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Academics

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St. Robert School is committed to providing an excellent education in a faith filled environment. The highest standards are set to achieve the best academic performance from our students. In addition to strong academics, students grow in their understanding and experience of the Catholic faith. Our graduates are well prepared for high school, college and beyond.  

Curriculum
Kindergarten
The kindergarten program at St. Robert School provides a welcoming and nurturing environment where all children can be successful 21st century learners.  Through rich, cross-curricular experiences, children’s skills are strengthened in listening and speaking, critical thinking and problem-solving, emergent reading and writing, mathematics, and science.  Daily opportunities for creative expression help all children develop intellectually, socially, physically, spiritually, and emotionally.  Instruction is differentiated to meet the needs of each individual learner, integrating a variety of concrete, hands-on, and multi-sensory activities.  Our program enhances children’s feelings of self-worth and social competence as they are guided in developing a relationship with God, making friends, resolving conflicts, and strengthening self-help and leadership skills.

Religion
Philosophy
Our knowledge, understanding, and practice of the Catholic faith guide us in our response to God’s call to be disciples of Jesus Christ.  Through our beliefs, worship, moral choices, and prayer, we strengthen our relationship with God and others.

Overview
The religion curriculum at St. Robert is infused into the life of the school and all other areas of study.  Students learn about their faith through academic coursework and the connection of Catholic ideas to other fields of academic study, arts expression, socialization, discipline, and morality.  They grow in holiness through lived experiences of prayer, devotional practices, and social outreach.

Goals
•    Students will know and articulate basic history and beliefs of the Catholic faith
•    Students will participate in the communal nature of Church through celebrations of the liturgical season, Sunday Eucharist, and sacraments
•    Students will develop a conscience and make moral choices guided by knowledge of scripture and the tradition of the Church
•    Students will grow in holiness and deepen their relationship with God through formal and informal prayer

Language Arts
Philosophy
Students must be able to interpret and express ideas through numerous modalities and for multiple purposes and audiences to be college- and career-ready for the 21st century.  

Overview
In our reading and language arts curriculum, students are immersed in authentic daily experiences of reading, writing, and literary analysis with the purpose of learning to think critically, find and evaluate information, interpret, analyze, and express meaning, and present ideas through a variety of media and technology.  Educators model thinking and writing and provide an innovative and differentiated instructional environment directed at each student’s individual instructional level. 

Goals
•    To read, interpret, and analyze literature and non-fiction texts through a variety of instructional media and technology in order to think critically, apply information, and solve problems across disciplines
•    To listen and communicate through a variety of modalities and for multiple purposes and audiences

World Languages
Philosophy
The study of world languages is essential to become a competent global citizen in the 21st century.  The study of a second language at an early age also facilitates neurological and intellectual development and academic achievement.

Overview
Our languages program emphasizes interpersonal communication by focusing on the development of the four means of communication:  listening, speaking, reading, and writing. We strive to create a rich learning environment that engages students of all abilities.  Technology is integrated into the curriculum, enhancing instruction and connection with target cultures.  World language study begins with Spanish instruction in first and second grade, followed by French in third and fourth grades.  Students study one of these languages intensively from fifth through eighth grade.  In seventh and eighth grade, the course is a core academic subject that meets daily, allowing for a thematic approach that deepens cultural awareness, strengthens student skills, and establishes a strong foundation for future language study.

Goals

•    To develop the skills to engage in authentic communication in a second language
•    To develop awareness and understanding of world cultures

Mathematics 
Philosophy
Mathematics teaching and learning is a collaboration of our teachers, students, and the curriculum.  Important mathematical concepts are embedded in engaging real-world problems.  Students think critically and practice skills and they explore the problems.  From the problem-solving, students learn mathematical content and develop fluency and skill that is well-grounded in contextual meaning.

Overview
Our math curriculum is designed to engage students in quantitative thinking, dialoguing about and making sense of mathematical ideas.  Students develop understanding and skill while exploring problems individually and in collaboration with a diversity of group members.  The content of study includes number, geometry, measurement, statistics, probability, and algebra.

