St. Louis King of France School, located at 1600 Lake Avenue, Metairie, Louisiana, is a Catholic parochial elementary school located one block outside of the Orleans Parish line in Jefferson Parish. Established in 1947, St. Louis King of France Parish is unique in that its parishioners reside in two separate civil parishes, Orleans and Jefferson. The community is diverse, and is comprised of a mixture of ethnic backgrounds, professions and family structures.
It is a basic premise at St. Louis King of France that all students must be offered opportunities to explore and study significant content subjects. The comprehensive, rigorous curriculum is enriched by the inclusion of the following content areas: Music (featuring a piano lab), Choir, Drama (which includes a talent show and play), Foreign Language, Computer, Library Skills, P.E., and Science labs.
Throughout the past sixty-one years, St. Louis King of France School has always been committed to excellent academics that are enhanced by additional school programming which develops the whole child.
All SLKF teachers meet the necessary certification requirements of the State of Louisiana. Textbooks are current and carefully chosen to support the curriculum that is aligned with the Louisiana Department of Education’s Grade Level Expectations. SLKF uses up-to-date, quality instructional technology equipment, hardware, software, electronic databases, wireless access and web-based communication programs to further enrich instruction and home-school communication.
The instructional day begins at 7:40 a.m. and continues through 3:20 p.m. Kindergarten through seventh grades are departmentalized and separated by gender.
The academic program at St. Louis King of France is based on the Catholic philosophy of education and requirements of the Louisiana State Department of Education. It is designed to meet the needs of our students in today’s world and to challenge their abilities. St. Louis King of France School is AdvanceED/SACS accredited and a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence.
Religion is an integral part of every day life at SLKF, as well as an academic subject. Students learn that being Catholic is not just about one class, but that it is a way of life. Every student is expected to embrace Christian standards in all they do. Heavy emphasis is placed upon living out our Catholic beliefs through prayer, service and learning how we can help others. Each day begins with a prayer and sharing of intentions. Students in Middle School lead the class in prayer. Students in seventh grade create their own prayer services to share with the class. The Loyola Press Christ Our Life and the Pflaum Publishing Gospel Weeklies series are used in Kindergarten through seventh grades, as well as a variety of additional educational and supplemental resources. Grades PK3 and PK4 use a specially designed early childhood religious program called Discovering God (Sadlier). All aspects of the Catholic religion are explored including the Sacraments, different types of prayer, Church history, Catholic social teaching and service to others. Second grade receives Sacramental preparation for First Reconciliation and First Communion. Kindergarten through seventh grades attend Mass on a weekly basis and on holy days of obligation. Each class is responsible for preparing, reading and participating in school masses. Students also read during monthly Sunday School Parish Masses.
Each First Friday, the school celebrates Exposition and Adoration of the Holy Eucharist. During Advent, the whole school prays together in the morning and lights the Advent wreath. The Living Nativity is presented by the seventh grade class, which is always held the night before the closing of the Christmas Holidays. The faculty and administration give each role specifically to a student based on his or her personal qualities that are exhibited throughout their middle school years. It is an honor for an SLKF student to be chosen for specific roles. Kindergarten presents a Nativity play during the Christmas Mass. During Lent, the whole school attends Stations of the Cross weekly and the fourth grade presents a Passion Play. Students also have the opportunity to go to confession during Advent and Lent. Service projects are done several times a year, benefitting several different local and national agencies. Middle school coordinates these projects. Other special projects during the year include the Living Rosary, Archdiocesan-wide masses, a student-centered St. Joseph’s altar, buddy projects with older and younger students, a pet blessing, Saints’ celebrations, Catholic Schools’ Week, the Homeless Simulation for 6th grade, Calling All 5th Graders, 7th Grade Retreat and the May Crowning.
Non-Catholic students are expected to participate in Religion classes and activities. This position is made clear to the students and their parents at the time of registration. While they are responsible for the subject matter, religious beliefs of the Catholic faith are not forced upon non-Catholic students. Non-Catholic students attend weekly Mass but do not receive Holy Communion. At present, 20% of the student body is of other faiths.
The primary goal of the Language Arts Program is to provide students with the skills necessary to read, comprehend and evaluate material in order to express themselves through written and verbal communication. In order to meet the needs of all students, Reading and Language Arts are taught as separate subjects at SLKF in all grade levels. Correlation and integration of the two facets of Language Arts, however, occur on a daily basis in all classrooms. Grades first through seventh use both a writing and grammar series that are accommodating to all writers on varying levels of performance.
