Hastings Catholic School teachers are continually reviewing and revising essentials at each grade level and in the course offered. We focus and align our curriculum to the expectations outlined in the Diocesan Standards and to one or more of the following established set of standards.
- Nebraska State Standards
- ACT College Readiness Standards
- Standards for the 21st Century Learner
- National Standards and Benchmarks for Effective Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools
St. Michael's Curriculum and Instruction
The majority of the day is spent on Language Arts. St. Michael's teachers use the Treasures Reading Series for reading, spelling, writing, and language skills development. Daily Five is used in the lower grades during small group reading instruction. Students receive both whole group and small group reading instruction. Small group instruction is flexible and students are in some cases moved across grade level if they need more of a challenge or if they need extra help.
Saxon Math is used K-5 for math instruction. This program has a spiral approach to learning. New skills are introduced every day and previously taught content is also reviewed daily. Students don't have a chance to forget the skills they have learned. In the lower grades, students bring home fact and skills practice most nights. In the upper grades, students complete a Power Up each day that covers facts, mental math, and problem solving. Then they complete the lesson. Tests are given about every ten lessons to check progress.
St. Michael's teachers use an inquiry-based approach to teaching science through FOSS (Full Option Science System). Students at every grade level have three FOSS modules: earth, life, and physical science. All grades have living creatures in their rooms for the life science module. Students also take science outside in certain lessons. Science journals are used almost daily, so writing skills are enhanced with this program.
Social Studies instruction occurs K-5. Students study regions as small as neighborhoods and as large as North America and everything in-between. Geography, Nebraska State History, responsibilities of citizens, and the economy are other topics covered through instruction using the Houghton Mifflin series.
Students have Religion classes each day, where they are instructed in the Catholic faith with the Faith and Life Series. Four days a week the classroom teacher is the instructor, but once a week a priest teaches the class. Students get to know priests as real people, form relationships with them, and learn the Catholic faith from them.
Besides the core area, students receive PE, music, library, and computer classes from teachers certified in those areas. Classroom teachers teach art within their own classrooms on a weekly basis.
St. Michael's Extra-Curricular Activities
Quiz Bowl -- Any 4th and 5th Grade student wishing to participate takes a general knowledge test and students with the highest scores are selected. Quiz Bowl students meet after school to practice and attend the ESU 9 Quiz Bowl Competition in the spring.
Spirit Singers -- Any 5th Grade student wishing to sing and dance is welcome to participate in Spirit Singers. This group meets once a week after school and performs in Hastings, Kearney, and at the two school concerts each year.