The core curriculum at St. Matthew includes language arts, math, science, Spanish, social studies, religion, computer, music, and physical education. All classes have access to the library for research, special needs, projects, and leisure reading. The library is open during the entire school day.
In its curriculum design, St. Matthew the Apostle School takes part in Standards Based Education and follows the standards and benchmarks set forth by the Archdiocese of New Orleans. Standard checklists are reviewed and completed monthly ensuring standards are driving our curriculum and instruction in the classroom. Lesson plans and/or unit plans are completed weekly directly linking all lessons to these standards. Grade level and departmental meetings take place throughout the year to discuss these standards and the progression they provide to each grade level. Instructional practices and teacher effectiveness are critiqued on an ongoing basis. The objectives of each core subject are reviewed and revised annually where needed. All textbooks are surveyed and adopted on a regular basis according to the state textbook adoption cycle. A set of textbooks is assigned to
each student in grades one through seven.
Enrichment in language arts and math is available for students at all ability levels. Within the curriculum, St. Matthew strives to assess and meet the needs of each individual student. Approximately 33% of all students in grades three through eight are enrolled in enrichment classes. Accommodations through the individual
needs program have been made for 9% of the student population. The counselor aids the faculty in implementing these accommodations as needed for the success of the individual child. To better facilitate meeting the needs of the students, St. Matthew tries to limit the number of students in each class to twenty-five.
The Early Childhood program at St. Matthew provides our youngest students with a friendly and exciting world of learning. In the 2005-2006 school year, St. Matthew added pre-kindergarten 3 to our program. In order to meet the needs of our community, another pre-kindergarten 3 class was added in the 2007-2008 school
year. The pre-kindergarten 3, pre-kindergarten 4, and kindergarten curriculums are designed to offer the students opportunities to explore the world around them through hands on activities. The current student-teacher ratio (pre-kindergarten 3 is 16:2, pre-kindergarten 4 is 25:2, kindergarten is 25:2) gives each student the
personal attention that is necessary for their cognitive, emotional, and physical development.
The first through seventh grade classes take place in two separate buildings (first through fifth grades attend classes in one building; middle school students attend class in another). The learning program at St. Matthew for students in first through fifth grade helps students develop their intellectual curiosity by building a solid base of academic skills. The curriculum strives to develop the problemsolving and critical thinking skills of each student as they enjoy new challenges.
Learning, therefore, becomes an adventure. Students in Middle School (sixth through seventh grades) participate in a challenging course of studies, which encourages each student to expand their learning capabilities. The learning program offers many opportunities to go beyond the subject matter and develop leadership, responsibility, self-esteem, analytical thinking, and study skills that are essential for success in high school. St. Matthew students are informed of and encouraged to attend high school open houses and are
aided with their applications. When our seventh and eighth grade students apply for high school, 99% of them are accepted to their first choice. When St. Matthew administrators meet with high school admission directors, they state that St. Matthew students are well prepared. In addition, many of our students have been valedictorians, salutatorians, and National Merit Finalists.