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Academics

The fundamental skills required for success

Learn Grow Achieve

Saint Gregory’s is a co-educational, independent, Catholic school for students of all faiths from age 3 to 8th grade. For more than 60 years, the school has been graduating students of strong moral character who have gone on to competitive secondary and boarding schools, and from there to selective colleges and universities. In our close-knit community, each child is known, valued, and inspired. Our talented teachers actively promote intellectual curiosity and self-discipline in students and are dedicated to preparing every child to thrive and grow in the classroom, on the field, on the stage, and beyond. With a 6:1 ratio, our teachers connect with students on a one-to-one level, tap into children’s interests, and build strong bonds that last a lifetime. Our classes are small by design and allow teachers to understand what motivates children and help them overcome obstacles.

Saint Gregory’s graduates are known for being hardworking, confident, energetic leaders with strong academic achievements but also impressive interpersonal skills and poise. SGS students stand out. They emerge from our pre-k through 8th grade journey focused on the next step of their academic career, ready to embrace whatever the future may bring.

Saint Gregory’s School has been graduating students of strong moral character with a thirst for learning for more than 60 years.

Early Childhood

Nurturing. Creative. Welcoming. Learning.

Saint Gregory’s School provides an exemplary early childhood program that ensures individual developmental needs are met. On our beautiful 22-acre campus, children engage in daily outside play, including seasonal recreational activities and nature exploration. Our early childhood teachers deliver a structured, comprehensive curriculum and dedicate afternoons for additional enrichment activities, including science, technology, engineering, math challenges and outdoor exploration. In addition, our qualified pre-K through 8th grade faculty ensures that even our youngest learners participate in Spanish, music, physical education and art classes on a weekly basis to optimize personal development.

Our students learn what it means to contribute to the SGS family and the larger responsibilities of being part of the community. Within our nurturing and warm environment, our values of respect, empathy, kindness and decency are modeled each day. When you step on our campus, the warmth and character of our community shines through; it is a place where your child is known and treasured.

As our three-year-old students walk through the hallways at SGS, they are filled with excitement and an enthusiasm for learning in a nurturing and supportive environment. Each day our teachers engage in active and meaningful activities. Children are eager learners who test their senses and explore their community through active indoor and outdoor play and hands-on discovery. Our teachers know and value each student and when a child feels good about school, positive attitudes are formed that provide a lifetime of intellectual growth and curiosity.

– Children in our pre-K3 program have the option to attend 3-5 mornings a week from 8:20am to 11:30am.

– A lunch option to stay until 12:30pm is available for a nominal fee.

– Full day options, with a 3:20pm dismissal, are also available.

Our pre-K4 program recognizes that each child is unique, having their own ideas, preferences, interests and learning styles. We want them to feel nurtured, loved and respected. We strive to instill in them a love of learning and a confidence in their ability to learn, achieve success and overcome obstacles. We encourage kindness.

Our students are introduced to core concepts and kindergarten readiness skills through exploration and play. Children paint, draw, write, build, sing, count, bake, listen to stories, problem solve, share, play, create and conduct simple science experiments; building skills in literacy, math, reading readiness and writing. The goal is to learn and have fun every day!

 – Children attend pre-K4 five mornings a week from 8:20am until 11:30am.    

– Full day options with a 3:20pm dismissal, are also available.

– A lunch option to stay until 12:30pm is offered daily for a nominal fee.

Lower School

Challenging. Supportive. Innovative. Creative. Fun.

These are just some of the words parents use to describe our kindergarten through Grade 4 experience. At SGS, we teach a rigorous curriculum and embrace each child individually, challenging all of our students to reach their fullest potential: intellectually, artistically, physically, morally and spiritually. Whether it is tallying pumpkin seeds from our garden, building bridges, designing Native American villages, mastering multiplication and division, geography skills, tackling public speaking or completing an independent author study: our students are encouraged to think critically and to become independent thinkers. Our older students assist younger ones, building respect, self-esteem and collaboration. Recess is an integral part of our daily life, giving our children a chance to play, enjoy the outdoors, be creative and solve social and emotional problems.

SGS students create memories and carry out traditions that last a lifetime. Our four-year-old students hatch butterflies, the kindergartners tap trees on our campus for maple syrup, first graders do an in-depth animal research project that involves a trip to the zoo and second graders build paper-mache models of the continents to learn geography. Third graders dive into enriched novels and fourth graders research different Native American tribes and then design and build a model of how the tribe lived historically. Increasingly, students are prepared to tackle more varied and rigorous programs.

The kindergarten year builds on the learning and experiences from our preschool programs. Writing and revising daily in a journal is just one way our kindergarten program fosters a love of learning while building fundamental life and academic skills.  The curriculum emphasizes language arts – reading, comprehension, writing, speaking, listening and vocabulary development. Mathematical and problem-solving skills, scientific exploration, art, music, physical education and wellness, Spanish, technology, and free indoor and outdoor play fill the days with rich learning opportunities and experiences. The supportive atmosphere, predictable routines and reasonable behavioral expectations allow students to feel secure to take on more academic and social risks.

Kindergarten is a full, five day program.

First graders are eager to advance their reading and writing abilities and build on the skills learned in kindergarten. The objective is to foster strong decoding skills, develop writing skills to respond to literature, introduce the principles of good spelling and penmanship and develop public speaking and listening skills. Students learn new math concepts, complete challenging word problems and practice basic math facts.

First graders are emerging scientists, engineers, writers, artists and musicians who learn through field trips, games and hands-on activities. First grade is a time of increasing independence, from walking to class without an adult to preparing for weekly spelling assessments. At SGS, we emphasize respect and what it means to be part of a community.

