St. Joseph the Protector School

Empowered by Faith ~ Achieving now and tomorrow


K-8 Curriculum


The curricula followed by the student in the parish and regional elementary schools of the Archdiocese are developed by and/or approved by the Superintendent of Schools through the Department of Elementary Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment.

Elementary curriculum guidelines are copyrighted material.  Parents have the right to request to review the guidelines with the administration/teacher.  All curriculum can be accessed through the website for the Archdiocese at:

http://www.catholicschool-phl.org/parent-resources/elementary-curriculum or



English Language Arts Grades K-8

The Archdiocesan Integrated Language Arts Curriculum (ELA) reflects the National Core Standards.  Instruction in English Language Arts has strong foundations in literacy: reading, writing, thinking, speaking, listening, and visualizing.  Skills are further developed in critical thinking, literacy evaluation, methods of research, competency in self-expression, and metacognitive awareness.  

ELA curriculum can be accessed through the website for the Archdiocese at

http://www.catholicschool-phl.org/parent-resources/elementary-curriculum or


Mathematics Grades 1-8

The Elementary Mathematics Curriculum is a carefully planned program that focuses on the understanding of basic concepts and mastery of skills, and applying these skills through extensive instruction and practice.  The Archdiocesan Math Curriculum reflects the Standards of the National Core Standards for mathematics instruction and focuses on problem solving which is considered vital to every skill developed.  The standards also place strong emphasis on communicating mathematically, making real-life and content area connections, and developing reasoning skills.

Honors Math Program

The Elementary Honors Mathematics Program is intended to meet the needs of those students who are capable of completing the prescribed curriculum in seven (7), instead of eight (8), years.  The students in this program are identified in grade three (3), and begin formal instruction in grade four (4), continuing through grade eight (8).  The Algebra I course used by the secondary schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia is the eighth (8th) grade honors curriculum.  

The school administrator and the mathematics coordinator carefully monitor the program with the use of management guidelines prepared by the Joint Elementary/Secondary Mathematics Committee.  Students who complete this program, and satisfactorily master the Algebra I curriculum according to criteria established by the Joint Committee, are able to test to begin their second year of secondary mathematics in the freshman year.

The principle criteria for admission to this program, as stated in the Archdiocesan guidelines for the Elementary Honors Program, include:

  • Cognitive Skills Index in the 125 range

  • Standardized test scores: 90 in Mathematics and 85 in Reading

  • Consistent scores of 85 or better on Archdiocesan Level Evaluations

  • 90 overall mathematics average for the year

  • Maintain a 3 or above in conduct or effort

  • Periodic evaluation will be used to determine continued participation in this program.

Students who are referred for administrative conference, suspended, or fail to maintain the above criteria may be denied participation in the Honors Math Program.

Participation in the Honors Math Program is contingent upon the approval of the Archdiocesan Mathematics Committee.  Math curriculum can be accessed though the website for the Archdiocese at

http://www.corestandards.org/assets/CCSSI_Math%20Standards.pdf or



Each Grade

At StJP, we hold the belief that faith is a lifelong journey, undertaken in the community and guided by the Spirit.  The family is the primary community in which faith is shared and nurtured.  The whole church community, beginning with the parish, puts itself at the service of the family to help form young Catholics.  Our school intends to support the family and the church community in this mission.  The children will experience, integrate, and express the fullness of mature Catholic Faith at every age level, according to their stage of development.


We utilize the Scientific Method, the most highly recommended method of instruction.  Using this method, students may achieve six categories of objectives.  Knowledge is the ability to read and state the meaning of certain scientific principles.  Using this knowledge, students will develop the instrumental skills of manipulating basic scientific equipment, interpreting maps, graphs, charts, and tables appropriate to problems.  Of particular importance is the development of problem solving skills.  To demonstrate these skills, students will practice observing, inferring, making hypothesis, testing, investing, drawing conclusions, measuring,and communicating results.  Students will further demonstrate scientific attitudes such as the development of mindedness and a willingness to consider new facts.  To describe the uses, benefits, and limitations of science today, students will develop an appreciation of science and an interest in reading, studying, and becoming involved in scientific pursuits.

Social Studies

We seek to prepare our young people to be able to identify, understand, and someday work to solve the problems that face our increasingly diverse American Nation and Interdependent world within the framework of Catholic Christian values.  Social Studies, as Defined by the National Council for Social Studies, are a basic subject of the K-12 curriculum


  • Derives its goals from the nature of citizenship in a democratic society that is closely linked to other nations and peoples of the world.

  • Draws its contents primarily from History, the Social Sciences, and in some respects, from the Humanities and Science.  

  • Teaches in ways that reflect an awareness of the personal, social, and cultural experiences, and the developmental levels of the learners.  

The scope and sequence includes: Awareness of Self, Family Life, Neighborhoods, Communities, Pennsylvania, United States Regions, Western Hemisphere, Eastern Hemispheres and United States History.  

Specialty Subjects

Specialty Subjects are required as part of the elementary school curriculum by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Department of Education.  Specialty subjects include: Technology, the Arts (Music and Visual Arts), Physical Education, and World Languages.

Fine Arts: Art/Music
This area of the curriculum is designed in keeping with the National Standards for Arts Education.

World Languages
Schools may include modern world language in the elementary curriculum where feasible. The school administrator must ensure that the program is taught by teachers who are competent in this area.

Physical Education

Physical education is vital to the development of the student and is required as part of the elementary curriculum of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Department  of Education.

There are two major areas in the use of technology in our schools: basic technology skills and specific curricular applications of technology.  Elementary Technology Guidelines include the following topics: general computer literacy, word processing, spreadsheets, database, and telecommunications.