Academics » Academics

Academics

St. Elizabeth Catholic School has a long history of strong academic programs with a foundation in reading and math. The core curriculum also includes science, social studies, English and language arts. St. Elizabeth Catholic School is accredited by the Mississippi Department of Education, and all teachers hold a current teacher’s license issued by the Mississippi Department of Education. Our highly qualified teachers utilize a phonics-based reading program, and place special emphasis on writing.

Additional courses include computer lab courses, music, art, Spanish and P.E. Students also have participate in enrichment programs like Accelerated Readers, Education City, sports intramurals, and to compete in the local Spelling and Geography Bees. Our faculty fosters a postive Christian environment with daily scripture readings, devotional and prayer to encourage character education. Students also attend weekly mass, and meet often in the rotunda to pray for special needs. Service opportunities encourage students to give of themselves to organizations such as the Clarksdale Animal Shelter or Ronald McDonald House.

Exceeding National Standards

Each fall, students in grades third through sixth take The Stanford Achievement Test "Tenth Edition" (Stanford 10), which provides updated content that reflects the national curriculum and current educational trends. The Stanford 10 measures a student’s school achievement in reading, language arts, mathematics, science and social science. The test results give the teachers information about specific areas of strengths and weaknesses of individual students or groups of students, thus assisting the teacher in planning her instruction. Traditionally, our students have scored very well on this test, with over 67% of students placing in the 96 percentile.

Technology Infused Classrooms

St. Elizabeth Catholic school utilizes the latest technology and software to engage students. EducationCity.com, a research based software program, is used to enrich or remediate skills in all the subject areas.

Students get excited about writing when using the NEO 2 SmartOption Mobile Lab. Each student in the class has his/her own NEO 2 laptop on which they learn keyboarding, take Accelerated Reader quizzes, access the online word processor for developing writing skills and wireless printing of their finished compositions.

Teachers have access to a portable interactive SMARTBOARD system and stationary SMART BOX, systems that create interactive classrooms. The teacher is able to incorporate a PowerPoint presentation and interactive guided practice, using teach created and web-based activities, into direct classroom instruction.

Technology is also integrated into the library, where students may seach the school’s computerized card catalog of almost 4,000 library volumes. Through the web based Accelerated Reader (AR) Enterprise each classroom can access over 153,000 AR book titles and quizzes on their classroom computer. Once a student reads a book and takes the AR quiz, he or she can instantly see his or her score along with points and reading levels. Teachers can view and print reports on a student’s progress, while parents can also view and monitor their child’s progress from home. Students may take even AR tests during the summer in the computer lab.

Programs for High Achievers

Duke University Talent Identification Program (Duke TIP)

Since 1980, the Duke TIP 4th and 5th grade talent search recognizes those students who have outstanding academic abilities. To qualify, students in these grades must score at the 95th percentile or higher on an accepted subtest or total battery/composite or a grade-level standardized achievement test. Fifty-seven percent of St. Elizabeth’s 4th, 5th, and 6thgraders have qualified for Duke TIP this past school year. They are eligible to take the EXPLORE test, a measure developed by ACT for 8th graders to evaluate their academic development. Online enrichment and academic publications are offered to those students who qualify.

Great Rewards Always with a Catholic Education (GRACE )

When a student qualifies for Duke TIP, he or she also qualifies for GRACE, a St. Elizabeth enrichment program, coordinated by our librarian Georgette Sabbatini. GRACE was developed in 2010 to offer students who are high achievers challenging activities that go beyond classroom curriculum. The program is divided into two parts: Language Arts and The Stock Market Game. In the area of Language Arts, emphasis is placed on literature, reading comprehension, vocabulary building, and writing skills. The fourth graders’ vocabulary is improved and challenged with the use of numerous word games. The activities prepare them for using solid vocabulary skills with fifth and sixth grade GRACE activities. In the fifth and sixth grades, special emphasis is placed on beginning, basic sentence writing which gradually expands into solid paragraph composition and completion of a mini research paper.

The Stock Market Game, coordinated by our fifth and sixth grade math teacher, Jane Rutz, is a comprehensive, engaging, real world program using investment concepts that advances a student’s academic achievement in the core disciplines. Fifth and sixth grade GRACE students who participate in The Stock Market Game learn more than investing. As they progress, they learn core academic concepts and skills that can help them succeed in the classroom and beyond. Starting with $100,000 in virtual cash, students strive to create the best-performing portfolio using a live trading stimulation. The students work together in teams, developing leadership, organization, negotiation and cooperation skills.