Elementary School Student Experience

Field Trips
Field trips are an excellent way to engage students and foster the connection between the academics in the classroom and how it applies to the real world.  Field trips are planned for the year and a schedule and cost are provided to the parents.  We strive for five to six field trips per year.

Enrichment
We have a schedule of daily enrichment classes.  Each class attends art, PE, music, Spanish, Social Thinking, and Bible.  

Spanish
We use Sonrisas Spanish curriculum and the classes are taught in Spanish only (no English).  It is an immersion-style class.

Music
Students are taught basic concepts in music.  They perform a school-wide Christmas program.

Art
The art curriculum is a mix of Abeka curriculum and project-based themes in coordination with science and social studies and classroom collaborations.

Bible Curriculum
Bible is taught as part of an enrichment class but is also incorporated into the classroom.  It is followed up and supported all week by the classroom teachers and is part of Morning Meeting and Closing Circle.  It is integrated into the subjects in an authentic way and is part of the classroom community and discipline.  We strive for a seamless integration so that students do not see a line between the secular and the spiritual.    

Social Thinking
This class is based in emotional intelligence and is also closely tied to the life and example of Christ.  We are to think about others and think about what others are thinking.  Students learn how their behavior affects those that are around them and how Christ taught us to treat other people the way you want to be treated.  Students learn skills such as self-regulation and techniques for self-control.

Speech, Language, and Occupational Therapy
Speech and language services are provided for students who have a services plan in these areas.  It is provided by our school district SLP.  Occupational therapy is provided for students who would benefit from this service.

Our School-Wide Approach to Discipline

Responsive Classroom
We are a Responsive Classroom school.  Responsive Classroom is an evidence-based approach to teaching and discipline that focuses on engaging academics, positive community, effective management, and developmental awareness.  We want to create safe, joyful, and engaging classrooms and a school community where students develop strong social skills alongside their academic skills.  Our ultimate goal is for each child to thrive.

Our Guiding Principles:

  1. Teaching social and emotional skills is as important as teaching academic content.
  2. How we teach is as important as what we teach.
  3. Great cognitive growth occurs through social interaction.
  4. How we work together as adults to create a safe, joyful, and inclusive school environment is as important as our individual contribution and competence.
  5. What we know and believe about our students- individually, culturally, developmentally- informs our expectations, reactions, and attitudes about those students.

Classroom Practices and Strategies
These core classroom practices are at the heart of the Responsive Classroom approach.

*Interactive modeling - An explicit practice for teaching procedures and routines such as entering and exiting the room as well as academic and social skills.

*Teacher language - The intentional use of language to enable students to engage in their learning and develop the academic, social, and emotional skills they need to be successful in and out of school.

*Logical Consequences - A non-punitive response to misbehavior that allows teachers to set clear limits and students to fix and learn from their mistakes while maintaining their dignity.

*Interactive Learning Structures - Purposeful activities that give students opportunities to engage with content in active (hands-on) and interactive (social) ways.

*Morning Meeting - Everyone in the classroom gathers in a circle for twenty or thirty minutes at the beginning of each school day and proceeds through four sequential components: greeting, sharing, group activity, and morning message.

*Establishing Rules - Teacher and students work together to name individual goals for the year and establish rules that will help everyone reach those goals.

*Energizers - Short, playful whole-group activities that are used as brain breaks in lessons.

*Quiet Time - A brief, purposeful and relaxed time of transition that takes place after lunch and recess, before the rest of the school day continues.

*Closing Circle - A five to ten minute gathering at the end of the day that promotes reflection and celebration through participation in a brief activity.

RULER
We are a RULER school and are associated with Yale University.  Ruler is an evidence-based approach for integrating social and emotional learning into schools, developed at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence.  RULER applies “hard science” to the teaching of what have historically been called “soft skills”.  RULER teaches the skills of emotional intelligence- those associated with Recognizing, Understanding, Labeling, Expressing, and Regulating emotion.  Decades of research show that these skills are essential to effective teaching and learning, sound decision making, physical and mental health, and success in school and beyond.

Extracurricular Activities

Fine Arts: We have an extensive fine arts program including music lessons, drama classes, and dance.  It is a separate program with a separate tuition, but many of students choose to participate in these programs after school.

Runner’s Club: We offer a runner’s club for intermediate students who are interested in running before school.  They participate in a county-wide track and field event.

Speech Contest: The fourth and fifth graders participate in the county wide annual 4H Tropicana Speech Contest.