Our Lady of Mount Carmel is a Catholic School in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, with a rich history in proclaiming the message of Jesus Christ and integrating the magisterial teaching of scripture and tradition of the Church. Through prayer, example and instruction, students learn about the person of Jesus, worship as members of the Church community, and offer service to the poor and needy. Our Lady of Mount Carmel School, a 2006 Nationally Recognized Blue Ribbon School, seeks to educate the whole child through its strong academic program and to enrich the total person through co-curricular and extracurricular activities. Our Lady of Mount Carmel School strives to provide a quality education that will teach students to know, love and serve God and their neighbor.
- To promote the mission of the Catholic Church through integrating service and spirituality into subject areas whenever possible
- To increase the students’ understanding of the Eucharist as the source and summit of our lives as Christians by regular attendance at Mass and liturgical services
- To support and strengthen the use of best practices within each curriculum area
- To aim to meet the individual needs of each child by differentiating instruction in each subject area
Co-curricular and Extracurricular Activities
- To provide meaningful opportunities to encourage and develop leadership skills in the student
- To develop new strategies to enhance communication with the members of the parish community by offering opportunities for community service
Professional Development Program
- To shape instructional strategies through the knowledge of current trends in education and technology
- To attend in-service activities that support the on-going acquisition of information in current educational trends
WHERE WE EXCEL
In recognition of its world language program and test scores in the top ten percent of the nation as well as its excellent academic program, Our Lady of Mount Carmel School was named a 2006 Nationally Recognized Blue Ribbon School by the United States Department of Education.
As a component of the religious education program, the students at all grade levels participate in school-wide, class, or club sponsored service projects such as creating greeting cards for the homebound, making holiday gift bags for inner city youth, or collecting canned goods and baby items for local shelters that benefit the parish and civic communities.
OLMC School offers a variety of co-curricular activities to its students. Among these opportunities are Bucks County Reading Olympics, Math and Science Bowls, National Geographic Geography Bee, Spelling Bee, Bucks County Science Fair, National Language Arts Olympiad, National Junior Honor Society, iServe service club, and after school activities.
During the course of the school year, each grade level hosts a family activity to which parents and/or grandparents are invited. In the past, these activities have included such gatherings as the Book It! Pizza Lunch, the Mathematicians’ Exposition, and an Envirothon.
Full-day developmental PreKindergarten and Kindergarten programs are offered.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel School is administered by the pastor of the parish who has the primary responsibility for its governance. The administration, faculty and staff value the principles of collegiality, collaboration and cooperation and strive to actively exercise them in all aspects of the decision making process which relates to the governance of the school.
Coordinated by the principal, our faculty and support staff meet informally on a frequent basis and formally each month to share information, solve problems and plan for upcoming events, religious liturgies and service projects.
In addition, faculty members act as academic coordinators by providing support to their colleagues in each subject area and by shaping instruction through the introduction of new trends, the selection of current technology, materials and textbooks and the coordination of co-curricular activities.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel School serves approximately 315 students in grades PreK through eight. At most levels there are two sections of each grade, with an average class size of 18. In grades four through eight there is a maximum class size of 30 students and in grades Kindergarten through three there is a maximum class size of 25 students. PreKindergarten has a maximum of 18 students.
To register for PreKindergarten, a child must celebrate his/her fourth birthday on or before August 31. To register for Kindergarten, a child must celebrate his/her fifth birthday on or before August 31. A recommendation form from his/her preschool teacher will be required of a child applying for Kindergarten (other than those children who attend the OLMC PreK program). To register for first grade, a child must celebrate his/her sixth birthday on or before August 31. School records, including standardized test scores where applicable, will be required of a child applying for Grades 1-8.
The parents of our students are active in their support of our school. Under the direction of the Home and School Association, they sponsor fundraising activities, coordinate an extensive volunteer program, assist with marketing, provide family fun and arrange educational assemblies.
RELIGIOUS CURRICULUM and METHODS
As a Catholic elementary school, Our Lady of Mount Carmel takes seriously its mission of religious formation of the youth of the parish. Through the prayers, example and instruction of the dedicated faculty, children are taught about the person of Jesus, invited to worship as members of the Church community, and encouraged to offer service to the poor and needy. Religion classes and prayer are shared daily. Frequent Masses and prayer services are celebrated. Throughout the school year there are numerous opportunities for individual class and school-wide community service projects. We invite our pastor, Rev. Matthew W. Guckin, and our parish priests to visit often and to speak with the children about Jesus, devotion to Mary, the saints and a life of prayer. The sacraments of First Penance and First Holy Communion are celebrated in second grade. Confirmation, celebrated in eighth grade, is prepared for through prayer, retreat, instruction, and service.
CURRICULUM and METHODS
The students are genuinely engaged in the pursuit of learning. Through the exploration of ideas and development of a spirit of inquiry, students learn how to identify problems and how to design the tactics and strategies to solve them. Teachers strive to awaken in students a sense of wonder and to provide them with an opportunity to develop their imagination.
