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Academic Information


St. Helen School follows the Graded Course of Study of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati Catholic Schools Office. The curriculum is aligned with the State of Ohio’s Learning Standards. The areas of study are religion, language arts, math, science, social studies, music, technology, physical education, health, and art. Religion Courses are taught at every grade level. Students, regardless of religious affiliation, participate in Religion classes and receive an academic grade which appears on the report card. The report card grade for the Religion courses reflects the student’s ability to understand the teachings of the Catholic Church Schools following the Religion Graded Course of Study provided by the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

Cursive Writing

Cursive writing is a skill that aids the fine motor and sensory development and is an important cognitive exercise. St. Helen School will follow this instructional path in regards to cursive writing:

  • Grade 2-introduction to cursive writing

  • Grade 3-mastery of cursive writing

  • Grade 4-strengthening of skills

  • Grade 5-8-maintenance of skills; students will be able to read and write cursive writing


St. Helen School follows the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and State of Ohio requirements regarding standardized testing. The Archdiocese of Cincinnati requires that the iReady Alternative Assessment be administered annually. Students receiving State of Ohio scholarships may be required to participate in additional state testing.


The Archdiocese of Cincinnati also requires all students in grades 5 and 8 to take the ACRE (Assessment of Child Religious Education) Test. All students, regardless of religious affiliation, take the test. In addition, students in grades 5 an d8 will take the State Science Test.


Assessment results will be reviewed for instructional purposes, as well as for intervention, guidance, grade-promotion decisions and evaluation. In addition to standardized testing, multiple and appropriate assessments aligned with the curriculum will be utilized to measure student growth.


Third Grade Reading Guarantee:  Grades K-3:  Students are assigned to take a screening at the beginning, middle, and end of each school year in Reading. This screening determines if the student is “OnTarget” or not. If the student is not on target, they will be placed on a RIMP (Reading Improvement Monitoring Plan) with conferences and communication with the parents throughout the year. 


In third grade, a student must attain a reading promotion score on an approved alternative test(s) or the state’s English Language Arts test in the student’s third grade year in order to be promoted to fourth grade.  If a promotional score is not earned on the spring state test or spring alternative test, the third grade student would be retained in third grade.  This requirement is part of Ohio’s Third Grade Reading Guarantee.  Although Summer School could be recommended, it would not be accepted for a promotion to the Fourth Grade due to the State’s score return dates and St. Helen enrollment process. Specific info can be found on ODE’s website referencing the Third Grade Guarantee.


All textbooks are approved by the Archdiocese. Books are to be covered at all times. Covers must be provided by the student. A book bag must be used whenever books are taken home. Students who lose their books will be assessed the value of the book. Students will be charged for books which are defaced or destroyed while in their possession.

Report Cards

St. Helen School issues report cards to the families on a trimester basis. All tuition, fees, and fines must be paid before the final report card is issued.

Interim reports may be issued throughout each grading period. Interim Reports will be issued at the mid-point in each trimester if a student is doing less than satisfactory work (C– or S-). They will also be given if there is a radical change in a child’s performance. Student grades can be accessed at any time via Option C.

Progress Code Kindergarten-2nd 

4 – Consistently Demonstrates/Exceeds Proficiency

3 – Frequently Demonstrates Proficiency

2 – Progressing Toward Proficiency

1 – Demonstrates Limited Progress Toward Proficiency

N/A – Not Assessed This Grading Period

Effort Grade (Grades 1-8)

  1. Satisfactory

  2. Needs Improvement


The effort grade includes the following general criteria:

  • Completion of assigned work on time

  • Attention to task

  • Participation in class

  • Neatness of work

Progress Codes Grades 3-8

A+       100-99
A          98-95
A-        94-93
B+       92-90
B          89-87
B-        86-85
C+       84-82
C         81-79
C-        78-77
D+       76-74 (below average)
D         73-72 (below average)
D-        71-70 (below average)
F          Failing (below 70)
I           Incomplete—Insufficient amount of work to determine grade, incomplete work must be made up within two weeks.

*Ability Adjusted Curriculum — Curriculum adjusted to meet special needs of students.


Homework is an outgrowth of class work. The amount of time a student spends on homework will vary from student to student, but the following serves as an approximate guide:

  • Kindergarten: 10 minutes per night

  • Grade 1: 20 minutes per night

  • Grades 2 and 3: 30 minutes per night

  • Grades 4, 5, and 6: 45-60 minutes per night

  • Grades 7 and 8: 60-90 minutes per night

Updated September 17, 2023

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