Key facts

>> The Open Court reading program is used in K-5 through third grade.

>> A literature-based reading program continues in fourth through eighth grades.

>> The language arts program includes a strong emphasis on grammar and writing/communication skills.

>>  Singapore Math is used. Students learn computation skills with a strong focus on concepts and modeling. Thinking skills are emphasized.

>> Social studies instruction encourages students to learn about the past and about other cultures in order to encourage good citizenship and respectful tolerance.

>> Science classes focus on the world around us. Students in fifth through eighth grades work in the science lab and cover life, earth and physical science curricula. Students in grades four through eight alternate annually between the science fair and Invention Convention.

>> There is daily religion instruction for all grades, including participation in Mass every Friday, as well as community service projects.

>> Students in all grades attend weekly classes in art, computer, music, library, physical education and Spanish. Students in seventh and eighth grades have Spanish class daily. Eighth-grade students are able to earn high-school credit for Spanish I.

Empowering God’s children...

 To grow in faith.

 To achieve academic excellence.

 To become strong leaders.

 To serve the community.

 To protect the environment.

 To be the best they can be.

A commitment to academics well beyond the classroom

St Paul School adheres to the highest academic standards and its students excel — often beyond their class level. Algebra and Spanish students, for example, earn credits that are transferrable to high school. 

Students learn organization and good study skills and habits. These serve them well as they move onto high school and beyond. 

The commitment to academics goes beyond the classroom. And learning is reinforced in many school activities. Class field trips are planned to be enjoyable and age appropriate, but they are also designed to make learning fun and relevant.

Environmental responsibility

Sixth-graders take a three-day, two-night trip to Camp Thunderbird on Lake Wylie, S.C. This is a YMCA camp whose mission is to foster respect for and a relationship with the physical and social environment, to develop life skills, responsibility and confidence. All that learning takes place in an environment that is fun, positive and hands on.

Experience nature Students from St. Paul School were first place winners in the 2013 Battle of the Brains

Seventh-graders enjoy a three-day, two-night trip to Seabrook Island, S.C., where they take part in the Barrier Island Environmental Education Program. The trip provides a unique opportunity to experience nature hands-on. All of the senses are used in lessons of biology, ecology, conservation, astronomy, botany and much more. This trip supports appreciating and respecting God’s natural gifts.

History comes alive

Historic Charleston is a great trip for the eighth-graders. This trip reinforces specific areas of study of South Carolina history. Highlights include Drayton Hall, Charleston Downtown Historic District, Patriots’ Point, Fort Sumter, Old Exchange and The Market and Battery. The weekend concludes with Mass and guided tour of The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. Trips that are both fun and educational reinforce learning as a positive experience and keep students engaged and enthusiastic.

Common Core Standards

The Diocese of Charleston Catholic Schools will be addressing, but not adopting, the Common Core Standards, beginning with the 2013-14 school year. Our approach will include an integration of the common core methodology, what we determine are strengths in our own curriculum, as well as theNational Standards and Benchmarks for Effective Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools developed by Loyola University and Boston College.


To assist the diocese in this endeavor, the Catholic Schools Office will be working with the University of Notre Dame’s ACE Collaborative for Academic Excellence. The process will begin this summer with staff from Notre Dame and a Curriculum Committee composed of Principals and Teachers representing each school in the Diocese, both elementary and secondary, working together to develop curriculum based on the above mentioned components.


After extensive review of the Common Core Standards, we have determined that this method will best meet the needs of the Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Charleston.


Sandra Leatherwood 
Director of Catholic Education 
Diocese of Charleston