Incarnation-St. James School is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. We follow the New Jersey Core curriculum as well as the Trenton Diocesan curriculum. In addition, we offer art, music and computer science for all grades, as well as Spanish and honors math for the upper grades.
The Religion Program for our students from Pre K to 8 is sequential. Daily instruction is based on factual knowledge of our Catholic faith, and on the spiritual development of each child through prayer and worship; outreach is a priority. Students are assessed annually on their grade level using basic faith facts. Learning is enhanced through audio visual materials, bibles, and the use of the Internet. Incarnation School is blessed with a prayerful atmosphere which is further developed with Friday Liturgies, and Para liturgies connect the students with the liturgical year. Catholic students receive the sacrament of Penance two times a year. As a result of this faith development, the Spirit in each child is stirred to respond to our many outreach programs and to become responsible members of the Church and local community.
Throughout the grades, students receive age-appropriate instruction in reading, writing, listening, ad speaking. Students develop necessary skills as they are exposed to the best in written and oral expression. As they advance through the school, students are encouraged to read critically. Teachers challenge students to interpret and respond to various forms of literature. Study of the best classic and contemporary novels enhances the regular language and literature series. Lessons help students sharpen their usage and mechanics as they learn to communicate through writing poetry, essays, and narratives.
The math curriculum is based on the New Jersey Core Standards and developed by the Diocese of Trenton and is used in conjunction with IHM math guidelines. The curriculum is maintained through various forms of assessment by the teachers, the coordinator, and the principal.
Each grade level incorporates various techniques of instruction. Teacher directed instruction, the use of manipulative, overhead projectors, chalkboard, calculators, computers, and videos are among methods used. Some students participate in an advanced math program in grades 5-8, which enables them to learn Algebra 1 in eighth grade. Moreover, involvement in cooperative groups, consistent use of critical thinking skills, hands on manipulative and mastery of basic math skills foster the understanding of math concepts on all levels.
As Catholic educators, the faculty strives to provide all students with the opportunity to become scientifically literate. All science students are actively engaged in questioning, predicting, investigating and analyzing data. The scientific method and independent thinking skills are used to approach problems in an organized, logical manner. Students work in cooperative groups on inquiry based, hands-on laboratory experiences in our science classroom. They are introduced to the identification and proper use of basic science equipment. Areas of study include life science, chemistry, physical science, ecology, weather, geology, genetics and others. Students develop an appreciation of the aspects of science they encounter in their daily lives.
The Social Studies program is sequential from kindergarten through eighth grade and emphasizes historical and geographical understanding while promoting citizenship and respect for peoples of all nations. Students begin with an awareness of the need for rules and family; then focus on community, state, national and world regions. Students engage in debates, discussions, role-playing, simulations and Internet research. They read novels related to historical events and write short stories and letters from the perspective of that time period. Students use artistic talents to create historical cartoons and geography games. The program is further enhanced with music related to regions or times, guest speakers such as re-enactors and local government leaders, weekly newspapers, and field trips related to topics in the curriculum. The school annually participates in the National Geography Bee and a local Historic House Art Contest.
The children in the Art program at ISJ study art theory, art history, art as a career, and as an investment. The children start in Pre-K with basic skills and art theory. As they continue with the program, they begin to feel the self-confidence that comes from the knowledge of art theory and art history, which they apply as they create art projects with pride.
The focus of Music Education in ISJ is to help each student explore the vast world of music with appreciation and understanding. Music classes in grades Pre-K through 2 provide opportunities for students to explore themselves and their world through music. They build a foundation of musical experiences including singing, playing percussions instruments to accompany their singing, creating music, responding to music through movement, and connecting musical sounds with written music symbols. In the middle grades, students expand their study of music though American folk music, music of other cultures and time periods, playing recorders, and more advanced singing in parts. In the upper grades, students experience and study the music of some of the great composers throughout history. Music classes at this level are also correlated with content in other subject areas, particularly Social Studies.
Physical Education is a vital part of ISJ's educational program. We recognize that the student's well-being is enhanced by regular physical activity and healthful living. To this end, our Physical Education Curriculum teaches the knowledge, skills and values necessary to maintain a healthy and physically active life. Physical Education provides a comprehensive, district wide Curriculum for Wellness.
In the year 2003, Incarnation built and opened a new gym. This permitted Incarnation's families and students to participate in sports year-round.
Physical Education Goals:
The Spanish program at ISJ provides students in grades 7 and 8 with an opportunity to learn Spanish vocabulary, grammar, and syntax, while simultaneously acquiring proficiency in reading, writing and pronunciation of the Spanish language. In addition to the language, students also learn about various aspects of culture and geography, through presentations on various holidays and traditions that are specific to the various countries that make up the Spanish-speaking world.
With the growing of the Information Age, ISJ highly values technology education for all grade levels, Pre-K-8. In August of 2008, the school upgraded the computer lab with twenty-four new computers. Each classroom is equipped with two computers for student use. We also have SMART Boards, which are interactive white boards, to make curriculum instruction fun and exciting. Grades 3 and 4 are registered to use a special software program called Study Island. It is a web-based program that covers the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards in math, reading, and writing. The school also implemented the Accelerated Reader program. After reading a book from the library, students take an online quiz and earn points when they answer questions correctly.
In computer class, students in Pre-K-1st grade learn about the basic computer parts, and how to use a mouse and keyboard by engaging in a variety of learning-based activities. Grades 2-4 are taught proper keyboarding skills, become familiar with the basics of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, and learn basic navigation skills on the Internet. The upper grades learn to value the Internet as a research tool, while also becoming proficient users of Microsoft Office software. Projects and activities in computer class correlate with other subject areas in order to demonstrate our most important objective: knowing how to use technology as a tool for learning