In the Elementary School, we are committed to creating an experience for children that provides unlimited opportunities for exploration and meaningful learning.
Our educational program is designed to foster the development of the whole child, focusing on intellectual, social and emotional growth. Within this rich context, our outstanding faculty aims to cultivate the talent and honor the unique qualities of every child. We strive to help children cultivate a rich understanding of concepts and ideas in addition to developing specific skills that enable them to express, practice and apply what they are learning each day.
We place value on the importance of a strong academic foundation, particularly with respect to literacy, mathematics, and multilingual growth. At the same time, we believe that an educational experience is incomplete without an emphasis on social-emotional learning, physical education, and the arts.
Our Balanced Literacy is Common Core aligned and it is a student-centered framework that helps our children to develop into confident and successful readers and writers. Our workshop model, which is based largely on the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, provides opportunities for teachers to engage students as a whole group, in small groups, and during individual conferences in order to target each child’s areas for growth. Additionally, an important element of our workshop model is that students share their thinking and work with peers, which builds the unique voice of each child and promotes collaborative learning.
Our math program is designed to balance an emphasis on a deep understanding of concepts and procedural knowledge that support mathematical fluency. We consistently use concrete manipulatives and visual representations of concepts to build a strong foundation of understanding. Additionally, students are challenged to solve problems in multiple ways to demonstrate flexible thinking and articulate responses both orally and in writing. Our goal is to establish high expectations for mastery and provide a rigorous and enriching learning experience for students based upon meeting or exceeding the Common Core State Standards.
Math Labs (from Grade 3 to Grade 5): The math coaches are taking the lead in identifying the needs of our learners and creating small groups across the grade. Based on the identified needs, all students will participate in "Math Labs" twice a week during their regularly scheduled math period. The idea behind this is to meet each student where they are at and to push them further in their learning. We are looking to expand this model across all grades.
All Elementary students receive daily lessons in Castellano or Spanish-as-an-Additional Language. One of the key strengths of our program is that students are placed within the appropriate class based on language development in Spanish. Therefore, regardless of whether students are native speakers or completely new to the Spanish language, they have an opportunity to receive instruction that is appropriate for the level of understanding.
Our SAL classes focus on all four domains of language development - listening, speaking, reading and writing. Our beginning students naturally focus on listening and speaking skills to develop a strong base of oral language skills. As students progress, there is an added emphasis on reading and writing skills to help children develop literacy skills in Spanish.
Students holding a Spanish passport are required to take Catalan once a week in 1st grade, twice in 2nd grade, and three times a week from 3rd grade onwards. US and international students take Spanish Catalan Studies, a class taught in Spanish on Spanish and Catalan culture.
Elementary students have art classes taught by a specialist once or twice a week depending on their weekly schedule. The focus of our Elementary Art program is to provide an opportunity for children to explore a variety of artistic media and develop a strong understanding of specific artistic concepts such as the use of line, shape, color, contrast, space, texture, perspective, narrative, portraiture, and symmetry. Students create drawings, paintings, prints, collages, and clay and paper maché sculptures inspired by literature, pop culture and 20th century art movements. In addition to creating both two-dimensional and three-dimensional works of art, students also learn about the work of renowned artists who utilize various artistic techniques to support expression. As a result, students come away with a strong appreciation for the visual arts, both as creators and thoughtful visual culture consumers.
Our PE program focuses on developing the student in three different domains: physical, cognitive and emotional. Nursery and Pre-K students have PE every single day of the week and our elementary students have PE classes once or twice a week depending on their schedule. The Major Units of the program are: Tchoukball, Handball, Soccer, Hockey, Tennis, Ultimate Frisbee, Basketball, Badminton, Dodge-ball, and Gymnastics. Besides these sports, our units also work other important aspects like Physical Condition and Fitness (speed, endurance, strength, flexibility,coordination, and balance), and Sportsmanship and Teamwork. We use many different games that engage students and help us reach our goals.
