Saint Martin de Porres Academy’s curriculum is intentionally rigorous and provides a foundation that allows students to succeed in high school, college and beyond. We help our students discover, cultivate and share their gifts and talents through experiential learning, spiritual grounding and rigorous academics so that they will be agents of change in their community with successful futures.
To learn more about specific subjects and curriculum overviews please click on the links below:
English Language Arts (ELA) focuses on the overall development of literacy. SMPA’s program is committed to enabling all students to become life-long readers, writers and critical thinkers.
Through writing and speaking, students compose language to express, create and synthesize knowledge.
Students engage with texts to interpret language to derive meaning, to stimulate thoughts and feelings and to learn.
These four processes –listening, speaking, reading and writing—are the principle vehicles used for the development of disciplined critical thinking, a skill that provides the foundation for school success in middle school and beyond.
The Connecticut English Language Arts Standards, include:
- Common Core State Standards (CCSS) adopted by Connecticut in 2010
- The National Council of Teachers of the English Language Standards
These standards are embedded in and provide the framework for the 5-8 curriculum.
In 2016, New Alliance Foundation presented its prestigious Hi5 High Impact Literacy Award in recognition of our ELA curriculum, along with a check for $20,000.
Saint Martin de Porres Academy uses The Delta Education Science and Technology for Children (STC) Foss Science System as the basis for the science curriculum.
The Foss System, developed by The National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academy of Sciences, provides a more engaging approach to learning science through inquiry.
Inquiry based learning provides students the opportunity to learn and experience key science concepts through their own investigation and analysis using laboratory equipment and interactive technology.
The Foss System also provides opportunities to focus on math as well as reading and writing skills. In this way, the science curriculum is consistent with and supportive of both math and ELA curriculum.
Our science curriculum is enriched by monthly lessons created, planned and executed by students from the Quinnipiac University Frank H. Netter School of Medicine.
Each month, a group of dedicated medical students volunteer to facilitate interactive and hands-on sessions on a wide variety of topics.
Science Friday topics range from demonstrations on how soap works to studies of the human brain.
Medical students service both as mentors and role models and increase our students’ passion, curiosity and enthusiasm for science.
Social Studies Curriculum
Our History and social studies curriculum is approached from a multidisciplinary perspective, emphasizing reading, writing and critical thinking skills.
In this way, the curriculum is intended to be supportive of the ELA academic curriculum goals.
At the same time, ELA classes support the social studies curriculum, utilizing historical fiction texts to give deeper meaning to the lessons of history.
We think it is much more interesting to study America’s Progressive Era while reading To Kill A Mockingbird, or to understand the horrors of the Holocaust while reading The Book Thief.
Using a conceptual framework based on project-based learning, SMPA believes that innovative projects engage students to become active, involved learners through extended student-influenced inquiry.
The Connecticut Math Standards, including Common Core State Standards (CCSS), are embedded in and provide the framework for the 5-8 academic curriculum.
The goals of the Math Curriculum are:
- To solidify the arithmetic fundamentals that are developed in elementary school
- To provide students with a foundation in algebraic fundamentals
As students are introduced to higher levels of abstract thinking, they are taught to apply these tools in more complex forms of problems and problem solving.
A problem-centered curriculum not only helps students to make sense of mathematics, it also helps them process mathematics conceptually rather than by rote memorization.
By the time they move on to high school, students are able to reason and communicate proficiently in mathematics, and are able to define and solve problems with age-appropriate reason, insight, inventiveness and proficiency.
Religion is an important foundation to the mission of our school, and in some way, is reflected in all our programming.
Students come to Saint Martin de Porres Academy with a variety of life experiences and emotional needs, and our curriculum reflects our strong belief in the importance of developing spiritually grounded young men and women.
The goal of our religion program is to ensure that all students are grounded in the belief that God unconditionally loves them.
We encourage our students to demonstrate strong character, integrity and compassion, as they understand that God lives in all people.
Ultimately, we encourage our students to understand that God calls them to be agents of change in the world, sharing their unique gifts and talents as they strive for justice and peace.
We believe that music teaches values such as self-discipline, dedication, teamwork, self-esteem and the importance of practice and hard work.
Research Shows that Music Fosters:
Our music program is recognized for its excellence. Every student plays at least one musical instrument and many play multiple instruments.
Each student participates in one of three bands and students perform in at least two public concerts each year.
We are fortunate to have the volunteer leadership of Bill and Ann Clemmons, who share their incredible skill and experience with our music students.
K’Ron was first chair clarinet at Notre Dame High School, and is now a computer science major at Fairfield University.
The ability read and play music helps to prepare our students for the transition to high school.
Many of our students go on to play in high school bands and in college.