At Our Lady of the Lake Catholic School, our goal is to provide students with an exceptional elementary education. We believe this is necessary to set a firm foundation for learning. Our qualified professional educators have a content-rich curriculum and are extremely dedicated to Catholic education.
OLL students learn and grow in an atmosphere that is structured to be calm, yet full of exciting, faith-filled learning opportunities. Our students feel nurtured and valued by their teachers who work to create a sense of security and an environment in which students thrive and reach their full potential.
We believe the foundation of religion is the conviction that God is always present in our daily lives. Our Lady of the Lake Catholic School integrates Faith into all components of the student’s day. All Elementary students participate in morning prayer and reflection, daily religion classes and weekly school mass with student participation along with observing the liturgical seasons and participating in services during Advent, Lent and Catholic Schools Week.
Our monthly service projects foster the foundation of both local and global awareness and encourage engagement in the world around them. We model the teaching of Christ to create life-long learning with Christ as our foundation and provide our students the opportunities to be the hands and feet of Christ.
Elementary School students learn to read in the early grades through an intensive phonics program that hones skills in decoding and spelling, promoting rapid progress in reading fluency. Instruction in reading comprehension skills begins in the primary grades. Elementary Students learn how to critically analyze what they read, searching for cause and effect in stories, connecting and comparing texts, and determining the author’s perspective. Elementary School students receive full instruction in the “nuts and bolts” of the English language. The Language Arts curriculum is enriched through the use of Phonics, Guided Reading and Handwriting.
The study of Grammar, Spelling, Vocabulary, and classic literary works contribute to the students’ mastery of the writing process. Students progress from understanding simple sentence structure in early grades to diagramming more complex sentences in the later grades. Writing is an essential curricular focus in the Elementary School. Students write in various forms and genres, including creative writing, poetry, simple research writing, personal narratives, and opinion writing assignments. We focus on the writing process by writing rough drafts, editing and writing a final draft. Elementary and Middle School students receive instruction and support to gain skill in preparing and presenting oral reports. In various grades, students research the lives of Saints, Holy men and women of the Bible, important historical figures, or famous scientists.
Our Elementary School Mathematics program develops the student’s number sense, as well as build strong skills in mathematical thinking and foundational mathematical topics. Elementary School students receive blended instruction in basic mathematical concepts and explore the concepts through the use of technology, concrete manipulative items, drawing diagrams or creating pictorial representations of both real-world and symbolically presented math problems. This approach allows our teachers to differentiate their instruction to meet the needs of each student. Mastery of simple concepts allows students to build upon a strong knowledge base as a prerequisite for critical thought of abstract mathematical terms and understanding more complex topics.
The Elementary School uses the online based curriculum. Their placement within this program is tailored to their learning by linking it to their NWEA scores. Using that data, students are guided into specific lessons. This online curriculum provides individualized learning for students at their own learning level, which is in addition to the small group math instruction with their peers. These online lessons provide a consistent best-practice lesson structure and build conceptual understanding, in addition to being engaging and fun for learners of all levels. The i-Ready curriculum is enriched with small group activities, manipulatives, and projects.
The Elementary Science program is designed to make hands-on science engaging for all students. Today’s students’ quality of life will be significantly influenced by science and technology. It is important for all students to be scientifically literate throughout their life. They should be able to make thoughtful, informed decisions appropriate to their age and experience.
We believe science should enhance each student’s curiosity and develop their ability to investigate, analyze and explain the biological, physical, chemical and technological world around them. Our teachers balance the use of hands-on experiences and direct instruction to excite students about the life cycle of various species, weather, the solar system, light, sound and a variety of other topics.
The scientific method is taught and practiced. Through the course of their Elementary School years, students will study biology in such units as the systems of the human body, basic cell structure, animal classifications, plant reproduction and more. Physical science is studied through units such as simple machines, magnets and electricity. Weather and climate are studied and connect to the study of Geography. Students complete simple research projects, write reports, and give oral presentations on their findings.
The Elementary School Social Studies program connects our students to their place in the world as citizens of the United States and as children of God. Our teachers help students understand significant events in history, develop citizenship skills and learn about our country. Elementary students are rooted in an appreciation and love for their own culture and history in western civilization, while also learning about the cultures and contributions of other civilizations. Our curriculum fosters the acceptance of cultural diversity in our global society. Catholic values are upheld an taught when discussing the subject of diversity. Through understanding the past and present, OLL students will be able to meet the challenges of their future.
