The Pre-Kindergarten 3 and 4-year-old programs develops children emotionally, cognitively, physically, socially and spiritually. Positive reinforcement guides students in age appropriate activities and academic readiness for success in elementary school.
The Pre-Kindergarten 4-year old program meets and exceeds the curriculum objectives outlined by the Diocese of Nashville. It is enhanced with Everyday Mathematics as well as Handwriting Without Tears. Students engage in music, art, Spanish, technology and physical education on a regular basis.
Children learn through both structured activities and play. Traditional and Montessori teaching methods are introduced. The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd engages the child in developing a life-long relationship with Jesus. Kindness is a virtue that is learned and celebrated daily through our themes, words and actions.
Our 3 year old class meets Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of each week. There are two options for 4 year old students; a 3-day class held on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, or a 5-day class held Monday through Friday. All classes run from 8:00 a.m.-2:45 p.m. Before and after care is offered Monday through Friday.
All students MUST be toilet trained.
The full day kindergarten program offers a strong academic course of study that is designed to accommodate the developmental stages of the young learner. This child-centered program meets and exceeds the state and diocesan standards for content learning. Center time play and other special themed programs and activities encourage cooperative learning, stimulate independent thinking and help foster a love of learning.
In our caring and loving environment, a climate is created that allows students to feel a sense of belonging, share and take turns, practice manners and respect and accept guidance and authority. These experiences lay the foundation for a smooth transition to first grade.
Elementary Grades 1-3
Future academic success is dependent upon the foundation built in grades one through three. The curriculum focuses on each child’s learning style and rate of development. Teachers employ a variety of teaching styles to accommodate the varied learning styles of our students – visual, auditory and kinesthetic. The program is student-centered and promotes critical thinking and self-dependency.
Classrooms are self-contained for the core subjects of Religion, Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies. Enrichment classes include art, music, physical education, library, science lab, Spanish, guidance and computer lab (3rd grade).
Students in grades one through three continue building a relationship with Jesus Christ through daily religion class, and other activities such as, attending Mass two times per week, preparing and receiving First Penance and First Communion, attending First Friday Adoration, meeting with older student prayer buddies, and participating in a study and portrayal of the saints.
Intermediate Grades 4-5
At Saint Matthew School, the Intermediate grades are years of transition between the elementary grades and the middle school grades. It is here that the foundation laid in the elementary years takes root, and students become increasingly independent and can apply what they are learning to make new connections. Academic material becomes deeper in content, and students begin to change classes in the core subjects of math, science, language arts and social studies for the first time. Students are challenged with long-term projects and take responsibility for their own learning as they acquire greater study and organizational skills. These are years of great growth in maturity, academics and self-reliance.
Middle School Grades 6-8
Middle School academics at Saint Matthew School are designed to challenge students with a rigorous curriculum which includes subjects such as biology, physics, chemistry, Algebra I, novel studies, Harkness discussion circles, research papers, world history and civics. The program is designed to enhance student writing, speaking and critical thinking skills.
As a result of matriculating through the program, our students become innovative thinkers, strong learners and natural leaders. Students begin their middle school years as children and end them as young adults who have the total foundation necessary to be successful in high school.
“Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” – Matthew 19:14
Saint Matthew is excited and proud to announce the expansion of our inclusive education program. It is our desire to provide a challenging educational experience for students with developmental delays and/or intellectual disabilities.
Our inclusive education program is led by a certified Special Education teacher. Our special education teacher provides appropriate academic modifications for each student and is responsible for ensuring that all of the classroom teachers involved are knowledgeable and prepared to educate each student. Each student receives one-on-one instruction in the areas of math, reading, and writing throughout the day. These instructional times are customized to each individual student by our Special Education teacher who provides individualized instruction according to each student’s specific learning needs.
Inclusive education students participate in social studies, religion, science, and enrichment classes (PE, band/choir, art, computer/technology, library, and Spanish) within the regular classroom setting. Classroom teachers provide needed instructional accommodations for the inclusive education students. Ongoing training will be provided by the Special Education teacher who collaborates with the classroom teachers in order to create learning and growth opportunities for the student in all subject areas.
Outside the classroom, students in the inclusive education program are encouraged to participate in extracurricular activities at Saint Matthew. From athletics to arts to service programs, our inclusive education students are encouraged to explore their interests and share their talents.
We believe that our inclusive education program not only provides our special needs students with a loving, Catholic faith filled environment in which to learn, but also instills in our typically-developing students the understanding, acceptance, and love for those with developmental and learning differences. We believe WE ARE BETTER TOGETHER.
Requirements for the Saint Matthew inclusive education program:
- Students must adhere to all SMS policies as found in the student handbook, such as arrival and dismissal times and procedures, school calendars, dress code, attendance, etc.
- Parents of our inclusive education students may be asked to participate in class activities or extra-curricular activities, or to accompany their student on SMS sponsored field trips. Exemptions may be made based upon our special education teacher’s recommendation and administrative approval.
- Medical needs should not require the attention of medically trained staff.
- Students must be able to independently manage toileting and personal hygiene.
- Behaviors must not include risk factors (elopement, aggression toward peers or adults, excessive or inappropriate language, self-harm, etc.).
The science curriculum is taught through experiential and exploratory activities using concrete, manipulative materials. All students in grades K-8 enhance their learning with exploration in the Science Lab, where their lab experiences enrich their academics far beyond the science and math classrooms. The goal is to engage students with hands-on activities and inquiry-based lessons on a regular basis. Students are challenged to explore materials and scenarios and devise possible explanations for their results. Students work in collaborative groups exploring outcomes, while gathering data and sharing discoveries and explanations with each other and the class.
The technology/Makerspace Lab for students in grades 3-8 contributes to the academic success of our students by creating opportunities for them to learn by using their tactile senses. Through the use of robotics, 3D printers, virtual reality, STEM sets, recycled and other non-digital items, students are given the opportunity to create, collaborate and explore. In addition to regularly scheduled classes in the technology lab, all classrooms, teachers and students are equipped with the technology necessary to incorporate digital skills throughout the learning experience. Grades 6-8 are 1:1 with iPads, grades 4-5 have dedicated classroom sets of iPads, and iPads are available for use in grades K-3 for enrichment. Our goal is for students to become proficient, responsible and productive members of our increasingly digital society.
Student Support Room
Saint Matthew’s Student Support program is committed to serving each child holistically- focusing on their academic, social, and spiritual growth. Our licensed Special Education teachers provide systematic interventions and goal-driven direct instruction. They also work closely with teachers and families to ensure that each diverse learner receives exactly what they need.
We have two Student Support locations here at Saint Matthew School: the Student Support Classroom and the Student Support Office. Each space is home to a licensed Special Education teacher and provides an inclusive and welcoming environment where all children can be successful. With flexible seating options, soft lighting, and a surplus of instructional tools and materials, the spaces are child-centered and set up to serve various needs of our K-8 students.