Goals
•    To think in the discipline of mathematics
•    To communicate proficiently about number and spatial concepts
•    To compute fluently
•    To define and solve problems with reason, insight, inventiveness, and technical proficiency

Science
Philosophy
Science is an ongoing process of acquiring and refining knowledge.  Through the scientific method, students use critical thinking, problem-solving, and collaboration to reason and communicate.  Through investigation and discovery, the study of science allows all learners to achieve deeper insight and understanding of the world that God has entrusted to them.  By incorporating Catholic ethical and moral values, students use their scientific literacy to lead the world into the 21st century.

Overview
The science curriculum allows students to experience the richness and beauty of God’s creation.  Students receive instruction and practice in life science, earth science, physical science, and environmental science.  Classroom instruction includes hands-on activity, inquiry-based labs, the use of media and technology, and practical applications of the various topics.  Science uses a variety of resources that incorporate up-to-date materials to make learning relevant.

Social Studies
Philosophy
Today’s social studies students are 21st century learners who are inspired to inquire and think critically and to communicate, collaborate, and create in a global world.  Social studies give students the knowledge and skills to make informed and reasoned decisions as citizens of a culturally and economically diverse society in an interdependent world.

Overview
The St. Robert School social studies curriculum provides a coordinated and systematic study of information, skills, and concepts from the disciplines of history, geography, political science, economics, anthropology, psychology, law, archaeology, and sociology.  Attention is given to connections among the nations and peoples of the world, the effects of science and technology on society, and ways to practice good citizenship.  The sequence of the social studies curriculum is:
•    Kindergarten    Self, school, home, and community
•    Grade 1    Families
•    Grade 2    Neighborhoods
•    Grade 3    Communities
•    Grade 4     Wisconsin History and U.S. Geographic Regions
•    Grade 5    U.S. History
•    Grade 6    Ancient Civilizations
•    Grade 7    World Regions and Geography
•    Grade 8    U.S. History, Government, and Economics

Goals
To develop an understanding of:
•    The history and cultures of the world
•    Geography
•    Government
•    Economic systems
•    Contemporary social, political, and cultural issues
•    Catholic social teaching
•    Civic responsibilities

Art
Philosophy
Art education promotes visual literacy through studies in art history, art appreciation, and art criticism, as well as through the process of creating original art.  The visual arts curriculum is designed to develop each student’s capability to engage in flexible, original, and imaginative thinking and higher level critical thinking skills.  All students are provided opportunities to create art using a variety of materials, expanding proficiencies to a higher level each year.

Overview
The art curriculum at St. Robert School provides a program of sequential experiences that encourages students to develop individual styles of expression using a broad range of media and techniques.  Students are introduced to the work of historical masters and contemporary artists, producing artwork based on their genres and styles.  In addition to weekly art classes, collaboration with classroom teachers provides cross-curricular experiences designed to develop visual literacy across disciplines.  Students in grades three, four, and five participate in the Milwaukee Art Museum’s Sequential Art Program, culminating in a junior docent experience in grade five.  All St. Robert students have the opportunity to display their work in an annual art show each spring.

Music
Philosophy
Quality music education provides students with abilities to appreciate and understand music and to develop avenues of self-expression.  Music study also develops responsibility, self-discipline, perseverance, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking.

Overview
Students in kindergarten through grade five study a variety of musical styles in a program of general music study based on the approaches of Orff-Schulwerk and Kodaly.  They explore rhythm, reading, and composing through active participation in chanting, singing, and dancing, and by playing a variety of Orff instruments (barred pitched mallet instruments, recorders, and percussion).  Middle school students apply these skills in one of three mixed-grade ensembles or an advanced general music class that furthers their study of music theory and sight reading.  Instrumental study in concert band or string ensemble is available for an additional fee to students who meet prerequisite levels of proficiency.  All other students participate in choir or advanced general music.  The middle school ensembles perform in four concerts annually.  Elementary students perform in two annual concerts.

Goals
The St. Robert School music education program prepares students 
•    Perform music alone and with others
•    Improvise and compose music
•    Use the vocabulary and notation of music
•    Respond to music aesthetically, intellectually, and emotionally
•    Recognize and appreciate a wide variety of music representing diverse musical styles, genres, and world cultures
•    Understand the uses and influences of music
•    Make aesthetic judgments based on critical listening and analysis
•    Continue independent engagement in musical learning
•    Support the musical life of the community and encourages others to do so

Physical Education
Philosophy
Physical education focuses on the physical, mental, and social development of each student, providing students with the knowledge, skills, and experience to build a foundation for lifetime physical fitness. Instruction in skill development, sports, and recreational activities, allows students to find activities they enjoy and will want to continue for a lifetime.  Many life skills are also developed on the path to lifelong health and fitness.  The sportsmanship that is fostered in physical education classes builds trust, honesty, respect, teamwork, leadership, and tolerance.