Our Lady of the Lake Catholic School’s Social Studies program focuses on guiding children to understand different interactions within the society in which they live and how these interactions affect their own lifestyle and others around them. OLL instills the attitudes and values necessary for children to function as responsible citizens in our society. Our Lady of the Lake’s Social Studies curriculum guides students to work towards a socially just world for all people. A Catholic world-view is upheld while teaching about social justice.
Our Lady of the Lake Catholic School students are introduced to Spanish starting in our Pre-kindergarten program. We believe through the study of another language and culture, OLL students will gain a better understanding of the world and the many areas of diversity throughout. Students are guided to learn Spanish through hands-on activities, games, visuals, participation, movement/following directions (Total Physical Response, TPR), music/singing, dance, dialogues/skits, guest speakers, listening, repetition, memorization, technology, reading, writing, speaking and cultural activities to help students become familiar with basic conversational skills in Spanish.
Everyday vocabulary and useful phrases are introduced and reinforced through listening, repetition, hands on activities, following directions (TPR) and musical and visual prompts. Students learn to utilize the language to communicate likes/dislikes, needs, wants, greetings, introductions, descriptions and an array of questions and answers. Students also begin to cultivate an appreciation, understanding and respect of the culture and traditions of Spanish-speaking communities. Through practice, the primary goal of learning a secondary language is to understand and be understood through meaningful communication.
We believe technology is a vital component of our blended learning instructional model at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic School. We provide our students with digital curricula that supports instruction in all subjects. Technology is used to enrich and expand learning beyond the traditional textbook and classroom discussion. Our goal is to integrate technology skills into everyday classroom academics.
Our Lady of the Lake Catholic School provides 1:1 Chromebook use for each student in Kindergarten-8th grade. Wi-Fi is available throughout the building and all Elementary School classrooms have internet access through classroom computers and the Smartboard. Elementary teachers prepare and augment lessons through the use of educationally valuable internet sites.
Music education affords children the opportunity for experimentation, creativity, self-expression and a genuine love of music. Our music curriculum directly connects to core subjects and brings cultures from all over the world into the classroom. Music education increases student appreciation of all the arts and develops skills for life-long enjoyment.
Our Lady of the Lake Catholic School has two main music curricula, Music Connection and Theory Time, as well as a huge variety of other resources enabling students to cover in great depth and breadth many musical genres throughout the course of the year. Music is hands-on singing and playing, creating and evaluating, games and moving. Elementary School students are introduced to basic music theory, learn to play simple instruments and have choral experiences. Each year, genres from jazz to classical are introduced and studied and students learn to identify and appreciate the works of renowned composers. Band instrument instruction is available to fourth grade students and continues into the Middle School. All students perform in fully staged grade level concerts twice per year, at Christmas time and in the spring. Our Liturgical Choir provides music leadership at Mass each week with many opportunities for solos. All students have other performance opportunities including school programs, the City of Mound Tree Lighting, Catholic Schools Week, and other special events.
Our Lady of the Lake Catholic School’s art program is project based and focuses on a balance of creative experiences, skill development, and exposure to a variety of cultures and artists throughout history. Students develop a visual literacy, and learn to express themselves in ways that go beyond verbal and written expression. This communication is a vital part of students’ personal realization and well-being. It is also an important element in helping students engage in the community and feel connected to others through culture and history. Projects include a variety of media including fired ceramic work, drawing, painting, printmaking, and sculpture.
Our Lady of the Lake Catholic School’s goal is to provide students with the knowledge, skills and enthusiasm to maintain a healthy Christian lifestyle into adulthood. These skills include but are not limited to promoting physical fitness, motor skill development, knowledge of rules and strategies and teaching students to work as a team. Social skills such as respect, teamwork, sportsmanship and cooperation are all integral parts of our physical education curriculum.
Through our Physical Education classes, students from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade, learn different ways to enjoy being active. A variety of team activities are taught, inclusive of football, soccer, basketball, and dodgeball, among others. All grades focus on the same units with expectations activities edified by grade level and age appropriateness.