Curriculum Overview

St. Mary’s provides a challenging and balanced curriculum. Our innovative instruction, led by dedicated and well-trained teachers, focuses on providing a strong academic foundation that will prepare our students for success in high school and beyond. From Early School (PreK) through grade 8, we develop a strong foundation for the future with outstanding opportunities to help young minds grow. Our grade school curriculum is based on the State Common Core Standards in conjunction with the recommendations from the Catholic Diocese of Peoria’s Superintendent of Schools.

In addition to the core academic classes, St. Mary’s offers art, music, and P.E. We use a modified grading system for art, music, and P.E. in place of the standard grading scale used for the core academic classes. Art, music, and P.E. are assessed on the below grading scale. We are very proud of the many enrichment opportunities for our students within our curriculum.

S+ = above average work   

S = average work 

S- = below average work/unsatisfactory*

        *this grade would also place a student on the athletic ineligibility list 

We realize that every child is unique. It is our mission to recognize and develop each child’s mind, body, and soul. We strive to do this by balancing our faith in Jesus Christ, challenging ourselves in the classroom, and growing well-rounded citizens of our society.

Fine Arts

All St Mary’s students participate in art and vocal music. We explore our faith and demonstrate it through drawings, paintings, skits and small play productions put on for our parents throughout the school year.

We visit the residents of Snyder Village retirement home on a semi-annual basis. The student’s look forward to our Veteran’s Day celebration, Christmas Concert and Spring Arts Festival, and the annual Talent Show. A favorite of the students is the Art in the Park Activities enjoyed in the spring.


Literacy involves learning to communicate through verbal and written expression utilizing the skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. We want our students to gain confidence in these areas and in their abilities as they grow and work. Our goal is to individualize each child’s needs in these areas so they can communicate effectively in many different settings. Public speaking, presentations, group projects, critical reading for understanding, as well as reading for pleasure are incorporated across the curriculum.   

Math and Science

Our Math curriculum incorporates concepts using manipulatives, problem solving, and conceptual understanding versus rote memorization. Pre- Algebra and Algebra are offered in the junior high grades.

Our Science curriculum incorporates physical science, life science, biology, earth science physics and chemistry. At early elementary we begin with a basic understanding of the earth and life revolving around the teachings of Christ and the church. As the students mature so do discussions and activities involving analysis, observation and scientific research. We have a very nicely equipped lab at the junior high level and a variety of live reptiles and animals that the students care for. We have an annual science fair in which students research and present a project on a topic of their choosing. 


The role of technology at St. Mary’s is four-fold: it is included as a part of the curriculum, as an instructional delivery system, as a means of aiding instructions, and also as a tool to enhance the entire learning process. Technology has propelled education to potentially very interactive and aggressive, and it has become essential in academic settings. Research has shown, time and again, that students learn best when they are engaged. Through the use of technology, students can become active participants and utilize web-based tools for demonstrations and examples that can help establish credence in what they are learning.

We also focus on factors of computer/technology literacy. We keep in mind that education technology is simply a tool, and its success depends largely on the amount of planning that goes into it. At St. Mary’s, we use technology as a tool that helps engage and challenge learners, providing students with practice including; demos, feedback and avenues that can help students reflect on what they have learned.

Social Studies/History

Our History and Social Studies curriculum encompasses United States and world history, civics, geography, and economics. Our teachers use technology, maps, volunteers and well-traveled guests to share stories and details of events in other parts of the world. Often times we will have pen pals to communicate with from other states or countries. We also hold a history fair each calendar year.

Physical Education All students participate in Physical Education classes three times a week as well as daily recess. We stress a healthy balanced lifestyle of physical activity, appropriate social interaction, discipline, teamwork, and mutual respect for all. We also teach taking care of our bodies and giving thanks to God for all the talents and gifts he has bestowed upon us. Our curriculum focuses on personal growth through a variety of life long sports skills utilizing individual and team activities.

Our curriculum includes the basic sport skills, but also includes the In-School Bowling Program, the NASP Archery Program, skating and rollerblading. Our students have also participated in juggling, cup stacking, and favorites nearly every year include the Hoop Hop Showdown and the Rock Paper Scissors tag.

We stress daily activity as we believe students that are active and engaged in activities as a child will continue to be active as adults!