Our Curriculum


At the core of instruction, students receive reminders of how God works in their daily life.

Throughout the instructional day, elements of Catholic Identity are infused in the core content and resource curriculum. Students begin each day with a morning meeting to set the tone for positive learning within the classroom. The “morning message” sends a message of God’s love and commitment to his people. Meaningful and cooperative relationships are built during these meetings, while opportunities for liturgical celebrations and prayer nurture the supportive school culture. Teachers weave Bible stories, sacraments, proverbs, and other Catholic elements into each lesson to model that the Catholic faith is a way to live one’s life through a holistic approach.

By continuing to strengthen each student’s focus on faith as a key aspect of the Saint Joseph Catholic School experience, we also strengthen the mission to develop each student as disciples, scholars, and citizens.

The Catholic Diocese of Richmond is accredited as a district by Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools (MSA). Saint Joseph Catholic School is accredited by MSA and approved by the Virginia Council for Private Education as authorized by the Virginia State Board of Education.

The Diocese of Richmond was the first diocese in the country to achieve district accreditation in 2006 through AdvancEd/Cognia. District accreditation allows for the use of a common language school improvement across content areas and grade levels, as well as across individual schools, feeder schools, and district lines of responsibility. District accreditation also provides the district and community with validation and recognition for improvement efforts as well as required actions that are designed to further the district’s effort to improve.

Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools is a worldwide leader in accreditation and school improvement. For over 130 years, Middle States has been helping school leaders establish and reach their goals, develop strategic plans, promote staff development, and advance student achievement. 

Schools in the Catholic Diocese of Richmond believe in a holistic, balanced approach to early childhood education.

Instruction is focused on developing the spirit, mind, and heart of each child to become Christ-centered learners. Our curriculum is rooted in developmentally appropriate academics that support creativity, independence, and social-emotional growth.

Our students are unique and valued creations of God, and are encouraged to live out their faith in everyday tasks.

Students’ communication, reading, and writing skills begin to take shape through an individualized, center-based structure known as Guided Reading. Student learning is differentiated to focus on each student’s developmental growth with emphasis on speaking and listening skills, phonological awareness, sight words, and reading comprehension, and the writing process.

Student exploration of mathematical computation and problem solving is a major goal of the Guided Math program. Recognizing that each student is at a different learning stage, students engage in guided math centers to differentiate learning.

The science and social studies curriculums are weaved into content areas throughout lessons, offering students unique angles to discover and engage as developing scholars, disciples, and citizens.

Students are introduced to 21st century learning skills and apply them to real-world scenarios.

Students continue to exercise deepening learning skills through continued use of guided reading centers, highlighting the major concepts of communication, reading, and writing with focused attention on developing research skills. Differentiated learning through guided reading centers puts more responsibility on student-centered learning and the responsibility of the learner.

Mathematics shifts to a STEAM approach (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) in which students approach problem-solving through inquiry-based question and response scenarios. Science and social studies transitions into content focus areas with student opportunity for cross-curricular project-based learning.

Opportunities for service-based learning and electives, such as STEAM and Current Events, transition 21st century learning skills developed earlier in the student’s career into real-world application scenarios.

Students utilize a block schedule, 90-minute core classes every other day, to engage in a deeper exploration of reading, science, mathematics, social studies, and religion. Students accept more responsibility for their role in their learning.

Middle school students step into a high school readiness program beginning in 6th grade. Spanish, social studies, and science tracks prepare students to take high school credit courses in 8th grade- Spanish I, World History, and Geo Science. Our math program is split into two tracks to provide further differentiation. Using a prerequisite grade as well as a teacher recommendation, students enter one of two tracks: an Algebra I track (including high school credit for Algebra I) or a Math 8 High School Readiness track.

Students are held to a high level of rigor as they ready themselves to move onto high school as scholars, disciples, and citizens.