Our language arts program is created to address the specific needs of each individual student. Our teachers draw from many different methods, including Davis Dyslexia, Real Spellers, Structured Word Inquiry, EmPOWER writing and Real Script. In the elementary school program, we focus on helping students gain an understanding of the basic foundations of language - from letter formation and orientation, to recognition and comprehension of high frequency words. We focus on helping students build solid comprehension skills when reading through daily reading practice, guided lessons on story structure, summarizing and predicting, and investigating new or frequently missed words and concepts. Teachers also guide students through the writing process beginning with basic sentence structure and building up to full stories and research essays. The language arts classes are often structured with centers that allow the teachers to work 1:1 or 2:1 with students on their specific areas of need.
Our math program is based on the Common Core Standards for any given grade level, while building a deep conceptual understanding. Our teachers draw on many established approaches, including work from Jo Boaler and Marilyn Burns, Woodin Math, Singapore Math, Making Math Real, and NRich. Physical manipulatives, visual diagrams, and other supports are integrated into our math lessons in order to utilize our students’ strengths. The math program is created to give students a conceptual understanding of math, as well as an understanding of how the topics and concepts they are studying can be applied to the ‘real world.’ Math classes are structured to allow for investigations into mathematical thinking, direct instruction on a given topic, skill practice and retention, and project time. This structure allows the teachers to work with small groups on specific areas of need. The curriculum spirals from year to year so that students continue to revisit foundational math principles at a deeper level each year.
Integrated Science/Social Studies:
Our integrated science and social studies program is created on a rotating five year cycle that addresses major themes in these disciplines. Teachers have created enduring questions with these themes in mind and the students will be completing activities and projects throughout the year that will help them have a deeper understanding of things such as “What is the value of a voting structure?” This project-based approach allows students to investigate applicable aspects of their world while building lifelong skills, such as evaluating informational sources, asking good questions, planning and carrying out a project, and self-advocacy.
Social Emotional Learning (SEL):
Through implicit and explicit instruction, every learner in our elementary school is given tools for developing a robust social and emotional foundation. During weekly SEL classes, students engage in activities and discussions around topics related to self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision making.
SEL is woven into the fabric of all instruction on campus. From morning meetings to daily check ins and throughout all content areas, students are encouraged to engage authentically and to advocate for what they need to help create their best learning environment.
Art and Music:
Every student receives instruction each week in these disciplines. Each program is designed to give the students a basic, foundational understanding of the principles for the subject. In art they work on self-expression, while understanding color, perspective, space, and composition. Music classes help students build their rhythm skills, increase their understanding of music notation, work together as an ensemble, and develop their singing muscles.
The effective and appropriate use of technology is an integral part of the lives of our students. In the elementary school, all students have a technology class once a week. This class focuses on giving students a new and deeper understanding of the fundamental building blocks of today’s technology, as well as its proper place in our lives and society, with a focus on how things work, exemplified by code development on iOS and MacOS, 3D Printing, microcontrollers, and robotics.