Curious Learners Becoming Responsible Students
At Immaculate Conception School (ICS), we have high expectations for our students, and they constantly surprise us with their achievements.
The elementary years are a time of growth and development for your child during which many lifelong habits and attitudes are established. Regardless of the subject or activity, nurturing a positive self-concept and cultivating a love and enthusiasm for learning are crucial during these formative years. At ICS, we provide a curriculum that helps ensure each child is well prepared for the more challenging academic years ahead. At the same time, we strive to develop the unique talents of each child.
Elementary level students receive daily instruction in language arts, mathematics, social studies and religion, and attend science class three times weekly with a specialized science teacher in one of our elementary science labs. Students also receive weekly instruction in specials subject areas, including music, art, technology, physical education and library. Our first and second grade classes are self-contained, meaning that the homeroom teacher provides instruction in the core subject areas as is appropriate for these young learners, Beginning in the third grade, students are instructed by academically specialized teachers for language arts, math and social studies, with religion still taught in the homeroom setting. In the fourth and fifth grades, advanced and grade-level classes are offered in language arts and math to provide the appropriate level of challenge or support needed for each of our students. Leveled placements are consistently re-evaluated to be sure that each student is appropriately placed, and adjustments to these levels are made as needed. Cursive writing is introduced in the second grade with a goal of mastery in the third grade.
Journeys language arts framework – The goals of our language arts program are many, and the Journeys series provides student support for achievement in reading and comprehension as well as the underlying grammatical foundations of writing. Students access literature as well as informational texts and we supplement our program with novels beginning in the third grade. Speaking and listening skills are also nurtured while creative and expository writing are emphasized in every grade level.
Saxon mathematics framework – The Saxon program begins at ICS in the first grade and proceeds throughout, culminating in the potential to study accelerated algebra or geometry in the eighth grade. The Saxon program is lesson-based, not chapter-based, and provides a spiraling curriculum. Students complete cumulative homework assignments and cumulative assessments thereby producing students who have deep understanding of and proficiency with mathematical foundations. The Saxon program is rich in problem solving and supports our goals to promote reading and writing across the subject areas, while its emphasis on manipulatives and investigations enhances our STREAM philosophy.
Elementary Science at ICS – We are so fortunate at ICS to have two fully equipped science labs for our elementary students. This enables our students to learn science as it should be learned – through guided hands-on investigation and discovery. Our science units are investigative in nature and encompass a broad range of scientific and engineering disciplines. We are proud to maintain a partnership with North Bay Adventures beginning in the fourth grade through which specialized environmental educators provide our students with classroom instruction and field experience in environmental science.
Highlights and Extracurriculars
At ICS, we know that the students’ experiences outside of the classroom are also an important part of their education. To that end, we offer a great variety of extracurricular clubs and we encourage students to explore the breadth of options available to them from athletics to performing arts, and from academic clubs to service organizations.
Students in all grade levels can participate in the ICAA soccer and basketball programs and students in grades 4 and 5 can also join the ICS Track and Field team in the spring. The ICS Robotics team starts in grade 3!
Elementary school choir is open to students in grades 3 through 5 with Dance Company open to all elementary school students from kindergarten through grade 5. Our award-winning Instrumental Band Program begins in grade 4 with weekly instrument specific small-group lessons held in our auditorium and performances at our Christmas and spring performing arts events. The ICS Theater Program for grades 4 and up meets year-round to offer instruction in stage performance and culminates in a large-scale spring musical that is offered to the school and to the public.
Students in grade 5 are recognized with some special events and leadership opportunities as they prepare for the transition to our middle school. A highlight of their year is the presentation of a Living Stations of the Cross performance during Lent, presented for both fellow students and then for parents and the public. It is an extensive dramatization of the Passion of Christ with all acting and singing roles performed by the fifth grade class. They also have the opportunity to be a part of the school Safety Program with specific required duties during school arrival and dismissal, they are eligible to run for an office on Student Council and participate in Eagle Fly-Up Day which allows them an opportunity to experience the ICS Middle School in action. They also enjoy The Fall Ball in the Hall with special class t-shirts and an evening social event in recognition of their special status!
All grade levels are represented at the STREAM Fair as well as at Fine Arts Night and parents are invited to these events to view student projects and artwork.
Several support structures are in place at ICS to enhance the academic, physical and emotional well-being of our students. We employ two reading specialists who offer small group instruction in language arts for students with identified learning needs, as well as a math resource teacher for remediation and support and an executive function coach available to meet the needs of students who need assistance with organization and study strategies.
Our Inclusion Coordinator oversees development and administration of accommodations for students with special learning needs and documented learning support plans such as IEPs and 504s.
Two professional counselors engage in a wide range of student support activities while also administering guidance programming in the classrooms. Additionally, they oversee the Friendzy program, a social-emotional learning program offering instruction specially designed to engage elementary and middle school students. The overarching goal of Friendzy is to deepen student connection to others and to equip students with the tools needed to develop healthy relationships which in turns helps them to maximize their academic performance.
Our support staff includes two Registered Nurses so that our Health Office is professionally staffed whenever school is in session.
Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS)
PBIS is a nationwide program created to enhance the culture of our school by establishing positive supports focusing on prevention rather than punishment. Our motto: Be Respectful, Be Responsible, Be Kind – Because Christ Matters guides all that we do. At ICS, we follow schoolwide procedures and processes so that everyone – students, teachers, staff, parents and administration – understand behavior expectations, which in turn creates a safe, consistent and productive learning environment for all.