Overview
The St. Robert School physical education program takes a progressive approach from skill development through mastery.  Primary grade students learn spatial awareness, safety, gross and fine motor skills, locomotor skills, and basic sport skills.  Intermediate level students progressively advance by putting learned skills to use in team sport lead-up games and activities.  Recreational activities are also introduced at this level.  Middle school students review and refresh skills as well as lead-up activities before entering team sports and recreational activities.  All students participate in team-building and cooperative activities that focus and help solidify the values of teamwork and sportsmanship.

Goal
To provide students with the knowledge, skills, values, enthusiasm, and motivation to start and maintain a healthy and active lifestyle

Faculty
Click here for a full list of faculty and staff.

Lauren Beckmann- Principal
Years in Ed
ucation: 24 years
Years at St. Robert School: 16 years
Academic credentials: B.A. in Psychology and Education/Special Education from Cardinal Stritch University, 1978; M.Ed. in Educational Policy and Leadership from Marquette University, 2010; Wisconsin Principal License, PK - 12
I came to Catholic elementary education through the door of mission, charged with improving access to Catholic education for different learners.  Building that access unexpectedly led me through a back door into administration.  I find it both motivating and profoundly gratifying to have a hand in building the Kingdom at this transformative time in the history of education and the Church.

Gina Flynn- 4K
Years in education: 30
Years at St. Robert School: 5
Academic credentials: Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education; Associate of Arts in Early Childhood Exceptional Educational Needs from Cardinal Stritch University; <23 graduate credits in education beyond BA.
I choose to teach in a Catholic School because: I am committed to the mission of a Catholic education and instilling a life-long love of learning in young children. Having the freedom to weave Jesus into all we do throughout our day allows me to nurture my students in the best way possible helping them to develop into loving, caring, respectful little citizens.
Students enjoy my class because: They truly feel welcome and loved each and every day. I encourage my students to become active agents within my classroom. I strive to make my room a joyful, busy, and happy environment where learning naturally unfolds and develops.
The best thing about teaching is: Learning, growing, exploring, and discovering the world along with my students. The kindergarten years are truly magical and there is nothing more rewarding than witnessing the big, bright eyes of wonder and excitement in my little learners.

Abby Hawkinson- 4K
Years in Education: 7
Years at St. Robert School: 1
Academic credentials: Bachelor’s degree from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; teaching licenses and Masters Degree from Cardinal Stritch University
I choose to teach in a Catholic school because: I love encouraging children to use, explore and develop their God given talents and to help them understand that God is with them always! The best thing about teaching is seeing the joy on their faces when they have learned a new skill or made a new project. I love helping them take pride in their work.

Claire Tocco- 1st grade
Years in education: 1
Years at St. Robert School: 1
Academic credentials: Bachelor’s degree in education (middle childhood- early adolescence) from St. Norbert College
The best thing about teaching is: helping my students grow academically, emotionally, and socially. It’s amazing what they can do in just one year!

Katie Dahl- 1st grade
Years in Education: 7
Years at St. Robert School: 4
Academic credentials: Bachelor's in Elementary Education from St. Mary's University
I choose to teach in a Catholic School because: I love that I can share my faith with the kids while working at such a family friendly and supportive community.
The best thing about teaching is: The kids! I love the interactions I have with them and what they can teach me as well.

Margaret Ann Cain- 2nd grade
Years in education: 32
Years at St. Robert School: 25
Academic credentials: B.A. from Marquette University in Elementary Education/German
I choose to teach in a Catholic School because: More than 32 years ago when I began my teaching career I knew Catholic Schools would be my calling. Being able to teach children the basic fundamentals of education is very important, but being able to speak of God while teaching the fundamentals can only happen in a special environment. And so, whether we are celebrating a religious holiday, learning in the classroom, or playing at recess, God is helping to guide us in all we do.