A warm, friendly, and caring community supports the children’s emotional and social growth. Attention is focused on fostering the students’ self-esteem and on creating an atmosphere that enhances cooperative efforts.
Primary Unit – Grades PreKindergarten through Three
The goal for the Primary Unit is to develop the students’ mathematical and literacy skills. Reading, writing, spelling, handwriting, listening, and speaking skills are developed into an English language arts program based on the Archdiocese of Philadelphia guidelines in conjunction with Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Reading is taught using a variety of teaching methods designed to capture student interest and maximize individual learning. Math stresses basic computation facts and skills, money, measurement, time, problem solving and elementary geometry. We use manipulatives to aid the understanding of mathematics concepts. Reading themes are further enhanced by the exploration of related science and social studies activities.
Elementary Unit – Grades Four through Six
At the elementary level the students’ understanding of concepts and ideas evolves to a higher level of critical thinking skills. A variety of teaching techniques are used while adhering to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia guidelines in conjunction with the CCSS.
The components of the English Language Arts program are reading, writing, spelling, listening, and speaking skills. Reading incorporates trade books in conjunction with the reading anthology. Grade appropriate skills and tools for language competency are presented through the ELA program and a supplementary grammar text that stresses writing skills. The students develop grammatical and reading skills as well as an appreciation for literature. Math stresses operations of the whole numbers, fractions, decimals and percents promoting higher level thinking skills in problem solving and computation. In addition, daily maintenance sheets and use of flash cards strengthen basic math skills. Problems of the week are used effectively.
The focus of social studies is geography skills and world cultures. Initially, students begin with a study of communities and government, learn about Pennsylvania and proceed to the Eastern and Western hemispheres. Through classroom discussions, students are encouraged to become aware of current events at the local, national and international level.
Science follows the Next Generation Science Standards and calls upon the students to become familiar with the Scientific Method of problem solving. It includes a unit on Earth, Life, and Physical Sciences each year. Instruction is further enhanced through the laboratory activities in the classroom and in our outdoor ecological classroom.
Middle Unit – Grades Seven and Eight
In the words of Pope John Paul II, “To put people not only in touch but in communion, in intimacy, with Jesus Christ,” is the aim of catechesis at this level. Curriculum includes an examination of the New Testament and the Sacraments as well as a study of the Liturgy. Drawing upon this foundation, eight graders focus on Church history and Morality, all presented with the goal of preparing students for the Sacrament of Confirmation.
Students at this level share in the responsibility for their own education by learning time management techniques and striving to develop academic competence and personal self-discipline. Curriculum subject areas are presented by a team of teachers who utilize Archdiocesan guidelines as a basis of instruction. Their techniques include lectures, discussion, demonstrations and cooperative learning activities.
The English Language Arts program prescribed by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and the CCSS is implemented at this level in order to equip students to communicate effectively in speech and writing. Through a study of a variety of genres of literature students develop comprehension, vocabulary and critical thinking skills as well as active reading strategies. Reading for pleasure is encouraged.
The math curriculum includes whole numbers, decimals, fractions, consumer mathematics, probability, rational number theory, equations, inequalities, integers, geometry and pre-algebra. Qualified students have the opportunity to participate in an Honors Math Program which includes algebra instruction.
In both social studies and science, the students develop organization, outlining and study skills. The discovery and exploration of our country from the beginning of American history to the present is the focus of the social studies curriculum. The students are encouraged to become aware of the political and social issues in the world around them through their interactive discussion of current events. In science, the study of life and earth sciences is taught through the use of text and lab explorations. The material is further enhanced by small group interactions and correlating lab assignments, both in the classroom and in our outdoor ecological classroom.
In addition to an excellent academic program, our school is fortunate to have the following specialized classes that meet approximately thirty times a year:
Students in grades PreK through eight enjoy the services of a full-time art teacher. The art program incorporates the National Visual Arts Standards as well as exposing the students to a variety of media and techniques for their creative experimentation.
The Computer Lab is available to all students in grades Kindergarten through eight under the supervision of a certified teacher. The students are introduced to word processing, slide presentations, database, and spreadsheet and internet website awareness activities on Dell PCs. In addition, a variety of programs are used to reinforce specific curriculum areas. Knowledge and skills gained in the Computer Lab are applied in the classrooms through the use of laptop computers, Chromebooks or iPads.
Students in grades four through eight who are admitted to the program receive accelerated instruction from a qualified teacher in the Math Lab. By the end of eighth grade, students complete a high school level Algebra 1 course.
The school library contains 11,000 holdings that include books, books on tape, videos, DVDs and periodicals. The catalog and circulation are fully automated. Individual computer workstations are available to access the library catalog. Internet access is available over the network.
The library is a member of Access Pennsylvania, a statewide consortium that provides access to a large collection of on line subscription databases. A certified librarian assists the students in grades PreK through eight in acquiring and practicing research skills as well as selecting books for reading. Parent volunteers assist with the circulation and shelving of books in the library.
