How We Prepare Students for HS

During the middle school years, we ensure that our students are well prepared for the next phase of their academic career. Here’s how: 

Faith-centered: St. Benedict is distinguished by its innovative approach and the transformative power of its Catholic education. At St. Benedict, our faith-centered environment offers students the opportunity to excel in academics, fosters the development of character and a sense of community responsibility, and supports their spiritual development. Integrating Catholic social justice teachings and faith traditions to create a caring, compassionate and inclusive learning environment. The well-rounded Catholic school education students receive includes traditional core subjects, faith formation, and enrichment.

Integration of Executive Functioning Skills: By integrating the best of The 21st Century Learning Framework, our teachers ensure that every student has the opportunity to develop his or her God-given gifts and talents. Our graduates will possess the key skills and knowledge needed to make ethical,positive and just contributions to the global community in which they will learn and work for years to come. Our passion is helping students become the best possible version of themselves.

Our teachers accomplish this by:

  • Using a balance of assessments, including high-quality standardized testing along with effective classroom assessments to personalize learning

  • Using a balance of technology, research-based programs and authentic resources to support student mastery

  • Integrating STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) applications and concepts into regular units of learning beginning in the early childhood years

  • Engaging in professional learning communities that enable faculty teams to collaborate, share best practices and integrate 21st century skills into classroom practice

  • Integrating Catholic social justice teachings and faith traditions to create a caring, compassionate and inclusive learning environment

Electives in Core Subjects (Enrichment Courses): We focus on traditional core subjects, faith formation, and enrichment at St. Benedict Prep. By utilizing the most current educational philosophies and the latest technologies, we ensure that every student has the opportunity to learn and grow. This approach gives every student the chance to excel - regardless of the learner's level.

Having preschool through 8th grade within the same system is one of the many advantages of a SBPS education.  This unique approach provides an invaluable opportunity to build upon mastery of standards from one year to the next.  This continuity and continued relationship with our students helps to build a solid foundation for educational growth. 

Readiness for objective standardized tests: St. Benedict prepares students for the ACT Aspire test, which students complete in grades 3-8. The Archdiocese of Chicago (AOC) annually administers the Aspire summative test in five academic areas: English, reading, math, science and writing according to national standards. Test questions integrate many different skills and vary in depth of knowledge and critical thinking. The older the students grow, so increases the amount of questions that require more depth of knowledge and higher order of thinking skills. In 2018, the St. Benedict averages are above the national average at all grade levels in every category; our students were equal to or higher than the AOC averages in all of the categories, and we met the “exceeds” or “ready” Aspire benchmarks in every category. Our commitment to inclusive education ensures every student has the opportunity to learn and grow.  

STEAM program: In recent years there has been a growing focus on the need to better prepare students for higher education and equip them with the skills and knowledge they will need to be successful innovators in a 21st century workforce. STEAM is an educational approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, communication, creativity, collaboration and critical thinking. An important part of the school’s strategic plan, Reaching New Heights 2020, is the formation of a bold education technology plan that integrates the best that ED tech has to offer with the student learning experience PK-8.

This tech plan maps out a total upgrade of our technology infrastructure, the implementation of a one-to-one laptop program K-8, as well as upgrading our learning spaces to STEAM spaces. This approach aims to spark an early interest and life-long love of the arts and sciences in children. Three STEAM learning labs span preschool through grade 8 so students have a seamless integration of STEAM applications throughout their time at St. Benedict Prep:

  • Wonder Lab for our early childhood students will be a place for students to explore the concepts of engineering, design, and problem solving with a hands-on,”digital free” approach. Students will engage in theme-based activities related to the week’s lessons.

  • Grades K-5 are introduced to coding, robotics and engineering in a repurposed space with new floors and repainted walls, fluid, flexible furniture, and upgrade electricity options. Students have time to create, collaborate, and problem solve using a variety of materials.

  • Our Creative Media Lab for Upper School students has new carpeting and paint, two large screen digital televisions (one is touchscreen), and a video recording room with “greened” space for advanced digital recording. This lab also features high-powered desktop computers capable of running high-end creative digital arts programs, and a large format printer. Projects include videos, posters and photography.

Well-rounded students: St. Benedict offers a personalized, inclusive, high-quality education that encompasses the “whole child” through faith, community, and rich, rewarding experiences. By integrating the best of the 21st Century Learning Framework, teachers ensure that every graduate possesses the key skills and knowledge needed to make ethical, positive and just contributions to the global community in which they will learn and work for years to come.