The primary grades’ curriculum includes phonics, spelling, grammar, both silent and oral reading, story time and creative writing activities. In grades fifth through seventh, reading skills, grammar, vocabulary, oral presentation, critical thinking skills and creative writing make up the core of the Middle School curriculum. Students explore all styles of writing such as stories, poetry, essays, books, research projects, letters, editorials and plays. Fifth through seventh grades are entered in both state and national poetry and short stories contests. In all grade levels, enrichment activities are used to promote and enhance the student’s academic achievement. Students in grades kindergarten through seventh express themselves through daily journal entries. Students have access to over 12,000 books in the school library and to language arts computer software in the computer lab. Students are afforded the opportunities to observe the English language at work via guest speakers, field trips and live stage performances.
In Middle School, reading is literature-based. Reading comprehension, inference skills, vocabulary building, sequencing and figurative language are taught. Students in Lower and Middle School are assigned novels for classroom use as well as independent reading throughout the year supported by analytical writing activities. Students in Lower School are also assigned age-appropriate novels and learn through follow-up writing activities. English grammar is emphasized with daily sentence activities, proofreading marks, peer editing and peer responding activities, writing exercises using story prompts, sentence builders, rubrics and structured topics. Throughout the school year students of the Middle School help to revise and edit stories written by Lower School students.
Grades Kindergarten through sixth use the Harcourt Mifflin Harcourt, GO MATH! series of textbooks. These books are aligned with the State of Louisiana Academic Standards and contain algebra readiness links starting in kindergarten. With all math teachers using the textbook series in their classes, a logical progression from one year to the next affords the students continuity in their math education. Each teacher in grades Kindergarten through sixth can see what the teachers in the next grades are teaching by using the Sequence of Math Skills being taught at SLKF. This enables the teachers to prepare their students to move to the next grades.
Seventh grade uses the Glencoe Math, Louisiana Edition series of textbooks, which are aligned with the State of Louisiana Academic Standards. These textbooks contain algebra links both in numerical and in word problems. Since the Middle School textbooks are aligned, the students at SLKF enjoy a logical, continuous progression from one year to the next in their math classes. Also, the teachers can easily connect the concepts for their students from year to year. The SLKF Sequence of Math Skills clearly illustrates the skills being taught in the Middle School math classes and assists the teachers in determining what supplemental materials are needed to enrich their students’ math education.
Along with the traditional teaching methods, such as whiteboard and projector work, oral drills, and problem solving, a substantial amount of hands-on math activities, critical thinking skills, mental math exercises, cooperative learning, peer tutoring and a back-to-basics philosophy are employed. The mathematics textbooks emphasize Louisiana Academic Standards and preparation for algebra problems even in the elementary grades, building a strong base for algebra readiness when the students reach Middle School at SLKF.
SLKF students are involved in a hands-on experience-based Science curriculum from PK2 through seventh grade. First through fifth grades use the McGraw-Hill Science, Louisiana Edition series to ensure continuity in the lower grades. The sixth and seventh grades use the Glencoe Integrated Science, Louisiana Edition series to maintain continuity throughout the school. In addition to the textbook in first through seventh grades, the curriculum is supplemented by a number of computer programs, video sources and lab activities. The Science Lab is equipped with materials and furnishings needed for all grade levels to use with their Science programs. With a hands-on, multi-sensory approach, SLKF is better able to accommodate the varied learning styles of its students. Each classroom has Internet access and Science textbooks are available online with additional reinforcement activities, tutoring and quizzes to help students to understand concepts. Videos and resource materials are available in the school library and the science lab for all teachers and students to use.
Teachers in Kindergarten include thematic units on topics such as butterflies, plants, the solar system, weather, the senses and the seasons. Guest speakers and field trips enhance the science curriculum. Field trips include visits to the Children’s Museum, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Aquarium of the Americas, Audubon Zoo, Longue Vue Gardens, Global Wildlife Center and the Insectarium.
First through seventh grades are taught an integrated Science program which includes Physical, Earth and Life Sciences. Students are encouraged to develop analytical, critical and creative thinking through various classroom activities. Middle School students use the scientific method of investigation by stating a problem, hypothesizing, inferring, collecting data on each experiment and drawing conclusions. Students in Middle School also participate in a school science fair where they display their knowledge of the scientific method and share this with the rest of the school through presentations of their projects. Students enhance their experiences in the various fields of scientific study through researching topics in the library and on the Internet, making models, graphing and performing lab experiments. Sixth grade students attend Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama for three days as a culmination of their studies about space.
The course of study in the Social Studies program is geared to increasing students’ understanding of the world, both past and present, and to instill the desire to become involved citizens in our republic. Students in Kindergarten through fourth grade use a textbook supplemented with seasonal units such as a Columbus Day celebration, a Veterans’ Day memorial service and a Thanksgiving pageant and feast. Field trips to the Cabildo, a working farm and a fire station provide historical background and a sense of community. Middle School students study American History and World History. All grade levels study geography to enhance student understanding of material encountered in Social Studies. Classroom maps, software and intent resources supplement the program. The SLKF schoolyard contains a 27 ft. x 15 ft. hand painted map of the United States, which allows for various enrichment games in the study of the states.
