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Special Curricular Offerings
Spanish lessons are held twice weekly for Lower and Upper Elementary students and once weekly for full-day Primary and Kindergarten students. Spanish instruction is done in whole group settings, as well as in small groups and one-on-one. Basic conversation and common expressions are a key focus. Emphasis is placed on listening and speaking in the early years, with reading and writing components added as children get older and/or are ready for these skills. Children are taught vocabulary such as numbers, colors, days of the week, months of the year, parts of the body, the seasons, weather, etc. through repetition, songs, nomenclature cards, games, and other activities.
In 2015-2016, we initiated an Immersion Spanish Pilot Program, which meets twice weekly for classes taught solely en Espanol!
In Middle School, those with several years' experience of classroom Spanish classes (or with other extensive Spanish vocabulary experiences) may take a challenging Spanish 1 course five days per week (thereby preparing to take Spanish 2 as a freshman in high school).
Art lessons are held once a week for Kindergarten and Elementary students. Throughout the year, students explore working with different media, such as pencil, various types of paint, crayon, pastels, and clay. They learn basic drawing and painting techniques, create ceramic items, explore the styles of famous artists, and more! We provide opportunities for students to take part in special art shows and contests.
At the Primary level, creative movement and song are daily activities, mainly during circle time. For the Primary and Elementary levels, other musical opportunities include preparation for “Holidays Around the World” Celebration/Musical Program in December and the Graduation/Musical Program in June. Additionally, Suzuki violin lessons may be available on-site, as are private lessons in piano, guitar, and voice (at an additional fee). A weekly/biweekly music theory and appreciation class is taught by Ben Bowman.
Lower and Upper Elementary students participate in physical activity during recess and extended recess periods. Activities include playing games, learning basic rules of some sports, practicing stretching and balance, and engaging in nature appreciation activities. Additionally, each day, the children have a long outdoor recess period to enjoy nature, play unstructured games with each other, and get plenty of exercise and fresh air!
When possible, we offer a running program for Upper Elementary and Middle School students is offered seasonally; students are transported to the Cara Fields road for this program. In the winter, cross country skiing and ice skating are offered for free after school as conditions permit. Students can cross-country ski on-site during recess.
As part of the geography curriculum, twice a year students attend a country feast. Lower Elementary students have become "experts" on countries within a particular continent and at the feast they display maps, flags, souvenirs/artifacts and give a short presentation about the countries. Families prepare a recipe from the continent and everyone shares African, Asian, European, or South American cuisine.
Tri-fold Research Projects
At the end of each year, students in the Lower Elementary and Upper Elementary Programs engage in a theme-related, six week research project. Self-selected topics in the past have been under the following umbrella themes: environmental awareness, inventors, medical/health/nutrition, biomes, heroes, careers. Each student writes a report and creates a visual trifold, and on the last day of school presents his or her learnings in museum fashion.
Please also see our “Beyond the Classroom” page, which describes After School Clubs and Activities.
“The child’s intelligence is a fertile field into which seeds may be sown, to grow under the heat of flaming imagination.”