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Immaculate Conception-St. Joseph School combines traditional curriculum with innovative instruction to provide all students with an exceptional and challenging learning environment. While all grade levels focus on teaching strong traditional literacy and numeracy skills, creativity and personal inquiry are fostered and celebrated in each classroom. Teachers use a research-based curriculum, instructional best practices, thoughtful technology integration, and a caring and nurturing environment to promote individual academic strengths and encourage students to take academic risks.   

The ICSJ curriculum is developed around six essential strategies.   

Catholic Values
ICSJ is a Parish School committed to teaching the tenets of the Catholic Faith and educating a new generation to be morally ethical, stewards of the Earth, empathic and accepting of personal differences, and peaceful citizens of the world.  
Differentiated Instruction
Using a unique co-teaching model and our robust Student Support Team, ICSJ offers differentiated instruction across grade levels. In all PreK through Grade Three classrooms, two full-time, certified teachers use a variety of co-teaching methods to offer small group and individualized instruction to meet the various learning styles and strengths present in the room. In Grades Four and Five, a dedicated Learning Specialist joins the classroom teacher for each math and language arts period to provide differentiated instruction in those core subjects. At all grade levels, three additional Learning Specialists and two counselors work with classroom teachers and students to provide academic and social-emotional support. 

Standards-Based Grading
ICSJ has utilized a standards-based grading model since 2011. This system of instruction, assessment grading, and academic reporting is based on the demonstration of proficiency or mastery of specific concepts and skills. Students receive clear and actionable feedback, and assessment results enable teachers to determine each student’s stage in the learning process and individualize future learning. 

Social-Emotional Learning 
ICSJ supports research that proves the strong link between academic success and social-emotional learning. Utilizing the Responsive Classroom Social-Emotional program across all grade levels, ICSJ faculty create a safe and joyful learning community, resulting in high-quality education for our students.
Additionally, our school community implemented the RULER approach in 2021. RULER is an evidence-based approach to social and emotional learning (SEL) developed at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. It supports our school community in understanding the value of emotions, building emotional intelligence skills, and creating and maintaining a positive school climate. 

Data-Driven Instruction Decisions
ICSJ School uses the 8 steps of the Data Wise School Improvement Process, developed by researchers and practitioners from Harvard University’s School of Education and the Boston Public School District, to examine student work and standardized data to collaboratively address student achievement and make instructional and curriculum-based decisions.  

Pursuit of Excellence
As a proven factor in a child’s academic, social-emotional, or athletic success, ICSJ employs a growth mindset beginning at the administrative level and funneling down to the student level. ICSJ administration and faculty regularly collaborate in professional learning communities to prepare lessons, examine student work, and reflect upon teaching practices. Our motto is “Good is not good enough” - we consistently strive for better results.            

ICSJ uses the 21st-century learning framework to foster student outcomes that exceed basic competency. Themes of 21st-century learning, literacy, and life skills are woven into the mastery of fundamental subjects like language, reading, world languages, arts, mathematics, economics, science, geography, history, government, and civics.  

Students have the opportunity to learn and hone these skills through project-based learning, flexible and ability grouping, inquiry-based learning, and blended learning. Programs, including the Rush NeuroBehavioral Executive Function Program, the 1:1 iPad Program, and effective middle school advisories, support the development of these crucial life skills.