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TK and Kindergarten Academics at St. Nicholas School

Transitional Kindergarten

Our Transitional Kindergarten program provides the first year of an optional two-year Kindergarten curriculum giving space and time for our youngest Celtics to grow confidently into their abilities. This first year sets the foundation for learning in a safe and age-appropriate setting, introducing base concepts while giving parents an additional option to help their children enter kindergarten with the maturity and social skills needed for success. Our littlest Celtics join our older students as a fully integrated part of the St. Nicholas community, joining in morning prayer assembly, proudly wearing St. Nicholas uniforms, participating in buddy sessions, attending hot lunch, and playing daily on their specially suited TK-K playground. The curriculum is age and developmentally appropriate and aligned with the Kindergarten California Common Core State Standards. A centers-based learning approach is also used for individual, pair and or small group activities. St. Nicholas recognizes children learn in different ways and sometimes on different timelines. No one child is exactly like the other.  In response, St. Nicholas School closely monitors student’s academic growth through adaptive standardized testing data as well as ongoing informal forms of assessment. Educators are able to gain immediate feedback on students’ progress and adapt instructional plans, meeting the need of their students and ensuring they are best prepared to move into kindergarten.

Kindergarten

St. Nicholas offers a full day (8:00-3:00) kindergarten program with one full-time credentialed teacher and two full-time instructional assistants allowing us to offer direct instruction in both whole class and small group formats in all core subjects. We offer a comprehensive academic program promoting intellectual, social, spiritual and emotional development. It is our mission to teach Catholic values while fostering lifelong learning for the whole child. We strive to understand each child’s unique style of learning. St. Nicholas recognizes children learn in different ways and sometimes on different timelines. No one child is exactly like the other. In response, St. Nicholas School closely monitors student’s academic growth through adaptive standardized testing data as well as ongoing informal forms of assessment. Educators are able to gain immediate feedback on students’ progress and adapt instructional plans, meeting the need of their students and ensuring they are best prepared to move into first grade.

To learn about our curricula, please click on the topics below or contact us!

  • Father John Poncini, Pastor"
    Fr. John was born and raised in San Jose, he is one of nine children and has twenty-five nephews and nieces. His older brother, Fr. Laurence, is a priest of the Discalced Carmelite Friars. Fr. John earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy and Master’s Degree in Theology from Regina Apostolorum Pontifical University in Rome, Italy. He has worked as a missionary in both Spain and Mexico. Fr. John was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Patrick J. McGrath at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Joseph on June 4, 2005. His first assignment was at Saint Lucy’s Parish. In 2009, Bishop McGrath assigned Fr. John as Director of Vocations and Seminarians. He served as Chaplain to the English speaking Cursillo Movement, as well as to the Knights of Columbus. Bishop Daly worked closely with Fr. John in his capacity as Auxiliary Bishop. Fr. John became Pastor of St. Nicholas & St. William Parishes in July 2015.
  • Jan Popolizio, Principal"
    Mrs. Popolizio is a graduate of Queen of Apostles Elementary School and Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Engineering, from Cal Poly, with Master’s work completed at San Jose State University. She worked for Lockheed Martin as a Systems Engineer and Project Manager for many years, then became a business development manager before turning to education. She earned her teaching credential from National University and taught 4th grade for seven years at St. Lucy School in Campbell. She then spent five years serving as Vice Principal at St. Lucy, focusing her attention and leadership on building the next generation educational programs in grades 4th-8th. Mrs. Popolizio is honored to continue leading the dynamic educators and students here at St. Nicholas School! Mrs. Popolizio enjoys cooking, yoga and spending time at her mountain home in Incline Village. She lives in San Jose with her husband and has three grown children who have also attended K-12 catholic schools in the bay area.
  • Stacy French, Vice Principal, Director of Admissions"
    Ms. French is a Bay Area native, where she attended St. Mary’s, Five Wounds and Notre Dame High School, San Jose. She graduated from San Jose State University, with a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies, a minor in Psychology and completed the Multiple Subject Credential Program. In 2003, she earned a Master of Arts degree in Educational Administration from Santa Clara University. Ms. French came to St. Nicholas School in 1997 as the 5th grade teacher. She moved to the “other side of the quad” to teach 2nd grade before stepping into the Vice Principal role. Prior to coming to St. Nicholas she taught various grades in both the public and private sectors. She spent ten years working for a statewide Child Development organization as an Early Childhood Development Director, Program Supervisor, Human Resources Generalist and finally, a Recruiter. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, dancing, theater arts, traveling and spending time with her family and friends. For over 30 years, Ms. French performed and taught tap, ballet, jazz and theater arts. She continues her love of dance and theatre arts by teaching the St. Nicholas Young Performers (K-3) and co-producing the Spring Drama Production.
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