deadlines as an effort to put the necessary information in the hands of parents. The nature of the subject matter being taught may lend itself to different types of homework, including long range projects, independent practice of newly learned skills, reading chapters of textbooks, drills on important concepts, etc. Assignments requiring study and review are as necessary as written work. Saint Ann strives to provide the tools both students and parents need to truly be partners in the educational process.

Approximate Homework Times
Grade Time
Grade 1 20 to 30 minutes
Grades 2 to 3 30 to 40 minutes
Grade 4 45 to 60 minutes
Grades 5 to 6 60 to 90 minutes
Grades 7 to 8 60 to 120 minutes

Parents should strive to provide study conditions in the home and, as much as possible, a specific time during which homework should be done. A table, chair, good lighting, and a quiet atmosphere are helpful for good study habits.

Parents can establish a learning environment in the home by:

  • 1. Showing a positive attitude toward education.
  • 2. Taking an interest in their child’s schoolwork.
  • 3. Establishing good study habits.
  • 4. Monitoring their child’s study habits.
  • 5. Exercising patience as they encourage their child.

Report Cards

Report Cards are issued four times each year. The grades for each report period are based on daily work, class participation, assignments completed, and tests and quizzes. Report cards are sent home in Tuesday folders. Students in grades 3-8 are eligible for the Principal’s List and Honor Roll. Students in grades K-8 are eligible for the Perfect Attendance Award. The requirements for eligibility are:

Principal’s List: An overall average of 90.0%-94.9% and the all conduct, effort, and specials grades must be 86% or higher, a “B” or higher, or a “G” or higher.

Honor Roll: An overall average of 95-100% and the all conduct, effort, and specials grades must be 86% or higher, a “B” or higher, or a “G” or higher. (Special Classes are: art, music, theatre, technology, health and fitness; they are not calculated into the GPA).

Perfect Attendance: No absences, tardies or early checkouts.

National Junior Honor Society: Students in grades 7-8 may be invited to join the National Junior Honor Society. To be selected students must have the required grade point average, and must display the qualities of leadership, service, character and citizenship.


Retention

Kindergarten: A decision to retain a student in the kindergarten program shall be based on the progress of the child, especially with regards to the level of maturity attained and the ability to handle the academic program of the first grade. The teacher, parents/guardians, and the principal will make this decision.

Primary Grades 1-2: Retention in the primary grades will be due primarily to the lack of achievement in the language arts. Failure to read well will be a deterrent to achievement all the way through school. Usually the inability to read on grade level will affect all grades. Some students will always read below level, but compensation skills and study techniques can be acquired to allow students to successfully complete a grade level.

Intermediate 3-4: Retention in the intermediate grades occurs if the child is obviously struggling to meet the curricular objectives. Failure to maintain a passing grade in Math or Reading throughout the year would be a signal of problems and possible retention. Also, the child’s emotional and maturity level will be considered. Every effort should be made for possible tutoring or help outside the normal classroom hours, before retention is considered. Parents will be notified in writing or documented conference that their child has the possibility of failing the grade.

Junior High Grades 5-8: Promotion in grades 5-8 will be determined by the average of the grades the student receives in the academic areas. A student must have at least a cumulative year average of 70 percent in these disciplines to be promoted, provided that English, Reading, and Math are passing grades. If a student fails English, Reading, or Math, promotion will not occur until summer school sessions have been successfully completed. Parents shall be notified in writing or by documented conference as soon as possible that their child has a possibility of failing the grade. Students who attend summer school must submit grades before re-admittance into school. Passing grades must be evident for promotion. If, after evaluation, the principal and the teacher find it necessary, a child may be placed in the next grade.

When the report card indicates a child is "placed" in a grade, it indicates serious concerns on the part of the teacher about the child’s ability to be successful in the next grade. However there may be circumstances in which "retention" is not the best option.


Textbooks

If textbooks are lost or damaged, parents/guardians will be charged the full replacement price. Hardback books should be covered with paper or cloth covers which can be removed without damaging the books. Contact paper should be used to cover soft back books.