Special Subjects

Special Subjects

Info about special subjects: Creative Arts, Spanish, Physical Education, Music, Band, Orchestra, Library, Guidance and Technology.

Want to learn about our Special Subjects staff? CLICK HERE

Creative Arts

In the Art Room, Kindergarten through 8th Grade have many different focuses throughout the year.

  • For Early Childhood, our focus is to master the basic skills such as using scissors properly, how to use a paint brush, the different paint types, and so much more!
  • For Early Adolescence-Adolescence, we focus on using the skills we have mastered to create choice-based artwork. The kids are encouraged to choose to make artwork that interests them and gets them excited to create art.  They are given a direction and guideline as to the subject or topic at hand, but are then given the responsibility of choosing what interests them. In the classroom, we learn about the different artists that have had an impact on civilization throughout history and how art has evolved over time.

Throughout the year, we work towards creating artwork to display in the Art Show that occurs towards the end of the year in the Spring Spectacular.  The kids work very hard for this special time of the year. We also collaborate with many different subject areas. The Science Fair and Art Show have coincided for the past few years. During this time, we typically draw quite a crowd in to see all of the great work produced. Also every year in Middle School, Science, Physical Education, and Art take a combined field trip to High Cliff where they learn how to navigate a compass while exploring the landscape and geologic features and creation of the area along with creating installations with nature.


The Spanish curriculum at St. John School is a comprehensive program starting in kindergarten. Younger students are immersed in the language through songs and stories in Spanish. Movement games are incorporated and basic vocabulary is introduced (numbers, colors, days and months, animals, family, weather). As students progress through the years, they learn basic conversation and practice speaking with partners. They increase their vocabulary through theme based units, and often express the new vocabulary through artwork. Older students begin to learn the basic grammatical structures of the Spanish language. They practice speaking, listening, reading and writing to help them gain confidence in using the language. They learn prayers, poems and songs to reinforce the natural flow of the language. They read short stories and novels for comprehension and for starting points in discussion and reflection. By the time they graduate from St. John School, students have a strong foundation in the language and are well prepared to begin Spanish II at the high school level.

Physical Education

  • PK-1st grade: Students concentrate on motor skills such as throwing, catching and kicking. They also practice locomotor movements that include skipping, galloping, jumping, hopping, sliding, walking and running. Students are encouraged to use good sportsmanship and to follow safety rules in class.
  • 2nd – 3rd grade: Students continue to work on skills used in various sports. They begin to learn basic rules, and participate in lead up games that are a precursor to regular team sports & lifetime activities. Students are encouraged to use good sportsmanship and to follow safety rules.  
  • 4th – 5th grade: Students are introduced to more organized sports & lifetime activities and begin to learn the rules of various activities more in-depth. Students are beginning to understand the team sport concept and working together. Sportsmanship is emphasized, as well as having good character and encouraging classmates.
  • 6th – 8th grade: Students are put into game situations after learning rules and reviewing skills needed to participate. Good character and sportsmanship is emphasized as well as being an active participant.


Preschool and Kindergarten students will develop skills through learning many songs and singing games as well as finger plays and stories. Students will learn in-tune singing, feeling for the beat, and identify rhythm patterns of familiar songs. They will develop the ability to step and clap rhythm and beat, and to understand the concepts of high-low, loud-soft, and fast-slow.

Grades 1-5 will study a variety of styles of music to develop skills in the following areas:

  • Singing:  Singing in-tune, in rhythm and expressively, demonstrating good posture and keeping a steady beat.
  • Instrumental: Using classroom instruments to play in-tune, in rhythm and expressively, keeping a steady beat.
  • Creating music by doing simple improvising and composing music
  • Reading music: Read whole, half, quarter, eighth, dotted notes and rests in 2/4, 3/4, and 4/4 meter signatures. Read music pitches using solfa syllables used in the Kodaly methodology. Read traditional music symbols and terms.
  • Respond to music: develop a love for music through listening skills identifying phrases and form in music. Identify sounds of a variety of instruments. Respond through purposeful movement such as using motions, performing folk dances, and using choreography.
  • Perform music: Demonstrate and share the skills learned by singing and playing music in the classroom, at concerts and in the Mass setting.

Grades 6-8 will continue developing music reading, writing and performance skills through the study of the elements of music. The students will exhibit these skills through singing, playing classroom instruments and performing at concerts and other school events such as Mass. Students will also be given the opportunity to enhance their music skills through elective participation in band, orchestra or chorus.

Library – IMC

Students in 4K through 5th grade library classes learn library skills including how to search for books, proper care and handling of library materials, and using a computer catalog.  As students progress through the grades, the information literacy skills they learn in library class become more complex and include research skills.  Students learn about the Dewey Decimal System and how to use it to find books and information. They also learn how to use various reference materials. Students also learn techniques for finding materials that are at the proper reading level for them. They learn about the different fiction genres, and are exposed to a wide variety of reading materials, both fiction and nonfiction.  As part of their weekly library class, 4K through 2nd grade students have story time based around a central theme. While 6th through 8th grades do not have library class, they do use the library for reading, research, and small group work.


St. John School’s Counseling program is focused on the social/emotional, academic and college and career readiness of all students. With a full-time, licensed School Counselor on staff, the emotional needs of the students always comes first. The addition of faith to the counseling program allows your child to grow emotionally and in faith. The counselor works closely with teachers to help students have an enjoyable and successful year. Individual counseling session are available by request from the parents, student or teachers.

Curriculum Highlights:

  • Personal Safety
  • Bullying
  • College and Career readiness
  • Respect and Friendship
  • Alcohol and Drug awareness
  • Internet safety
  • Puberty

Student Safety & Support.  A safe environment and a full-time school counselor provides the support any student may need.


Each classroom has a smartboard to enhance the learning experience with skills teachers bring forward.

PreK-4 and kindergarten students have iPad integration, promoting educational games to further enhance math, reading, writing, and social skills. 

As a G-Suite (i.e. Google) school, kindergarten through 8th grade students all have Google logins in the school domain. Students learn the basics of computer login, digital citizenship, and creative processes using multiple online tools. 

Students in grades 1-5 have access to Chromebooks in the classroom as needed and students in grades 6-8 have 1:1 integration for furthering the academic experiences with exploring new tools with technology.