Immaculate Heart of Mary School

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About Our School » Academics

Academics

 

Immaculate Heart of Mary is a fully accredited school by the State of Ohio and the National Catholic Education Association

 

The curriculum follows the Graded Course of Study of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.  Our program provides opportunities for the student to grow in personal awareness of God, self and others.  

 

 

Standards describe what students should know and be able to do with content at each grade level. Standards are not curriculum and do not dictate what content should be taught. Standards indicate the skills, competencies, and fluencies students should be able to apply to the content of instruction. The emphasis of the new standards is three-fold: focus (few key topics pursued in greater depth), coherence (sequence of topics following a logical progression with an increasing degree of complexity), and rigor (challenging content and application of knowledge and skills). Since the state standards can be applied to any curriculum, there is no danger of compromising the Catholic identity or independence of the Catholic school. Catholic schools will continue to implement their own curriculum. The key for successful adoption of the standards is the manner in which the content is delivered and in what expectations are set for learning activities and outcome expectations students will experience.  The standards reflect 21st-Century learning needs defined by educators, university-level academicians, and influential thinkers across the globe. We feel that a tie to the New Learning Standards will further enhance the depth of knowledge in our Catholic schools, and ensure that our schools continue to fulfill their strong reputation for academic excellence.

 

Our school provides an excellent environment for our students. The teachers create a learning atmosphere filled with rich instruction while incorporating the gospel values. We will continue to look for ways in which our school community can grow and improve on what we are doing well. We are open to growth and will make adjustment and improvements when necessary to meet the needs of our current students. With the New Learning Standards, instruction will delve deeper into the material in order for all students to gain a better understanding of the "Why" and "How”, essentially moving away from the memorization that has been emphasized in the past.  Our students have always performed high on the standardized tests they are given.  This is a product of high quality instruction, not a goal.  We stand behind our mission: The Immaculate Heart of Mary School Community provides a caring and challenging educational environment for children. We value the individual child, nurture spiritual growth, and independence, and promote community responsibility to those in need. We provide excellence through an integrated curriculum based on the Gospel values of Jesus Christ, and current educational practices that include activities suited to a variety of learning styles.

 

Our current faculty consists of 28 classroom teachers serving grades K-8, 4 preschool teachers, 8 related arts teachers, a school counselor, and a librarian.  We also have a Student Services Team of specialists that assist in differentiated instruction.  Our specialists ensure that we provide a complete curriculum to students at all stages in their learning.  These specialists include a math specialist, three intervention specialists, a speech and language specialist, a reading specialist and support teachers which assist in implementing individual service plans and multi-tiered instruction.  Our staff is complete with 25 licensed educational assistants who work directly with the students and a health aide.

 

Immaculate Heart of Mary School provides a comprehensive educational opportunity for students beginning at age 3.  The curriculum follows the Graded Course of Study of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.  This integrated curriculum is based on the gospel values of Jesus Christ and current educational best practices that include activities suited to a variety of learning styles.  Students in grades K-3 are taught in self-contained classrooms.  Departmentalization begins gradually at grade 4.  Beginning at grade 5, students receive instruction from teachers that are masters in their content area and specialize in specific subjects.  Religion is an integral part of our instruction.  In addition to religion classes, our students are provided a variety of opportunities for daily prayer, adoration, para-liturgical services, and weekly mass.  100% of our students are involved with service learning projects which take place at every grade level throughout the school year.

 

Our highly qualified and equally committed teachers are the key to the school's success.  They have proven by their performance to be truly effective and dedicated educators.  Whether it is in differentiating their instruction guided by formative assessments, planning and implementing lessons which engage each student, fostering the home-school relationship, actively working in Professional Learning Communities or developing their knowledge of pedagogy by professional development and growth, the Immaculate Heart of Mary teaching staff is surpassed by none. 

 

The teaching staff is devoted to the education and well-being of each student.  The average teacher on our staff has over fifteen years’ experience.  100% of our teachers hold a current Ohio teaching license and are Highly Qualified in the area they teach.  Our teachers continue to advance their knowledge and expertise in the teaching field.  Teacher quality is maintained by providing research based professional development opportunities for faculty members and holding faculty accountable to high standards.  All members of our faculty and staff participate in professional development for a minimum of 15 days throughout the school year.

 

Throughout our school you will find classrooms which contain large and small group instruction, learning centers, a comfortable blending of traditional as well as contemporary methodology, outlets for talents of every kind and happy and enthusiastic children who express exactly what our school is about!  21st century learning is infused in every classroom throughout every grade level.

 

100% of our teachers have received professional development training in differentiation and researched based best practices.  The practices of brain based learning, data driven instruction, critical thinking skills, and authentic assessments have been part of our accreditation and school professional development plans for the past twelve years.

 

Our staff has worked to develop an instructional program that addresses the needs of all children, regardless of their learning styles.  The response to instruction that is implemented for students with all abilities began with research based professional development for the tools to engage students so they learned by doing.  From there, we moved on to implementation in the classrooms and monitoring of data to ensure that students were successful.  The final goal, now a reality, was showcasing mastery of the curriculum through authentic assessments presented by our students.  This was our vision of a school that truly engaged students, made learning meaningful, and enabled everyone to reach his/her potential.  Classroom instruction is still based on essential outcomes, but the level of activity in the school rarely follows the typical scenario.  Students are dancing to poetry, composing skits to prove scientific research, and writing music to math equations.  We stress metacognition for all students, and what better way to learn than to enable students to understand how they learn and then teach what they know to others?

 

Our staff boasts many Teacher Leaders who have been trained in the Professional Learning Community process and has lead our staff in full implementation of PLC’s.  Many teachers from our school have presented various workshops to faculties from across the nation.   Our faculty and staff has presented at the National Blue Ribbon Conference, Ohio Catholic Education Conference, Ohio Council of Teachers of Math, National Council for History Education, and the National Association of Elementary School Principals.

 

Extensive technology is integrated throughout the campus along with our new improved wireless system:

..The wireless system was installed in summer of 2015 and specifically designed to support all 800+ devices and to give IHM campus 100% coverage.

..A 1:1 tablet program has been implemented for students in the junior high, and there are mobile laptop carts within each of the core classes from 4th through 6th

..Every classroom is equipped with Smart Boards, interactive projectors and Apple TVs.

..Document cameras, handheld cameras, broadcast equipment are available for students in K-8.

..Across the whole campus, there are 240 IPads in use that provide our students a variety of platforms to enhance their learning.

 

The Starlab Portable Planetarium is available for student use and all classroom teachers are trained for integrating the planetarium with the curriculum.

 

In 2013-2014 we introduced a new program to IHM students. This program, called Christ Communities, gives students an opportunity to explore and broaden their faith together with students from different grades. These faith communities consist of students from grades K-8. IHM siblings are placed in the same group so they enjoy this experience as a family. Older students serve as helpers to the younger students. The Christ Communities meet monthly and focus on many different aspects of faith including Fruits of the Spirit, Gospel Values, Saints, and how we can serve one another in our Catholic faith. This program has proven to be successful and the students thoroughly enjoy their monthly meetings.  The journey of faith these communities have created can be seen at school and are carried over at home.  Our students’ journey together in faith with their families and students from different grades grow together.