All curriculum policies and procedures are established by the Office of Catholic Schools of the Diocese of Harrisburg and are voluntarily consistent with the requirements of the Academic Standards of the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Primary Grades: Kindergarten–Second Grade

At Our Lady of the Angels, our students are encouraged to dive deeper into their thinking. At the primary level, our students have a strong literacy program that teaches phonics, grammar, and spelling. They begin to have homework assignments appropriate for their age and are expected to complete work neatly. We teach appropriate handwriting in the lower grades, and in second grade, our students learn cursive writing.

The typical school day for these young students includes lessons in social skills, critical thinking, and hands-on instruction in both reading and math. Using manipulatives, math concepts are learned, and students are encouraged to use “math talk” to explain the how and why of problem-solving.

Religion is taught daily at Our Lady of the Angels. Our primary students learn the history of the Catholic Church and study the catechism through our religion series “Christ Our Life.” We start our day with morning prayers and pray throughout the day. It is our goal that all students at OLA learn how to have a relationship with God through prayer and service.

Elementary Grades: Third–Fifth Grade

Our Third through Fifth graders begin applying what they have learned in the younger grades. Reading skills include metacognitive strategies that help them infer and synthesize as they learn new material. Critical thinking skills are taught and applied to all areas of learning. Book groups, anthologies and individual texts are read, with an emphasis on comprehension. Students discuss content material and investigate cause and effect.

In math, our students explore number sense through problem-solving. Fundamental skills are practiced for fluency, and new material is introduced through the gradual release approach: I teach, we do together, you do on your own. Manipulatives and charts help students understand concepts, building the foundation of understanding in math.

Religion is taught daily. Elementary students continue a more in depth understanding of the history of the Catholic Church and catechism. We start our day with morning prayers and pray throughout the day. Students discuss how God reveals himself to us and are encouraged to deepen their relationship with God. Classes plan service projects and students collect items for the needy of our community.

Science and social studies are presented through literature as students explore the world around them. Our students are fortunate to live on the banks of the Susquehanna River. Columbia Crossings is home to naturalists who help our students learn the history and formation of the land around us. They come to our school, and it is only a short walk to their facility by the river.

Middle School Level: Six through Eighth grades

In middle school, students are grouped in a variety of ways. Blended Learning keeps students engaged through multiple activities. Rotation Stations allow students to learn with the teacher, collaboratively with peers, and then on their own.

Students change classes for ELA (English Language Arts), Math, Science, Social Studies, and Religion. Learning is integrated across domains by completing projects requiring investigation in science or social studies classes and then using research skills taught in ELA class. Project-based learning is an important part of science. Students participate in the Innovation Fair. This project requires students to research problems that exist and create viable solutions. Critical thinking skills are sharpened, and students present their findings to other peer groups and adults. Grammar and vocabulary are taught as a component of ELA classes. Quizes and tests are given to ensure students are showing what they learn in various ways.

Students are assessed before being assigned to a math class at the middle school level. Sixth grade math, pre-algebra, and Algebra 1 are typical classes taught at OLA. Students advancing to high school have the opportunity to test into advanced math classes if appropriate.

Our school counselor teaches weekly social/emotional skills lessons. Students learn how to manage emotions and interactions with other adults and peers, and how to treat those around them with respect and kindness.