Academics

The Catholic School of Visalia, George McCann Memorial Campus, offers a quality Catholic Education. The academic subjects in Junior Kindergarten through 5th Grade are Math, English-Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies.  The curriculum is aligned with the Diocesan Curriculum Guidelines which incorporates the common core standards.  Catholic faith formation is taught at all grade levels and Catholic values are infused throughout the academic curriculum. Each student has access to use the technology lab, participate in community service, cultural field trips, music, PE and art docent programs.

Standardized Testing Information

The Catholic School of Visalia, George McCann Memorial Campus uses the STAR Assessments for standardized testing as directed by the Diocese of Fresno. STAR assessments provide valid, reliable, actionable data that empowers educators to focus on what matters most-individualizing instruction to accelerate learning for all students.

STAR assessment include skills-based test items and in-depth reports for screening, instructional planning progress monitoring and standards benchmarking.  Educators have immediate access to skill-specific actionable data to target instruction.

STAR testing enables the school to identify the continuums of concepts, strategies, behaviors and skills students develop as they progress through increasingly sophisticated levels of understanding to meet grade-level expectations.  Teachers use these learning progressions to  help plan instruction for all students.

3 Year Old Enrichment

MRS. TINA STUBBS – Teacher

Our 3-year-olds are taught in a loving, Christian environment and are offered a variety of opportunities which include religious education, Zoo Phonics Curriculum, Weekly Live Cams discovering animals and their habitats, music, art, literature, dramatic play, science, language development, math and reading readiness, and motor skills. Our preschool program is designed to learn through play and creativity along with meeting the needs of the whole child. We strive to ensure that each child develops socially, academically, and spiritually.

I have been teaching preschool for over 31 years. I am dedicated to preparing young children for a lifetime of learning and love seeing the students thrive.

Junior Kindergarten

MRS. ALYNA SMITH 

Our Jr. Kindergarten class helps build the foundation for math and literacy skills while helping your student grow independently, emotionally, and socially. We offer a full day and half day program to help fit the needs of each child. Our goal is to prepare your student for kindergarten through real life connections, being challenged academically, and learning in a welcoming environment. Through the school year, our students are taught about the love of God with curriculums about the bible and Sunday Gospels, this allows the students to have opportunity to grow in their faith. In addition, we have curriculum that is very hands-on to help students develop vocabulary skills, phonological skills, fine motor skills, as well as mathematical understanding.

Kindergarten

MRS. TARA MCNALLY

Our full-day Kindergarten curriculum includes the Superkids Reading Program. Reading, writing, grammar, and listening is all integrated into the program. This program is phonics based and is designed so that children can learn to decode words until they reach fluency. We use the Houghton-Mifflin Go Math program. This math program covers all of the math standards for Kindergarten including:  Addition, Subtraction, Two-Dimensional shapes, and Three-Dimensional shapes as well. We have recently adopted Studies Weekly for science which includes the Kindergarten science standards, such as: Earth, Physical, and Life science. 

Technology has been integrated into our Kindergarten curriculum. We use catholicbrain.com for religion, Rosetta Stone for Spanish instruction, Superkids online portal for an addition to our reading program, GetEpic for tying reading books into online and school instruction, and IXL and Freckle for math practice. Freckle is aligned to our STAR results and helps to differentiate for each student. 

We also have an art docent that teaches formal art lessons to the students each month whether in-person or on zoom! The 100th day of school is also always fun for the students. The students create their own 100th day posters for school and complete fun activities which coincide with this fun day in the school year.

First (1st) Grade

MRS. AVRIL WADDLE

Our first-grade students spend a large amount of their class time reading. They learn to recognize common sight words, pattern words and master more phonetically complex elements in new words, with a variety of literary and informational text. By the end of the school year they are reading aloud with accuracy and understanding at a first-grade level, or above. The students learn to write in complete sentences with correct capitalization and punctuation. Their writing covers narratives, opinion pieces, poetic and informational texts.

In math they learn strategies for 2-digit addition and subtraction problems up to 20. They know how to count, identify and write to 120, skip count by 2, 5 and 10, and have a knowledge of place value (ones, tens, etc.). First graders also learn how to sort and classify 2 and 3-dimensional shapes, tell time to the nearest hour and half hour, write the date and read a calendar.