Jennifer Luna- 2nd grade
Years in education: 20
Years at St. Robert School: 19
Academic credentials: B.S. from Marquette University
I choose to teach in a Catholic School because: I feel that being able to bring God into all aspects of our curriculum is so important. I enjoy sharing my faith with my students and helping their faith come alive. I had the opportunity to substitute at many schools and St. Robert was the place I wanted to be at. Our Catholic school is loving and nurturing and I value the fact that we can share our faith with one another.

Jan Ebel- 3rd grade
Years in Education: 6 
Years at St. Robert School: 1
Academic Credentials: BBA Finance; Post-baccalaureate Teaching Certificate Elementary 1-6
I choose to teach in a Catholic School because: Weaving the lessons of the Bible throughout academic, emotional, and social learning is the most rewarding teaching for me. I love talking with students about faith and building a safe community for us to share our thoughts and feelings with each other. This environment - the integration of these aspects - enriches all learning experiences.
Students enjoy my class because: They know they can trust me and they know I care deeply for each and every one of them. Every day, my intention is to make sure that each child feels important and valued, and to create a place where they feel safe to take risks, to fail, and to succeed. I help students learn the skills that will make them successful learners in all subjects; not only in my class, but in the years ahead, and in their relationships.
The best thing about teaching is: seeing social skills and academic performance develop and improve. Students say things every day that make me smile; I am excited for their wins, and they motivate me to be the best teacher I can be. Every day, I am eager to begin and expect the day to be amazing.

Sarah Yannett- 3rd grade 
Years in education: 19
Years at St. Robert School: 15
Academic credentials: Bachelor’s degree from UW-Madison; Post-Baccalaureate teaching license (pre-K-3rd grade) from UW-Milwaukee; Master’s degree from UW-Milwaukee in Educational Psychology, in Learning and Development 
I enjoy working at St. Robert School because: We have such a strong community atmosphere. I love 3rd grade students because they are so excited about learning! I enjoy building my classroom community each year to be a safe place to learn and grow together.

Kori Staab- 4th grade
Years in education: 20
Years at St. Robert School: 13
Academic credentials: B.S. in Early Childhood and Elementary Education, Marian College
The best thing about teaching is: Seeing the pride and excitement on the students’ faces when they understand something they have been working diligently on.

Chris Stefaniak- 4th grade
Years in Education: 25
Years at St. Robert School: 21
Academic credentials: BS in education, minor in psychology and early childhood.  
The best thing about teaching is: every year both students and teachers can begin again! Everyone has a fresh, clean start and the possibilities are endless!

Barbara Dietz- 5th grade
Years in education: 22
Years at St. Robert School: 20
Academic credentials: B.A. in Elementary Education from John Carrol University.
The best thing about teaching is: teaching is more than my occupation; it is my dedication. My passion is to inspire and support each child in becoming all that he or she can be. As a Catholic educator, my mission includes guiding each student in developing a personal relationship with God while building a strong, faith foundation… always ready to be the presence of God here on earth… a body for Christ.

Kathryn DeLapp- 6th grade homeroom, literature and writing; 7th grade writing
Years in Education: 2.5 years (as of May 2016)
Years at St. Robert School: 2.5 years (as of May 2016)
Academic credentials: Bachelors of Science in Middle/Secondary Education & Theatre Arts with a concentration in English from Marquette University 2013
The best thing about teaching is: the moment the students make a connection in my class. Suddenly, a fire lights within them, and they realize that they are critical thinkers with the ability to effectively communicate and articulate meaningful ideas in writing. I love watching students realize their own potential as they start to embrace the ideas of analysis, collaboration, and creation.

Andrew Brehm- 7th grade homeroom, literature and religion; 8th grade English
Years in Education: 10 
Years at St. Robert School: 1
Academic credentials: B.A., English/M.A.T., Secondary English
I choose to teach in a Catholic School because: I believe in Catholic education and feel called to inspire students through word and deed –prayer and service– as a witness to Christ.
Students enjoy my class because: I have a humorous side and tend to make kids laugh.
The best thing about teaching is: Summer vacation :) and the ability to make a difference in kids’ lives, which in my academic classes gets kids to read and write – reflecting on the themes of literature and learning how to more effectively communicate their ideas through writing and speech.

Meghan Biernacki- 7th grade, middle school math

Years in education: 5
Years at St. Robert School: 5
Academic credentials: Bachelor of Science in Elementary/Middle Education and Mathematics from Marquette University
The best thing about teaching is: Seeing the students work together to problem solve while guiding them to their own 'lightbulb' moment.

