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Bridging Preschool Success to Formal Learning

Kindergarten at the School of St. Mary (SOSM) serves as a transitional year between early childhood programs and elementary education. Our developmentally appropriate, full-day program focuses on spiritual, physical, social, emotional, and cognitive growth while encouraging appropriate school behaviors. Students begin to increase their independence within academic and social frameworks. Teachers present instruction using a variety of approaches, including differentiation, hands-on learning, small and whole group instruction, and exploration, in addition to cooperative group activities. By experiencing success, kindergarteners develop a positive self-concept and attitude toward school.
We offer two classrooms dedicated to kindergarten students. Teaching assistants support differentiated learning and help ensure that each student's needs are met. Our curriculum follows the Archdiocese of Chicago benchmarks and the Illinois State Board of Education standards for kindergarten. As literacy serves as a major academic emphasis for the kindergarten year, projects and activities incorporate storytelling, phonics, and handwriting. As indicated by benchmark assessments and teacher observation, students receive literacy support from a certified reading specialist.
As a Catholic school, students begin wearing uniforms in kindergarten and attend weekly Mass with the 1st-3rd graders at St. Patrick's Church, adjacent to our campus. 
Formal sacramental preparation begins in kindergarten. A catered lunch program is available every day, and students enjoy a 20-minute recess outdoors after lunch, followed by a "quiet time."
Trusting relationships between students and their teachers evolve through the year. Teachers remain in close contact with parents through newsletters, emails, phone calls, and parenting resources. As modeled in our preschool experience, parents form partnerships with teachers through regular verbal and written communication as well as formal trimester assessments and conferences.
Religion: Teachers deliver formal instruction with the Allelu! curriculum that introduces children to the weekly Gospel. The class follows the liturgical year through prayer, Bible stories, prayer services, feast and Holy Day celebrations, and attends weekly Mass. Social-Emotional Learning: Students discuss real-life scenarios with role-playing opportunities to help build and practice conflict resolution, listening skills, empathy, and interpersonal skills.
Language Arts & Reading: Students participate in large and small group reading as well as individualized instruction. In a whole group, students explore literature through the Wonders reading series. In small, leveled groups and individualized instruction, students develop early literacy skills and utilize guiding reading text at their appropriate level.

Building strong phonemic awareness and a basic sight vocabulary are essential elements of the curriculum. Teachers rely on formal and informal assessments in addition to standardized benchmarking for fluency and comprehension. They incorporate the following textbooks to help teach phonological awareness, reading skills, reading, writing, listening, and speaking:
  • Wonders Reading: Textbook, workbook and guided reading series;
  • Sunform Handwriting: formal presentation and workbook;
  • Heggerty Phonemic Awareness Curriculum: a daily, oral program that explicitly teaches phonemes and serves as the foundation for reading and spelling skills;
  • iReady: An online program that provides standards targeted practice and individualized progress assessments on core competencies.
Mathematics: SOSM follows the Archdiocesan standards to build a numeracy foundation, which includes sorting and classifying objects, identifying basic shapes, applying one-to-one correspondence, skip counting, patterning, graphing, comparing, recognizing sets, measuring, as well as adding and subtracting.

Kindergarten through third grade uses the challenging enVision textbook series. We began supplemental, targeted instruction with iReady in the fall of 2020.

Social Studies: Socialization is an integral component of the kindergarten curriculum. The social studies program leads students from the familiarity of their homes and families to the more complex world of their community and its helpers. Social studies further reinforce the concept of our religious community.

Through thematic units, the students learn about families, community helpers, holiday traditions, historical figures, and the differences between city and country life. Students will also use Social Studies Weekly magazine.
Science: Through periodicals, video clinics, exploration, observation, experimentation, and discussion, students formally learn about and investigate the three main branches of science: physical, Earth, and life. Instruction follows the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

Activities include studying the life cycle of a plant, observing energy in different forms, and weather patterns.
Technology: Teachers incorporate technology as a tool for reinforcing concepts when it enriches learning. While iPads and laptops are available during school hours, we do not implement a 1:1 device policy as a primary learning method.
Large Motor Skills: Children enhance their gross motor skills with outdoor play and indoor activities in our gymnasium. Specials:Students experience four specials twice a week: art, music, physical education, and Spanish, and they attend the library once a week.

To help meet each student’s needs, SOSM begins aimswebPlus literacy and math benchmarking assessments three times a year to identify students who need extra reading support or are ready for additional challenges. Our reading resource room offers intervention materials from evidence based programs, such as Wilson Reading Foundation K-3.

Grading System

The School of St. Mary is on a trimester system, and report cards will be sent home three times a year.  Kindergarten assessment includes many methods of collecting data - careful observation, the use of checklists of skills, anecdotal records, and student work.  Your child's learning and developmental progress is measured against the standards for their age level. Meeting these standards is a “work in progress” that takes the journey of a whole school year.  

Kindergarten Grading Key

  • N: Needs Improvement: The student has not achieved skills, concepts, or classroom expectations. It is evident that the student experiences difficulty in applying the skill; continued practice is necessary. 
  • G: Growing and Developing: The student is in the process of learning and applying the skills taught. Measurable progress and steady growth are being made towards understanding the concept. The student exhibits appropriate grade-level skill development.
  • P: Proficient: The student independently applies and integrates skills taught and usually demonstrates an understanding of the concepts. 
  • E: Exceeds Expectations: The student demonstrates a thorough understanding of the skills taught while revealing higher-level thinking. Students at this level are communicating learning in a variety of clear, original, and thoughtful ways.
  • NE: The teacher did not evaluate the skill or concept during this marking period. 

Session Information

The School of St. Mary will open the academic year on August 24, 2023. Kindergarten begins with an open house followed by half-days for the remainder of the week and concludes with a celebratory performance in June.
The School of St. Mary only offers a Full-Day, Full-time Kindergarten. Class meets Monday-Friday 8:45 a.m. through 3:15 p.m. 
Students must be 5 years old by September 1. 
Extended Day is available before school, beginning at 7:30 a.m. and after school until 5:30 p.m.
A shuttle bus for students with siblings at the Upper Grade Center (UGC) runs from the UGC before and after school.


Open Houses & Info Sessions


Schedule a tour




Mrs. Marcy Haubner


Teacher Assistant

Ms. Mary Fontaini

Mrs. Kathy Sirois


Teacher Assistant

Mrs. Beth Erickson

Upcoming Info Sessions

January 12th Virtual Kindergarten Preview Coffee

April 19th Virtual Kindergarten Information Session

May 16th New Family Walk

June 5th Kindergarten Welcome Day

Classroom Activities & Events

  • Halloween Celebration
  • Thanksgiving Feast
  • 100th Day of School Celebration
  • Christmas Nativity Program
  • Weekly Star Students
  • Field Trips
  • Special UGC Performances
  • 2nd Grade Buddies
  • Catholic Schools Week Presentations
  • Fly-up Day
  • End of year social
  • Parent Mystery Readers
  • Parent helpers