Religion is at the heart of our curriculum and incorporated throughout the day. As students learn about the world, and their place in it, first graders start a journey as lifelong learners. They learn about God, their Creator, loving Father, and Jesus, His Son, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit (the Holy Trinity). First graders learn several prayers, Church doctrine through Bible stories and parables, and who the Holy Family is, as well as follow the Liturgical calendar.

In social studies the students develop a basic understanding of civics, economy, history and geography. We have fun getting to know the world and the people in it. First graders make a presentation about children in a country of their choice. The science curriculum encompasses health and safety for first graders. Also covered are physical, earth, life, and environmental sciences. We incorporate experiments to enhance their knowledge of matter by making bubbles, watching candy dissolve and make ice-cream.

First graders learn to work independently for short periods of time in all subjects. They can also have a conversation about another person’s situation and point of view. They learn to be a good listener, strive to excel, show respect for the less fortunate by participating in acts of charity with food drives for the Bethlehem Center and develop their Christian morality by respecting others and living in accordance to God’s way.

Second (2nd) Grade

MS. YULIYA FISS

It is a privilege and a blessing to prepare George McCann students for the two sacraments they receive for the first time in 2nd Grade – the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Communion. Our preparation throughout the year includes several meaningful events. 

Students research the lives and the work their patron saints did for God and honor their saints with a special prayer service.

Children design and paint Blessing Cups, learn about the power of prayer and the importance of asking forgiveness for your sins in order to receive God’s grace. 

The Blessings Cups are used during the Bread Baking Prayer Service which the students lead as they praise the Lord and give thanks for the gift of the Eucharist they will be receiving.

Second Grade students develop critical reading skills using The Superkids Reading Program which alongside the workbooks, readers, informational magazines, and Book Club literature incorporates the use of technology in the form of fun practice on the tablets of new reading skills while learning badges for the work well done. Additionally, each student has an EPIC Digital Library Account and is motivated to read daily to earn class points for our Readerpillar.

Core Math concepts are learned through direct instruction, problem solving strategies, reasoning, discussion, use of manipulatives, short video lessons and using technology such as IXL and Freckle Math for extra practice.

Children actively participate in discussions and work on projects to deepen their knowledge of Social Studies and Science, develop cursive writing skills and learn Spanish through the Rosetta Stone Online Program.  

As students grow academically and spiritually together they build friendships, develop a growth mindset, and grow in their love for Jesus.

Third (3rd) Grade

MRS. SUZY SCHWEERS

3rd grade is an exciting time while developing foundational skills in reading comprehension and multiplication and division.  Students learn to be leaders while working with partners and in teams.  We discuss how to develop friendships with God, family, and friends. Students are engaged in projects, labs, and art to support their learning.

Students continue to work on technology through Rosetta Stone, IXL, Epic Reading, and Typing Club.  Students use Google Classroom to type their essays, take assessments, and conduct research.

Fourth (4th) Grade

MRS. VICTORIA MEANS

The fourth-grade classroom strives to reach an environment that reflects respect inside and outside of the classroom. Our mission statement provides us with goals to learn, lead, and serve in the spirit of Jesus Christ. Our curriculum prepares us educationally while we take part in Mass on Fridays and partake in various community service opportunities through our school. 

Our Wonders curriculum builds upon their foundation from third grade as does Go-Math. Science and Social Studies both have interactive project-based assignments. There are both collaborative group work as well as individual projects such as the California Missions. Models of the California Missions are built and a research report is written. Fourth grade also completes a research report on a California Native Tribe. Our Religion curriculum, Spirit of Truth, uses sacred art as a means of teaching young people about the Catholic Faith. Students learn that they are made in God’s image and likeness and about His love and mercy for us. 

One-to-one Chromebooks allow the students to incorporate technology in all aspects of their learning. The Fourth-grade curriculum for Social Studies is through Saint Mary’s Press. Here students study the California Native Peoples and Missions. Religion is integrated across the lessons. Our new Science curriculum allows students to complete science investigations online and provides videos to enhance student understanding throughout the lessons. Freckle Math is linked to the students’ STAR test. This allows students to have individualized practice tailored to their needs. Technology is at our fingertips! 