American History is taught in fifth and seventh grades with emphasis on the period up to the Reconstruction in fifth grade and from Reconstruction to the present in seventh grade. In sixth grade, the course of study is World History. Hands-on activities and research projects foster learning through the use of primary source analysis, Document Based Questions, web quests, and various student created media. Learning is further increased through the development of note-taking skills, vocabulary study and the use of fiction/non-fiction books and computers for research. A number of videos relating to Social Studies are available in the library for use by all grade levels. Copies of primary source documents such as the Declaration of Independence, Louisiana Purchase and diaries of early colonists make history come alive for students. Class discussions allow for opinions to be expressed in an atmosphere of respect for differences.
Seventh grade students travel to Washington, D.C. to enhance their knowledge of American History and government. This is an invaluable tool in the education of our students. They visit the White House, the Capital, the Supreme Court Building, the Holocaust Museum, Arlington National Cemetery, FBI Academy, all national war monuments and spend time at both Jamestown and Williamsburg, Virginia. The seventh grade also visits the D-day Museum in their study of World War II.
The music program at SLKF enriches the curriculum, as well as our student’s lives. Nursery (PK1) through Kindergarten attends music class between 20 and 60 minutes a week. The performance-based curriculum uses MENC National Standards as well as Louisiana State Standards. Students in early childhood explore musical concepts and notation recognition through singing, dancing, games and playing musical instruments.
First through fourth grades attend music once a week for 70 minutes. The performance-based curriculum uses MENC National Standards and Louisiana State Standards, as well as Kodaly and Orff Methods. Students explore musical concepts and read music through singing, dancing, games, and playing musical instruments. Choral and recorder lessons as well as composing begin at the third grade level. Beginning piano lessons are part of our curriculum for all students beginning in fourth grade.
Middle School attends music twice a week for 45 minutes. The performance-based curriculum used MENC National Standards and Louisiana State Standards, as well as Kodaly and Orff Methods. Students read, perform and compose music through a variety of outlets, which include choral, recorder, piano, drums, xylophones and many other percussion instruments. Middle School students perform in several Christmas performances around the City of New Orleans. Besides the fundamentals of music and vocal health, they also learn to sing liturgical, classical, Broadway and gospel tunes.
Our Crusader Church Choir is comprised of Middle School students who help lead our Mass congregation in song each Friday morning as well as some Sunday morning Masses. Each year, they perform in a Mass for the Rosary Congress. Several of these students are also chosen for All-District and All-State Honors Choirs.
Students in Middle School may participate in Drama Club. Students audition for acting rolls, learn the elements of stage and set design, lighting and state direction, props as well as hair and make-up, as they put on a polished musical performance open to the public.
Students in Nursery (PK1) through Kindergarten are taught Spanish and the curriculum at this level is used to familiarize the children with the basics of the language. The focus is on numbers, colors, basic greetings and other rudimentary vocabulary such as the names of family members, animals, parts of the body and items commonly found around home and school. With the support of many audio-visual aids, puzzles and other language games and activities, these goals are achieved.
The work done in Nursery (PK1) through Kindergarten is reinforced and continued in a manner appropriate to each grade level with an emphasis on the development of vocabulary. Students begin to learn simple grammar principles and basic conversation skills. A variety of audio-visual aids, as well as language games and competence building activities are utilized to attain these goals. Books are available for students in the Spanish classroom and in the library.
In Middle School, more complex grammar principles are taught and vocabulary is expanded. The study of Spanish culture is infused into the curriculum. Instructional techniques include the use of audio-visual aids, language learning games and online learning programs.
Physical education prepares children to be physically and mentally active as well as fit and healthy for life, and this is one of our many goals for students at St. Louis King of France School. Our physical education program focuses on physical fitness and skills development, achieved through stretching and various exercises, as well as individual and team sports. Skills and athleticism are important, but attitude, cooperation, sportsmanship, leadership and having fun are equally as significant.
Students in the nursery (PK1) through Kindergarten have PE anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes once a week. Students in first through fourth grades have PE once a week for 70 minutes, and fifth through seventh grades have PE twice a week for 45 minutes each class. Hand-eye coordination and gross motor skills are crucial abilities for all ages as well as learning to have fun while exercising!
Physical education promotes leadership skills and self-esteem while teaching self-discipline and building strong peer relationships. P.E. helps out children reach their goals on the field, in the classroom and in life!
