Academics 2017-05-26T21:33:19+00:00

The Archdiocesan Curriculum Guidelines, the California State Standards, and the required weekly minutes for language arts (literature, English, spelling, phonics, handwriting), math, science, social studies, fine arts, computer education, and religion drive the curriculum at St. Veronica Catholic School. The primary grades enjoy the most time dedicated to language arts, and their program includes phonics and a handwriting program which concludes in grade four. The junior high is departmentalized allowing each faculty member to teach to his/her expertise. Algebra, as designed by the State Standards, is part of the eighth grade program. Science is enhanced by the presence of a science lab, and a mobile computer lab allows for the integration of technology in the curriculum. A comprehensive music program is enjoyed by all grades, and Rhythm and Moves, a local company, is responsible for the physical education curriculum. Spanish is taught in grades kindergarten through eight.

Full time aides are present in kindergarten and grade one and assist the classroom teacher on a daily basis. Aides also support grades two through eight and provide assistance to students and teachers as needed. In grades seven and eight, St. Veronica Catholic School is able to accommodate a smaller class size for math and science instruction. Along with theses modifications, St. Veronica Catholic School employs two resource teachers who job share and assist with small group instruction and with those students who have defined learning differences. The curriculum at St. Veronica Catholic School, though somewhat standard and designed along present guidelines, is planned to meet the specific needs of the students and is creatively administered by a dedicated, energetic, experienced, and talented faculty.

St. Veronica Catholic School instituted a Homework Club as a component of the Extended Care Program during the 2006-2007 academic year in order to provide extra support to those students desiring assistance with homework assignments or requiring more individualized instruction. Older students assist younger students for the first half hour while faculty members supervise and provide support. At 3:40 p.m. snacks are served at Extended Care and then the older students return to Homework Club and are provided with a quiet environment and assistance for homework until 4:30 p.m. During this time, faculty members whose strengths are in English and math assist students as needed. Homework Club has been a positive addition to our program, and its success is evident in the academic improvement of those who attend Homework Club.


Kindergarteners occupy a distinct spot in the school family. They are just beginning their Catholic school life and are a bit nervous and eager to start. They work closely with their eighth grade school family members, sitting with them during Student of the Week assemblies and with their fifth grade partners when they attend Mass. One of the unique activities that kindergartners engage in is celebrating Dr. Seuss’s birthday by sharing the books he wrote and eating green eggs and ham. They also celebrate the 100th day of school with many counting activities.


First grade is a time of hard work. Learning to read and write, to understand and to grow takes a lot of energy. They learn about the past, in the beginning of the year, concentrating on the cultures of Native Americans and the Pilgrims. Then they compare those families with their own. A celebration of this new knowledge culminates in a Thanksgiving feast. The students make their own Native American and Pilgrim costumes, write a Thanksgiving prayer service, and, with the help of parents, prepare traditional foods to eat. Everyone enjoys a well-earned meal.


Second grade is a time to learn about mass and each individual’s responsibilities as a Catholic. The sacraments of Reconciliation and First Communion are received in second grade. The students learn, through the Act of Contrition, of being forgiven for all of their mistakes. Another unique aspect of second grade life is learning the life cycle of insects, insect body parts, and their habitats. To this end they concentrate on Harvest Ants, learning their parts, and observing their parts, and observing their behavior in an ant farm. As a culminating activity, they write what they have learned about ants in their science journals.


Third grade students complete, for the first time, a novel study of E.B. White’s “Charlotte’s Web”. In celebration, the students participate in a Fair, reminiscent of the one in the novel. They play Pin the Tail on the pig, run in three-legged races, potato sack races, have fun in the pie eating contest, and play Cornhole (a game where opponents face each other where each has a slanted board with a hole in it. Each opposite board as possible). Other activities include face painting and free dancing. Charlotte and Wilbur would agree that the Fair is radiant and terrific. Also, during a special ceremony at Mass, the third grade students receive their own special book, “The Lives of the Saints: An Illustrated History for Children”. This book is used to further the third graders’ understanding of the history of the Catholic Church and the sacrifices people have made for their religion.


Fourth grade is a time to learn about the life and times of early Californians. To help students really get the feel of what it was like to live in pioneer times, fourth grade as a Pioneer Day where the girls wear long cotton print dresses with bonnets and the boys wear button shirts with ropes to keep up their pants. Boys sit on one side of the classroom and girls on the other The lessons are ones that would have been taught during that time period. Lunch is prepared using the same food that early California pioneers would have eaten. The students use real lunch pails and nothing plastic is allowed. The rules are strict, just as they were in 1970s, but our teacher leaves her switch at home. During a special mass, the fourth graders receive their very own copy of “Break Through! The Bible for Young Catholics”. They use this book to continue their study of Jesus’s life and his teachings and add to their knowledge of church history.


Fifth grade is all about United States history. To aid in their studies, students send a journal around the United States to learn about our country. The people who receive the journal send postcards to help track where the journal has traveled. Usually, when its travels are completed, the journal finds its way home filled with different information about the states. To help make history come alive, students use the program “California Weekly”. They are given vocabulary and character cards to learn and memorize. Then they are split into three groups (red, white, blue) and perform a skit related to the American Revolution. Fifth graders receive, during their class Mass, the book, “Handbook for Today’s Catholic Children”. In addition, the fifth graders receive “Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T)”, and amazing program that gives the students a tool for living lives without gang influence.


Sixth graders concentrate on ancient history, including the Old Testament. This is also the first year they have a homeroom teacher and multiple other teachers for concentrated work on various subjects such as Language Arts, Mathematics, and History. Learning to work with different teachers gives the students more responsibilities and greater opportunities toward becoming independent. It isn’t easy keeping all those teachers and all those assignments straight! One of the highlights of the year is a field trip to visit Alcatraz, the former federal prison, which is situated on an island in the San Francisco Bay. Sixth graders also learn how to deal with bullies, how to communicate with their peers in a productive way, and how to be better Catholics. The book they receive at their special class Mass is “YOUCAT: Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church”.


Seventh Grade is a time for looking forward – soon the seventh graders will be eighth graders and then on their way back to high school. In the meantime, they are taking on more responsibilities, becoming more involved with the larger community and with their church. Seventh graders attend Outdoor Education – a week away from school, their parents, and their familiar neighborhoods. For some, it is the first time away from all the things they have known. They take night walks to contemplate the stars, sit around a camp fire sing songs, and try to scare each other with tall tales. It is a time to contemplate who they are and their communities and their peers. It is an experience they never forget.


Eighth Grade marks the end, for most of the students, of nine years at St. Veronica Catholic School. This is a time of excitement and uncertainty. They have on foot out the door, ready  for moving on, yet one foot is anchored in the familiar. But the months fly by and things change. They are finally the oldest in their school families, and they are the ones everyone relies on. If a teacher or staff member needs something done, they call on an eighth grader. The whole year is unique. To mark this special time, the students design their own eighth grade sweatshirts. Everyone seems to be preparing high school applications, getting ready for finals and taking them. Everything is “hurry up and wait” – for the year book, the graduation dance, for the parties, for the graduation Mass with the whole school watching, for the graduation ceremony, and finally, for saying good-bye to the place that has been “home” for so long.

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