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Academics

Choose a St. Raphael Catholic education not only for its academic excellence, but also for the religious instruction that is offered each day, and integrated across all curricular areas.  While our curriculum is aligned with the National Common Core Standards, Illinois State Learning Standards, it is infused with Catholic Identity.  This makes instruction consistent with what is expected throughout Illinois, as well as what is specific to the Joliet Diocese.  Our Eighth Grade graduates have an outstanding record of being accepted into the high schools of their choice.

  • The curriculum stresses academic achievement within a Christian community in which the child feels that he/she is respected by his/her peers as well as by the teacher.  Vatican II texts are used so that our theology is in compliance with the bishops of the world.  United with each other in meaningful liturgy and prayer, students come to an understanding of the Christian life.  At St. Raphael Catholic School, we are attempting to "teach as Jesus did".

  • Daily curriculum includes reading, language arts, math, science, social studies, and religion.  Regular physical education, music, art, Spanish, library, and technology enhance the curriculum.  Enriching our curriculum are remedial classes and a resource program serving students with special needs.  The classrooms are enabled with internet access and Smart Boards.  St. Raphael's has a designated computer lab, a learning resource lab, and outdoor education.  The children will learn Friday morning liturgies, daily prayer, prayer services, and sacramental preparation.  Phonics is introduced at the Kindergarten level and is continued throughout the primary grades.

Our dedicated faculty and unique programs have contributed to our academic success such as ALEKS (online math), RTI (response to intervention program), AIMSWEB (progress monitoring system), IMSA Fusion, and Project P.E.A.C.E. program fulfill our mission of educating the whole child.  Additionally, students participate in occasional academic contests.  Every year, students participate in a Spelling Bee, Geography Bee, and Science Fairs.  Various programs arise throughout the year that recognize varied talents and abilities.

Throughout the grades each classroom has a dedicated certified teaching assistant to help with smaller group learning and to assist our teachers.  Teachers utilize small group learning, whole class activity, and peer tutoring, paired learning, and individual work methods, and coordinate curriculum among grade levels and subject areas for collaborative learning.  This "whole learning" approach is balanced with traditional teaching methods and allows St. Raphael to maintain a student-to-teacher ratio of 17:1.

Religion

Formal religious education is offered every day.  Catholic principles are integrated into every aspect of living through example, precepts, and discussion.  Our programs are firmly rooted in the teachings of Christ and His message along with the teachings of the Catholic Church.  There is a strong emphasis on bringing Christ's message to life.  Special Masses, prayer services, and Eucharistic Adoration sessions are regularly scheduled.  Parents are always welcome to participate in these liturgical celebrations.  For a listing of the Liturgical celebration schedule please visit the News page and review the calendar.

All sacramental preparation is conducted in cooperation with the Religious Education Office.  The important role of parents as the primary educators in the religious education of their children is recognized and honored.  Therefore, all school parents are expected to actively participate in the required parent/child sessions offered by the parish.  Students in Second Grade receive instruction in class and are required to do certain assignments with their parents. Such as the Eucharist a reception of the sacrament which is a parish celebration and Reconciliation the reception of the sacrament takes place during family-oriented parish celebrations.

Testimonial
The Diocese of Joliet and State of Illinois reviewed the teaching staff.  "One of the qualities that sets St. Raphael apart from its peers is the exceptional teachers and teaching assistants.  Our faculty share their time and talents while promoting the Catholic faith and instilling educational values that prepare our students for high school and beyond."
Testimonial
The Diocese of Joliet and State of Illinois reviewed the test scores. "Terra Nova scores, the standardized test used by the Diocese of Joliet are consistently higher than National and diocesan norms at all grade levels. The school enjoys an excellent working relationship with the public school in helping with special needs."
Technology: State of Art
St. Raphael Catholic School prides itself on its commitment to and implementation of technology.  In addition to its full-scale computer lab, you will find state-of-the-art technology is present in the classrooms, learning center, reading lab, library, and school office.  Technology is not only an asset, but a necessity for students in the schools of today.

From an early age, St. Raphael students use computers in many learning environments.  PC's in the reading and learning resource centers are used during small group phonics and math sessions; library computers are used by students to locate materials for check-out.  Additionally wireless hand-held Danas and the Quizdom Interactive Learning System are used in the classrooms to engage students and bring computing capability right to their desks.

Computer learning is incorporated into grade-level curriculum by a full-time technology instructor.  In this way, technology enhances and becomes an extension of classroom teaching.  The students use Microsoft Office in a variety of ways; Excel is used in science and math for charting, surveys and estimation.  Word and Publisher are used in English for writing, booklets, and plays.  PowerPoint is used for presentations by students and as an instruction tool by teachers.  Inspiration, a webbing program, helps students organize their ideas for projects.
Rhythm: Music & Band

The music program at St. Raphael teaches students about a variety of musical styles and fosters an understanding of the performing arts through composing/creating, moving, signing, and playing.  Classes meet weekly and all students in Grades one through eight participate in a yearly Christmas Program.

