Santa Maria del Popolo School recognizes the value of a broad education at the elementary level and includes foreign language, art, music, and physical education along side the core curriculum.


Music at Santa Maria is built upon a foundation of active participation. Students discover music through singing, movement, dance, rhythmic chant and instrument play. The songs are often seasonal in nature and drawn from both American and World folk tradition. Students learn to accompany themselves on the xylophone, glockenspiel, a variety of percussion instruments and Boomwackers. For additional exploration into music literacy our 4th and 5th graders learn the recorder. 

Our 2nd and 3rd graders experience the orchestra a the Lake Forest Symphony, Peter and the Wolf, concert. The Christmas and Spring concerts offer opportunities for solo singing and special speaking parts. Grades 2 - 5 always look forward to the end of the year in class Talent Show. 

Music classes at Santa Maria focus on exploration and creation to bring out the musical self in each student.

Physical Education

All students from prek to 5; 2x per week attend physical education classes.  The P.E. and Health class are given in the new Parish Center featuring the gymnasium. 

Sportsmanship, listening, safety, respect, and effort are stressed. Physical Education has an important role in teaching students about fitness and the effects of exercise on the human body. It also teaches students correct motor skills to be used in athletics. A side effect from being involved in athletics is being able to participate as a member of a team. 

My goal as a gym teacher is to provide activities that allow maximum participation from all students involved. I also stress the importance of playing safely at all times. Lastly, the activities that I present are activities that students can use throughout their lifetime. Some activities include: throwing and catching, kicking and dribbling, t-ball, basketball skills. For the older children, volleyball, flag football, team building, floor hockey as others are included.



Did you know that it takes over 7 years to truly become bilingual? Talking Spanish once a week for a year or two will NOT create a bilingual individual instantly...but it surely helps one along! It is a great foundation at our school, we get to start in pre kindergarten and take Spanish all the way through 5th grade! Fourth and fifth graders even get Spanish twice a week! By the time our students get to middle school, our foundation is built on quite a few years towards bilingualism!

True immersion is the best way: watching tv in Spanish, reading Spanish books, speaking Spanish everyday at some point (for quite a few hours)....although, we know that this is not always possible, we can try to add some more Spanish into our lives.

A few tips for adding Spanish into our lives:

--Getting a library book in Spanish each week and try to learn
3 words a week
   --Watching a Spanish cartoon and repeating after the characters
  --Studying your workbook from class each night, for 15 minutes
or so
   --Listening to a Spanish CD (Sra. Kovarik has some CDs, if
interested) and repeat
  --Trying to talk to your parents in Spanish-ask them a new
question you learned.

Spanish is a beautiful way to communicate and better ourselves.  Any sort of language, in addition to our native language, can help enrich our lives and that of our families.

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