Computer technology is everywhere! In this day and age, our children are the “Digital Natives” while WE are the “Digital Immigrants”. Although that’s not going to change, the Computer curriculum at SLKF strives to harness the students’ aptitude and put it to use while incorporating the basic concepts of technology and computers.
One hundred and fifty computers have been placed in the classrooms, library, computer lab, faculty lounge and administrative offices ensuring that teachers and students have significant access to technology.
The computer lab is equipped with twenty-six Apple iMac computers for students use with a full-time computer teacher. All students in grades PreK4 through seventh grades are scheduled once a rotation for computer class. They are instructed in computer literacy, introduction to the Internet, keyboarding skills, Internet safety, office applications such as Microsoft Word, Excel and Power Point, digital photography, podcasting and audio/video recording. Students use both desktop and laptop computers for research and projects throughout their entire curriculum.
All teachers have been in-serviced on basic computer skills, Internet usage for research and technology that has been implemented in classrooms. Students are encouraged to use word processing for assignments and presentation software for their presentations.
Many other types of educational media equipment are readily available to teachers and students. Televisions, VCR and DVD players, projectors, Smartboards™, SmartTable™, overhead calculators, video iPods, digital cameras, video cameras, flash drives and a collection of educational software titles are in the classrooms or housed in the computer lab, library and laptops for use.
Grades at SLKF School are generated using online grade books. Progress reports and report cards for the first through seventh grade are distributed electronically. All school database, attendance, discipline, reporting and billing records are recorded and monitored by software designed specifically for this purpose. Updated information can easily be accessed by teachers, students and parents from the school website and Edline© pages.
Alumni, parents and students can access the school website at www.slkfschool.com or on Edline© at www.edline.net/pages/slkfschool to obtain information about upcoming events, schedules, extracurricular activities and lunch menus. Our Edline© site includes individual webpages for teachers and their classes, which enable students to view homework and grades as well as download assignments, handouts and any other information necessary from home.
All office record keeping is done via a database that has been specifically designed for the school’s needs. All records can be accessed via the Internet, which results in more efficient and effective management for all concerned.
Learning resources are available and effectively used by faculty, staff and students for gathering information and sharing the results of their efforts. The Library/Media Center is well stocked with print media (over 12,000 volumes) and technological resources. In addition to a Smartboard™, twelve student computers and a mobile lab of laptops are housed in the school library. The school utilizes an online library catalog and provides a subscription to the online encyclopedia World Book Online for every student. Both of these resources are available to students and faculty both on and off campus.
The students in PK2 – PK4 visit the library once a week. The youngest of our students enjoy coming to the library for story time. They also learn literature appreciation and the care and handling of books by participating in hands on activities using our special board book and PK collection.
The students in Kindergarten through fourth grades visit the library once a week. Students in Kindergarten will visit the library for story time, an activity and checking out books. Students in first through third grades have literature appreciation through reading aloud and book talks. They also learn a library or research skill, and check out books. In addition to literature appreciation, learning a library or research skill, and checking out books, students in fourth grade participate in a Study Skills course in library. The Study Skills course teaches students’ organizational skills, as well as study and test taking skills. In all lower school library classes, students will learn:
Middle School students visit the library twice a week for an 85-minute block. Some of the various middle school library and research skills taught include:
Middle School students also participate in a Study Skills course in library.
All of the students also have special library lessons that supplement specific classroom curriculums.
Library services are coordinated and integrated into the instructional program. The librarian works with classroom teachers on various projects. As the librarian is advised of upcoming assignments, materials are pulled and made readily available to the students. Teachers may check out any materials from the library to enhance their curriculum. The librarian is always available to offer consultation and book recommendations to enhance any teacher’s curriculum.
In the SLKF Pre-Kindergarten programs (PK3 and PK4), the approach to learning is hands-on and child-centered. We develop and prepare readiness skills, communication skills and expand creative expression. Through activities, we work on fine and gross motor skills. The number one goal at SLKF is to develop the whole child both intellectually and emotionally.
The Pre-Kindergarten program at SLKF follows the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s (NAEYC) developmentally appropriate practices, which are defined by the following core values:
Our program strives to meet the developmental needs of each child in the areas of physical, emotional and cognitive development by providing appropriate activities and experiences. Our approach in guiding the children in their development follows these ideas:
The faculty provides a fun, loving environment while introducing pre-kindergarten skills through age appropriate activities, both teacher and child directed, within small groups. The day includes circle time, center time (library, blocks, fine motor skills manipulates, housekeeping, arts and crafts), whole group activities, outside play, lunch, nap and free play. The students also participate in Spanish, library, music and P.E. classes.
In preparation for Kindergarten, the PK3 and PK4 classes employ the following skill-building practices daily in the classroom:
At St. Louis King of France School, a child can transition to Kindergarten when he/she is: