Fourth through Fifth Grade-Stepping into Specialized Instruction

In the 4th and 5th grades, our students begin to have departmentalized instruction. Each day starts in a homeroom setting. In 4th grade, each homeroom teacher instructs religion, language arts, math, and social science and specialized teachers rotate in for Spanish and science. In the 5th grade, the homeroom teachers instruct either language arts or social science and religion, and all other subjects are taught by subject specialized teachers. Departmentalization introduces students to the variations in instructional styles and students reap the benefits of specialization.

Curriculum Overview

Language Arts

A wide variety of literature is presented and read. The structures of poems, prose and dramas are studied. Students write multiple paragraph essays and present facts to support their views. Students create presentations and share with their classmates.


In 4th and 5th grade students move through multi-digit multiplication and division. Angles, graphs and volume are learned. Multiplication of fractions and decimals, planes and graphing points are part of the 5th grade curriculum.


Students are exposed to Church doctrine and the Holy Scriptures and how they apply to their lives. The lives of Saints and the meaning of the Beatitudes are presented. Students learn about family faith, Jesus as a person of service and the Catholic sacraments.


Fourth and fifth-grade science is instructed by a specialized science teacher. Students learn how organisms process information and the fundamentals of energy movement. Astronomy is introduced with the distance of the stars and the components of our atmosphere.

Social Science

The fourth grade is focused on California History and that includes hands-on learning in Coloma and a day of historical activities on campus. The fifth-grade studies Colonial History and the issues of colonization, slavery, and the Constitution. The fifth-grade year concludes with Colonial activities on campus complete with a courtroom reenactment.

Foreign language (Spanish)

Spanish includes vocabulary, grammar, and verb conjugation. Writing in Spanish is also introduced.


An hour of formal art instruction is part of the curriculum. Art is used to support the curriculum in all subjects. Our classroom teachers collaborate with our art teachers to create cross curriculum art projects such as sketching a California Mission, using ink to draw insects, and recreating Native American pieces.

Physical Education

Students have two periods of Physical Education in the fourth and fifth grade. Learning is focused on building strength and the fundamentals of team sports. Students learn offense, defense, teams play and learn sports such as hockey, volleyball, soccer and handball.


A formal music lesson is provided each week by our music teacher who introduces instruments, beat, vocals and more. Songs tied to California and Colonial history are learned. The composition of music and differing notes are taught. The 5th grade participates in the Diocesan Choral Festival.

Service Learning

Service learning in the fourth and fifth grade focuses on social justice and the environment. Students support food drives, clothing drives, make lunches and work as a group on Christmas charity projects.

Field Trips

Every grade takes at least two field trips. Field trips support classroom learning. Some examples for the fourth and fifth grade include:
Coloma overnight camping
Chabot Space and Science Center
State Capital and Railroad Museum


7:55 am – 3:00 pm   See calendar for special Wednesday schedule

Extended care available


Each classroom is staffed by a full-time credentialed teacher 

25 to 30 in each class
(maximum capacity 36)


Computers and iPads are used to supplement learning


We are a family at Saint Simon.  When we say we are partners in your child’s education we put those words into action by providing a variety of opportunities for you to participate in our classrooms, in our community and in the direction of our school.  You will receive information on events in our classrooms, Parish and our School Community Council for you to participate in. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us to share your talents.


All of our students are given the opportunity to lead in various ways.  Each class is in charge of a Mass and students are asked to participate in reading and serving.  The classrooms have jobs and responsibilities that require stepping into leadership. Classrooms also  have ambassadors that greet visitors or host new students. To learn more click the student life button. 

Student Life

Example special events and enrichment activities include:  

Colonial Day

California History Day

Diocesan Choral Festival