Jeff Kierzek- 8th grade, middle school science
Years in Education: 5
Years at St. Robert School: 2
Academic Credentials: B.S. in Wildlife Ecology and working towards M.Ed. in Leadership in Education
Students enjoy my class because: they are given the opportunity to learn and experience science through a variety of hands-on activities that are designed to promote inquiry and develop critical thinking skills.
The best thing about teaching is: being able to witness students’ excitement and growth throughout the year.

Andrea Moriarity- French

Years in education: 9
Years at St. Robert School: 9
Academic credentials: UW-Milwaukee - Bachelor's in French; Cardinal Stritch - Wisconsin State Teacher Certification; Masters in World Language Instruction, Concordia College 2012
The best thing about teaching is: Seeing my students’ knowledge and understanding evolve throughout the year!

Mary Demet- Spanish
Years in Education: 15
Years at St. Robert School: 10
Academic credentials: Shorewood High School, B.A & M.A. Spanish Literature and Linguistics, Marquette University
I choose to teach in a Catholic School because: I love to incorporate the Catholic faith in word and deeds into my teaching and in all my learning too.

Anne Nehls- Learning support
Years in education: 26
Years at St. Robert School: 2
The best thing about teaching is: seeing my students thrive. It is so rewarding and incredibly exciting to be a part of that moment when a student makes that connection and is able to realize his or her potential.

Thea Janisch- Music
Years in Education: 7.5
Years at St. Robert School: 3.5
Academic credentials: B.S. in Music Education from Edgewood College, magna cum laude
The best thing about teaching is: That I get to positively impact the future, help kids explore their creativity and develop a love of learning and growing and pass on the wonderful, positive impact that music can have in their lives.

Kathryn Nesemann- Band
Years in Education: 7
Years at St. Robert School: 2
Academic credentials: Bachelor's Degree in Music Education from Eastern Illinois University
The best thing about teaching is: Seeing the excitement and pride on my students' faces when they finally understand something they have been working hard on.

Tony Perez- Strings
Years in Education: 9
Years at St. Robert School: 4
Academic credentials: Bachelor's in Music Education from Brigham Young University, Master's in Chamber Music Performance (Violin) from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; leads the Camerata Milwaukee ensemble
I choose to teach at a Catholic school because: St Robert School values arts education and makes it possible for its different programs to succeed.
Students enjoy my class because: of my ability to adapt to each student's individual needs, my sense of humor and how I apply it in class.
The best thing about teaching is: the immense amount of things I get to learn from my students.

Joe Jefferson- Physical education
Years in Education: 24
Years at St. Robert School: 6
Academic credentials: Bachelor's in Physical Education and Health from Carroll University, and Master's in Information Systems from University of Phoenix
The best thing about teaching is: The joy of participating in the development of children and watching them have fun in my class.

Margaret Foerg- Reading specialist

Years in Education: 35
Years at St. Robert School: 2
Academic credentials: B.S. from UWM in Special Education, LD Certification from Illinois State University, and Masters in Reading from Cardinal Stritch University, attended The Teacher's College in New York for the summer Calkins Reader's Workshop Training, trained in Writer's Workshop from the Teacher's College too.
I choose to teach in a Catholic School because: as a child I always wanted to go to Catholic school.  It never worked out for our family.  So I thought this would be an opportunity to experience Catholic school as a teacher.
Students enjoy my class because: they become confident, joyful readers.
The best thing about teaching is: helping children to feel good about themselves.

Marilyn Meservey- Special education

Years in Education: 40
Years at St. Robert School: 32
Academic credentials: Bachelor of Science in Education:  Elementary Ed./Special Ed.
I choose to teach in a Catholic School because: I love being able to live and teach my Catholic Faith.
Students enjoy my class because: each student knows that I care about each one of them and want each to succeed. Humor is also an important part of my teaching.
The best thing about teaching is: The best thing about teaching is watching each student grow, becoming confident, independent learners.

Laurie Yingling- Technology integration
Years in Education: 15
Years at St. Robert School: 6
Academic credentials: BS: Journalism/Public Relations; Elementary Ed Teacher Certification; Masters: Ed Leadership; Masters: Technology Integration
I choose to teach in a Catholic School because: I am passionate about faith-filled learning.

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