Academic Departments & Curriculum
Our most important goal is to challenge our students to grow spiritually, academically and socially during their years at St Joseph High School so as to enable them to achieve at the highest levels here, in college, and in life.
Mrs Angelica Abelson, Chairperson
378-9378, Ext. 321
The technology and business department is committed to provide the highest quality learning experience with state of the art technologies to a diverse student population. It is our belief that technology will help our students with their personal and academic goals. Computer technologies should be integrated and complement the student’s needs, interests and skills. We strive to offer each student sufficient experience and the greatest possible support and resources to prepare them for higher learning and their future endeavors. This occurs in a computer lab environment where there is ample opportunity to benefit individually from the instructor’s assistance and knowledge. The technology and business department recognizes our responsibility to develop and offer courses for students to acquire a sound foundation in basic and specialized skills. It is our aim to enable students to achieve a background that will effectively serve them in life.
Mrs Eileen Broderick, Chairperson
378-9378, Ext. 249
The St Joseph High School English Department strives to promote student proficiency and confidence in reading and writing. The goals of the English curriculum are to provide a four-year literature based program which focuses on improving writing and speaking skills, building vocabulary skills and increasing literary appreciation and knowledge. Twenty-first century skills are developed throughout the four years. An introduction to literature types and vocabulary study in freshman year is followed by American Literature for sophomores, then British and European Literature or AP Language & Composition for juniors. Seniors select two core English classes from focused content that reflects their personal interests or AP English Literature & Composition a full year course. Students will also have the option to add additional English electives such as Film and Literature, Creative Writing and Professional Writing Skills.
Mrs Kathleen Cardillo, Chairperson
378-9378, Ext. 222
St Joseph High School believes that every student is entitled to a well-rounded education that includes exposure to the arts. This exposure includes courses in art, music, theatre and interdisciplinary courses. Upon completion of the program, all students should possess a basic understanding and appreciation of the arts in their world, and how the arts relate to society. A firm foundation in the arts develops cognitive, analytical, problem solving and task completion skills. In addition, the arts allow students to develop self-expression using visual, aural, and performance mediums. We firmly believe that arts instruction helps students be more culturally aware and understand world history more fully. Lastly, we believe that students who have the opportunity to express themselves through the arts are more able to use the arts as a means to solve problems and increase acceptance of cultural differences.
378-9378, Ext. 235
The philosophy of the Math department is to comprehensively build on the mathematical knowledge that students have gained throughout their education. We strive to offer a learning environment that fosters analytical thinking, logical reasoning, problem-solving skills, and an appreciation for the beauty and precision of mathematics. We hope to show students the real life applications for math and the importance of using math as a tool in an increasingly technological world. Our goal is that all graduating students will have the knowledge and skills to be successful as they pursue higher education and also later in their careers.
378-9378, Ext. 312
The mission of the Religious Studies Department is to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ through the magisterial teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. The department educates the whole person through rigorous academic courses based on the four pillars of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and through a community that promotes spiritual growth. It is the goal of the department that students be able to articulate the Faith, develop a closer relationship with the Triune God, and manifest the Gospel values in their lives.
378-9378, Ext. 231
The Science Department of St Joseph High School strives to prepare the student for life in a technologically advancing society. The importance of science in everyday life is stressed in all courses. An understanding and appreciation for the laws of nature and the universe is an essential goal of the department.
Through laboratory work students are shown how to ask the right questions about nature. Science should be considered a process of inquiry rather than just a collection of facts. When students can see how the sciences interconnect, they will be better able to understand the mysteries of the planet, the ecosystems, the various species, and human beings. At the conclusion of their high school science education, students should be prepared for higher level work.
378-9378, Ext. 229
The Social Studies Department strives to promote solid, liberal arts instruction that leads to informed citizenship and an inculcation of Christian principles and moral values. In particular, historical knowledge can serve as a bridge to the present, explaining and illuminating how we have developed as a civilization. This academic discipline provides a dynamic forum for the discussion and development of moral sensibilities. Beyond the useful acquisition of factual knowledge, students are introduced to a thought-provoking process of investigation and analysis involving social issues. With a seemingly endless array of topics, including—racism, poverty, gender, the treatment of minorities, the justness of wars, toleration, and equality, and social justice— students will learn critical thinking, diversity of opinion, and a refined sense of right and wrong.
