Enhanced Curriculum PLUS!

My job as the marketing director was new this past year.  Our school has all kinds of offices, but none of which were dedicated to the marketing department— you know Little Ole’ Me. 

It actually worked out fine because what I enjoy most about my job is meeting new families, giving tours, and answering questions about our awesome school.  So, I like to think the whole school was my office during those early days.

As we would walk during a school tour, I would explain that St. Mary’s has an “enhanced curriculum”.  Recently I have thought about using the phrase “Enhanced Curriculum PLUS!” — yes, with the exclamation mark!  The word enhanced explains that our curriculum exceeds both state and national standards.  And the PLUS!? Well, that’s where we really shine.                                              

Karmen Lowery, computer teacher, is a great example of the PLUS!.  Her classroom is the main computer lab.  In the course of an entire school year, Mrs. Lowery teaches all 430 of our kindergarten through 8th grade students.  Impressive, huh?

Mrs. Lowery has five years of teaching experience.  She and I were both new in our positions last year, and she invited me to use a spot in the computer lab to do my work.  It quickly became my favorite place to work while my office was getting organized.

Working in the computer lab gave me an opportunity to see Mrs. Lowery in action.   I noticed early on how she seamlessly dovetailed what she did in her computer lab with what the students were learning in their classes.  For example, the kindergarten students were learning how to count money.  Mrs. Lowery at the same time included money counting computer programs to reinforce what they were learning.  

Mrs. Lowery’s computer classes are interesting, and she has an inviting teaching style.  You can tell that the students really enjoy computer class as she is able to engage them in a variety of ways.  As if I were back in college and auditing the class, even I enjoyed it!  I am surprised by how much I learned in the time I was in the computer lab.

Then, just when you think she was interesting enough, I found myself learning about coding when she had the 4th through 8th grade students in the computer lab!

Mrs. Lowery does not rest on her laurels, I hear that coding will be bigger and more challenging this year.  Our 7th grade students will be using a software tool to strengthen their knowledge about financial concepts.  And, our 8th grade students will build on what they have been learning in the area of movie/video capabilities.   Mrs. Lowery is also exploring many other areas where her experience, ingenuity, and our school’s technology resources can engage our students in interesting and creative ways.


When new families visit St. Mary on the Hill Catholic School and ask about our subjects and structure, we can’t leave it at “curriculum”— rather, it is an enhanced curriculum. 

“Enhanced” explains that our curriculum exceeds state and national standards, but it helps to enunciate how our teachers expand learning in the classroom that make our curriculum great!

So, I think it is more accurate to describe our curriculum as enhanced curriculum PLUS!  The plus is important because our teachers have the flexibility (i.e. freedom) to use their experience and ingenuity in the classroom.