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Students learning
Students learning

Our Curriculum and Instruction Philosophy

St. Ann’s Academy exists to provide a Catholic education in the Hornell area so that our children can learn in an environment that enables them to become well-grounded spiritually and exceptional academically.  It is our goal to educate our children by cultivating the whole person – mind, body, and soul – uniting a spiritual life with work, study, and play.  We believe that a rigorous, faith-based education and vibrant Catholic culture should be within reach of all parents who seek this formation for their children.


St. Ann’s Academy implements a Dynamic Grouping approach to individualizing instruction to each student.  This means that if, through regular grade testing, and with a teacher’s assessment, a student is above or below teaching levels in any subject – the teacher can have that student participate in another grade level in that subject to see if the student would be more attuned to the new level.  Students move in and out of leveled groups to fit their ability. 


Students at St. Ann’s Academy also work in a multi-age classroom setting.  There are many benefits to this type of classroom environment (source: Association for Childhood Education International):


Students are assessed each marking period (at a minimum) to track growth and progress.  The QRI (Qualitative Reading Inventory) is administered to each student to document student growth throughout the school year.  Students are also assessed on their mathematics skills using a Saxon math placement test and continuing with benchmark assessments throughout the school year. 

We would like to thank St. John Bosco Schools (Rochester, NY) for guidance and assistance in writing our curriculum and standards.  We are also grateful to Dr. Alicia Wheaton for sharing her expertise in elementary curriculum.  Dr. Wheaton holds a Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction, Master’s of Science in Management Information Systems, and a Master’s in Education as an Instructional Specialist. 

Our Learning Standards:   

St. Ann's Academy follows a challenging curriculum that exceeds NYS Standards and also includes daily religious instruction.  Our curriculum has been reviewed and approved by the Hornell City School District Superintendent. 

Religious Education
  • Pre-K: God Made the World (Loyola Press)

  • Kindergarten: Finding God (Loyola Press)

  • Grades 1-3: Finding God (Loyola Press)

SAA Faith in Action... Daily Prayers, Monthly Mass, & Charity:

It is very important to us that our students not only read about the Catholic faith, but that they actually live it:  we begin each day with the entire school gathered together for morning prayers, the Pledge of Allegiance, and special intentions; we attend and participate in First Friday Mass each month at St. Ann's Church and also attend Mass on all Holy Days of Obligation; we schedule local Priests and Deacons to visit the school and speak with the children on a regular basis; and we ensure that our students participate in charitable projects throughout the year.

Exploring Faith Through Art

We are very excited to include art history in our Grades 1-6 Religious Education programs.  Children will learn about the Catholic faith through the study of classic art work.

Exploring Faith Through Art Overview Video

- Exploring Faith Through Art Program Overview (pdf)

- Sample Lesson (pdf)

English Language Arts

View our ELA Standards

Textbooks/programs used:

  • Pre K Reading: Happily Ever After

  • K-3 ELA: Savvas My View Literacy

Reading & comprehension is supplemented with the Headsprout 

program and the Raz Kids program

ELA is supplemented with the IXL grammar program


View our  Math Standards

Textbooks/programs used:

  • Pre-K: Custom teacher-created program

  • K-3: Savvas enVision Mathematics

Math work is supplemented with the IXL math program


View our Science Standards

Textbooks/program used:

  • Pre-K and K-3: Custom teacher-created program that is project-based


SAA holds a school-wide science fair each spring.

In addition, students in grades K-8 participate in SAA annual Science Fair.   

Social Studies

View our Social Studies Standards

Textbooks/program used:

  • Pre-K and K-3: Custom teacher-created program that is project-based.

PE/Art/Music/Library/Technology/AIS & Enrichment

Our grade K and up students attend PE (gym/swim) 2 days per week at the Hornell YMCA.


All students have an AEIS period daily (AEIS = Academic Enrichment & Intervention Services).  This time is devoted to providing extra challenges or extra help, depending on the needs of the individual student.

Technology (computer usage and instruction) is integrated into all classes. Upper grade students use Google Classroom and the G-Suite for Education apps.  They also use innovative programs such as PenPal Schools and listen to educational podcasts.

Library is held once per week. 

Hands-on, Cross-Curricular Learning

Our teachers emphasize hands-on, cross-curricular learning, which means our students learn math while doing science projects, religion while doing social studies projects, and ELA while doing everything!  This approach brings learning to life for our students and allows them to make lasting connections across multiple disciplines.


Please visit our Facebook photo pages to see what our students have been doing in (and out of) their classrooms.  Our teachers are very creative! 


If you have questions about our curriculum, please contact (607) 281-1010. 

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