Beginning in fourth grade, students are allowed to participate in the Redwing Band Program.  St. Raphael has one of the most comprehensive band programs in the Diocese, with students performing in Cadet, Concert, Symphonic and Jazz Bands.  We are proud to have one of the highest ratios of band student to general student population in the Diocese of Joliet.  Bands rehearse before school once a week for 45 minutes and are also given a 30 minute small-group lesson on Tuesday and Wednesday.  There is a separate fee for the band program.  The schedule for small group lessons are developed by the band director in collaboration with classroom teachers.  Studies have shown that music lessons help improve concentration, listening, and reasoning skills, we are proud to be members of the Illinois Music Educators Association.  

Students have many performance opportunities throughout the year in the Band Program.  They'll participate in:

  • two school concerts
  • two all-school masses
  • accompaniment for the Christmas Program
  • District 203 Solo and Ensemble Competition
  • "Art from the Heart" Fine Arts Showcase
  • The Marine Corps Anniversary Flag Raising at Naperville City Hall
  • Memorial Day Parade
Foreign Language: Spanish

St. Raphael's is honored to offer a foreign language program.  The students begin learning Spanish in Kindergarten and the curriculum is mapped to each grade level for comprehension.  Studies have shown learning languages helps us understand another culture.  Culture is an important part of learning a language.  Throughout the year, the students are taught many different aspects of the Hispanic Culture, including Day of the Dead, Cinco de Mayo and Las Posadas.  The study of language builds cognitive development, helps us think and problem solve, as well as prepare the children for college.  This is another example of how St. Raphael's prepares our children for the global world in which we live. 

A curriculum map is customized for each grade level.  In Kindergarten through the Third Grade the children learn how to speak the fundamental vocabulary.  They also learn how to write their numbers and letters.  The level of intensity increases with each grade level.  In the Fourth and Fifth Grade the children are expected to have proper pronunciation, as well as write and spell their vocabulary.

The curriculum for Sixth through Eighth Grade is based on the Spanish One Programs at the local High Schools, including Benet and St. Francis.  Freshman level Spanish is broken down over three years in the sixth, seventh, and eighth grades in preparation for the students to begin Spanish Two.  The students in the sixth through eighth grades are expected to be able to present short skits in Spanish.  They are also exposed to grammar basics and more complex vocabulary.     

  • Kindergarten meets twice a week for 15 minutes.
  • 1st - 3rd grade meet twice a week for 30 minutes.
  • 4th grade meets three times a week for 30 minutes.
  • 5th grade meets four times a week for 40 minutes.
  • 6th - 8th grade meets daily for 40 minutes.
Before & After School

The Before & After School program which began in the Fall of 2012 is coordinated by our Teachers.  The program runs Monday through Friday on the days that school is in attendance.  Certified staff members will always be in attendance.  Morning activities include homework and silent reading.  Afternoon activities include a snack, time for homework, and organized play time.

The cost will be $5/hour and $3/hour for subsequent children and will be billed monthly.  There is a $25 registration fee that will be applied to your first month’s bill.  This extended day program is intended to provide supervision for students who need care regularly and for last minute needs.

  • Morning hours are 7:00 AM – 8:15 AM
  • Afternoon hours are 3:15 PM – 6:00 PM
After School Enrichment
Over four years ago, St. Raphael introduced the Illinois Math and Science Academy (IMSA) Fusion Program.  The first Catholic School in Illinois to participate in this internationally recognized math and science academy.  IMSA Fusion is an after-school enrichment program for students in Grade 6-8 who are interested in and motivated by mathematics and science. This enrichment program is offered on Thursday from 3:15 - 5:15 p.m. in collaboration with the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy.  St. Raphael Catholic School is honored to be one of the two private schools in the United States and the only public or private school in Naperville to host this program.  Students must qualify on ITBS test scores in science and math and be recommended by their teachers.  Each qualifying student must also write an essay that explains his or her interest in science and mathematics.  There is a separate fee for the IMSA Fusion program. 
Test Scores
St. Raphael students in grades 2-8 consistently score in the top 10% nationally and within the Diocese of Joliet in national standardized testing.
Extra's
Along with a strong physical education and health program, each sixth, seventh, and eighth grade student is fully trained in administering both CPR and AED.
Textbooks
All textbooks are current, evaluated on a rotating schedule, and aligned with state and diocesan standards.
Commendation: Diocese of Joliet
St. Raphael Catholic School "Participated in the initial training for Teacher Assistance Team (TAT) and mentors new schools as needed; uses AMSWeb as universal testing; Response to Intervention (RtI) is in place; both TAT and RtI employed in an effort to better meet the needs of students."  Additionally "Observered a variety of instructional strategies employed for auditory, kinesthetic and visual learners."  "Catholic Identity infused throughout the school and the instructional programs."  "Rubrics developed and used to assess assignments, projects, presentations."