St. Peter the Apostle Catholic School

Student studying amphibians
"It's high growth and high performance. It's a reflection of how good the Nancy Larson Science program is."

Real science, real test score results
St. Peter the Apostle Catholic School in the Fort Worth Diocese was looking for a way to improve their science test scores. They decided to try Nancy Larson Science 3 with their third and fourth graders. The results came in and they were blown away. “The test results showed high growth and high performance. Our fourth graders showed more growth in science than any other Catholic school in the diocese,” said St. Peter’s principal, Dr. Cindy Cummins. “I think it’s a reflection of how good the Nancy Larson Science program is.’’

Reading strategies help with comprehension
In addition to an increase in their students’ standardized test scores, the teachers at St. Peter’s have also seen improved comprehension of nonfiction text. Fourth grade teacher Helen Scott sees the science program’s reading strategies, such as identifying and highlighting important information, as a strong point for students’ retaining information. Scott explains, “The reading strategies that Nancy Larson has incorporated into her program really help with comprehension. The reason the students are doing so well on the reviews and tests in the classroom is that they actually understand what they are learning.”


Scientific talk
Third grade teacher Lisa Giardino enjoys the focus on advanced scientific vocabulary in the Nancy Larson Science program. “Science is kind of like a foreign language; when students can understand what they’re saying and are not just repeating the words, they are more likely to understand the concept,” said Giardino. “My students are able to use their vocabulary to converse about the lessons in a scientific manner.”

Real scientific experiments
The Nancy Larson Science program encourages hands-on learning. In each lesson, students are able to get an idea of what a scientist would study by being that scientist. “The students get so excited when they find out they get to be scientists like astronomers and geologists,” said Scott. “They really pick up on the concepts and it’s also exciting for them because they are experiencing what that scientist does.”

Grade Equivalencies on Science ITBS