Fifth (5th) Grade

MRS. KAREN ROSA

In the fifth-grade classroom we maintain an environment which reflects the goals of our mission statement; to learn, lead and serve in the spirit of Jesus Christ. We do this by striving to excel academically, we lead by being Christian examples to our kindergarten buddies, and we participate in the many community service opportunities at our school. 

Religious studies are an important part of our studies with an emphasis placed on learning the order of the Mass and the use of traditional vessels and vestments that are used during Mass. 

Science and Social Studies are routinely project based giving students’ opportunities for cooperative learning and critical thinking. 

Each student has access to a Chromebook which allows them to incorporate technology in all aspects of their learning. The results of the quarterly administered STAR assessments are used to create learning paths in the Freckle website to reinforce concepts for some students while challenging others in both language arts and math. 

Middle School

The Middle School at George McCann includes grade 6, 7, and 8.  In addition to core academics, all students have the opportunity to participate in sports, student council, a variety of essay and speech contests, middle school dances, altar serving, the Spelling Bee, Battle of the Books, Academic Decathlon, Fatima, several community service partnerships, and field trips. Elective courses are offered each semester to enrich the student’s academic program. They can further explore areas of interest with experts in that field. In addition, students attend computer, music, library, P.E. and art class on a weekly basis.  Math classes in grades 7 and 8 are leveled.  Mass is attended weekly by all middle school students.

Sixth (6th) Grade

MRS. KARISSA RIOS

Sixth grade is the first year of our Jr. High Program.  Students are not only challenged with tougher academic courses but adjusting to rotating classes among three teachers.  They are also given the opportunity to participate in a variety of extracurricular academic activities.

The sixth-grade curriculum includes courses in earth science, ancient history, and the GoMath program.  In Religion, we focus on loving and caring for people in the image of God using our Sophia Institute program. We have integrated technology in our core classes to enrich and engage academic achievements.

One of the highlights of sixth grade is learning about the importance of conservation.  We run a recycling program all year to raise money for our week-long science camp at SCICON. This experience is a great opportunity for students to become a representation of environmentally conscious individuals; as well as an opportunity to develop growth and independence during their SCICON trip. 

Sixth grade is just the beginning of becoming more caring and loving young adults.

Seventh (7th) Grade

MRS. STEPHANIE APPLEGATE

The 7th grade year is filled with challenging academics and exciting activities. We have adopted this year’s learning to be flexible and accommodate both in-person and virtual learning. All subjects utilize Google Classrooms for posting and turning in assignments. Seventh grade academics include ELA, Math, Science, Social Studies, Spanish and Art. We also utilize a variety of online resources such as IXL, myhrw and Rosetta Stone. Students also have the opportunity to take part in producing our annual yearbook. Among various schoolwide activities such as Red Ribbon Week, Fatima, Catholic Schools Week and Kindness Week, 7th Graders may also participate in Student Council, Halloween activities, the Spelling Bee, Monterey Bay Day and 8th grade graduation planning.

Eighth (8th) Grade

MRS. TERRY HEBERT

The eighth grade year at GMC is a fast paced year for the students.  Core Academics include Algebra/Integrated Math 1, English Language Arts, Physical Science, U.S. History, Religion and Spanish.  Art is interwoven in the curriculum.  Online programs are integrated and support all areas of the curriculum.

Eighth graders have a requirement of service hours for graduation as they focus on the Mission Statement to learn, lead and serve in the Spirit of Jesus Christ.

Eighth grade traditions include a retreat focused on preparing for high school, flour baby simulation, passing of wisdom to the 7th grade students and special individual yearbook pages.

The 8th grade year is an exciting and wonderful culminating experience.

Office Staff and Instructional Aides

MRS. SHEILA RAST – Principal
MR. RICK MILLER – Deacon
MRS. CLAIRE MENDONCA – Office Manager

Office Aides:
Mrs. Sylvia Brown, Mrs. Angie Hernandez, Mrs. Jacqueline Hutcheson, Mrs. Dianna Phillips, Mrs. Kathleen Wilson

Instructional Aides:
Coach Andres Cervantes (PE), Ms. Izabela Barrios, Mrs. Marta Bassett, Ms. Marilu Carbajal, Ms. Erica Fisher, Mrs. Lucy Gonzalez, Mrs. Nicole Rast, Ms. Jessica Suarez, Ms. Sonja Treadaway