Mr Kevin Carey, Chairperson
378-9378, Ext. 203
The primary purpose of the World Language department is to educate the whole student. Emphasis is placed on cultural themes, topics, and issues of Hispanic countries as well as grammar. To promote respect and diversity is inherent in the discipline. We provide activities/events which invite the entire community to share in this respect for the diversity in all cultures. The department members maintain classroom environments which are sensitive to the needs of all students and which foster community and respect. Each class is begun with a prayer in the target language. The various traditions and customs of the Roman Catholic faith are taught as integral components of the world cultures being studied in the classroom. Roman Catholic family values are reinforced through respect for each individual in a multicultural society. The programs, by virtue of their structure and components, demand that students look beyond their own community to make comparisons which fosters creativity by going beyond the known and looking at familiar situations from another’s point of view. The World Language faculty employs diverse strategies and techniques, which address the learning style of the individual student, thus allowing the student to feel confident in his learning, and providing opportunities for changing interaction through different partners, groups, and teams.
At the end of each marking period, students who achieve the required average are recognized for their scholastic accomplishments. Honors are awarded as follows:
President’s Honor Roll: A weighted grade point average of 95 or higher with no individual mark under an 80.
Principal’s Honor Roll: A weighted grade point average of 85 or higher with no individual mark under an 80.
Students who make the honor roll the first three marking periods, two of which must be the President’s honor roll, will be honored at the Academic Awards Banquet in the spring.
Eligibility is open to any eleventh or twelfth grade student who has a scholastic weighted career average of 90, and has been enrolled in the school for at least one semester. Other evaluated criteria for membership are leadership, service, and character. Once accepted into the Society, it is expected that all criteria for membership be maintained throughout the student’s high school career.
The NHS Selection Process
The qualities evaluated for selection to the National Honor Society are scholarship, leadership, service, and character.
The scholarship criterion is examined first, as required by the NHS National Council. The scholarship standard is a minimum cumulative, weighted, numerical average of 90.00 at the start of the selection process. There is no “rounding up”, and this standard must be maintained throughout the selection process to retain eligibility.
There is a residency requirement of a minimum of one semester as a student at SJHS.
TIMES OF SELECTION
Students who meet the scholarship standard and residency requirement at any of these times are invited to continue on through the selection process:
- Following the first quarter of junior year (Winter selection).
- At the start of senior year (Fall selection).
- Following the first quarter of senior year (Winter selection). *
Winter selection typically involves 30 to 40 students and runs from December through April. Fall selection usually involves 3 to 10 students and runs from September through November.
* Only for seniors who were not academically eligible for the fall selection, but are academically eligible at the start of the winter selection.
A strong record of service to our school is required, but consideration is given to outside service as well. Both the amount and the nature of service is considered. School activities may be categorized as major, intermediate, minor or “variable” activities depending on the amount of service they require. The following examples are not intended as a complete listing. Examples of major activities include Student Council and a varsity sport (in season). Examples of intermediate activities include Student Ambassadors and Campus Ministry Team. Minor activities include clubs that meet once or twice a month. “Variable” activities include school publications and involvement in school productions, where one’s involvement may depend upon (1) the position or role the student has, or (2) the seasonal nature of the event (as in a play).
The nature of service differentiates between activities performed mainly for personal or group enjoyment and those devoted to selfless service for our school community. Examples of activities rich in selfless service include Student Council, SADD, Campus Ministry Team, Student Ambassadors, and school publications. In reference to all activities, being a member is not enough. It is dedicated service as observed by the activity moderators or coaches that allows one to meet the service standard.
NHS selection is not a subtractive process with eligible students being accepted unless there is some major reason to exclude them, but rather it is an additive one in which students will be accepted only if they furnish sufficient evidence that they have met each of the aforementioned criteria in the view of the selection committee. With that in mind the steps of the selection process are:
- Invitation to be considered based on the 90.00 average.
- A file is prepared for each candidate including a student activity list, essay, and other information submitted by the student; four letters of recommendation from teachers and activity moderators solicited by the student; and any unsolicited recommendations submitted by faculty.
- NHS Review Committee members independently read the files and score the candidates in each category (leadership, service, and character) using a system where 0=unqualified, 1= possibly qualified, and 3= well qualified.
