A Time of Joyful Discovery
Immaculate Conception School (ICS) offers a full-day Kindergarten curriculum that educates the whole child, including their intellectual, social/emotional, creative, physical, and spiritual development. We do so in a manner consistent with our Catholic faith and values, following the prescribed principles of developmentally appropriate practice from the Archdiocese of Baltimore’s Division of Catholic Schools.
We are always mindful that a child’s early years are critical in forming attitudes toward God, themselves, others, and learning. ICS combines a strong kindergarten curriculum with students’ interests in order to promote an academically rich and creative learning environment, while simultaneously fostering development in fine motor and gross motor development, language skills, socio-emotional development, fine arts and self-help skills
Our primary goal is to provide a rigorous curriculum with age-appropriate instruction. Each kindergarten class is staffed with a certified early childhood education teacher and a full-time aide, so there are always two adults present in a class of typically 15-20 students. Our kindergarten students receive daily instruction in language arts, mathematics, social studies, and religion. The students also attend science class two times weekly taught by a dedicated science teacher in one of our elementary school science labs. Our kindergarten students attend the full complement of specials subject area classes, including music, art, physical education, technology and library.
Journeys ELA framework – Our kindergarten language arts program fosters development in the following areas: phonics, sight word recognition, letter formation, listening, repeating, following directions, rhyming, sounds, communication, color recognition, telling stories, and fine motor skill development (holding a pencil and crayon properly, cutting, gluing, tracking with eyes.) This program exposes our kindergartners to a variety of texts and early reading comprehension strategies and encourages them to use their imaginations to act out stories.
Bridges in Mathematics program – Bridges is a dynamic center-based, hands-on, math program using manipulatives, for example: geoboards, pattern blocks, color tiles, and ten blocks and tools which help develop “math thinkers.” Students learn to use numbers, including written numerals, to represent quantities and solve problems. Lessons incorporate geometric concepts through a real world, hands-on approach, encouraging students to find, count, draw, build, and compare shapes; and fit shapes together to make other shapes and puzzles.
Kindergartners learn basic science concepts through guided hands-on investigation, exploration, interaction, and discovery in our science labs. Social studies classes feature community helpers and religion classes offer students regular exposure to Bible stories and basic prayer, values development, social interaction with compassion and empathy and reverence in a religious environment.
The students have a snack time each day in their classroom and eat lunch in the school dining hall. Recess is in one of our open green spaces or on the dedicated elementary school playground. Kindergartners wear the ICS school uniform daily, but with athletic shoes and wear the gym uniform for the full school day on P.E. days.
Highlights and Extracurriculars
At ICS, even our kindergarten students have opportunities to explore their interests through extracurricular activities! Both the ICAA soccer and basketball programs are options for these young students, as well as Mini Dance Company!
The ICS Makerspace Lab hosts the kindergarten classes weekly for technology class, allowing them to explore a variety of critical thinking and problem solving platforms.
Kindergartners each enjoy a week as “Special Me” and the 100th Day Celebration is always a highlight of the year. The Community Helpers social studies unit features a field trip to the local fire station and the school year ends with a celebratory picnic and a kindergarten graduation ceremony, caps and gowns included!
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 screening as early as kindergarten to identify students who would benefit from early reading supports.
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.