Elementary students have music classes taught by a specialist once or twice a week depending on their schedule. The focus of Elementary Music program is to help children develop a love for music and a strong understanding of specific musical concepts such as rhythm, pitch, and harmony. Classes are designed to provide a balance of music-making and musical theory to create an enjoyable and enriching experience. Students are exposed to different instruments such as ukelele, recorder, drums, and bar instruments.
The role of the Elementary School Library is to support classroom teachers. Our librarian provides a curriculum which enhances Kindergarten to Grade 5 Literacy Goals. These goals reflect the Common Core Reading Standards as well as the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) Standards for the 21st Century Learner.
All students have a weekly trip to the Elementary School library for a read aloud from the school librarian. We hope to encourage an enduring love for literature through listening to award winning fiction and nonfiction. Students develop a sense of independence as they choose their own books to read by themselves and with a reading partner. Children also have the opportunity to check out books on a regular basis to enjoy at home with family.
The library is also open throughout the day and before and after school for all members of the community. Come and use this valuable resource!
Our elementary students are in their second year of learning about robotics and programming through the Lego Education program. Projects are developed in order to encourage certain habits of mind that are essential for science and engineering growth, such as systems thinking, creativity, collaboration, and communication. From Kindergarten to 5th grade, the projects gradually increase in difficulty, and this progression allows students to gain confidence while also learning about important science topics. Our youngest students begin learning about simple machines and are introduced to the concept of programming through an app called “Scratch.” As students get older, they begin exploring simple and powered machines while working with WeDo 2.0 software and materials. Our oldest students synthesize their previous knowledge and begin creating customizable, programmable robots while using Lego Mindstorms Education EV3 software.
A distinguishing characteristic of the Elementary School is an emphasis placed upon our Social-Emotional Learning (SEL). Our SEL program combines daily routines like our Morning Meeting where each child is greeted by name from classmates, and specific units of study related to topics like celebrating individual differences.
We strongly believe that strenghtening social-emotional skills, such as forming friendships, managing emotions, and solving problems constructively, places children on a path for long-term success in all areas of life.
English as an Additional Language (EAL): Our EAL Program is designed for students who are continuing to develop their language proficiency in English. Depending on student needs, teachers use a combination of push-in and pull-out services to help students meet grade-level and curriculum standards. EAL support services begin in Kindergarten and are offered through 10th grade.
Learning Support (LS): This program encompasses as variety of strategies to meet the needs of students with mild to moderate learning differences. It is the job of the learning specialist to provide students with strategies and/or remediation such that they are able to experience academic success.
Our elementary social studies program is based on the C3 (College, Career, Civic Life) Framework for Social Studies Standards. Teachers are supported in the creation of inquiry-based units that involve students in hands-on investigation of compelling questions that span the social studies disciplines of history, geography, civics and economics. These units are integrated with the reading and writing units of study so that students are always pondering and constructing meaning across the disciplines.
Examples of compelling question that our students investigate are:
Kindergarten: Is everyone unique?
1st: How can families be the same and different?
2nd: If we live in the present, why should we care about the past?
3rd: How does our culture make us similar and different?
4th: Is it ever okay to break the rules?
5th: Why do countries need each other?
Our elementary science program is based on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) which calls for students to not just learn science, but to DO science. Through an inquiry-based approach, students make sense of phenomena in the world around them using the science and engineering practices. These practices include: asking questions and defining problems, developing and using models, planning and carrying out investigations, analyzing and interpreting data, using mathematics and computational thinking, engaging in argument from evidence, and obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information.
Our young scientists explore concepts of patterns, cause and effect, systems, energy and matter, structure and function, and stability and change.
MONTHLY FAMILY SESSIONS
Every month families are invited to their children's classroom. They can participate and learn about what their children are learning and be active participants in the learning process in different content areas.
This is an event organized by our Elementary Principal to share and talk with parents about some interesting books and relevant topics related to child development and learning.
FLEXIBLE SEATING AND STUDENT-CENTERED CLASSROOM REDESIGN
SUCCESS FOR ALL STUDENTS