St. Raphael Catholic School offers students the opportunity to participate in co-curricular classes. Those classes include art, music/band, resource (as needed), physical education, spanish, and technology. A brief description of each class is given below.
The art program, offered to students in kindergarten through eighth grade, is integrated with classroom study units, the religious activities of the school and parish, and community awareness in a sequential manner keyed to the student’s growth and development. Art instruction at the elementary level introduces the basic concepts of color, line, shape, drawing, painting, composition, and introduces students to the work of famous artists. The focus for the intermediate students includes design emphasizing texture, balance, shading, printing, clay and paper-mâché. Middle school lessons relate to periods in art history from ancient art to modern American artists, with compositions and includes comparing colors for intensity, use of line in creating designs with perspective and symmetry, carving, and sculpting. Student work is entered in to juried show around the community, and our annual art show held each spring.
St. Raphael Catholic School offers a highly regarded band and music program. We are the only true symphonic band program in the entire diocese. Our most experienced band members have the opportunity to audition for the coveted Pinellas All County Band, which performs annually at the Mahaffey Theater. Last year we placed 3rd county-wide out of 24 schools for the number of students selected to participate in the All County Band. We are the only Catholic school to have ever participated in this event and for the past 15 consecutive years, one or more of our students has been selected for this honor. Our band and music programs are comprised of several components ensuring all our students are exposed to music and can find an area of interest:
• Recorder Karate
• Music Therapy
• Beginning Bell Choir
• Angel Choir
• Middle School Band
As a result of our early introduction to music and varied programs, many of our students pursue music lessons and continue to participate in a band or choral program through their high school years.
Physical Education is an important part of our curriculum. PE encompasses the development of a child's mental, social and physical abilities. Our students participate in loco motor skills, direction and listening skills, social development, cooperative games, fun based activities and fundamentals of health education. As children progress through school they begin to play modified sports and build aerobic endurance. An overall goal of the program is to encourage children to participate in life-long physical activities.
Resource is a service at St. Raphael Catholic School and is open to any student who has a Student Support Plan, or is in the process of qualifying to have one. This year we are focusing on the Response to Intervention (RTI) model. Response to Intervention (RTI) integrates assessment and intervention with a multi-level prevention system to maximize student achievement. RTI is a framework for making instructional decisions based on data in order to accelerate learning for all students. We monitor student progress, provide evidence based interventions and adjust the intensity and nature of these interventions depending on a student’s responsiveness. We strive to have every student work at the top of his or her ability level.
Every student at St. Raphael Catholic School takes Spanish. The Spanish curriculum for the elementary school students is primarily vocabulary based, covering topics such as greetings, numbers, colors, shapes, foods and clothing, parts of the body, classroom items and members of a family. In addition, students participate in a variety of activities including oral repetition, labeling, singing, and writing. The middle school students receive large amounts of grammar and vocabulary instruction supplemented with oral exercises in reading and reciting. Instruction in all levels is complemented with materials highlighting cultural activities and projects to explore the history, geography, and cultural life of Spanish-speaking countries.
All students in grades K – 8 take a technology class and are able to supplement class work with time in the Technology Lab. The Diocese of St. Petersburg has adopted the National Education Technology Standards (NET-S). To meet these standards, St. Raphael Catholic School is using TechnoKids for students in kindergarten through fifth grade. This curriculum covers computer basics, word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, keyboarding, internet basics, databases, drawing and graphics. Middle school students use the TechnoKids, which includes and advanced word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, multimedia, and databases. In addition, we use CyberSmart whose curriculum focuses on online safety and security, manners, cyber bullying, ethics, research, and Information Fluency. TypingWeb is used to teach students in grades three through eight how to type with speed and accuracy.
The Media Center at St. Raphael Catholic School strives to promote the ideal of "Lifelong Learners and Lifelong Readers". We ensure that each grade has weekly class during which informational skills or literature enrichment lessons occur. Our flexible access policy accommodates individuals and small groups by providing additional time for research, reading or private study.
Other highlights of our Media Center are:
- fully computerized circulation desk
- subscription to Encyclopedia Britannica online - for on campus or off campus use
- readers advisory service
- participation in Florida Sunshine State Young Reader's Award
- Use of Scholastic Reading Counts!