Academics

Academic Achievement

JFK students excel academically not only in K-8 but also in high school and college. Year after year, JFK alumni graduate at the top of their classes at Assumption, North, West, Central, and North Scott high schools. Standardized test scores of JFK students are consistently one to three years above national grade equivalents. Because ALL students are considered talented and gifted at JFK, they are all REQUIRED to complete TAG activities. The fully certified staff members challenge students to achieve beyond expectations.

 

Meeting Students’ Needs

Recognizing the uniqueness of each child, the John F. Kennedy Staff strives to meet the needs of each and every student. Through individual attention, the staff can challenge all students while assisting those struggling with a certain concept. JFK also employs several resource teachers/interventionists and paraprofessionals to help meet the needs of all students.  In grades K-2, we have WIN (What I Need) time during which students are formed into 5-6 smaller groups, according to their needs.

Challenging

Special enrichment activities are available for those students excelling. One of the unique characteristics of JFK is that many activities that might be just in a Talented and Gifted program in other buildings (typically restricted to about 5%-7% of the student body) are either required of ALL JFK students or open to all students at JFK as an extra activity.

Assisting

JFK has three full-time resource teachers/interventionists who can assist students who need extra support.  After school tutoring is also available free of charge.  Additional help can come from the school counselor or the AEA assigned school psychologist or speech pathologist.

Curriculum Highlights

Preschool
  • Early Literacy (60 minutes per day of ELA)
  • Early Mathematical Skills
  • Group participation
  • Recognition of letters and numbers
  • Early phonic skills
  • Writing capital letters and name
  • Critial thinking skills
  • Color, shape, pattern recognition
  • Enhancement of counting skills
  • Active exploration of the environment
  • Hands-on science activities
  • Use of art to express experiences
  • Hand and eye coordination skills
  • Large and fine motor skills
Kindergarten
  • 90-120 minutes of English/Language Arts per day
    • Includes 30 minutes of What I Need time
  • 60 minutes of math per day
  • Reading
  • Sight word recognition
  • Concepts of Print
  • Writing sentences and journaling with lower and upper case letters and punctuation.
  • Math: position, classify, compare, and sort; graphs and patterns; number recognition and printing 0-20; counting by twos, fives, and tens; counting to 100; money, measurement, and time; beginning addition and subtraction;
  • Mathematical Practices
  • Science: animals, plants, land, air, water, weather and seasons, objects, water
  • Social studies: who we are, communities, world of work, our Earth, U.S.A., family stories, government
  • Religion: learning to attend Mass, creation, God, Jesus Christ, the Church, Christian morality, Sacraments, Salvation
  • History
  • Attend all-school Masses
  • 21st Century Skills
First Grade
  • 90-120 minutes of English/Language Arts per day
    • Includes 30 minutes of What I Need time
  • 60 minutes of math per day
  • Becoming independent readers
  • Writing in complete sentences
  • Spelling tests
  • Addition and subtraction
  • Hands-on science activities
  • Social studies
  • Religion
  • Attend Masses
Second Grade
  • 90-120 minutes of English/Language Arts per day
    • Includes 30 minutes of What I Need time
  • 60 minutes of math per day
  • Independent and leveled reading for fluency and comprehension
  • Details of story writing and peer editing
  • Poetry and Fairy Tales
  • Spelling, including challenge words
  • Daily Bite:” analogies, math, sentence structures, social studies
  • Cursive writing
  • Adding/subtracting 2 digit numbers
  • Place value, fractions, and estimation
  • Hands-on science activities
  • First Reconciliation and First Communion
  • Parts of the Mass
  • Bible story sharing
  • Roles at all school Masses
  • Community building
Third Grade
  • 90-120 minutes of English/Language Arts
  • 60 minutes of math per day
  • Writing: explanatory, comparison, persuasive, and expository
  • Parts of speech and paragraphs
  • Poetry
  • Reading for comprehension and with expression
  • Independent reading
  • Math: begin multiplication and division
  • Science: Earth Science, Life Science and Health, Physical Science
  • Social Studies: community, people in communities, history
  • Religion: weekly Mass attendance, seasons in the Church, Creation, God, Jesus Christ, the Church, Christian Morality, and Sacraments
  • Correct finger placement for keyboarding
Fourth Grade
  • 60-90 minutes of English/Language Arts per day
  • 60 minutes of math per day
  • Daily Oral Language
  • Creative writing/Journal writing
  • Long division and two digit multiplication
  • Fractions
  • Two month-long chemistry units
  • Science: Organ reports
  • Social Studies:  Regions of the United States, State Reports and Capitals of the U.S., State of Iowa
  • Stewardship, Beatitudes, Ten Commandments, Seven Sacraments
  • Junior Achievement
  • Correct finger placement for keyboarding
Fifth Grade
  • 60-90 minutes of English/Language Arts per day
  • 60 minutes of math per day
  • Writing: paragraph structures, types of sentences, research, citing sources
  • Advanced skills and strategies of reading, story elements, author’s purpose
  • Public speaking and Civic Oration research paper and speech contest
  • Math concepts: decimals, renaming, ordering, comparing, statistical and data analysis, probability, functions of algebra, measurement and geometry
  • Science: processes of living things, systems and interactions in nature, solar system, matter and its properties, energy and motion, processes that change the earth
  • Social studies: eastern and western hemisphere, colonization in N. America, American Revolution, young United States, Civil War, Reconstruction, expansion and industrialization, U.S. and the World
  • Religion: Sacraments, stewardship, cultural expressions of faith, applications of Scripture, social justice and the call to service, moral decision making, basic history of the Church.
  • First year band
Sixth Grade