- NHS moderators tabulate the scores, and present the results to the member of the NHS Selection Committee, which is a subset of the Review committee. Average scores of “2” or higher in each category suggest a student should be accepted, but this is simply a guideline and the final decision rests with the Selection Committee, as required by the NHS National Council.
- The Selection Committee meets, discusses each candidate and votes regarding acceptance. A student must receive a majority of “yes” votes to be accepted.
- Letter of acceptance and non-acceptance are sent.
Members of the Review and Selection committees are asked to base their decisions on as complete of a picture of the candidate as possible. This includes what is presented in the file, and any personal insight they may have from observing the student in class or at activities. Both committees contain a diverse cross-section of teachers, coaches, and activity moderators, likely to have observed many of the candidates "in action”.
Non-acceptance should never be considered as failure of a student’s service, leadership, or character. The NHS standards in these categories exceed those required to make one a good person or a good member of our school community. What non-acceptance does mean is that in the opinion of the majority of the Selection Committee, the student did not clearly meet one or more of the standards. Any student not accepted who maintains academic eligibility (90.00 average) may be reconsidered at the next selection according to the timetable presented under “Times of Selection”.
Spanish National Honor Society
St Joseph High School is the Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica, Capítulo Iberoamérica. Students must maintain a minimum of a 90 average for 6 consecutive quarters in order to be initiated and then maintain that average over the course of their studies. Scholarships for travel and study are offered by the National Organization as well as the possibility to be published in the National Organizations publication called “Albricias”. Students are required to be available as tutors for students in lower levels should help be requested. Students become eligible in January of junior year, in level III H2 or above, and are available as peer tutors for students in lower levels should help be requested.
Italian National Honor Society
St Joseph High School is La Società Onoraria Italica, Ramo Leonardo DaVinci. Students must maintain a minimum of a 90 average for 6 consecutive quarters in order to be initiated and then maintain that average over the course of their studies. Students become eligible in January of junior year, in level III or above, and are available as peer tutors for students in lower levels should help be requested. We offer a number of events and celebrations such as Carnevale during the scholastic year. Scholarships for study abroad and travel opportunities are available through different third party associations.
French National Honor Society
St Joseph High School is Société Honoraire de Français, Chapitre Victor Hugo. Students must maintain a minimum of a 90 average for 6 consecutive quarters in order to be inducted and then maintain that average along with an overall B average over their involvement. Students become eligible in January of junior year, in level III or above, and are available as peer tutors for students in lower levels should help be requested.
Mandarin National Honor Society
The Mencius Scholar Chapter of the National Chinese Honor Society (孟mèng子zǐ 学xué 家jiā ) at St. Joseph High School seeks to recognize the most diligent, kind-hearted, and committed students in the Chinese program. Students must maintain a minimum of a 90 average for 6 consecutive quarters in order to be initiated and then maintain that average over the course of their studies. Students become eligible in January of junior year, in level III or above. Under the leadership of the moderator, the organization is committed to offer Chinese after school programs to elementary schools in the community, as well as tutoring other students in the Chinese program. The NCHS also works to promote the school’s Mandarin Chinese program among the school community throughout the year.
World Language National Honor Societies
Requirements for Eligibility and Membership:
Spanish, French, Italian & Chinese National Honor Societies.
ELIGIBLITY IS based almost entirely UPON ACADEMICS!
Any student who has broken the SJHS Integrity policy may be subject to rejection to the Honor Societies, and if such evidence exists after acceptance into the World Language Honor Society, removal is possible after review by committee. *
1. Students must be juniors to be eligible!
2. Students must be enrolled in an Honors Level Course!
3. Students must have maintained a 90 average for the last six quarters, including exam grades.
4. Students must have six consecutive quarters of 90 or better on the report card with only ONE of those grades being below 90, but ABOVE 84!
Once students are inducted they must attend all meetings. Any absenteeism (unexcused absence) or lack of participation will put the student’s continued membership in danger. Students are expected to tutor underclassmen and participate in our charity events as part of their membership responsibilities. Failure to participate may result in expulsion as well.
Mr. Kevin Carey
Mrs. Adselaide DelaPlace
Ms. Giulia Risita
Mrs. Daisy Laone
*This committee will consist of the Moderator, the Department Chair, and any combination of the following: the Vice-Principal of Academics, Dean of Discipline, or Guidance Chair.