Second graders rush to the classroom excited to see their friends and to start their day. They have moved beyond simple words, building greater fluency through a designated vocabulary program. Students are taught to write stories with a beginning, middle and end. They are working to master two and three digit addition and subtraction, solving multi-step word problems and gearing up for basic multiplication. By the end of second grade, students will have sharper, critical thinking, reading and writing skills. Organizational skills are taught and students are expected to be accountable for their learning and behavior.

In third grade, there are greater expectations for independence and application of foundational skills learned in the earlier years. Students are expected to use their resources to solve problems. The program emphasizes reading novels and combining skills to read for meaning and purpose. Students are encouraged to read independently outside of school and infer information about what they read and hear. Writing is daily and longer pieces that inform, persuade, or entertain are revised for sentence structure, grammar and punctuation. The early foundation set in mathematics is evident as students apply their knowledge to larger numbers and more challenging topics with addition and subtraction, place value, multiplication and division, fractions, decimals, time, money and basic geometry.

This is an age where students begin to emerge as leaders and independent thinkers who are able to express their viewpoints more clearly.

Our hard-working fourth graders are ready for and desire the challenge of being the leaders of the lower school. Students accept more responsibility for their learning and apply the skills learned in previous grades. Reading and writing is emphasized across disciplines. Fourth graders research and write a report on a Native American tribe and build a historically accurate model of the tribe’s village. Later in the year, they draft, re-write and revise a creative piece that is then published in book form. Exploration and discovery continue with PLTW ( Project Lead the Way) science program that students began in kindergarten, emphasizing hands-on problem solving and collaboration.

Fourth graders are challenged with more complex mathematics and word problems. Our students leave the lower school self-assured with a strong foundation that will serve them well in the upper school and beyond.

Upper School

Independence. Leadership. Challenging. Confidence

We pride ourselves on each and every aspect of upper school life. Our upper school is deliberately not called a middle school because our students are not caught in the middle of high school and elementary school. We know it is the time in a young person’s life when he or she wants to become more independent. Our students are allowed to take on leadership responsibilities that develop confidence, a true sense of self and what they want to accomplish. At the same time, our students are allowed to be “a kid a little bit longer,” free from the social influences of high school students.

Saint Gregory’s is a place where fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth graders begin to see themselves as independent learners. The shift is developmentally appropriate and sets the stage for success in high school. In addition to studying math, science, history, English, Spanish, religion, music and art, our seventh and eighth grade students begin studying Latin, which increases students’ vocabulary and reading comprehension. Upper school students enhance their study of music with the handbell and chimes. Annual field trips to New York City and Boston tie in with a theme or the study of a novel, as do trips to local gems such as the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, Hyde Collection in Glens Falls, the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge and outdoor adventures in the Adirondacks. The eighth grade year culminates in a trip to Washington, D.C.; the money for which is raised entirely by the students.

Giving back to one’s community is an important message imparted to our students at an early age. Countering the “me centered” society, Saint Gregory’s students stand apart. They volunteer outside of school, and help with jobs at school, from raising the flag and taking attendance to assisting with the delivery of our lunch program. These “chores” teach responsibility and help foster the sense of family.

In eighth grade, our students use the study of history, religion and technology to create a year-long capstone project. Our teachers teach an advanced curriculum and our students graduate ready for the most demanding of secondary school programs, having accomplished high school credits. Our graduates are well prepared for whichever high school they attend.

Our industrious students are primed for a year of exciting changes: a new uniform, a locker, an advisor and traveling to different classrooms for every class. The changes symbolize the increase in expectations for independence, collaboration, and application of foundational skills learned in the lower school. SGS strives to expose students to the highest academic standards. Teachers work across disciplines to encourage risk-taking, ownership of learning, organization, time management and hard work as students transition from concrete to abstract thinking. Putting up and bringing down the flag, distributing milk, or reading to a younger student are just a few of the ways students help out the community. As in the lower school, learning is an ongoing journey and recess continues to be an important part of the upper school day.

Our sixth graders continue to develop their critical thinking and creative skills. Students are expected to be more autonomous learners while handling an increased academic workload. In homeroom, advisory and all classes, study skills, organizational skills, time management, note-taking, self-advocacy and responsibility are emphasized. Sixth- grade students are ready for a deeper understanding of subjects and their intellectual skills are expanding. Sixth- grade students participate in a wide variety of activities with the older students, including sports teams and hand-bell ringing, that foster a sense of unity in the upper school.

Seventh graders begin to see themselves as independent learners, which sets the stage for success in high school. SGS students continue to strive for excellence as they explore art history, world music and the political and strategic role upstate New York played in the forming of North America. Field trips to Fort Ticonderoga, Saratoga Springs battle site and Hyde Park help build on classroom learning and historical empathy. Guided by teachers and advisors who know and care, students continue to grow personally and intellectually while developing character, a sense of community, and leadership responsibilities.   

Eighth grade is the culmination of a Saint Gregory’s education. Faculty continue to teach essential academic skills in an environment that encourages risk taking and responsibility. Our students are well-prepared for secondary school, college and beyond, often earning them advanced placement. Experiences such as the Washington, D.C. trip, cultural field trips and a year-long capstone project help give our students opportunities to succeed. Equally important, our graduates are equipped with life skills, the teaching of which began in their early years at Saint Gregory’s: speak with confidence, work collaboratively, think critically, act empathetically, accept new challenges, solve problems and use information to better the world.

Each upper school student at Saint Gregory’s has an advisor to mentor, support, and advocate for him or her. Students belong to an advisory group that meets formally once a week.

The support for students at Saint Gregory’s isn’t limited to just their advisor: teachers are available for extra help during the early mornings, recess, and after school. Beyond the formal advisory times, students also meet as a group for homeroom and morning assembly.

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