It is the mission of Divine Mercy Academy to enable all children to develop their unique, individual potential by blending knowledge and faith to become leaders of tomorrow.
The curriculum at Divine Mercy Academy is consistent with the philosophy of education which recognizes the value of the person. In keeping with the students’ individuality, the core curriculum provides content and instructional levels based on students’ abilities and performances. Diversity necessitates that instruction for all students take place individually or in small groups. In reading and math the sequential and continuous development of skill is based on the Pittsburgh Diocesan Guidelines for continuous growth.
The classroom teacher is encouraged to effectively utilize the auxiliary services available in providing approprieate levels and modes of instruction. The teacher is responsible for identifying students in need of special assistance or motivation, and in conjunction with the principal, arrange for them to be enrolled in either remedial or enrichment classes.
Divine Mercy Academy uses a Spanish teacher in grades Kindergarten through eight. It is weekly instructional lessons that allows students in grade one to understand basic vocabulary words and expressions along with responses to simple questions and commands. In grade two there is continued emphasis on listening and speaking skills. The program increases in content as the students progress through the curriculum to grade three, where the scope widens to include the Spanish alphabet and exploration of how different sounds are spelled. In grades four, five and six, the students begin to read and write in Spanish.
The language arts program includes phonetic development, English, reading, spelling and handwriting. English and spelling are taught through grammatical and literature-based methods. The Diocese of Pittsburgh guidelines are implemented in every aspect of the language arts program. Proper handwriting techniques are practiced and taught daily. The reading program offers various forms of literature to develop an understanding and respect for people of all ages and backgrounds. Reading and phonetic skills are developed through the reading program. Vocabulary, oral reading, predicting and summarizing are some of the skills stressed in this area of the curriculum. These skills are facilitated through whole class, small group and individual instruction. A variety of activities encompass each student’s individual learning style and ability level.
All students attend music classes once or twice a week depending on grade level. Fundamentals of music are taught, as well as learning songs for Liturgy. Students may cantor for school Liturgies. During the year, our students perform in programs before Christmas and in the spring. All students are expected to participate in the school and evening performance.
All students are required to take physical education classes either once or twice a week depending on grade level.
In accordance with our philosophy of providing a Christian atmosphere of learning and developing the whole person, prayer is a central part of our day at all grade levels. The Eighth Grade students begins each day with a prayer. A variety of materials and resources, such as scripture stories, class discussions, projects and prayer services, are employed to foster both spiritual growth and moral development. In addition, each grade level participates in a service project to benefit the local community. Students are expected to attend 9:20 a.m. Liturgy once a week. Students participate in these Liturgies as lectors, altar servers, cantors or musicians. Grades 1,2,3 participate in Monday Liturgy, grades 4,5,6 participate in Wednesday Liturgy, and grades 7,8 participate in Friday Liturgy. If the total entire school is attending Liturgy, the Monday and Wednesday Liturgies will not be attended that week. Parents are always welcome at the School Liturgies.
Students are taught the inquiry methods and the use of the scientific method. Areas of study in science include life science, physical science, earth science and the human body. Students engage in hands-on science experiments in the classroom and the designated science laboratory. The goal of the science program is to develop thinking skills that will serve students in becoming better problem solvers and intellectual decision-makers.
In the primary grades, the social studies curriculum emphasizes people, neighborhoods and communities in our world. The students acquire a basic knowledge of mapping skills, geography and history. Intermediate grades are taught United States geography and history. In fourth grade, there is an emphasis on the history and geography of Pennsylvania. American history is studied in grade five, and world geography in grade six. Students in grade seven study United States history up to the Civil War. Eighth grade students study history from the Civil War to the present. At all grade levels, geography, history, economics, civics and multicultural awareness are key elements that are explored.