Also see Per Period Breakdown in menu below.

  • 60-90 minutes of English/Language Arts per day
  • 60 minutes of math per day
  • Writing: persuasive, fiction, business letter personal narratives
  • Civic Oration
  • Non-fictional and fictional literature
  • Novel projects
  • Math: long division, mathematical operations with fractions, positive and negative numbers
  • Earth science: scientific method, planets, structure and atmosphere of Earth, plate tectonics, fossils, etc.
  • Social Studies:  Early Civilizations (Mesopotamians, Hebrews, Phoenicians), Ancient Civilizations (Egypt, China, Persia, Greece, Rome), Early people of North and South America, Medieval Europe
  • Religion
  • Spanish exploratory
  • Band
Seventh Grade

Also see Per Period Breakdown in menu below.

  • 60-90 minutes of English/Language Arts per day
  • 60 minutes of math per day
  • Writing: descriptive, narrative, persuasive, research
  • Civic Oration
  • Literature: elements of fiction and non-fiction, novel reading, poetry, thematic literature
  • Math:  Intro. to basic algebra and geometry skills, one/two step equations, area, perimeter, volume
  • Life science: scientific method, water cycle, nitrogen cycle, genetics, body systems, diseases, etc.
  • Science Fair
  • World geography, esp. U.S., Canada, Latin America
  • Religion
  • Foreign language exploratory
  • Band
Eighth Grade

Also see Per Period Breakdown in menu below.

  • 60-90 minutes of English/Language Arts per day
  • 60 minutes of math per day
  • Writing: informational, research, narrative, editorial first-hand biography
  • Civic Oration
  • Literature: elements of fiction and non-fiction, novels, thematic literature, poetry patterns
  • Algebra at Assumption High School or in-depth pre-Algebra covering equations, inequalities, basic geometry (area, volume, circumference, perimeter, etc.)
  • Physical science: scientific method, speed, density, waves, magnetism, etc.
  • Science Fair
  • U.S. History: exploration and colonization, American Revolution, Constitution, Early Republic, westward expansion, Civil War, World Wars I and II, Cold War, Civil Rights Movement
  • Confirmation
  • Foreign language exploratory
  • Band
Per Period Breakdown (6th - 8th Grades)
SubjectPeriods per WeekPercentage
English/Language Arts10.3323.0%
Math6.6714.8%
Science511.1%
Religion511.1%
Social Studies511.1%
Foreign Language24.4%
Art24.4%
Music24.4%
PE24.4%
Band or Study Hall2.55.6%
Lunch2.55.6%
99.9%

Annual Progress Report