Under the direction of a qualified music instructor, students in grades PreK through eight receive lessons in theory and music appreciation. A tone chimes ensemble is available for grades four through eight. Students in grades four through eight are also given the opportunity to take instrumental lessons, participate in band, or join the choir. The choir, band and tone chimes ensembles have the opportunity to perform at a variety of school functions, including religious services, assemblies and seasonal shows.
Under the direction of a certified teacher, students in grades PreK through eight are encouraged to maintain and improve their personal fitness levels, to develop life long physical skills, and to work cooperatively with their classmates by displaying good sportsmanship in games and activities. Annually, students are offered the opportunity to earn the President’s Physical Fitness Award that measures their fitness level in four events.
Students in grades PreK through four receive Spanish instruction weekly, providing students with an introduction to vocabulary and culture. Students in grades five through eight receive Spanish instruction twice weekly. An exploratory approach to world language study is provided in grades five and six. Students are introduced to thematic units while working with speaking and listening skills. A more comprehensive approach is used in grades seven and eight. In addition to speaking and listening development, students are introduced to reading, writing and cultural studies in the language by a qualified teacher.
FACULTY and STAFF
Our faculty consists of a religious woman, who is a member of the Sisters of Saint Francis of Philadelphia, and highly qualified lay teachers. Leading our school community is our principal, Mrs. Dawn Parker. Our faculty includes approximately twenty-four full and part-time teachers, all of whom have college degrees. Each faculty member is committed to the inclusion and furtherance of Catholic values and virtues in the daily curriculum. Each teacher enhances his/her expertise through an ongoing pursuit of workshops, seminars, professional journals and continuing education. Communication between parent and teacher is valued and encouraged. In addition to our homeroom/general subject area teachers, our students benefit from the talents of specialists in art, computer science, honors math, library science, music, physical education and Spanish.
The PreKindergarten, Kindergarten and primary grade teachers are assisted by four full-time, non-instructional aides as well as one part-time non-instructional aide. Our support staff includes two secretaries. Students are supervised at lunch by several cafeteria and playground aides.
BUILDINGS and GROUNDS
Our school is housed in a well-maintained multi-level brick building connected by a lobby and a breezeway. It includes a cafeteria, a gymnasium/auditorium with a stage, an ecological classroom, and separate rooms for art, music, Spanish and honors math. Our library contains 11,000 volumes and our Computer Lab is equipped with numerous Windows based PCs and a variety of additional hardware. The Health Room is staffed by a registered nurse and nursing assistants. It is located near the administrative offices. Adjacent to our school is a borough park which is used for recess space.
Our classrooms are well furnished and have air conditioning and ceiling fans. They are equipped with SMARTBoards, computers, calculators, math manipulatives, and science equipment. Both our hallways and classrooms are cheerfully decorated with displays of our students’ work, records of past events, and news of upcoming activities.
Provision is made for the students’ arrival and dismissal by bus, car and on foot. A crossing guard supervises the nearby intersection and flashing lights ensure the children’s safety. Students living within the prescribed boundaries receive bus transportation from the local public school district in which they reside.
While the majority of students enroll for the first time in our PreKindergarten and Kindergarten programs, an application may be made for any grade level. Students applying for our Middle Unit may be required to participate in an interview as a part of the application process.
Prospective families are offered the opportunity to visit the school by attending one of the scheduled annual Open Houses. Held at least five times a year, these morning sessions include a student guided tour, a visit to a classroom, and a question and answer period with Mrs. Parker. In addition, parents may schedule individual tours and arrange for opportunities for new students to “shadow” a classroom.
Registration for the upcoming school year takes place in January for PreKindergarten and February for all other students. Parents and/or guardians must present the appropriate documentation, complete the registration form and pay the non-refundable fee. Applications for Kindergarten must also have a recommendation form submitted by the child’s preschool teacher unless the child attended our PreK program.
Students who are accepted into Grades 1 through 8 are invited to participate in a Visiting Day that is held in late spring. The Hospitality Committee of the Home and School Association contacts all of the new families during the summer to welcome them into the school community. Families moving into the area in the course of the school year undergo the same application process as those who apply in the spring. Information and application packets are available in the school office for those families who do not meet the regular registration deadline.
School uniforms are worn everyday throughout the year at all grade levels. Boys are required to wear slacks and golf shirts with emblems. Girls are required to wear jumpers or kilts and golf shirts with emblems. Pants are offered to girls as an alternative to the jumper or kilt. Walking shorts are available for both boys and girls during warm weather as indicated on the school calendar. The color and style of these items vary by the grade level. All students in grades Kindergarten through eight wear uniform shoes. PreKindergarten students are required to wear physical education uniforms.
On the day in which students participate in physical education, regulation P.E. uniforms (which include shorts and tee shirts with emblems) are substituted for their traditional uniform. Sweat suits with emblems are available for wear throughout the late fall, winter and early spring.
Students who participate in any of our three performance groups are required to dress in the performance uniform that is also available from our vendor.
All uniform items must be purchased from our vendor or secured from the Uniform Exchange which is maintained by the Home and School Association.